Narathihapate bigraphy, stories - King of Burma

Narathihapate : biography

23 April 1238 - 00 December 1287

Narathihapate ( ; also Sithu IV; 1238–1287) was the last king of Pagan dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from 1256 to 1287. The king is unkindly remembered for two things: his gluttonous appetite which supposedly required all his dinners to have 300 varieties of dishes; and his panic flight from Mongol invasions. He is forever remembered as Tayok-Pyay Min, (lit. "King who Fled from the Chinese"). At Lower Burma, the king was poisoned by his second son Thihathu. Nearly 250 years of Pagan's rule over the Irrawaddy basin and its periphery came to an end. The country broke apart into multiple kingdoms, an interregnum that would last for another 250 years until the emergence of Toungoo dynasty reunited the country in the mid-16th century.

External sources

Category:Burmese monarchs Category:Pagan dynasty Category:1238 births Category:1287 deaths


Narathihapate's death was promptly followed by the breakup of the kingdom. Nearly 250 years of Pagan's rule over the Irrawaddy basin and its periphery was over. In Lower Burma, the Hanthawaddy Kingdom of the Mons emerged in April 1287.(Pan Hla 2004: 25–26) says per Mon records King Wareru proclaimed independence on Thursday, 6th waning of Old Tagu 648 ME (4 April 1287), which is in contradiction with full moon of Tabodwe 649 (19 January 1288) per Burmese records. Pan Hla conjectures 19 January 1288 is the date of coronation. In the west, Arakan was now de jure independent. In the north, the Shans who came down with the Mongols came to dominate Kachin hills and Shan hills, and went on dominate much of western and central mainland Southeast Asia.

It would be another a year and a half until May 1289, when Kyawswa, the youngest son of Narathihapate, emerged as the king of Pagan. By then, the Pagan Empire had ceased to exist. The Mongols had occupied down to Tagaung, and the occupation would last until April 1303. Even in central Burma, Kyawswa controlled only around the capital. The real power now rested with the three brothers from Myinsaing who would later found the Myinsaing Kingdom in 1297, replacing over four centuries of Pagan Kingdom.Harvey 1925: 75–78

Early life

Narathihapate was a son of King Uzana and Queen Asaw.Taw and Forchhammer 1899: 71Furnivall 1911: 15–30 He was born on 23 April 1238. The table below lists the dates given by the four main chronicles.Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 349

Chronicles Birth–Death Age Reign Length of reign
Zatadawbon Yazawin 1239–1287 48 1254–1287 33
Maha Yazawin 1225–1284 59 1240–1284 44
Yazawin Thit 1240–1286 46 1255–1286 31
Hmannan Yazawin 1240–1286 50 [sic] 1255–1286 35 [sic]Hmannan's reporting of the king's birth and death dates is inconsistent. (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 338, 358) says he came to power in 617 ME (28 March 1255 to 26 March 1256 CE) at age 15 (16th year). It means he was born in 602 ME (27 March 1240 to 26 March 1241), two years later than the actual inscription given birth date of 23 April 1238. However, (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 358) says he died at age 50 (51st year), having reigned for 35 years, meaning he was born in 602 ME and died in 652 ME (28 March 1290 to 27 March 1291). Yet in the next page (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 359), Kyawswa ascended to the throne in 648 ME (28 March 1286 to 27 March 1287), which was the same date reported by Maha Yazawin (Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 252). This shows that the chroniclers of Hmannan, who hitherto had followed Yazawin Thit's dates, suddenly switched to Maha Yazawin's dating but failed reconcile Yazawin Thit's dates with Maha Yazawin's. Hmannan should have updated Kyawswa's accession year to 652 ME as well but instead left it at 648 ME.
Scholarship 1238–1287 49 1256–1287 31
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Living octopus

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