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(Mojopahit), Indonesian empire that had its center on the island of Java (1293 to about 1520).

The Majapahit period was the era of greatest centralization in medieval Indonesia. Basing themselves in the densely populated, economically highly developed regions of central and eastern Java and the trading towns along the northern Java coast, the Majapahit rulers gradually created a vast island empire, uniting most of the feudal states of Indonesia. The empire’s founder, Vijaya (Kertaradjasa), began by recovering the territories of the Javanese state of Singhasari; he was a descendant of the dynasty that had ruled there. At the same time Vijaya expanded and strengthened the international political and economic ties of the Javanese state established by his predecessors.

Vijaya and his son Djajanagara, having unified the Javanese lands while following a broad pan-Indonesian policy, often faced rebellions by the Javanese feudal lords (the revolts of Rangga Lawe in 1295, Sora in 1298-1300, Nambi in 1309-16, and Koeti in 1319). In the course of the struggle to centralize the state, Gadjah Mada (Gajah Mada) came to the fore. He was an energetic politician and talented diplomat who gradually became the de facto ruler of Majapahit, holding the post of mapatih (chief minister) from 1331 on.

After the suppression of the last feudal rebellions (1331), Majapahit became a centralized state. State ownership of the land was strengthened, the main administrative departments of the feudal state were reformed, and the taxation of the communal peasantry (who were under strict governmental control) was put into better order. A clear system of land allotments to the feudal lords in state service was worked out, and a new code of laws was introduced.

The island of Bali was made part of Majapahit, all of Java was unified, and many of the more highly developed areas of Sumatra, Madura, Sumbawa, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi were annexed, as well as a number of regions in the Moluccas and the Malay Peninsula. The consolidation of Indonesian territory was accompanied by an intermingling of Buddhism with Shivaism and of both with local beliefs.

Javanese culture reached its zenith in the 14th century: the historical narrative poem Nagarakertagama was created, the construction of temples was expanded, and art flourished. The decline of Majapahit began in the mid-15th century when it lost most of its territorial possessions and thereby control of the trade routes to the Spice Islands, the Moluccas. The Vijaya dynasty ruled until 1451, but the final period was full of internecine wars. In 1478 a coalition of Muslim trading principalities that had arisen in northern Java succeeded in seizing the Majapahit capital. The last contemporary reference to Majapahit dates to the year 1516; by about 1520 it had evidently been permanently broken up into a number of principalities.


References in periodicals archive ?
From the Srivijaya to the Majapahit empire, the thalassocracy regimes were dominated by Hindu and Buddhist leaders.
Among the stages are Malacca: where West meets East, East Java: the Majapahit Empire, Bali: the island of the gods, Larantuka/Solor: of priests and pirates, East Timor: Portuguese Dili, and Timor Leste: liberdade.
Other sources claim that its origins are from the Majapahit Empire, which ruled the island of Java, currently a part of Indonesia, between the eighth and 11th centuries and whose economy depended strongly on the trade of fabrics and silks.
That site is believed to hold the ruins of the capital of the Majapahit Empire (1293-1500 CE), one of the major kingdoms in the history of the Indonesian archipelago.
The fourth book explores the low point of Gajah Mada's career when Majapahit gets entangled in a long, bloody war that weakens and briefly topples the Majapahit empire.
In 1945 the Indonesian founders were strongly oriented to the Dutch and Javanese conception of archipelago history, particularly as inspired by the grandeur of the Hindu epics and the Majapahit empire.
It is descended from royalty from the neighbouring island of Java who fled the fall of the Hindu Majapahit Empire in the 15th century.
They both see in modern Indonesia the outline of the old Majapahit empire, the courtly, cultured, Java-centric state that lasted until the fifteenth century.
contains]]an and battling physically to defeat demonic spirits"; transmogrified in Java into the ratu, heir to the great fourteenth-century Majapahit empire, he united in his person servant and lord, kawula and gusti, this world and the one invisible to the senses.
As the Philippine government readies 200 election monitors for the elections in Indonesia next month, its long history of ties with Jakarta's Majapahit empire, its Catholicism and its stable democratic institutions are factors favoring Manila having a strong presence in the Aug.
What followed was the rise of one of the greatest and most powerful empires in Southeast Asia, the Majapahit Empire.
Indian cultural influence reached the Philippines indirectly via the two great Indo-Malayan empires, the Sri Vijaya Empire based at Sumatra and Majapahit Empire of Java, which traded with Philippines.