MELAKA2U provides history and past archieology facts of the historical city of Melaka (Malacca), Malaysia.

  - History Of Melaka - Historical City Of Malacca -  

Brief HISTORY OF MELAKA

     The Malacca Sultanate (Malay: Kesultanan Melayu Melaka; Jawi script: كسلطانن ملايو ملاك) was a Malay sultanate centered in the modern day state of Malacca, Malaysia. Conventional historical thesis marks circa 1400 as the founding year of the sultanate by a renegade Malay Raja of Singapura, Iskandar Shah, who was also known in certain accounts as "Parameswara". At the height of the sultanate's power in the 15th century, its capital grew into one of the most importantentrepots of its time, with territory covering much of the Malay Peninsula, Riau Islands and a significant portion of the east coast of Sumatra.

As a bustling international trading port, Malacca emerged as a center for Islamic learning and dissemination, and encouraged the development of the Malay language, literature and arts. It heralded the golden age of Malay sultanates in the archipelago, in which Classical Malay became the lingua franca of the Maritime Southeast Asia and Jawi scriptbecame the primary medium for cultural, religious and intellectual exchange. It is through these intellectual, spiritual and cultural developments, the Malaccan era witnessed the enculturation of a Malay identity, the Malayisation of the region and the subsequent formation of an Alam Melayu.

In 1511, the capital of Malacca fell to the Portuguese Empire, forcing the last Sultan, Mahmud Shah (r. 1488-1511), to retreat to the further reaches of his empire, where his progeny established new ruling dynasties, Johor and Perak. The legacy of the sultanate remained, with significance lies in its far-reaching political and cultural legacy, which, arguably, continues to be felt in modern times. For centuries, Malacca has been held up as an exemplar of Malay-Muslim civilization. It established systems of trade, diplomacy, and governance that persisted well into the 19th century, and introduced concepts such as daulat- a distinctly Malay notion of sovereignty - that continues to shape contemporary understanding of Malay kingship.


History
Early foundation

The series of raids launched by the Chola Empire in the 11th century had weakened the once glorious Malay empire ofSrivijaya. By the end of the 13th century, the already fragmented Srivijaya caught the attention of the expansionist Javanese King, Kertanegara of Singhasari. In 1275, he decreed the Pamalayu expedition to overrun Sumatra. By 1288, Singhasari naval expeditionary forces successfully sacked Jambi and Palembang and brought Srivijaya to its knees. The complete destruction of Srivijaya caused the diaspora of the Srivijayan princes and nobles. Rebellions against the Javanese rule ensued and attempts were made by the fleeing Malay princes to revive the empire, which left the area of southern Sumatra in chaos and desolation. According to the Malay Annals, a fleeing prince from Palembang named Sang Nila Utama who claimed to be of mixed Malay-Indo-Persian descent, took refuge in the island of Bintan for several years before he set sail and landed on Temasek in 1299. The Orang Laut (Sea People), famous for their loyal services to Srivijaya, eventually made him Raja of a new kingdom called Singapura. In the 14th century, Singapura developed concurrently with the Pax Mongolica era and rose from a small trading outpost into a center of international trade with strong ties with the Yuan Dynasty. Its wealth and success however, alarmed two regional powers at that time,Ayuthaya from the north and Majapahit from the south. As a result, the kingdom's fortified capital was attacked by at least two major foreign invasions before it was finally sacked by Majapahit in 1398. The fifth and last king, Iskandar Shah fled to the west coast of Malay Peninsula.

Iskandar Shah (also known as "Parameswara" in some accounts) fled north to Muar, Ujong Tanah and Biawak Busuk before reaching a fishing village at the mouth of Bertam river (modern day Malacca River). Legend has it that the king saw a mouse deer outwit his hunting dog into the water when he was resting under the Malacca tree. He thought this boded well, remarking, 'this place is excellent, even the mouse deer is formidable; it is best that we establish a kingdom here'. Tradition holds that he named the settlement after the tree he was leaning against while witnessing the portentous event. Today, the mouse deer is part of modern Malacca's coat of arms. The name "Malacca" itself was derived from the fruit-bearing Melaka tree (Malay: Pokok Melaka) scientifically termed as Phyllanthus emblica.[10] Another account of the naming origin of Malacca elaborates that during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Shah (r. 1424-1444), the Arab merchants called the kingdom 'Malakat' (Arabic for 'congregation of merchants') because it was home to many trading communities.

Following the establishment of his new city in Malacca, Iskandar Shah initiated the development of the place and laid the foundation of a trade port. The indigenous inhabitants of the straits, the Orang Laut, were employed to patrol the adjacent sea areas, to repel other petty pirates, and to direct traders to Malacca.[12] Within years, news about Malacca becoming a center of trade and commerce began to spread all over the easten part of the world. In 1405, Yongle Emperor of Ming Dynasty (r. 1402 - 1424) send his envoy headed by Yin Qing to Malacca in 1403. Yin Qing's visit opened the way for the establishment of friendly relations between Malacca and China. Two years later, the legendary Admiral Zheng He made his first of six visits to Malacca. Chinese merchants began calling at the port and pioneering foreign trading bases in Malacca. Other foreign traders notably the Arabs, Indians, and Persians came to establish their trading bases and settle in Malacca, soaring its population to 2000. In 1411, Iskandar Shah headed a royal party of 540 people and left for China with Admiral Zheng He to visit Ming's court. In 1414, the Ming Shilumentions that the son of the first ruler of Malacca visited Ming court to inform Yongle that his father had died.

During the reign of Iskandar Shah's son, Megat Iskandar Shah (r. 1414-1424), the kingdom continued to prosper. The period saw the diversification of economic sources of the kingdom with the discovery of two tin mining areas in the northern part of the city, sago palmsin the orchards and nipah palms lining in the estuaries and beaches. To improve the defense mechanism of the city from potential aggressors, Megat Iskandar Shah ordered the construction of a wall surrounding the city with four guarded entrances. A fenced fortress was also built in the town center where the state's treasury and supply were stored. The growth of Malacca coincided with the rising power of Ayuthaya in the north. The growing ambitions of the kingdom against its neighbours and Malay Peninsula had alarmed the ruler of Malacca. In a preemptive measure, the king headed a royal visit to China in 1418 to raise his concerns about the threat. Yongle responded in October 1419 by sending his envoy to warn the Siamese ruler. Relationship between the China and Malacca were further strengthened by several envoys to China, led by the Malaccan princes in the years 1420, 1421 and 1423. Due to this, it can be said that Malacca was economically and diplomatically fortified.

 

Melaka ( Malacca ) - The Historical City

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