|Swa Saw Ke |
|King of Ava|
|Reign||5 September 1367 – April 1400|
|Coronation||29 March 1368 or |
(16 March 1368)
|Chief Minister||Min Yaza|
|Governor of Amyint|
|Reign||1351 – 5 September 1367|
|Governor of Yamethin|
|Governor of Talok|
|Reign||c. 1344 – 1351|
|Born||16 July 1330 |
Monday, 1st waxing of Wagaung 692 ME
Thayet, Pinya Kingdom
|Died||April 1400 (aged 69) |
c. Kason 762 ME
Ava (Inwa), Ava Kingdom
|Consort|| Khame Mi |
Shin Saw Gyi
Saw Taw Oo
| Tarabya |
|Father||Min Shin Saw|
|Mother||Shin Myat Hla|
Mingyi Swa Saw Ke (Burmese : မင်းကြီး စွာစော်ကဲ, pronounced [mɪ́ɴdʑí swà sɔ̀ kɛ́] ; also spelled စွာစောကဲ, Minkyiswasawke or Swasawke; 1330–1400) was king of Ava from 1367 to 1400. He reestablished central authority in Upper Myanmar (Burma) for the first time since the fall of the Pagan Empire in the 1280s. He essentially founded the Ava Kingdom that would dominate Upper Burma for the next two centuries.
When he was elected by the ministers to succeed King Thado Minbya, Swa took over a small kingdom barely three years old, and one that still faced several external and internal threats. In the north, he successfully fought off the Maw raids into Upper Burma, a longstanding problem since the waning days of Sagaing and Pinya kingdoms. He maintained friendly relations with Lan Na in the east, and Arakan in the west, placing his nominees on the Arakense throne between 1373 and 1385. In the south, he brought semi-independent kingdoms of Toungoo (Taungoo) and Prome (Pyay) firmly into Ava's orbit. But his attempts to extend control farther south touched off the Forty Years' War (1385–1424) between Ava and Pegu. After three defeats, Swa had to agree to a truce with King Razadarit of Pegu in 1391.
For the most part, his long reign was peaceful. In contrast to the short reigns by various kings since the fall of Pagan, Swa's 32-year reign brought much needed stability to Upper Burma. He redeveloped the economy of the kingdom by repairing the irrigation system, and reclaiming much of the arable land which had lapsed into wilderness for nearly a century as the result of the Mongol invasions and repeated Maw raids. Under Swa's leadership, Upper Burma centered in Ava, finally achieved stability it had lacked for much of the past hundred years.
The future king was born Saw Ke (စောကဲ)on 16 July 1330 in Thayet to the ruling family of the region, which was then a vassal state of Pinya. His father Gov. Min Shin Saw of Thayet was a son of King Kyawswa of Pagan, and his mother Shin Myat Hla was a niece of King Thihathu of Pinya and granddaughter of King Narathihapate of Pagan. The third child of six, Ke had two elder brothers Shwe Nan Shin and Saw Yan Naung, and three younger sisters, Saw Pale, Saw Myat and Saw Omma. Then reigning king Uzana I of Pinya was their paternal half-uncle.
Ke spent his formative years in Launggyet, the capital of Arakan, the kingdom to the west of Thayet. In early January 1334, the Arakanese raided Thayet, and sent the entire family of the governor to Launggyet on 7 January 1334.The family was treated well at the Arakanese court where the children were educated by one of the most learned Arakanese monks of the day. Becoming a scholar in his own right, the young prince conducted himself well, and became popular in court circles and also with common people.
In 1343/44,the family was allowed to leave Launggyet. They returned to Pinya. At Pinya, the family was well received. His father was reappointed to his old post at Thayet. His two elder brothers became governors of Myinsaing and Prome (Pyay). Ke, still in his early teens, was made governor of a small town called Talok in central Burma, with the title of Tarabya (တရဖျား, "Righteous Lord"). When he grew older, c. 1351, he was made governor of Yamethin, a larger town by King Kyawswa I of Pinya, his first cousin once removed.
In December 1350, King Kyawswa I suddenly died, and was succeeded by his son Kyawswa II. Ke did not get along with Kyawswa II, who was not only his second cousin but also brother-in-law. (Kyawswa II's chief queen was Saw Ke's youngest sister Saw Omma.) Ke defected to Sagaing, whose reigning king Tarabya II was also a second cousin of his. His defection was a second major defection to Sagaing in two years, following an even higher profile defection of Gov. Nawrahta of Pinle in 1349. But the king of Sagaing sent an embassy led by Princess Soe Min and Gov. Thado Hsinhtein of Tagaung to cool the tensions. The embassy was successful, and the peace between the two Burmese-speaking kingdoms was maintained. Tarabya II appointed Ke governor of Amyint, a small region west of Sagaing.
Saw Ke's rise to power began in the mid-1360s. In September 1364, Prince Thado Minbya of Sagaing seized both Sagaing and Pinya capitals, which had been left in ruins by a devastating Maw Shan raid earlier that year, and declared himself king of both Sagaing and Pinya kingdoms.Ke pledged allegiance to the 18-year-old king, who was not only his second cousin once removed but also brother-in-law. The young king had married Ke's sister Saw Omma. On 26 February 1365, Thado Minbya founded the Kingdom of Ava as the successor state of both Sagaing and Pinya.
Despite his proclamation, the young king still had no control over Pinya's southern vassals. Over the next two years, the young king launched repeated campaigns to gain control of the southern regions. By his sudden death in September 1367 from smallpox, the young king had only partially completed the conquests. The southernmost regions Prome, Toungoo (Taungoo) and Sagu (Minbu granary) all remained out of Ava's grasp.
Saw Ke became king due to the recommendation of his brother-in-law Gov. Thilawa of Yamethin. After Thado Minbya's death, Queen Saw Omma and Commander Nga Nu tried to seize the Ava throne but the court drove them out.The court initially gave the throne to Thilawa. But the taciturn governor of Yamethin refused, reportedly saying: "I do not open my mouth to speak three or four words a day. You had better choose Saw Ke." The court offered the throne to Ke, who accepted. He became king of Ava on 5 September 1367.
His first job as king was to retake Sagaing where his sister and her lover had been trying to revive the old Sagaing Kingdom. His forces easily retook Sagaing. Over the next few months, he was able to use diplomacy to persuade the southern vassals, whom Thado Minbya could not conquer militarily, to acknowledge him as king. That Gov. Saw Yan Naung of Prome and Gov. Theinkhathu Saw Hnaung of Sagu were his elder brother and brother-in-law, respectively, may have helped. To be sure, his authority was nominal: Pyanchi I of Toungoo offered nominal allegiance to Ava only because he himself was consolidating his power at Toungoo, and would later attempt to revolt.
On 16 March 1368 or on 29 March 1368, the date deemed propitious by his court astrologers, Saw Ke, 37, was crowned king.Now known as Mingyi Swa, ("Exalted Great King"), he made his first wife Khame Mi the chief queen, and raised Thado Minbya's three younger sisters as his principal queens.
Swa shared Thado Minbya's dream of restoring the erstwhile Pagan Empire.He would spend the next two decades gradually reestablishing central authority throughout the Irrawaddy valley and its periphery. The king came to rely on the advice of his court, led by Chief Minister Min Yaza, a commoner who joined his service in 1368. Despite the ambition, at his accession his real authority did not exceed outside the immediate core region of Central Burma. He decided to bide his time, and deal with his internal and external issues one at a time. At the top of his list was the Shan state of Maw (Mong Mao), which had been assiduously raiding Upper Burma since 1356.
In order to deal with the Maw threat, Swa initially pursued a conciliatory policy towards his other neighbors.To be sure, the neighboring states themselves looked at the newly rising power from Central Myanmar, the traditional home of political power in Myanmar, with caution. In 1370, King Binnya U of the southern kingdom of Ramanya proposed friendly relations. The king of the Mon-speaking kingdom wanted a quiet northern border as he had been facing a serious rebellion in Martaban (Mottama) and the Irrawaddy delta since 1363/64. Swa too wanted a quiet border, and in particular Binnya U's assurance that Ramanya would not assist Toungoo. The two kings met later in the year 1370/71 at the frontier, and signed a treaty demarcating the border.
With his rear secure, Swa turned his attention to the north. The situation turned to his favor when the longtime sawbwa Tho Kho Bwa (Si Kefa) died in 1371. Swa took full advantage of the ensuing chaos and infighting between Mohnyin and Kalay states. Following the court's advice, he marched to both Kalay and Mohnyin only after the two states were exhausted from their war. Both states submitted to the rising power.But the Ava-installed sawbwa of Mohnyin was overthrown soon after the Ava forces left. Swa wanted to retaliate but was stopped by the court, which advised that he was not yet strong enough to engage in an extended war. Heeding the court's advice, Swa agreed to re-calibrate his northern border farther south to Myedu, where the court considered defensible. To be sure, the new sawbwa at Mohnyin did not agree with Ava's new border. The Maw forces occupied Myedu in 1372 but Swa drove them out by early 1373. An Ava inscription dated 7 February 1375 triumphantly commemorates the victory over the "heretic Shans".
An uneasy ceasefire of sorts followed for the next 14 years. The Maw state still wanted to regain Kalay and Myedu but stopped its raids into the lowlands now that it faced a more united lowland kingdom in Ava. The next Maw attacks would come in 1387–88 and 1392–93 while Ava was immersed in its ultimately unsuccessful effort to take over Pegu.
His success in containing the Maw threat gave Swa additional leeway to deal with other issues. In 1373, Swa sided with an Arakanese (Rakhine) faction over the recently vacated Arakense throne at Launggyet.Swa's nominee, his uncle Saw Mon II proved an able ruler and ruled Arakan until his death in 1380/81 (or 1383/84). This time, Swa sent Saw Me, governor of Talok and one of his long-serving loyalists, to Arakan. But Saw Me proved to be a tyrant and was driven out of Arakan in 1385/86. Swa chose not respond as his attention was now focused on Pegu. Ava would return to Arakan and finish off the Launggyet dynasty in 1406.
Despite his relative successes in his near abroad, Swa still had little control over his own vassal Toungoo. He never trusted Gov. Pyanchi of Toungoo, who was educated in Pegu and had been contact with Pegu during Ava's brief war with Maw. As a first step, in 1374, Swa asked Toungoo's eastern neighbor Lan Na not to interfere. Chronicles say after he had threatened to send a sizable force to the frontier, Chiang Mai sent an embassy to Ava, and agreed to a peace treaty.But Chiang Mai might have simply let Ava and Pegu fight it out. At any rate, Pyanchi now recognized that Ava was trying to isolate him, and asked Pegu for military aid. Despite the 1370 non-aggression pact, Binnya U sent a sizable force consisting of infantry, cavalry and war elephants to Toungoo.
Ava was not yet willing to go to war with Pegu over Toungoo. Instead, the king sought another way, and enlisted the help of his brother Gov. Saw Yan Naung of Prome. In 1375, Yan Naung proposed a marriage of state between his daughter and Pyanchi's son, Pyanchi II, with the marriage ceremony to be held in Prome (Pyay).Pyanchi understood the proposal of marriage to be the first step toward joint rebellion against Ava. A Toungoo−Prome axis backed by Pegu would form a formidable Lower Burma bulwark against Central Burma-based Ava. Pyanchi I agreed to the proposal, and went to Prome with a small battalion. It was a trap. The Toungoo contingent was ambushed near Prome, and Pyanchi was killed although his son and son-in-law Sokkate both escaped.
Even then, Ava still had little control. The Peguan army led by Commander Ma Sein remained in control of Toungoo before the city was retaken three months later.By then, Ava had sent three expeditions against Toungoo, causing widespread starvation in Toungoo. Swa allowed Pyanchi I's son Pyanchi II to take office in early 1376. But Pyanchi II was assassinated three years later by his brother-in-law Sokkate. Swa initially accepted Sokkate's allegiance in 1379/80 but changed his mind after Sokkate proved to be a tyrant. He had Sokkate assassinated by a spy of his, and appointed the assassin, Phaungga, in 1383. In Phaungga, Swa believed he finally had a trustworthy vassal at Toungoo.
By 1384, at the half way point of his 32-year reign, Swa had successfully consolidated his rule over Upper Burma. He faced no immediate internal or external threats. Lan Na and Arakan, were never a threat to Ava. In the south, King Binnya U of Pegu had died and his teenage son Razadarit was facing two major rebellions. Swa's main concern remained in the north, despite the uneasy truce that had held since 1373. He followed the developments in Yunnan where the Chinese Ming dynasty had been reestablishing Beijing's authority since 1380, and pressuring Shan migrations towards the Irrawaddy valley. According to Ming records, Swa asked China for a joint operation against the border Shan states but Burmese chronicles make no mention of such a request.
At any rate, he had helped restore a semblance of normalcy throughout the country. It was especially true in war-torn northern Burma (former Sagaing Kingdom) which had seen repeated Mongol and later Shan invasions since the late 13th century. Indeed, several paddy fields that had been since the Mongol invasions were restarted only in 1386.By all accounts, he had successfully established some degree of central control over his vassals, including Toungoo, by the eve of the war with Pegu. One notable natural disaster during the first half of his reign was a major earthquake that struck on 30 December 1372.
Circa April 1385, he appointed his eldest son Min Na-Kye (Tarabya) heir-apparent. In a marriage of state, he married his son to his niece, daughter of Thilawa of Yamethin.Meanwhile, the king received an embassy from Gov. Laukpya of Myaungmya, seeking military assistance in exchange for his submission to Ava. Swa's acceptance of Laukpya's invitation resulted in the Forty Years' War between Ava and Pegu.
At first, the Ava court, though still concerned about the situation in the north, believed that Lower Burma was winnable. The teenage king at Pegu barely controlled one out of the three Mon-speaking regions of Lower Burma. The southern Martaban province and the entire Irrawaddy delta had been essentially independent since 1363/64, and formally independent since Binnya U's death in 1384. All Ava needed to do, it seemed, was to take the Pegu province (present-day Yangon Region and southern Bago Region). The court advised Swa to accept Laukpya's offer.
In December 1385,Swa launched a two-pronged invasion of Lower Burma down the Irrawaddy and Sittaung rivers, and Laukpya sent in his navy from the delta. The two Ava armies (combined 13,000 men, 1000 cavalry, 40 elephants) were officially led by Swa's young sons, Crown Prince Tarabya, 17, and Prince Minkhaung of Pyinsi, 12; the youngsters were aided by Swa's two best generals, Thilawa and Theinkhathu. The invading armies, assisted by Laukpya's forces, went on to occupy much of the Pegu province but could not break through the Hmawbi–Pegu corridor for over five months. Then, Razadarit made a tactical error. The young king came out of Pegu, and counterattacked the Ava-occupied Fort Pankyaw. Ava forces nearly cornered Razadarit outside Pegu but Razadarit made it inside the capital due to Minkhaung's failure to follow orders.
It turned out to be the best shot Ava had at toppling Razadarit. The Ava armies would not come as close to defeating Razadarit until 1414–15. Swa decided to lead the next invasion in the following dry season himself. What was the largest mobilization yet, nearly 30,000 troops invaded by the Irrawaddy, and by land in late 1386. Swa led the riverborne invasion force (17,000 troops on 1000 small war boats, and 1200 cargo boats) while Tarabya led the army (12,000 troops, 600 cavalry, 40 elephants). Minkhaung stayed behind to guard the capital. This time, Peguan defenses were ready. Although they were outnumbered, Razadarit's over 11,000 troops staved off several Ava attacks at Dagon, Hlaing, Dala (modern Twante) and Hmawbi. The invaders once again had to retreat at the onset of the rainy season.
Swa was stunned by the failures, and paused the war effort to reassess. At any rate, he needed to deal with his northern border, as it was again restive. Perhaps encouraged by Ava's failures in the south, Maw was breaching Kalay's border. Ava had to send an army in 1387−88 to restore order.The situation remained tense until 1389/90 when Ava and Maw agreed to a truce. King Tho Ngan Bwa of Maw sent his daughter Shin Mi-Nauk to Ava in a marriage of state to Swa's second eldest son Minkhaung.
Meanwhile, Razadarit took full advantage of Ava's preoccupation in the north. In 1387–88, Razadarit managed to capture the Martaban province after a long invasion.By 1389, Razadarit felt ready to take on Ava's ally Laukpya, and invaded the Irrawaddy delta. As in Martaban, Razadarit was close to defeat when he pulled out a victory. The Pegu forces went on to occupy the entire delta, including Ava's territory, Gu-Htut (modern Myan-Aung).
Razadarit's occupation of Gu-Htut forced Swa's hand. In 1390,he launched another two-pronged invasion, again by the Irrawaddy and land. Just as in the second invasion, Swa himself led the 17,000-strong river-borne invasion forces and Tarabya led the 12,000-strong army by the Toungoo route. But unlike with the second invasion, the invaders faced unified more numerous southern forces. They could not even breach the border forts. The smaller Peguan navy held off repeated charges by the Ava navy near Gu-Htut. Likewise, Tarabya's army could not take Fort Pankyaw. Despite the success, the Pegu command decided to cede Gu-Htut in exchange for peace. It was a face-saving measure, and Swa accepted the deal.
The truce almost broke down the following dry season. Ava sent an army to Tharrawaddy (Thayawadi) in 1391–92 but Pegu sent a sizable force to the front. The fragile peace held.
In the meantime, the fragile peace with Maw had broken down. The cause was again Myedu, the territory Ava wrested away from Maw two decades earlier. Maw forces occupied Myedu in 1392. In the dry season of 1392–93, Swa responded with a combined land and naval attack. But the army led by Theinkhathu Saw Hnaung and Tuyin was badly defeated, and chased all the way back to Sagaing. But Maw forces had overextended, suddenly found themselves deep in central Burma. The Ava counterattack led by Thilawa wiped out all 15 regiments of the Maw army, at Shangon, 30 km northwest of Sagaing. After the crushing defeat, the Maw raids ended for the rest of Swa's reign.
The rest of his reign saw no more wars. He had successfully built a stable state in Upper Burma. After an impactful reign of 32 years, the king died in April 1400.He was succeeded by Tarabya. His formal royal titles were: Assapati Narapati Bhawa Natitya Pawara Dhamma-Raja and Siri Tiri Pawanaditya Pawara Pandita Dhamma-Raja.
Swa heavily relied on the advice of his court led by Chief Minister Min Yaza. He continued to employ Pagan's administrative model of solar politiesin which the high king ruled the core while semi-independent tributaries, autonomous viceroys, and governors actually controlled day-to-day administration and manpower.
|Vassal state||Region||Ruler (duration in office)||Notes|
|Pagan (Bagan)||Core|| Uzana II of Pagan (1325−68) |
Uzana III (1390?–1400)
|Uzana III, also known as Thinkhaya, may have been governor earlier than 1390.|
|Myinsaing||Core|| Shwe Nan Shin (c. 1344–90?) |
Thray Sithu (by 1390–1426)
|Swa's eldest brother |
grandson of King Uzana I of Pinya
|Mekkhaya||Core||Saw Hnaung (1367–?)|
|Pinle||Core||Min Letwe (c. 1349−86) |
Thray Thinkhaya (1386–?)
|Min Letwe, son of Kyawswa I of Pinya, KIA (1386)|
|Pinya||Core||Thray Waduna (1380s)|
|Paukmyaing||Core||Min Pale (c. 1347−1402)|
|Lanbu||Core||Yandathu I (1340s)|
|Wadi||Core||Thinkhaya (c. 1344–?)|
|Sagaing||North||Yazathingyan (c. 1367−1400)|
|Tagaung||North||Thihapate (1367–1400)||also known as Nga Nauk Hsan; assassin of Tarabya (1400)|
|Kalay||North||Tho Chi Bwa (1371–?)|
|Myedu||North||Thet-Shay Kyawhtin (c. 1373–?)|
|Yamethin||Mid|| Thilawa (c. 1351−95/96) |
Maha Pyauk (1395/96−1400)
|Swa's brother-in-law |
Pretender to Ava throne (1400)
|Taungdwin||Mid||Thihapate (by 1366–?)|
|Nyaungyan||Mid||Baya Kyawthu (1360s)|
|Sagu||Mid||Theinkhathu (c. 1360s–90s)||Swa's brother-in-law|
|Prome (Pyay)||South|| Saw Yan Naung (1344–77/78) |
Myet-Hna Shay (1377/78–1388/89)
Letya Pyanchi (1390–1413)
|Swa's younger elder brother |
Son-in-law of Laukpya of Myaungmya
|Toungoo (Taungoo)||South|| Pyanchi I (1367–75) |
Pyanchi II (1376–79/80)
Saw Oo I (1397–99)
Min Nemi (1399–1408)
Swa left a unified Upper Burma although he could not restore the Pagan Empire. His 32-year reign brought much needed stability to Upper Burma. The stability in turn allowed the populace to repair the irrigation system, and reclaim much of the arable land which had lapsed into wilderness as the result of the Mongol invasions nearly a century earlier.This redevelopment recharged Upper Burma's economic and manpower that would allow Ava to pursue more expansionist policies by its later kings.
The king had several queens and at least 13 issue. Most chronicles say that his successor Tarabya was born to his chief queen consort Khame Mi. But the chronicle Yazawin Thit cites a 1401 inscription by Queen Shin Saw Gyi herself which says she was the mother of Tarabya.
|Khame Mi||Chief queen (r. 1367−c. 1390s)||Min Padamya |
Saw Salaka Dewi
Yan Aung Min Ye
|Shin Saw Gyi||Queen of the Northern Palace (r. 1367−c. 1390s) |
Chief queen (r. c. 1390s–1400)
| Tarabya, King of Ava (r. 1400) |
Saw Myat Ke
|Saw Omma||Queen of the Middle Palace (r. 1367−c. 1390s)|
Queen of the Northern Palace (r. c. 1390s–1400)
|Saw Chantha |
|Saw Taw Oo||Queen of the Western Palace (r. 1367−c. 1390s)|
Queen of the Central Palace (r. c. 1390s–1400)
|Soe Min Wimala Dewi|
|Saw Nanda||Junior queen||?|
|Shin Shwe||Junior queen (m. 1351/52)||?|
|Saw Beza||Junior queen (m. 1373)|| Minkhaung I, King of Ava (r. 1400–22) |
|Source||Birth–Death||Age||Reign||Length of reign||Reference|
|Zatadawbon Yazawin (List of Kings of Ava Section)||c. July 1331 – 1401||69 |
|1367/68 – 1401||33|
|Zatadawbon Yazawin (Horoscopes Section)||5 July 1331 – 1400||68 |
|1366/67 – 1400||33|
|Maha Yazawin||c. 1331 – November/December 1400||69 |
|29 March 1368 – November/December 1400||33 [sic]|
|Mani Yadanabon||c. 1330/31 – mid 1400||16 March 1368 – mid 1400|
|Yazawin Thit||c. 1330/31 – mid 1400||29 March 1368 – mid 1400|
|Hmannan Yazawin||c. 1331 – November/December 1400||29 March 1368 – November/December 1400|
|Inscriptions||? – [early-to-mid 1400]||?||5 September 1367 – [early-to-mid 1400]||32|
|Ancestry of Mingyi Swa|
Razadarit, was king of Hanthawaddy Pegu from 1384 to 1421. He successfully unified his Mon-speaking kingdom, and fended off major assaults by the Burmese-speaking Ava Kingdom (Inwa) in the Forty Years' War. The king also instituted an administrative system that left his successors with a far more integrated kingdom. He is one of the most famous kings in Burmese history.
The Pinya Kingdom was the kingdom that ruled Central Myanmar (Burma) from 1313 to 1365. It was the successor state of Myinsaing, the polity that controlled much of Upper Burma between 1297 and 1313. Founded as the de jure successor state of the Pagan Empire by Thihathu, Pinya faced internal divisions from the start. The northern province of Sagaing led by Thihathu's eldest son Saw Yun successfully fought for autonomy in 1315−17, and formally seceded in 1325 after Thihathu's death.
The Sagaing Kingdom was a small kingdom ruled by a junior branch of the Myinsaing dynasty from 1315 to 1365. Originally the northern province of Sagaing of the Pinya Kingdom, it became de facto independent after Prince Saw Yun successfully fought for autonomy from his father King Thihathu in 1315–17. Sagaing formally seceded from Pinya in 1325 after Thihathu's death.
Thado Minbya was the founder of the Kingdom of Ava. In his three plus years of reign (1364–67), the king laid the foundation for the reunification of Central Burma, which had been split into Pinya and Sagaing kingdoms since 1315. He also founded the capital city of Ava (Inwa) in 1365, which would remain the country's capital for most of the following five centuries. The young king restored order in central Burma, and tried to stamp out corrupt Buddhist clergy. He died of smallpox while on a southern military expedition in September 1367.
Tarabya was king of Ava for about seven months in 1400. He was the heir apparent from 1385 to 1400 during his father King Swa Saw Ke's reign. He was a senior commander in Ava's first three campaigns (1385−91) against Hanthawaddy Pegu in the Forty Years' War. He was assassinated seven months into his rule by his one-time tutor, Gov. Thihapate of Tagaung. The court executed the usurper, and gave the throne to Tarabya's half-brother Min Swe.
Minkhaung I of Ava was king of Ava from 1400 to 1421. He is best remembered in Burmese history for his epic struggles against King Razadarit of Hanthawaddy Pegu in the Forty Years' War (1385–1424). As king, Minkhaung continued his father Swa Saw Ke's policy to restore the Pagan Empire. Under the military leadership of his eldest son Minye Kyawswa, Ava nearly succeeded. While he ultimately failed to conquer Hanthawaddy and Launggyet Arakan, he was able to bring in most of cis-Salween Shan states to the Ava orbit.
Thihathu of Ava was king of Ava from 1421 to 1425. Though he opportunistically renewed the Forty Years' War with Hanthawaddy Pegu in 1422, Thihathu agreed to a peace treaty with Prince Binnya Ran in 1423. His subsequent marriage to Ran's sister Princess Shin Saw Pu helped keep the peace between the two kingdoms when Ran became king of Pegu in 1424.
Kale Kye-Taung Nyo was king of Ava from 1425 to 1426, and governor of Kale Kye-Taung (Kalay) from 1406 to 1425. A top military commander during the reigns of kings Minkhaung I and Thihathu of Ava, Prince Min Nyo came to power in 1425 by overthrowing his eight-year-old nephew King Min Hla with the help of his lover Queen Shin Bo-Me. But Nyo himself was overthrown less than seven months later in 1426 by his fellow senior commander and long-time rival Gov. Thado of Mohnyin.
Theiddat was the heir-presumptive of Ava from 1400 to 1406 during the reign of King Minkhaung I of Ava. Theiddat was the key figure in securing his elder brother Minkhaung I's claim on the throne of Ava. In the early days of Minkhaung's reign, Theiddat personally led an army to put down a major rebellion. After Minkhaung named his eldest son Minye Kyawswa heir apparent in 1406, Theiddat felt betrayed, and fled south in 1407 and joined the service of King Razadarit of Hanthawaddy Pegu, which was amidst fighting the Forty Years' War (1385–1424) with Ava.
Minye Kyawswa was crown prince of Ava from 1406 to 1415, and commander-in-chief of Ava's military from 1410 to 1415. He is best remembered in Burmese history as the courageous general who waged the fiercest battles of the Forty Years' War (1385–1424) against King Razadarit of Hanthawaddy Pegu.
Soe Min Kodawgyi was the chief queen consort of Sagaing from 1352 to 1364. The eldest daughter of the founder of Sagaing Saw Yun was a powerful figure who twice led diplomatic missions to forge a closer alliance with Pinya in the 1350s. She was the mother of Thado Minbya, the founder of the Kingdom of Ava (Inwa).
Shin Saw Gyi was a chief queen consort of King Swa Saw Ke of Ava. She was also a principal queen of kings Kyawswa II of Pinya and Narathu of Pinya. She was a granddaughter of King Saw Yun, the founder of Sagaing Kingdom, and a sister of King Thado Minbya, the founder of Ava Kingdom. She was originally a queen consort of Swa, and was given the title of Queen of the Northern Palace and Pinya in fief. She became the chief queen after Queen Khame Mi died, and became the Queen of the Southern Palace.
Khame Mi was the first chief queen consort of King Swa Saw Ke of Ava. She is regarded as the mother of King Tarabya, the successor of Swa, by the standard Burmese chronicles despite inscriptional evidence to the contrary.
Thilawa was governor of Yamethin in the late Pinya period and early Ava period of Myanmar. He is best remembered in Burmese history as someone who smiled only three times in his life. The taciturn governor refused the court's offer to become king in 1367, and instead became one of the four top commanders of the eventual king, Swa Saw Ke. He served in the war against the southern Hanthawaddy Kingdom between 1386 and 1391, and decisively defeated the 1392–93 invasion by the northern state of Mohnyin.
Saw Yan Naung was governor of Prome (Pyay) from c. 1344 to 1375 and viceroy of Prome from 1375 to 1377/78. Descended from Pagan and Pinya royalty, Saw Yan Naung was first appointed to the governorship by King Kyawswa I of Pinya. From 1367 onwards, the governor helped his brother King Swa Saw Ke of Ava consolidate the former southern vassals states of Pinya into Ava's fold.
Pyanchi I was viceroy of Toungoo (Taungoo) from 1367 to 1375. He ruled the region like a sovereign king. But when he tried to revolt with Hanthawaddy's help in 1375, his nominal overlord King Swa Saw Ke of Ava had him assassinated near Prome (Pyay).
Min Yaza of Wun Zin was chief minister of Ava from 1379/80 to 1421. He was the main adviser to three successive kings of Ava: Swa Saw Ke, Tarabya and Minkhaung I. Under his guidance, Ava made several attempts to restore the Pagan Empire, and methodically acquired its immediate surrounding Shan states between 1371 and 1406. By his death in 1421, he had advised his kings almost for the entire duration of the Forty Years' War (1385–1424) between Ava and Pegu.
Min Phaungga was viceroy of Toungoo (Taungoo) from 1383 to 1397.
Letya Pyanchi was governor of Prome (Pyay) from 1390 to 1413. The governor, a Hanthawaddy royal, was a key Ava commander in the Forty Years' War against Hanthawaddy Pegu.
Minye Kyawhtin was a pretender to the Ava throne from 1426 to 1459. The eldest son of Crown Prince Minye Kyawswa, Minye Kyawhtin raised a long-running rebellion against King Mohnyin Thado and his successors, kings Minye Kyawswa I and Narapati I of Ava.
Swa Saw KeBorn: 16 July 1330 Died: April 1400
| King of Ava |
5 September 1367 – c. April 1400
|Preceded by|| Governor of Amyint |
Thihapate of Yamethin
| Governor of Yamethin|
Thilawa of Yamethin
|Preceded by|| Governor of Talok|