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Majapahit


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A Hindu empire based in the fertile valley of the Brantas River in eastern Java, which flourished between 1293 and the latter part of the 15th century. It experienced its ‘golden age’ under its last great ruler Hayam Wuruk (1350–89) whose reign is extolled in an epic poem, Nagarakertagama (1365). This poem claimed an empire for Majapahit covering much of peninsular Malaya, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi (Celebes), Bali, and other islands, though its control in the more far-flung areas must have been weak. Its chief minister, Gajah Mada (died 1364), codified its laws and is said to have bequeathed a more centralized administration. After it was partitioned between Wuruk's sons there was decline. By c.1527 the last remnants of Majapahit's authority had been extinguished and many of its royal family had fled to Bali.

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