The royal chronicles of Myanmar (Burmese: မြန်မာ ရာဇဝင် ကျမ်းများ [mjəmà jàzəwɪ̀ɰ̃ tɕáɰ̃ mjá]; also known as Burmese chronicles) are detailed and continuous chronicles of the monarchy of Myanmar (Burma). The chronicles were written on different media such as parabaik paper, palm leaf, and stone; they were composed in different literary styles such as prose, verse, and chronograms. Palm-leaf manuscripts written in prose are those that are commonly referred to as the chronicles. Other royal records include administrative treatises and precedents, legal treatises and precedents, and censuses.The chronicle tradition was maintained in the country's four historical polities: Upper Burma, Lower Burma, Arakan and the Shan states. The majority of the chronicles did not survive the country's numerous wars as well as the test of time. The most complete extant chronicles are those of Upper Burma-based dynasties, with the earliest extant chronicle dating from the 1280s and the first standard national chronicle from the 1720s.
The subject matter of the chronicles is mainly about the monarchs, and the chronicles provide little information about the general situation of the kingdom. Nor were they written solely from a secular history perspective but rather at times to provide "legitimation according to religious criteria" of the monarchy. Nevertheless, the chronicles' "great record of substantially accurate dates" goes back at least to the 11th century. Latest research shows that even the pre-11th century narratives, dominated by legends, do provide a substantially accurate record of "social memory", going back over three millennia.Myanmar possesses the most extensive historical source material in Southeast Asia, and the Burmese chronicles are the most detailed historical records in the region. Yet much of the extant Burmese records have not been properly maintained, and many of the less well-known chronicles are yet to be studied systematically.

View More On
Top Bottom