Abstract

This paper analyzes the attitudes toward kingship expressed in the Myan-ma-mìn Ok-chok-pon Sa-dàn ["The Royal Administration of Burma"], written by Pagan U Tin (1861-1933) and first published shortly after the author's death. Following a brief biographical account of Pagan U Tin, the discussion considers four perspectives on Burmese kingship appearing in the work: 1) the king as judge; 2) the king as guarantor of regularity; 3) the king as descendant of the Sun (and of Mahasammata, originator of civil society); and 4) the king as Buddha-to-be. The Burmese monarch was predominantly a symbolic figure who affirmed the kingdom's past and guaranteed its future. Although U Tin reports on the questionable morality of Kings Mindon and Thibaw, he nevertheless addresses both as "Excellent King" and admonishes his readers against offending the dignity of the throne.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2010-314X
Print ISSN
1094-799X
Pages
pp. 77-91
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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