Formation of the Majapahit Empire, predecessor of modern Indonesia.
In this series we will explore the history of a short-lived kingdom that united the diverse, 13,000+ islands of Indonesia: Majapahit. Before Majapahit came along, however, the Kingdom of Srivijaya and the Kingdom of Mataram laid the stepping stones.
The Mongols came to the island of Java--the King of Singhasari had defied them for too long. But by the time they got there, the king had died, and instead someone claiming to be his stepson, Raden Vijaya, promised to be their vassal. The Mongol forces were in for quite a surprise.
After Raden Vijaya passed away, the crown passed on to his son Jayanagara--along with his reputation to create scandal and vice. Gajah Mada, whose name literally meant "elephant general" stepped up to make sure that the kingdom would run smoothly--maybe a little too smoothly.
The new sixteen-year-old king, Hayam Wuruk, had inherited an empire. Gajah Mada acted on his behalf, reshaping the way that the throne of Majapahit would be run, but he made a big mistake with the Sundanese princess...
When Islam arrived in Indonesia, life changed--except within Majapahit, where court drama kept them focused on themselves and unaware of the visits and alliances between Admiral Zheng He and the Sultanate of Malacca--forming new powers in the southern seas.