Prince Damrong Rajanubhab ( Thai สมเด็จ พระเจ้า บรม วงศ์ เธอ พระองค์เจ้า ดิ ศ วร กุมาร กรม พระยา ดำรง ราชา นุ ภาพ , RTGS Somdet Pra Chao Borommawong Thoe Pra-ong Chao Ditsaworakuman Krom Phraya Damrong Rachanuphap [ sǒmdèt pʰráʔ ʨâw bɔːrommáwoŋ tʰɤː pʰráʔoŋ ʨâw dítsàwɔːrákùmaːn Krom praja Damron raːʨʰaːnúpʰâːp ]) ( June 21, 1862 - December 1, 1943 ) was one of the most influential Thai personalities of the late 19th and early 20th centuries . He is considered to be the founder of the modern school system in Thailand , he was the first interior minister of Thailand to modernize the provincial administration and as an amateur he made important contributions to Thai historiography.
life and work
Prince Damrong was born as Phra-ong Chao (Prince) Ditsaworakuman (พระองค์เจ้าดิ ศวร กุมาร), son of King Rama IV (Mongkut) with his concubine Chao Chom Manda Chum ( Thai : เจ้าจอมมารดา ชุ่ม ). He received his education in a special palace school which his older half-brother King Rama V (Chulalongkorn) had set up. At a young age he was prepared for work in the state administration, so in 1880 at the age of 18 he became commander of the royal bodyguard .
Working for the Absolute Monarchy
In the following years he built up the country's military schools. In 1886 the king gave him the rank of Krommamuen and the name Damrong Rajanubhab. A year later he became deputy commander of the army . At the same time, King Chulalongkorn took him to a provisional cabinet as Minister of Education . But when the cabinet reform was carried out in 1892, Prince Damrong was surprisingly assigned the leadership of the Ministry for the North ( Mahatthai ), which he transformed into the Ministry of the Interior as part of the administrative reform in 1894 .
In this post, Prince Damrong modernized the traditional system of the provinces, whose governors until then had the position of local princes , which they also inherited. The provincial heads, who financed themselves through taxes and only had to cede a part as tribute to the central government , became officials selected and paid by the Ministry of the Interior. Many smaller provinces were dissolved and assigned to the neighboring provinces, partly to tighten the administration, but also to disempower unwilling governors. In addition, a new administrative level, the Monthon, was introduced, which combined several provinces and took over many of the administrative tasks. The new system was called thesaphiban ("protection over the area").
After the death of King Chulalongkorn in 1910 and the enthronement of his son, King Vajiravudh , the collaboration between what was now the second most powerful man and the king became much more difficult. After some differences of opinion, Prince Damrong was relieved of his duties in 1915 - officially, however, for health reasons, since resigning would have been an affront to the absolute monarch .
Working as a scholar
After his resignation, Prince Damrong devoted himself to the history of Thailand . He wrote many books on the historical events and Thai folklore, and also collected related literature and art objects. From his collection later a. a. the national library .
His most widespread popular historical work is Thai Rop Phama (“Thailand's wars against Burma”) from 1917, in which, for example, he describes the legend of Queen Suriyothai's heroism, King Naresuan's elephant battle, his “declaration of independence”, the stories of the battle , which is now widely known in Thailand popularized by Bang Rachan and the destruction of Ayutthaya by the Burmese. In doing so, he left a lasting mark on Thai history. The stories he recorded found their way into school books and popular culture. The Legend of the Suriyothai and the Battle of Bang Rachan were monumentally filmed in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Damrong propagated the image of the Burmese as wild and brutal hereditary enemies of Thailand and the view that Thailand always only waged war in defense of its freedom and could only be defeated if it was unprepared and divided.
From 1911 (and again from 1942) Prince Damrong lived in the Varadis Palace , an unusual building with a Chinese-inspired interior that was built by the German architect Karl Döhring . The building not far from the lively Lan Luang Road in Bangkok was renovated in 1996 - on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the prince's death - and converted into a museum with an attached library (the Prince Damrong Rachanupab Museum and Library ).
After the 1932 coup
After the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932 and Prince Boworadet's failed attempt to violently reverse the coup, Prince Damrong fled into exile in Penang , Malaysia . In 1942 he returned to Bangkok, where he also died in 1943. On the occasion of his 100th birthday in 1962, he was the first Thai to be included in the UNESCO list of outstanding personalities. Prince Damrong's major major publications are summarized below.
His son Subhadradis Diskul (1923-2003) was also a historian, archaeologist and art historian.
- "The human body" ( กาย ค ฦ ห , Kai kharueha). Wachirayan Volume 1, No. 2, pp. 89-122 (January 30, 1885). Simple explanations of the functions of the human body and pain in the thought circle of Buddhism
- “Pilgrimages to the Sacred Footprint” ( เรี อง เทศกาล พระบาท , Rueang thetsakan phrabat). Wachirayan . A treatise on the sacred footprint of the Buddha in Saraburi
- "The dedication of blessings in Thai culture" ( เรึ่ อง ให้ พร , Rueang hai phon). Wachirayan wiset (1890), reprinted in A Collection of Three Miscellaneous Essays (1926). Treatise on the Siamese custom of blessings.
- “ Raising children” ( วิชา สำหรับ ตัว เด็ก , Wicha samrap tua dek). Wachirayan wiset , Vol. 5 (53), pp. 625-630 (October 19, 1890). Reprinted in Three Kinds of Knowledge (1923). Treatise on the Stages of Learning and Upbringing Children.
- "The Sino-Japanese War" ( เรี อง สงคราม จึ น กับ ญิ่ ปุ่ น , Rueang songkhram chin kap yipun). Wachiyaran , T. 1 (October 1894), pp. 46-53. Presentation of the prehistory of the First Sino-Japanese War and the relations between China, Japan and Korea, with views on the possible outcome of the ongoing fighting.
- “ Activities during a trip on a steamship to Europe” ( กิจการ เรึ อง โดยสาร เรึ อ เมล์ ไป ยุโรป , Kitchakan rueang doisan ruea me pai yurop). Wachiyaran , T. 1 (October 1894), pp. 53-83. Descriptions of a Thai steamship passenger during a trip to Europe in 1891.
- "Old edicts on the provinces [of Siam]" ( เรี อง ท้องตรา เกืา , Rueang thong tra kao). Wachiyaran , T. 26 (Nov. 1896), pp. 2671-2673. Brief introduction to eleven documents of the Ministry for the Southern Provinces ( Kalahom ) from the years 1792-1850.
- “Siamese embassies during the Ayutthaya period” ( เรี อง ทูตานุทูต ส ยม ครั้ง กรุง ทวา ราว ดี ส รี รี อยุธยา โบ รา ฌ , Rueang thutanuthut sayam khrang khrung thawara wadi Sri Ayutthaya boran). Wachiyaran , T. 31 (April 1897), pp. 3061-3076. Brief summary of King Narai's Siamese embassies to France and Rome in the 1680s.
- Provincial Administration Guidelines ( ข้อ บัง ดับ ลัก ส ณะ การ ป กด รอง หัว เมี อง รัตนโกสินทร์ ศก ๑๑๖ , Kho bangkhap laksana kan pokkhrong hua mueang rattanakosin 116). Bangkok: Bamrungnukunlakit Press 2nd edition. 1900. Published in his capacity as Minister of the Interior.
- A royal chronicle of Bangkok during the First Rule ( พระ ราชพงศาวดาร กรุง รัตนโกสินทร์ รัข กาล ที ๑ , Phra ratcha phongsawadan krung rattanakosin ratchakan thi nueng). Bangkok: Bamrungnukunlakit Press 1901. The manuscript was completed in 1869 by Chao Phraya Thipakorawong Mahakosathibodi ( Kham Bunnag ) and corrected and edited by Prince Damrong.
- Introduction to the Royal Chronicles ( คำนำ ว่า ดั ว ย ตำนาน ห นั สื พระ ราชพงศาวดาร, Khamnam wa duai tamnan nangsü phra ratcha phonsawadan). In: The Royal Chronicles (Royal Autograph Edition), Volume I, pp. 1–30. Edited by the Wachirayan National Library, Bangkok. Bangkok: Bamrungnukunlakit Press 1913. Commentary on the history and versions of the Chronicles of Ayutthaya .
- Events before the founding of Ayutthaya ( อธิบาย เหตุ การ ฌ์ เมี่ อ ก่อน ส รํา ง กรุง ศรีอยุธยา , Athibai hetkan muea kon sang krung sri ayutthaya). Thai Press 1914. History of the Thai and other peoples from the beginning to 1351, the year Ayutthaya was founded . Also: Translation into English by Josiah Crosby: "Siamese History prior to the Founding of Ayuddhya". In: Journal of the Siam Society , Volume 13 (1919), H. 2, pp. 1-65. siamese-heritage.org (PDF; 7.7 MB); accessed on October 31, 2012.
- Historical records and royal chronicles ( ดำ นาน หนังสือ พระ ราช พงศาวดาร , Tamnan nangsue phra ratcha phongsawadan). Ed .: Wachirayan National Library Press. (Bangkok): Thai Press 1914. Review of the sources and versions of the Chronicles of Ayutthaya; This is a revised and expanded version of the 1913 edition. Oskar Frankfurter translated this version into English in 1915.
- Thailand's wars against Burma in the Ayutthaya period ( เรือง ไทย รบ พม่า ครั้ง กรุง เก่า , Rueang thai rop phama khrang krung kao). Aksoranit Press, 1917. English edition, edited by Chris Baker : The chronicle of Our Wars with the Burmese. Hostilities between Siamese and Burmese when Ayutthaya was the capital of Siam. White Lotus, 2001.
- Tej Bunnag : The Provincial Administration of Siam. 1892-1915. The Ministry of the Interior under Prince Damrong Rajanubhab . Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur u. a. 1977, ISBN 0-19-580343-4 , ( East Asian Historical Monographs ).
- Stephen Lyon Wakeman Greene: Absolute Dreams. Thai Government Under Rama VI, 1910-1925. White Lotus Press, Bangkok 1999, p. 26.
- Donald M. Seekins (Ed.): Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). , Scarecrow Press, 2006, p. 441, keyword "Thailand (Siam) and Burma".
- Glen Lewis: Virtual Thailand. The Media And Cultural Politics In Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Routledge, 2006, passim, especially p. 148.
- Sunait Chutintaranond: The Image of the Burmese Enemy in Thai Perceptions and Historical Writings. (PDF; 418 kB) In: Journal of the Siam Society. Volume 80, No. 1, 1992, pp. 89-99, especially p. 96.
- Varadis Palace in Bangkok prince-damrong.moi.go.th
- Kamala Tiyavanich: Forest Recollections. Wandering Monks in Twentieth-Century Thailand. University of Hawaii Press, 1997, p. 351.
- Kennon Breazeale: The Writings of Prince Damrong Rajanubhab: a chronology with annotations . Bangkok (2008), ISBN 978-974-06-9741-1 .
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||ดำรง ราชา นุ ภาพ (Thai)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Minister of the Interior of Thailand, archaeologist|
|DATE OF BIRTH||June 21, 1862|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Bangkok , Thailand|
|DATE OF DEATH||December 1, 1943|
|Place of death||Bangkok , Thailand|