Khmer Empire Leaders: Suryavarman II Starting technologies: Hunting Mining Unique unit: Ballista Elephant Unique building: Baray DESCRIPTION: Strategy:
The Khmer Empire, under the command of Suryavarman II, is a city-building civilization. Not only does the Baray, the Khmer`s unique building, provide the health benefits of an aqueduct, it also provides an extra food, boosting the growth of cities in which it is built. Suryavarman`s "Expansive" trait will quickly expand the population of these blossoming cities, while his "Creative" trait will give the security of ever-expanding borders. Finally, the Ballista Elephant, with its high strength and massive bonuses against Mounted Units, will make any foe think twice before trying to take one of your stunning Khmer metropolises.Background:
The Khmer Empire was a kingdom located in Southeast Asia from 790 until 1431 AD. At its height, the Khmer Empire covered fully one half of Southeast Asia, encompassing what is today Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and parts of Myanmar.
The Khmer Empire was founded on the remnants of the kingdom of Chenla, which had spread itself across much of Cambodia and Laos, but had become fractured and weakened by the eighth century AD. A former Chenla prince, Jayvaraman II, returned to the area after his education in Java and created the base of power for the Khmer Empire in the region that is today central Cambodia.
The fractured state of Southeast Asia after the collapse of Chenla made the unified strength of the Khmer a welcome presence in the region. The new nation quickly annexed many of its smaller neighbors, sometimes peacefully, sometimes less so.
As their prominence grew, the Khmer kings initiated many grand public works projects. King Yasovarman I, ruling from 889 to 915, built Yasodharapura, the first major capital of the Khmer, on a site that would remain important throughout Khmer history. Yasovarman also constructed the East Baray, a massive raised reservoir that was capable of holding over 60 million cubic meters of water.
Not long after Yasovarman`s reign, internal struggles began to sweep the Khmer Empire. And while a number of impressive works of construction were completed during this period, it was not until the reign of Jayavarman V, from 968 to 1001 that the Khmer Empire could again find itself in relative peace. And it would still be another century until Suryavarman II would again make the Khmer a force to be reckoned with.
Ascending to the throne in 1113, Suryavarman II established himself as a firm ruler over the squabbling princes that wreaked havoc on the reign of his father, Suryavarman I. Wisely guiding the forces within his nation, Suryavarman the younger would turn the Khmer Empire into the most powerful kingdom in southeast Asia. Extending his domain over much of neighboring Thailand and Myanmar and constructing Angkor Wat, a monumental temple complex erected not far from the site of the original Khmer capital of Yasodharapura, Suryavarman would guide his Empire to its greatest heights.
Shortly after the death of Suryavarman in 1150, relations would sour between the Khmer and the Champa Empire, former allies of the Khmer, and would lead to the sacking of Angkor Wat in 1177, nearly drawing to an end the reign of the Khmer kingdom. The kingdom would be given one last flourish under the reign of Jayavarman VII, whose keen military insight brought the Champa under Khmer control. A devout Buddhist, Jayavarman also littered the Cambodian countryside with new temples.
Jayavarman`s reign would mark the end of the powerful rulers of the Khmer. A Thai uprising established the kingdom of Ayutthaya in 1350, which would eventually absorb all that once was the Khmer Empire within its borders by 1431.