Chapter 01

Translated by Dr John Leyden.

THE  author of this work commences with stating, that he will declare sincerely what he regards as the truth, according to the best of  his information. The occasion of the composition of the work is stated by the author  to be the following. I happened to be present at an assembly of the learned and noble, when one of the principal persons of the party observed to me, that he had heard of a Malay story, which had been lately brought by a nobleman from the land of Gua, and that it would be proper for some person to correct it according to the institutions of the Malays,  that it might be useful to posterity.

On hearing this, I was firmly determined to attempt  the work. On this occasion were present Tun Mahmud, styled Paduka Raja, and holding the office of bandahara, the son of the noble Paduka Raja, the grandson of  Bandahara Sri Maharaja, and great-grandson of Tun Narawangsa, the great-great-grandson of Sri Maharaja, and great-great-great  grandson of Sri Naradi Raja Tun Ali, the  son of Mani Farandan, of Malay extraction,  from the mountain Sagantang Maha Miru, the signet of whose country is of the Sawal  gem.

This happened in the morning  of the fifth day of the week, and 12th of  the month of Rabiul-awal, in the year Dal,  and of the Hejirah 1021, in the reign of the sovereign who lately deceased at Ache,  Sultan Ala-ed-din, the son of Sultan Ajel  Abdul Jalil, the brother of Sultan Muzafer Shah, the son of Sultan Ala-ed-din, the  son of Sultan Mahmud Shah, the son of Sultan Ala-ed-din, the son of Sultan Mansur Shah, the son of Sultan Muzafer Shah, the son of Sultan Muhammed Shah, and  at the time when he was sovereign of Pasei.  Raja Dewasayit came to me, the Bandahara  Sri Narawangsa Tun Mambang, the son of Sri Agar Raja, of the country of Patani,  bearing the order of the high sovereign  Sultan Abdallah, the son of Sultan Ajel Abdul Jalil Shah, requiring me to compose a history of all the Malayu rajas, with an account of their institutions, for the  information of posterity, who shall come  after us."

The author adds, that after having  well meditated his subject, and requested the divine assistance, in respect of illumination of the understanding, style, and  facility of composition, he composed the  present work under the title of Silla-leteh-al-salatin,  in Arabic, and Sala-silah peratoran  Segala Raja Raja


IT  happened on a time that Raja Secander,  the son of, Raja Darab of Rum, of the race of Makaduniah, the name of whose empire was Zulkarneini, wished to see the rising of the sun; and with this view  he reached  the confines of the land of Hind.  There was a raja in Hindostan, named  Raja Kida Hindi, who was very powerful, and whose empire extended over the half of Hindostan, and immediately on the  approach of Raja Secander, he sent his prime  minister to collect his forces, and marched out to meet him. The armies engaged, and a fine battle ensued, as is recorded fully in the history of Raja Secander.  In fine, Raja Kida Hindi was defeated and taken prisoner, and embraced the true faith according to the law of the prophet Ibrahim, the friend of God; after which  he was sent back to his own country.

This  Raja Kida Hindi had a daughter extremely beautiful and handsome, whose face  glittered and shone like the sun, and whose understanding and qualities were equally  remarkable, and she was named Shaher-ul  Beriah. After sending his head minister,  Perdana Mantri, to consult with the prophet Khizei, who was the minister of  Raja Secander, he married his daughter to  Raja Secander, who agreed to pay as her dowry  300,000 denars of gold, and carried her  with him on his visit to the rising sun, after  tarrying ten days in honour of the ceremony.  On his return, however, her father requested her to remain some time with him, to which Raja Secander agreed, and  took his departure.

It  is stated by the relater of this story, that  the Princess Shaher-ul Beriah, the daughter  of Raja Kida Hindi, became pregnant  by Raja Secander, but Raja Secander was  unacquainted with this circumstance, nor  was the princess acquainted with it herself,  till a month after her return to her father.  She at last informed her father that a cessation of her courses had taken place  for two months, at which he was greatly  delighted, considering that her pregnancy  was by Raja Secander, and therefore treated  her with all requisite attention.
At  the expiration of the months, the princess  was safely delivered of a son, whom Raja Kida Hindi named Araston Shah, and who in every respect was the perfect picture of  his father Raja Secander Zulkarneini. Raja  Araston Shah married the daughter of the  raja of Turkestan, by whom he had a son named Raja Aftas.

After  the space of forty-five years, Raja Secander  returned to Makedonia, and Raja Kida Hindi died, and left as his successor on the throne, Raja Araston Shah, who reigned 350 years, and then died. He was  succeeded on the throne by his son Raja Aftas,  who reigned 120 years, and then died.  He was succeeded by Ascayinat, who reigned three years and died. He was succeeded by Casidas, who reigned twelve years,  and died. He was succeeded by Amatubusu,  who reigned thirteen years. He  was succeeded by Raja Zamzeyus, who reigned seven years, and died. He was succeeded by Kharus Cainat, who reigned thirty years, and died. He was succeeded by Raja Arhat Sacayinat. After his death, he  was succeeded by Raja Cudarzuguhan the son of Raja Amatubusu. After him reigned Raja Nicabus, who reigned forty years, and died.  After him reigned Raja Ardasir Migan, who married the daughter of Raja Nashirwan Adel, sovereign of the east and west, by whom he had a son, named Raja Derma Unus. After him succeeded on the throne, his grandson Tarsi Bardaras, the son of Raja Zamrut, who was the son of Shah Tarsi Narsi, who was the son of Raja Derma Unus, who was the son of Ardasir Babegan,  who was the son of Raja Cuduri Gudurz Zuguhan, who was the son of Raja Amatubusu, who was the son of Raja Sabur, who  was the son of Raja Aftas, who was the son of Raja Araston Shah, who was the son of Secander Zulkarneini.

Raja  Narsi Barderas married the daughter  of Raja Salan, the raja of Amdan Nayara, who,  it is asserted by some, was the grandson of Raja Nashirwan Adel, the son of Raja Kobad Shah Shahriar, who was raja of the  east and west. This Raja Sulan was the mightiest  prince of the lands of Hind and Sind, and of all the rajas under the wind (i.  e. towards the west, the wind being supposed to rise with the sun).

By the princess  his daughter, Raja Narsi had three sons;  1. Raja Heiran, who reigned in the country of Hindostan. 2. Raja Suran, whom  Raja Sulan took and installed in his own place. 3. Raja Panden, who reigned in Turkestan. After a short time Raja Sulan died, and his grandson Raja Suran reigned in his place in Amdan Nagara, with still greater authority than his predecessor, and all the rajas of the east and west acknowledged his allegiance, excepting the land of China,  which was not subject to him.

Then Raja Suran Padshah formed the design of subjugating China, and for this purpose his men at arms, and the rajas dependent on him, assembled from every quarter with their hosts, to the number of one  thousand and two lacs. With this prodigious host, he advanced against China, and in his course, the forests were converted into open plains; the earth shook, and the hills moved; the lofty grounds became  level, and the rocks flew off in shivers, and the large rivers were dried up to the mud. Two months they marched on without delay, and the darkest night was illuminated by the light of their armour like the lustre of the full moon; and the noise of the thunder could not be  heard for the loud noise of the cham-pions  and warriors, mixed with the cries of horses  and elephants. Every country which Raja Suran approached, he subdued and re-duced  under his subjection, till at last he approached  the country of Gangga Nagara, the  raja of which was named Ganggi Shah Juana, which city is situated on a hill of very steep approach in front, but of easy access  in the rear. Its fort was situated on the  banks of the river Dinding, in the vicinity of Perak.

When Raja Ganggi Shah Juana heard of the approach of Raja Suran, he summoned all his vassals, and ordered the gates of his fortresses to be shut, and stationed  his guards for their protection. He  also directed his moats to be filled with water.  The host of Raja Suran quickly surrounded  his fortresses, and attacked them  sharply, but were vigorously repulsed.  On this, Raja Suran mounted his huge elephant, and approached the gate  of the fortress, notwithstanding the showers of spears and arrows with which he was assailed; he smote the gate with his chacra,  and it immediately tumbled down, while  the raja entered the fort with all his champions.

When Raja Ganggi Shah Juana saw  Raja Suran, he seized his bow and smote  the elephant of Raja Suran on the forehead, which instantly fell down. Raja Suran quickly sprung up and drew his sword,and  smote off the head of Raja Ganggi Shah Juana. After the death of the raja, all  his subjects submitted to Raja Suran, who  married Putri Gangga, the beautiful sister of Raja Ganggi Shah Juana. From Gangga  Nagara, Raja Suran advanced to the  country of Glang Kiu, which in former times  was a great country, possessing a fort of  black stone up the river Johor. In the Siamese  language, this word signifies the place of  the emerald (Khlang Khiaw) but by per-sons  ignorant of this language, it is usually termed  Glang Kiu. The name of the raja of  this country, was Raja Chulan, who was superior  to all the rajas of the countries lying  under the wind.

As  soon as he heard of Raja Suran's approach, he summoned all his vassals, and marched out to meet him with a host, like the sea rough with waves, and elephants and horses like the islands in the sea, and standards  like a forest, and armour plated in  scales, and the feathering of the spears like  the Bunga lalang. After having marched about four times as far as the eye can reach, they arrived at a river; when he saw  the host of Raja Suran extending like a  forest, on which he said, in the Siamese language, "call them," and the river still retains  the name of Panggil, which in Malay  has this signification.

When the Siamese troops engaged with the troops of Kling,  a dreadful noise arose, the elephants rushed against the elephants, and the horses bit the horses, and clouds of arrows  flew across each other, and spears pierced  spears, and lances encountered lances,  and swordsmen encountered swordsmen, and the descent of weapons was like the rapid fall of rain, and the noise of the thunder would have passed unheard in the combat, from the shouts of the combatants, and  the ringing of weapons. The dust ascended  to the heavens, and the brightness of the day was darkened like an eclipse. The  combatants were all so mingled and blended, that they could not be distinguished,  amokas madly encountered amokas, many  stabbed their own friends, and many were  stabbed by their own partizans, till multitudes were slain on both sides, and also many elephants and horses.
Much was  the blood which was shed upon the earth,  till at last it allayed the clouds of dust,  and the field of combat was light, and the fierce amok as became visible, none of whom on either side would fly. Then Raja Chulan advanced his elephant, and broke into the ranks of Raja Suran, which exceeded  all power of calculation. Wherever he approached  the corpses swelled in heaps over the ground, till great numbers of the Kling  troops perished, and unable to maintain their ground, they began to give way.  He was observed by Raja Suran, who hurried  forward to meet him. Raja Suran was  mounted on a lofty elephant eleven cubits  in height, but the elephant of raja Chulan  was very courageous, and they fiercely  rushed together, roaring like the thunder, and the clash of their tusks was like  the stroke of the thunderbolt. Neither of the elephants could conquer the other. Raja Chulan stood on his elephant, brandishing  his spear which he aimed at Raja  Suran; he missed him, but pierced his elephant  in the fore flank, from side to side  ; Raja Suran rapidly discharged an arrow  at Raja Chilian, which struck him on the  breast, and pierced him to the back, and Raja  Chulan fell down dead on his elephant.

When  the host of Raja Chulan saw their master  dead, they quickly took to flight, and were  hotly pursued by the Kling forces, who  entered with them into the fortress of Glang-kiu.  Raja Chulan left a daughter of  great beauty named Putri Onang-kiu, whom  Raja Suran took to wife, and carrying her  with him, advanced to Tamsak. Then, it  was reported in the land of China, that Raja  Suran was advancing against them with an  innumerable army, and had arrived at the  country of Tamsak. The raja of China was  alarmed at hearing this intelligence, and  said to his mantris and chieftains, " If Kling  Raja approach, the country will be inevitably  ruined; what method do you advise  to prevent his approach ?" Then, a sagacious mantri of China said, " Lord of  the world, your slave will fall on a device. "The raja of China desired him to do so. Then this mantri ordered a vessel (pilu,  i. e. the Chinese mode of pronouncing  prow) to beprepared, filled full of fine needles,  but covered with rust; and planted  in it trees of the Casamak and Bidara (Ber)  plants; and he selected a party of old  and toothless people, and ordered them on  board, and directed them to sail to Tamsak.

The prow set sail, and arrived at Tamsak  in the course of a short time. The  news was brought to Raja Suran, that a  prow had arrived from China, who sent persons  to enquire of the mariners how far  it was to China. These persons accordingly  went, and enquired of the Chinese, who replied, "When we set sail from the land of China, we were all young, about twelve years of age, or so, and we planted the seeds of these trees; but now, we have grown old and lost our teeth, and the seeds that we planted have become trees, which bore  fruit before our arrival here." Then, they took out some of the rusty needles, and  showed them, saying, "When we left the  land of China, these bars of iron were thick as your arm; but now they have grown  thus small by the corrosion of rust. We  know not the number of years we have been on our journey; but, you may judge of  them from the circumstances we mention. "When the Klings heard this account,  they quickly returned, and informed Raja Suran. " If the account of these Chinese  be true," said Raja Suran, "the land of  China must be at an immense distance; when  shall we ever arrive at it ? — If this is  the case, we had better return." All the  champions assented to this idea.

Then Raja Suran, considering that he had now become acquainted with the contents of the  land, wished to acquire information concerning  the nature of the sea. For this purpose,  he ordered a chest of glass, with a lock in  the inside, and fixed it to a chain of gold. Then,  shutting himself up in this chest, he caused  himself to be let down into the sea, to  see the wonders of God Almighty's crea-tion.  At last, the chest reached a land, denominated  Zeya, when Raja Suran came forth  from the chest, and walked about to see  the wonders of the place. He saw a country  of great extent, into which he entered, and saw a people named Barsam, so numerous, that God alone could know their numbers. This people were the one half infidels, and the other true believers.

When they saw Raja Suran, they were greatly astonished and surprised at his dress, and carried him before their raja, who was named Aktab-al-Arz, who enquired of those who brought him, " Whence is this man ?" And they replied, " He is a new comer." — " Whence is he come ?" said the raja. "  That," said they, " none of us know." Then Raja Aktab-al-Arz asked Raja Suran, "Whence are you, and whence have you come  ?" — " I come from the world," said Raja  Suran ; " and your servant is raja of the  whole race of mankind; and my name is  Raja Suran." The raja was greatly as-tonished at this account, and asked if there was  any other world than his own. "Yes, there  is," said Raja Suran ; "and a very great  one, full of various forms." The raja  was still more astonished, saying, " Al-mighty God, can this be possible ?" He then seated Raja Suran on his own throne.

This  Raja Aktab-al-Arz had a daughter named Putri Mahtab-al-Bahri. This lady was  extremely handsome, and her father gave  her in marriage to Raja Suran, to whom  she bore three sons. The raja was  for some time much delighted with this adventure; but at last he began to reflect what  advantage it was for him to stay so long below the earth, and how he should be able to carry his three sons with him. He begged,  however, his father-in-law to think of some method of conveying him to the upper world, as it would be of great disadvantage to cut off the line of Secander Zulkarneini.  His father-in-law assented to the propriety of this observation and furnished him with a sea-horse named Sambrani, which could fly through the air as well as swim in the  water. Raja Suran mounted this steed amid the lamentations of his spouse, the Princess; the flying steed quickly cleared the  nether atmosphere, and having reached the  upper ocean, it rapidly traversed it; and the  subjects of Raja Suran quickly perceived him.  The mantri of Raja Suran perceiving on what sort of animal his master was mounted, quickly caused a mare to be brought to the shore of the sea. On per-ceiving the mare, the steed Sambrani quickly came to the shore, and as quickly did Raja Suran dismount from him, on which he  immediately returned to the sea. Raja Suran then called a man of science and an artificer,  and ordered the account of his de-scent  into the sea to be recorded, and a monument  to be formed which might serve for  the information of posterity, to the day of  judgment.

The history of this adventure was  accordingly composed, and inscribed on a  stone in the Hindostani language. This stone  being adorned by gold and silver, was left  as a monument, and the raja said that this  would be found by one of his descendants who  should reduce all the rajas of the countries  under the wind. Then Raja Suran re-turned  to the land of Kling, and after his arrival  he founded a city of great size, with a  fort of black stone, with a wall of seven fathoms  in both height and thickness, and so  skilfully joined that no interstices re-mained  between the stones, but seemed all of  molten metal. Its gates were of steel adorned  with gold and gems. Within its circumference  are contained seven hills, and in  the centre a lake like a sea, and so large that  if an elephant be standing on the one shore  he will not be visible on the other; and  this lake contained every species of fish, and  in the middle was an island of considerable  height, on which the mists continually rested.  The island was planted with trees, flowers,  and all kinds of fruits, and whenever  Raja Suran wished to divert himself, he used  to frequent it. On the shore of this lake was  a large forest, stocked with all sorts of wild  beasts, and whenever Raja Suran wished to  hunt, he mounted his elephant and proceeded  to this forest. The name of this city was  Bijnagar, which at the present time is a city  in the land of Kling. Such is the account  of Raja Suran, but if all his adventures were to be related, they would rival those of Hamdah.

In  process of time Raja Suran had, by the lady  Putri Onang-kiu, the daughter of Raja Chulan, a daughter of exquisite and unrivalled  beauty, named Chanduwani Wasias. By  the lady Putri Gangga he had three sons, one of them was named Bichitram Shah, another  Palidutani, and the third, Niluma-nam.  His daughter, Chanduwani Wasias, was  asked in marriage by Raja Hiran, for his  son Raja Chulan; Raja Suran placed his son, Palidutani, in the government of Amdan Nagara; and his son, Nilumanam, in the country of Chandukani. On his eldest son, Bichitram  Shah, he only conferred a territory  of small extent; and the young prince being  displeased at this measure, resolved to  abandon his country. Bichitram Shah accordingly embarked, with twenty vessels fitted  out with all the apparatus of war, determining  to conquer all the maritime districts.

After conquering several scores of countries,  he at last reached the sea denominated  Silbou, where, being caught in a dreadful hurricane, his fleet was dispersed, and  the half of them returned to the country  of Chandukani, but the fate of the other half  is unknown. The adventures of this prince  were very numerous, but here they are only alluded to briefly.