Senapati of Mataram

Summary

Panembahan (honorable lord) Senopati Ingalaga or Senopati ing Alaga, (also spelled Senapati) known as Sutawijaya and whose stylized name was Senopati ing Alaga Sayiddin Kalifatullah Tanah Jawi, was according to some sources the first ruler (according to others, the second) of the Kingdom of Mataram, in central Java (present-day Indonesia), between the years 1574 or 1584 and 1601. There is a legend, maintained in Javanese tradition, that Panembahan Senopati received a divine message assuring him that his descendants would rule Java.

Son of a servant of Joko Tingkir, he was adopted by Joko Tingkir, founder and ruler of the Kingdom of Pajang, as his son. Both he and his father inherited from him a lordship called Mataram, which would soon become a new kingdom whose dynasty they would initiate. Senapati, after taking control of Mataram (other versions say that his father took it), renounced the vassalage of Pajang and conquered it in 1576. By then Islam was competing in Java with the religious syncretism between Hinduism and Javanese traditions, a fact that would play a decisive role from the reign of Agung, when the kingdom became a sultanate. It is said that the new ruler of the Mataram district did not want to convert to Islam and renewed the Hindu-Javanese traditions and imposed Islam in the region. There are many historiographical problems that prevent a good understanding of his reign.

Sources

  1. Senopati ing Alaga
  2. Senapati of Mataram