Malacca, sultanate of

Malacca, sultanate of

(1403?–1511) Malay dynasty that ruled the great entrepôt of Malacca (Melaka) and its dependencies. Malacca, which commanded the main sea route between India and China, was founded by Paramesvara (died 1424), who converted to Islam and took the title Sultan Iskandar Shah in 1414. It benefited from the rearoused desire of Ming-dynasty China to trade with the West. By the mid-1430s it had become a major commercial emporium; by the mid-15th century it was an important territorial power as well. The wealthy state encouraged literature, learning, and a lively political and religious life; the period of its ascendancy is considered the golden age of Malay history. The city fell to the Portuguese in 1511.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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