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image of Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

Between c. 1550 and 1650 discrepant political and economic contexts in the central Philippines, northeast Indonesia, and Burma produced distinctive military logics. In the pre-literate, localized societies of the Philippines and the interior of Indonesian islands, raiders sought heads for spiritual power and captives for ransom or labor, but along the coasts of northeast Indonesia wider religious and trade contacts and European-style guns bred a novel interplay between state formation and warfare. In Burma yet larger populations and more complex administrations supported sustained, massive military expeditions. Chronicle accounts of Burmese armies are exaggerated, but it is difficult to quantify those exaggerations or to isolate the cultural imperatives governing chronicle composition.

Entre c. 1550 et 1650, les divers contextes politiques et économiques aux Philippines centrales, dans le nord-est de l'Indonésie et en Birmanie ont produit des logiques militaires distinctes. Dans les sociétés illettrées et limitées des Philippines et de l'intérieur des îles indonésiennes, des pillards chassaient des têtes pour gagner le pouvoir spirituel et des captifs pour en tirer rançon ou pour les faire travailler. Mais le long des côtes du nord-est de l'Indonésie, les contacts religieux et commerciaux plus diversifiés, et l'utilisation d'armes à feu de style européen ont engendré un effet réciproque nouveau entre la formation de l'état et la guerre. En Birmanie, les populations plus importantes et les administrations plus complexes ont soutenu des expéditions militaires prolongées et massives. Les rapports dans les chroniques sur les armées birmanes sont exagérés, mais il est difficile de mesurer ces exagérations ou d'isoler les impératifs culturels qui régissaient la composition de ces chroniques.


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