The Sultan Agung ( “great sultan ‘reign 1613-1646) is the greatest sovereign of the second Mataram Kingdom .

He succeeds his father, the panembahan (“the one to whom one pays homage”) Seda ing Krapyak, at the death of this one in 1613 , under the title of pangeran (prince) Rangsang. The following year, he attacked the principality of Surabaya in the east of the island of Java , which his father had already vainly tried to conquer in 1610. He eventually beat the troops of Surabaya in 1616.

With this victory, Agung will now multiply the success. The same year, he defeated the principalities of Lasem and Pasuruan , of Pajang in 1617, Tuban in 1619. From 1620 to 1625, he then undertook several times the siege of Surabaya, which will be finally conquered in 1625. In addition to his fiefs of Central Java, Mataram now controls the north coast of the island, the Pasisir , in its central and eastern parts.

Agung’s campaigns also take him out of Java. In 1622, he attacked the kingdom of Sukadana , ally of Surabaya and one of its main sources of supply, in southern Borneo . In 1624, he won at the price of heavy losses Madura , in front of Surabaya, which is another important source of supply. It unifies the administration of Madura by placing it under the responsibility of one of the princely lineages of the island. Agung takes the title of Susuhunan (“the one who stands above the others”) or Sunan .

In the western part of Pasisir, Cirebon lends allegiance to Mataram. Banten is still independent. In addition, there is now a new power in Java: the VOC ( Dutch East India Company), established in its stronghold of Batavia , built on the ruins of Jayakarta, conquered in 1619 on Banten .

In 1628, Agung launched an army on Batavia. He retires after heavy losses. He launched a second offensive in 1629. The Dutch fleet destroyed its reserves and its boats in the ports of Cirebon and Tegal . Mataram’s troops, hungry and decimated by the disease, are once again retreating.

The double failure of Agung before Batavia undermines the myth of his invincibility. Several rebellions broke out: those of Tembayat in 1630, of Sumedang and Ukur in Sundanesecountry in 1631, of Giri in East Java in 1636. Nevertheless Agung pursues its ambitions of conquest towards the east. He attacks Blitar , Panarukan and especially in 1635, the principality of Blambangan at the eastern end of Java, vassal of the king of Gelgel in Bali . Blambangan is finally submitted in 1640. His prince and his inhabitants do not convert to Islam so far.

Upon learning that Banten’s ruler, the Pangeran Ratu, took the title of Sultan in 1638, Agung sent an ambassador to Mecca in 1639, who returned in 1641 with the authorization to take the title of Sultan.

In the last years of his reign, he founded the royal cemetery of Imogiri .

Sultan Agung died in 1646. His son succeeded him on the throne under the title Susuhunan Amangkurat.


  • Bertrand, Roman, Colonial State, Nobility and Nationalism in Java , Karthala, 2005
  • Lombard, Denys, The Javanese Crossroads
  • Ricklefs, MC, A History of Modern Indonesia since c. 1300