Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa


  • Tirtayasa (1631–1695), Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa, was the sultan of Banten (on West Java) during the kingdom’s golden age.
  • Ageng built a fleet on European models
  • Trade within the Indonesian archipelago, and, with help from the English, Danes, and Chinese, were able to trade with Persia, India, Siam, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and Japan in the Javanese tradition of long-distance traders.
  • This trade gave considerable wealth to Banten
  • In 1661 Ageng extended Banten rule to Landak in western Borneo.
  • In the 1670s he also acquired Cirebon area following civil war in Mataram.
  • Ageng established trade with Spanish Manila for silver and built canal for coconut palm and sugar plantations, among other developments

Conflict with Dutch

  • Ageng was a strong opponent of the Dutch East India Company
  • Ageng also came into conflict with his son, sultan Haji.
  • Haji was in favor of gaining support from the VOC.
  • The court split into two factions, more militant Muslim elite supported the father.
  • In 1656, the fragile 1645 treaty between the Dutch and Banten broke, and war erupted
  • Bantenese raided Batavian districts and VOC ships, and the VOC blockaded the Bantenese port.
  • A peace settlement was reached in 1659, but the VOC able to take advantage of the internal division in Bantenese politics to achieve it.

Internal conflict

  • Ageng supported Trunajaya’s rebellion in the Mataram Sultanate, and critical of Amangkurat II and his relationship with the VOC.
  • Ageng was able to gain control of Cirebon and the Priangan highlands


  • The Dutch were stronger after their victory at Kediri over the Mataram rebels.
  • In May 1680, Haji (Ageng’s son) led a coup and confined Ageng to his residence.
  • Ageng surrendered in March 1683.
  • Ageng was kept in Banten for a while, and later moved to Batavia, where he died in 1695.


  • March 10, 1651, and its position as the Sultan of Banten was replaced by Prince Duke Anom Surya Prince, son of Ahmad Abu al-Ma’ali, tensions with VOC continues.
  • The height of the conflict with VOC occurs when the Banten Sultanate was under the rule of Prince Duke Anom Surya/ Sultan Abu Al Fath Abdul Fattah Arifin Muhammad Al Shifa Zaina/ the Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa (1651-1684).
  • Ageng is well known in the community as one of the sons of nobles who love art Cultural Studies, has obedience to the teachings of religion.
  • Ageng is able to do the kind of play wayang wong, and dedewaan game.
  • Ageng is happy to be playing sasaptonan which is very popular game among the aristocracy and the people.
  • Ageng Tirtayasa is appreciative to culture as an integral part of daily life.
  • Ageng Tirtayasa known to be intelligent and value education.
  • The development of Islamic education advanced by leaps.
  • In the Grand Mosque complex was built a madrasah which is intended to print the leader which are pious and devout, as well as in several other areas.
  • To enhance religious knowledge and fostering mental of soldiers, Ageng brought in teachers from Aceh, Arab.
  • One of them was a scholar of Makassar, Sheikh Yusuf Taju’l Khalwati, which then made as the Grand Mufti (Hamka, 1982: 38).
  • Ageng fostering good relations with some Islamic countries such as the Aceh and Makassar, as well as an Islamic state in India, Mongols, Turks and Mecca.
  • Ageng realized that in order to face the VOC which is strong and filled with cunning tactics may not be faced by Banten itself.
  • In the diplomatic activity, Ageng had sent an envoy to Britain which consists of 31 people led by Naya Wipraya and Jaya Sedana on November 10, 1681.
  • This messenger is not just a friendly visit but also as an effort to seek the help of weapons (Russel Jones, 1982).
  • Ageng has made rapid efforts of  in building prosperity Banten, in preparation expelled the Dutch colonialists, so the
  • Governor General Ryklop van Goens, a substitute for the Governor General Joan Matsuiyker, wrote in his letter addressed to the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on January 31, 1679, says ” It is very necessary for the development of our country to destroy and eliminate Banten. … Banten must be conquered, even shatters and be destroyed, or the VOC who will disappeared “(Tjandrasasmita, 1967: 35).

Final Stage of Struggle

  • 1618 Banten have tension againts Batavia by Jan Viter Zeun Coen.
  • 1680 there is conflict between Ageng  and Sultan Haji ( Ageng’s son) who ask for help on the Netherlands.
  • Sultan Haji relationship with the Dutch Company is so close that in the defense forces of Surosowan there are VOC troops as reinforcements, which in essence as the spies planted by the VOC in Banten.
  • Haji prefers to believe in the words of the Company rather than the advice of his father Ageng.
  • Haji has strong desire for immediate full control in the Sultanate of Banten, without the interference of his father.
  • May 1680, Haji sent a delegation to the Governor General of VOC in Batavia to offer peace, insisting that the ruling in Banten now is himself.
  • Haji stated that the Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa already handed over all his powers.
  • The offer was rejected, the VOC knew that the Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa not yet resigned.
  • This situation is used as a weapon by the VOC to encourage Sultan Haji to immediately obtain full power in Banten.
  • Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa was disappointing by a congratulatory letter that was sent Sultan Haji on the appointment Speelman as the new Governor General of VOC to replace Rijklof van Goens on 25 November 1680, at the same time, it was VOC that destroy guerrilla forces of Banten in Cirebon which is later, VOC controlled Cirebon entirely.
  • Seeing that his child Haji is already in such traitorous, Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa mobilize troops for war to be used at any time.
  • People from the area Tanahara, Pontang, Tirtayasa, Caringin, Carita and so many who signed up to be a soldier as well as soldiers who escape from Makasar, East Java, Lampung, Solebar, Bengkulu and Cirebon.
  • Sultan Ageng heard that some ship returning from the Banten East Java has been detained by VOC because they are considered pirate ship. Sultan demands the release but VOC ignored it.
  • This makes Sultan anger worsen. His pride as the Sultan of an independent country was underestimated. So Ageng announce that Banten and the Dutch Company is in a war.
  • Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa war statement to this VOC was opposed by his son, Sultan Haji.
  • Sultan Haji stated that the decision was too careless, and, because it is not discussed in advance with him, the decision was not valid.
  • With the help of VOC, Sultan Haji dethroned his father, said that his father, Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa, was too old and already going senile so that from now on power Banten entirely held by the Sultan Haji.
  • Seeing his son’s behavior has gone too far this, Ageng lost his patience
  • Before attacking Batavia, Ageng must first unite Banten and replacing Sultan Haji.
  • Sultan Ageng was not going to fight with his son, but to fight the invaders.
  • On the 26th night 27 February 1682, Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa led the attack to Surosowan and held a surprise invasion, so that in a short time, the troops of Sultan Ageng can master the palace.
  • Sultan Haji escape and ask for protection to Jacob de Roy, former employees of the VOC.
  • This Surosowan attack immediately knowable by Batavia, then on March 6, 1682, led by Saint Martin, send two warships full combat troops.
  • These troops are not immediately able to land in the port of Banten, because of great resistance.
  • Then Captain Sloot and W. Caeff, representatives of the VOC in Banten, immediately send an envoy to Batavia in order to send more ground troops.
  • After studying the state of the battlefield, the Company immediately sent reinforcements from land and sea.
  • The attack from the sea, led by Captain Francois Tack, which is later together with the troops of Saint Martin held a strike in front of the port of Banten.
  • While ground forces led by Captain Hartsinck, measuring of 1000 people, holding assault from Tangerang, so Tirtayasa attacked from two directions
  • Through the battles with many casualties, finally Captain Tack and Saint Martin can defeat Surosowan.
  • Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa and his troops retreated to the west of the river Ciujung.
  • This battle continues until Sultan Ageng troops can only survive in the castle Kedemangan.
  • Fortress in Kedemangan finally be destroyed by Captain Tack on December 2, 1682. Thus the warrior of Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa getting smaller.
  • West side troops of VOC was assisted by Sultan Haji in Kademangan, while from the east Hartsinck’s army had reached the border area of Tanahara.
  • So that the regions which are are still controlled by Sultan Ageng are just Tanahara, Tirtayasa and Kademangan only.
  • Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa put his strongest soldiers to maintain Tirtayasa, castle in Kademangan and Tanahara
  • In Tanahara, Sultan Ageng put ground forces in the center of the fort Tanahara, and also forces the of sea on the island of Cangkir.
  • Because of the strong defenses in this Tanahara, then the VOC add more combat forces from Batavia led by Captain Jonker.
  • After deploying the attacking troops from land and sea, then on 28-29 December 1682 Tanahara can be taken VOC.
  • In an effort to control the region Tirtayasa, the Company carried out the attack simultaneously from two directions: army Captain Tack and Sultan Haji attack from the helter, while troops and Captain Jonker Hartsinck attack from Tanahara.
  • Prince Purbaya, Sheikh Yusuf and the whole country all fought and lead the troops under Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa.
  • The battle is superb, but eventually Sultan Ageng forces gradually pushed back.
  • Because Sultan estimates that his forces would not be able to maintain Tirtayasa any longer, he ordered his troops to withdraw immediately, leaving Tirtayasa and retreated to the south is the forest Keranggan.
  • But first, the Sultan ordered that the palace and other buildings be burned.
  • Sultan was not willing that the buildings were trampled by disbelievers and mutineers.
  • Indeed, the VOC and the Sultan Haji finally able to occupy Tirtayasa, buT they can only found the ruins of the former palace,
  • many residents even joined the sultan to the forest.
  • From the forest of Keranggan, Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa and all his men went on a trip to the Valley.
  • Ageng conduct a guerrilla war from there for one year .
  • But eventually, Lebak can fell under VOC besieged troops, so the troops of Sultan Ageng was split into two parts: the Prince Purbaya and a number of soldiers moving around Parijan, inland Tangerang. While Prince Kidul, Prince Kulon, Sheikh Yusuf along with the rest of the army to move into the area Sajira, on the border of Bogor.
  • Sultan Haji fought to keep her father could return to Surosowan.
  • With the guidance and advice of the VOC, who wants to do subtle trickery, then they send a letter behalf of the Sultan Haji to Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa in Sajira.
  • The letter contained an invitation by Sultan Haji so that her father returned to Surosowan and live together peacefully, in addition, it can be negotiated for soldier and the people who support the struggle of Banten Sultan Ageng.
  • Without the slightest suspicion, the Sultan who was very old, (plus the sadness over the death of Prince Kulon on March 7, 1683), on the date March 14, 1683 at midnight, Sultan Ageng come to Surosowan after a long stay in the woods.
  • Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa with several bodyguards of Surosowan came in and went straight to his son, who had been awaiting the arrival of his father.
  • Sultan Haji offer a very good reception
  • But after some time living in the palace Surosowan Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa was captured by the VOC and was immediately taken to Batavia.
  • Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa inserted into a fortified prison in Batavia with guard until his death in prison in 1692.
  • Abdulmahasin Sultan Zainul Abidin, son of Sultan Haji, and especially by the people who love Banten is asked the body to be sent back to Banten.
  • Then, with an impressive religious ceremony Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa was buried next to his predecessor sultans, in the north of the Great Mosque of Banten.

Exemplary of Sultan Ageng

  • As a leader,Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa is very trustworthy and have a vision for the future to build the nation.
  • In terms of diplomacy, he always keeps its cooperation in the form of political and economic mutual benefit.
  • The emergence of VOCs who wants to monopolize the state make the Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa agitated and resist.
  • Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa was always confrontational with injustice, irregularities and always consistent with the truth it holds.
  • He also firmly maintain his dignity, including when he had to deal with Sultan Haji, though flesh and blood.
  • Banten sultanate golden history, occurred during the Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa around the period 1651-1682 period of political and economic.
  • Sovereignty really brought into Banten sultanate in the form of a respected world power and influence in Asia.
  • Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa is a visionary leader, a regional planning and governance of water, egalitarian, open and internationally-minded.
  • In Banten history book written by Claude Guiilot illustrated that, Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa was the sultan of Banten who initiate culture transformation and the construction of physical facilities which is usually based wood and bamboo to be replaced by concrete stone.
  • Sultan did not hesitate to appoint an architect from China named Cakradana as a project leader to control the technology.
  • Even for the construction of dams for water irrigation technology of paddy field was trusted to a consultant from Holland named Willem Caeff.
  • Sultan is known as a reliable logistics planning strategist in his time. Sultan build multifunctional irrigation.
  • Irrigation not only for the benefit of the agricultural economy, but also as a transportation hub and the State defense.
  • Sultan was able to create an integrated concept in setting up infrastructure, so the limitations converted into advantages.
  • Sultan has idealism to do the resistance against injustice and tyrannical Dutch colonizers until the end.
  • Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa, also paid great attention to the development of Islamic religious education in Banten.
  • To nurture a mentally soldiers in Banten, he brought religious teachers of Arabic, Aceh, and other areas.
  • One of the religious teacher was a great scholar from Makassar named Sheik Yusuf Tuanta degree Salamaka or Sheikh Yusuf Taju’l Khalwati, which then made the grand mufti, as well as teachers and law of Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa.
  • In addition to developing trade, Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa also seeks to expand the area of influence and power to Priangan, Cirebon, and around Batavia.
  • This policy of expansion carried out by Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa is to aim of preventing the expansion of the territory of Mataram and the expansion of the VOC by imposing trade monopoly in Banten.
  • Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa continuing the effort his grandfather to sent troops to disturb Batavia as a reward for VOC measures that constantly undermines the sovereignty of Banten.
  • In 1655, VOC proposed that the Sultan of Banten immediately renew the peace agreement made in 1645. Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa rejected it because VOC want to win it for themselves, the renewal agreement will not be profitable for Banten.
  • Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa efforts both in politics and diplomacy in the field of shipping and trade with other nations is increasing.
  • Banten harbor increasingly visited by foreign merchants from Persia (Iran), Indian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Malay, Pegu, and others. Including, the Europe who are friends with the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, and Turkey.
  • Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa has brought to the peak of its glory Banten.
  • In addition to successfully promote agriculture with irrigation system, Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa managed to regroup his army, expand diplomatic relations, and increase the volume of commerce Banten, thus Banten Sultanate put themselves actively in the world of international trade in Asia.




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