Ang Duong
Ang Duong (1796-19 May 1860) (r. 1841-1844, 1845–1860) was king of Cambodia
King of Cambodia
The King of Cambodia is the head of state of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The King's power is limited to that of a symbolic figurehead to whom people are to give love and respect...


Ang Duong was younger son of king Ang Eng, who 1779-1797 was ruler of Cambodia at the then capital Oudong
Udong is a town in Cambodia, situated in the north-western part of Kandal Province. The town is located on top of the mountain Phnom Udong, about 40 km northwest of the capital Phnom Penh...

, by one of his Thai
Thai people
The Thai people, or Siamese, are the main ethnic group of Thailand and are part of the larger Tai ethnolinguistic peoples found in Thailand and adjacent countries in Southeast Asia as well as southern China. Their language is the Thai language, which is classified as part of the Kradai family of...

 consorts, Ros, 'queen Vara' (dc 1869), whom he had taken as concubine in 1793 from Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...


He is regarded as the Great-King of Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

 who protected the country from both invasion and steered it away from poverty. King Ang Duong was the son of King Ang Eng (-1796) and the father of King Norodom (1834–1904)and King Sisowath (1840–1927). He was the great-great-grandfather of king Sihanouk. He had been living in Bangkok for 27 years since he was 16 until 43.

Literary works

King Ang Duong was a poet and great classical writer of Cambodian literature. His literary works, written in the forms of prose, have been used as texts in Cambodian schools long after his death. His novels, like Kakey and Kangrey, have featured prominently in the Cambodian society.

While Kakey was a novel about an unfaithful wife, Kangrey was a novel about a very faithful wife who would sacrifice her life for her husband. Many poets of later years and songwriters have used the words "Kakey" to describe a woman who is unfaithful to her husband or boyfriend and "Kangrey" was often used to describe a woman who was very faithful to her man.

Historical background

Cambodia during the reign of King Ang Duong was in danger of being swallowed by her two powerful neighbours, Vietnam and Siam. In order to protect Cambodia from being swallowed by Vietnam and Siam, King Ang Duong secretly began to make contacts with the French authority based in Asia for protection. King Ang Duong's action paved the way for France to establish a French Protectorate in 1863 which had lasted for 90 years. Preah Bat Ang Duong was responsible for Cambodia becoming a French protectorate but he died three years before the protectorate, which was established during the reign of his elder son, King Norodom.

There has been much debate over the wisdom of his action. However, due to the circumstances of the time, Preah Bat Ang Duong had probably made the right decision, since the Khmer ancient culture and customs were under threat of being quashed, and the country would be swallowed altogether, had Cambodia come under the control of the Siamese and the Vietnamese. Although by becoming a French protectorate it would mean that Cambodia had virtually lost her independence and the French rule caused many hardships for the Cambodian people, the Protectorate had ensured Cambodia's survival to this present day. Under the French Protectorate, although losing her independence, Cambodia was able to preserve her identity, culture, traditions and ways of life which would have been otherwise destroyed by the Vietnamese and the Siamese had he chosen to remain a vassalage state to both these countries.
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