He was born Purkrau, in around 705. His father Thanʔar trained him carefully in both administration and warfare. He was married to a cousin, Thulhey, who bore him his first son, Pausol, around 730. He was already respected and experienced when he succeeded his father (c. 740). He's described as tall and big, with a “kingly look” and a thin beard.
A few years later he began a war with ʔaunhun, strategically located at the confluence of the Hurtso and Ħomtso. Next came Uykhrai, to the north; then he extended his authority over several small towns to the east, giving him mastery of the Hurtso valley. He now had the material base to attack the Ħomtso delta; within seven years he had conquered it as well. In celebration he took the name Paukhel ‘ruler of everything’.
He was concerned not to repeat the failure of Purtyai, the Srethunese king who had conquered a similar empire only to lose it to rebellion. Purtyai was remembered for his brutality; Paukhel by contrast promised to rule fairly. He confirmed subject lords in their estates and positions, even rewarding them for bravery in their fights for their cities— but any rebellion was punished ruthlessly. Swiʔkyau, which had taken the lead against Purtyai, was particularly restive and gave Paukhel many opportunities to demonstrate his severity.
The identities of the Uyram were linked to their cities; to change these attitudes and build a nation, Paukhel focussed on the chief sources of local identity: the lords (wor) and the uywar, the venerated remains of ancestors. He took both the lords' heirs and the uywar to Tsopwan— “taking charge of both the future and the past,” as the chronicles put it.
He disbanded the subject cities’ armies and carefully rebuilt them into a new national army, officered by loyal local leaders and Tsopwanese. He also imposed the Tsopwanese calendar on his entire realm. (Originally intended for astronomical observations, its first year— Z.E. 577— is simply the date of the first observations.)
He died around 765, leaving his son Pausol the task of turning his military conquests into a lasting, united kingdom.
|Preceded by: |
| Pausol |
| Succeeded by: |