Jayavarmin VII (r. 1181-1218) exemplifies the nature of achieving divine kingship through his life achievements modeled after the life of Buddha. He was viewed by many as a divine-like figure, through his acts of philanthropy and good deeds for the city. Through this philosophy, Jayavarmin VII facilitated the construction of hospitals, several roads and rest houses. The height of Jayavarmin’s reign was during the construction of the Bayon Temple. By this time, Jayavarmin VII believed he had completed his journey to kingship. This is shown through the massive faces carved in the temple representing either Jayavarmin or Buddha himself. From our research, not many scholars have connected the aspirations of Jayavarmin VII to the artifacts he left behind. Our group will study how Jayavarmin VII achieved kingship by analyzing three artifacts, including a hospital, the Bayon temple itself and an idol of Buddha, each pertaining to his conquest for kingship and also by looking at other artifacts that are relevant to kingship in other Angkor Temples.
Seeman, Ross; Whitacre, McKay; and Oppenheim, David, "Jayavarmin VII: Achieving Kingship" (2012). Pepperdine University, All Undergraduate Student Research. Paper 75.