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Trn dynasty

Warning: Page using Template:Infobox former country Having been mentally ill for a long time, the Emperor L
with unknown parameter country (this message is Hu Tng ultimately decided to cede the throne of the L
shown only in preview).
dynasty to crown princess L Chiu Hong in October of
the lunar calendar, 1224.[17] Ascending the throne at the
age of only six, L Chiu Hong ruled under the total inThe Trn dynasty (Nh Trn, , Trn triu[2][3] ) ruled
in Vietnam (then known as i Vit) from 1225 to 1400. uence of the commander of the royal guard, Trn Th
. Even the Empress Regnants servants were chosen
The dynasty was founded when emperor Trn Thi Tng
; one of them was his 7-year-old nephew
ascended to the throne after his uncle Trn Th or- by Trn Th[18]
When Trn Cnh informed Trn Th
chestrated the overthrow of the L dynasty. The nal
Regnant seemed to have aection toemperor of the dynasty was Thiu , who at the age
of the Trn clan immediately deof ve years was forced to abdicate the throne in favor
to carry out his plot to overthrow
of his maternal grandfather, H Qu Ly. The Trn dythe
a new dynasty ruled by his
nasty defeated three Mongol invasions, most notably in

the whole Trn clan
the decisive Battle of Bch ng River in 1288.
to the royal palace and arranged a secret marriage between L Chiu Hong and Trn Cnh there, without the
appearance of any mandarin or member of the L royal
family. After that, he announced the fait accompli to the
1 History
royal court and made L Chiu Hong cede the throne to
her new husband on the grounds that she was incapable
1.1 Origin and foundation
of holding oce. Thus Trn Cnh was chosen as her successor. As a result, the 216-year reign of the L dynasty
See also: L Chiu Hong and Trn Th
was ended and the new Trn dynasty was created on the
rst day of the twelfth lunar month (Gregorian: Decem[19][20]
The Chinese region of Fujian was the original home of ber 31), 1225.
the Chinese Tran (Chen) clan before they migrated under Trn Kinh
(Chn Jng) to Dai Viet.[4] Their descendants established the Tran dynasty, which ruled Viet- 1.2 Early Trn
nam (Dai Viet), and certain members of the clan could
See also: Trn Thi Tng and Trn Thnh Tng
still speak Chinese, as when a Yuan dynasty envoy met
with the Chinese-speaking Tran Prince Trn Quc Tun
in 1282.[1][2][3][5][6][7][8][9][10] The rst of the Trn clan After the collapse of the L Dynasty, Trn Th was
to live in i Vit was Trn Kinh, who settled in Tc still afraid that the newly established Trn Dynasty might
Mc village (now M Lc, Nam nh) who lived by be overthrown by its political opponents. He therefore
shing.[11][12] After three generations in i Vit, the continued to ruthlessly eliminate members of the L royal
Trn clan became a rich and powerful family under Trn family. First the former emperor L Hu Tng in the
tenth lunar month of 1226,[21] then other members of the
L, who was Trn Kinhs grandson.[13]
order of Trn Th
During the troubled time under the reign of L Cao Tng, L royal family were massacred by the [22][23][24]

the Crown Prince L Sm sought refuge in the family of
Trn L and decided to marry his beautiful daughter Trn
Th Dung in 1209.[14] Afterward, it was the Trn clan
who helped L Cao Tng and L Sm restore the throne
in Thng Long. As a result, the Emperor appointed several members of the Trn clan for high positions in the
royal court, such as T Trung T, who was an uncle of
Trn Th Dung, and Trn T Khnh and Trn Tha, who
were Trn L's sons.[14] In 1211 the Crown Prince L
Sm was enthroned as L Hu Tng after the death of L
Cao Tng. By that time the Trn clans position began to
rise in the royal court.[15][16]

Trn Thi Tng was enthroned when he was only eightyears-old. There were several rebellions in i Vit at
that time, so Trn Th had to devote all of his efforts to consolidating the rule of Thi Tng in the royal
court and over the country. Right after the coronation
of the Emperor in 1226, Nguyn Nn and on Thng
rose in revolt in the mountainous region of Bc Giang
and Hi Dng.[11] By both military and diplomatic measures, such as sending an army and by awarding two leaders of the revolt the title of Prince (Vng), Trn Th
was able to put down this revolt in 1229.[25][26]

According to i Vit s k ton th, Thi Tng and his

wife, the Empress Chiu Thnh, did not have their rst
son for some time. This situation worried the grand chancellor Trn Th because he had proted from similar
circumstances with the Emperor L Hu Tng in overthrowing the L dynasty. Therefore, in 1237 Trn Th
decided to force Prince Hoi Trn Liu, Thi Tngs
elder brother, to give up his wife, Princess Thun Thin,
for the Emperor when she had been pregnant with Trn
Quc Khang for three months. After the royal marriage,
Thun Thin was entitled the new empress of the Trn
dynasty, while Chiu Thnh was downgraded to princess.
Furious at losing his pregnant wife, Trn Liu rose in
revolt against the royal family. Meanwhile, Thi Tng
felt awkward about the situation and decided to become a
monk at Yn T Mountain in Qung Ninh. Finally Trn
Th successfully persuaded Thi Tng to return to
the throne, and Trn Liu had to surrender after judging
that he could not stand with his fragile force. All soldiers
who participated in this revolt were killed; Trn Th
even wanted to behead Trn Liu but was stopped by Thi
Fujian was the origin of the ethnic Chinese Tran who
migrated to Vietnam along with a large amount of other
Chinese during the Ly dynasty where they served as ofcials. Distinctly Chinese last names are found in the
Tran and Ly dynasty Imperial exam records.[30] Ethnic
Chinese are recorded in Tran and Ly dynasty records of
ocials.[31] Clothing, food, and language were all Chinese dominated in Van Don where the Tran had moved to
after leaving their home province of Fujian. The Chinese
language could still be spoken by the Tran in Vietnam.[32]
The ocean side area of Vietnam was colonized by Chinese
migrants from Fujian which included the Tran among
them located to the capitals southeastern area.[33][34] The
Red River Delta was subjected to migration from Fujian including the Tran and Van Don port arose as a result of this interaction.[35] Guangdong and Fujian Chinese
moved to the Halong located Van Don coastal port during
Ly Anh Tongs rule in order to engage in commerce.[36]
The usurpation of the Ly occurred after they married with
the shing Fujianese Tran family.[37]


Mongol invasions

See also: Mongol invasions of Vietnam, Trn Thnh

Tng, and Trn Nhn Tng


Thi Tng, grand chancellor Trn Th , and talented

generals such as Prince Hng o Trn Quc Tun and
L Ph Trn, the Trn dynasty was able to drive back the
invasion and ultimately re-established the peace in i
Vit in the twelfth lunar month of 1257.[40][41]
In the twelfth lunar month of 1284, the second Yuan invasion of i Vit was launched under the command of
Kublai Khans prince Toghon.[42] i Vit was attacked
from two directions, with Toghan himself conducting an
infantry invasion from the northern border while the Yuan
navy under general Sogetu advanced from the southern
border through the territory of Champa.[43] Initially, Trn
Thnh Tng and Trn Nhn Tng had to order the army
to retreat to avoid the pressure from the Yuan force when
Prince Chiu Minh Trn Quang Khi commanded his
troops to try to stop Sogetus eet in the province of Ngh
An. Meanwhile, several high-ranking ocials and members of the royal family of the Trn dynasty defected
to the Yuan side, including Thnh Tngs own brother,
Prince Chiu Quc (Trn ch Tc) and Trn Kin, who
was the son of Prince Tnh Quc (Trn Quc Khang). To
ensure the safety of Thnh Tng and Nhn Tng during
their retreat, Princess An T was oered as a present and
diversion for prince Toghan, while Marquis Bo Ngha
(Trn Bnh Trng) was captured and later killed in the
Battle of Mc defending the two emperors.[44] At the
southern border, Trn Quang Khi also had to retreat under the pressure of Sogetus navy and the defection of
the governor of Nghe An.[45] This critical situation for
the Trn dynasty began to change after their victory in
the fourth lunar month of 1285 at the Battle of Hm T,
where the troops commanded by Trn Nht Dut, Prince
Chiu Thnh, Trn Quc Ton, and Nguyn Khoi were
nally able to defeat the eet of general Sogetu. On the
tenth day of the fth lunar month of 1285, Trn Quang
Khi fought the decisive battle in the Chng Dng,
where the Yuan navy was almost destroyed and the balance in the battleeld tilted denitively in favor of the
Trn dynasty.[45][46] Ten days later Sogetu was killed and
the Trn Emperor Nhn Tng and Emperor Emeritus
Thnh Tng returned to the capital, Thng Long, on the
sixth day of the sixth lunar month, 1285.[47]
In the third lunar month of 1287, the Yuan dynasty
launched their third invasion of i Vit.[48] This time,
unlike the second invasion, commander-in-chief Prince
Hng o (Trn Quc Tun) assured the Emperor that
i Vits army could easily break the Yuan military campaign. This invasion was indeed ended one year later
by a disastrous defeat of the Yuan navy at the Battle of
Bch ng on the eighth day of the third lunar month,
1288.[49] Besides Trn Quc Tun, other notable generals of the Trn dynasty during this time were Prince Nhn
Hu Trn Khnh D, who destroyed the logistics convoy
of the Yuan navy[50][51][52][53] at the Battle of Vn n,
and general Phm Ng Lo, who took charge of ambushing prince Toghans retreating troops.[54]

In 1257 the Trn dynasty was faced with the rst Mongol
invasion of i Vit.[38] At the beginning of the war,
the i Vit army suered several defeats by an overwhelming force that had already conquered a vast area
in Asia. Several high-ranking ocials of the Trn dynasty were so fearful that Prince Khm Thin Trn Nht
Hiu, the younger brother of Thi Tng, even suggested
to the Emperor that they might escape from i Vit to
the Song dynasty.[39] Due to the rm faith of Emperor Professor Liam Kelley noted that people from Song dy-



nasty China like Zhao Zhong and Xu Zongdao ed to

Tran dynasty ruled Vietnam after the Mongol invasion
of the Song and they helped the Tran ght against the
Mongol invasion. The Tran dynasty originated from the
Fujian region of China as did the Daoist cleric Xu Zongdao who recorded the Mongol invasion and referred to
them as Northern bandits.[55][56]
Wu Bozong
(b. 1334- d. 1384) was sent as ambassador to Annam and wrote down in the Rongjinji
that the Tran dynasty monarch said to him in a reply his
Wus inquiry on Annams aairs where the Tran ruler said
that Annam proudly adhered to Tang dynasty and Han dynasty customs.

In 1306, the king of Champa, Ch Mn, oered Vietnam

two Cham prefectures, and L, in exchange for a marriage with the Vietnamese princess Huyn Trn.[60] Anh
Tng accepted this oer, then took and renamed prefecture and L prefecture to Thun prefecture and Ha
prefecture. These two prefectures soon began to be referred to collectively as the Thun Ha region.[60] Only
one year into the marriage, Ch Mn died and, in line
with the royal tradition of Champa, Huyn Trn was to
be cremated with her husband. Facing this urgent condition, Anh Tng sent his mandarin Trn Khc Chung to
Champa to save Huyn Trn from an imminent death. Finally Huyn Trn was able to return to i Vit, but Ch
Ch, the successor of Ch Mn, no longer wished to abide
by the peace treaty with i Vit. After that event, Anh
Tng himself, along with the generals Trn Quc Chn
and Trn Khnh D, commanded three groups of i
Vit military units to attack Champa in 1312. Ch Ch
was defeated and captured in this invasion,[61] and Anh
Tng installed a hand-picked successor, but the relations
between i Vit and Champa remained strained for a
long time afterwards.[62][63]

1.5 Decline

Peace and southward expansion

See also: Trn D Tng, Trn Ngh Tng, and Dng

Nht L

See also: Trn Anh Tng and Trn Minh Tng

After the three invasions, the people of i Vit were After the death of the Retired Emperor Trn Minh Tng
in 1357, the Trn dynasty began to fall into chaos during
the reign of Trn D Tng. While being modest and diligent under the regency of Minh Tng, the reign of Emperor D Tng saw extravagant spending on the building
of several luxurious palaces and other indulgences.[64][65]
D Tng introduced theatre, which was considered at the
time to be a shameful pleasure, into the royal court.[66]
The Emperor died on the 25th day of the fth lumar
month, 1369, at the age of 28, after appointing his
brothers son Dng Nht L despite the fact that his appointee was not from the Trn clan.[67]

Knight of Trn dynasty

nally able to enjoy a long period of prosperity and peace

during the reigns of Trn Anh Tng, Trn Minh Tng,
and Trn Hin Tng.[57][58] Anh Tng was the rst Trn
emperor to reign without facing attacks from the Mongol
Empire. Despite the deaths of the two most important
generals of the early Trn dynasty, Trn Quang Khi in
1294 and Trn Quc Tun in 1300, the Emperor was still
served by many ecient mandarins like Trn Nht Dut,
on Nh Hi, Phm Ng Lo, Trng Hn Siu, Mc
nh Chi, and Nguyn Trung Ngn. Anh Tng was very
strict in suppressing gambling and corruption, but he also
generously rewarded those who served him well.[59]

Like his predecessor D Tng, Nht L neglected his

administrative duties and concentrated only on drinking,
theatre, and wandering. He even wanted to change his
family name back to Dng. Such activities disappointed
everyone in the royal court. This prompted the Prime
Minister Trn Nguyn Trc and his son Trn Nguyn Tit
to plot the assassination of Nht L, but their conspiracy was discovered by the Emperor and they were killed
afterwards. In the tenth lunar month of 1370, the Emperors father-in-law, Trn Ph, after receiving advice
from several mandarins and members of the royal family,
decided to raise an army for the purpose of overthrowing
Nht L. After one month, his plan succeeded and Trn
Ph became the new emperor of i Vit, ruling as Trn
Ngh Tng, while Nht L was downgraded to Duke of
Hn c (Hn c Cng) and was killed afterwards by
an order of Ngh Tng.[68][69][70][71]


After the death of Hn c Cng, his mother ed to

Champa and begged King Ch Bng Nga to attack i
Vit. Taking advantage of his neighbours lack of political stability, Ch Bng Nga commanded troops and directly assaulted Thng Long, the capital of i Vit. The
Trn army could not withstand this attack and the Trn
royal court had to escape from Thng Long, creating an
opportunity for Ch Bng Nga to violently loot the capital before withdrawing.[72] In the twelfth lunar month of
1376 the Emperor Trn Du Tng decided to personally
command a military campaign against Champa. Eventually, the campaign was ended by a disastrous defeat of
i Vits army at the Battle of Bn, when the Emperor himself, along with many high-ranking madarins
and generals of the Trn dynasty, were killed by the Cham
forces.[73] The successor of Du Tng, Trn Ph , and
the retired Emperor Ngh Tng, were unable to drive
back any invasion of Ch Bng Nga in i Vit. As a result, Ngh Tng even decided to hide money in Lng Sn,
fearing that Ch Bng Ngas troops might assault and destroy the royal palace in Thng Long.[74][75] In 1389 general Trn Kht Chn was appointed by Ngh Tng to take
charge of stopping Champa.[76] In the rst lunar month
of 1390, Trn Kht Chn had a decisive victory over
Champa which resulted in the death of Ch Bng Nga and
stabilised situation in the southern part of i Vit.[77]



See also: H Qu Ly and Trn Thun Tng

During the reign of Trn Ngh Tng, H Qu Ly, an
ocial who had two aunts entitled as consorts of Minh
Tng,[78] was appointed to one of the highest positions in
the royal court. Despite his complicity in the death of the
Emperor Du Tng, H Qu Ly still had Ngh Tngs
condence and came to hold more and more power in
royal court.[79] Facing the unstoppable rise of H Qu Ly
in the court, the Emperor Trn Ph plotted with minister Trn Ngc to reduce H Qu Lys power, but H Qu
Ly pre-empted this plot by a defamation campaign against
the Emperor which ultimately made Ngh Tng decide to
replace him by Trn Thun Tng and downgrade Ph
to Prince Linh c in December 1388.[80][81] Trn Ngh
Tng died on the 15th day of the twelfth lunar month,
1394 at the age of 73 leaving the royal court in the total
control of H Qu Ly.[82] He began to reform the administrative and examination systems of the Trn dynasty and
eventually obliged Thun Tng to change the capital from
Thng Long to Thanh Ha in January 1397.[83]

opposed his dominance in the royal court, including several prominent mandarins and the Emperors relatives together with their families, such as Trn Kht Chn, Trn
Hng, Phm Kh Vnh and Lng Nguyn Bu.[86] The
end of the Trn dynasty came on the 28th day of the second lunar month (Gregorian: March 23) 1400, when H
Qu Ly decided to overthrow Thiu and established a
new dynasty, the H dynasty.[87] Being H Qu Lys own
grandson, Thiu was downgraded to Prince Bo Ninh
instead of being killed like his father.[87][88] The H clan
originated in Zhejiang province of China.[89][90]

2 Economy
To restore the countrys economy, which had been heavily damaged during the turbulent time at the end of the
L dynasty, Emperor Trn Thi Tng decided to reform
the nations system of taxation by introducing a new personal tax (thu thn), which was levied on each person
according to the area of cultivated land owned.[23] For
example, a farmer who owned one or two mu, equal to
3,600 to 7,200 square metres (39,000 to 78,000 sq ft),
had to pay one quan per year, while another with up to
four mus had to pay two quan. Besides personal taxes,
farmers were obliged to pay a land tax in measures of rice
that was calculated by land classication. One historical
book reveals that the Trn dynasty taxed everything from
sh and fruits to betel.[26] Taxpayers were divided into
three categories: minors (tiu hong nam, from 18 to 20),
adults (i hong nam, from 20 to 60), and seniors (lo
hng, over 60).[23][26] During the reign of Trn Thnh
Tng members of the Trn clan and royal family were
required by the Emperor to take full advantage of their
land grants by hiring the poor to cultivate them.[40][91]
i Vits cultivated land was annually ruined by river
oods, so for a more stable agriculture, in 1244 Trn Thi
Tng ordered his subordinates to construct a new system
of levees along the Red River. Farmers who had to sacrice their land for the diking were compensated with the
value of the land. The Emperor also appointed a separate
ocial to control the system.[26]
Towards the end of the Trn dynasty, H Qu Ly held
absolute power in the royal court, and he began to carry
out his ideas for reforming the economy of i Vit. The
most signicant change during this time was the replacement of copper coins with paper money in 1396. It was
the rst time in the history of Vietnam that paper money
was used in trading.[92][93]

On the full moon of the third lunar month, 1398, under

3 Culture
pressure from H Qu Ly, Thun Tng, had to cede the
throne to his three-year-old son Trn An, now Trn Thiu
, and held the title Retired Emperor at the age of only 3.1 Literature
20.[84] Only one year after his resignation, Thun Tng
was killed on the orders of H Qu Ly.[85] H Qu Ly Trn literature was considered superior to L literature
also authorised the execution of over 370 persons who in both quality and quantity.[94] Initially, most members


Performing arts

of the Trn clan were shermen[14] without any depth of

knowledge. For example, Trn Th , the founder of
the Trn dynasty, was assessed in i Vit s k ton th
as a man of supercial learning.[14] After their usurpation of power from the L dynasty, however, Trn emperors and other princes and marquises always attached special importance to culture, especially literature.[95] Two
important schools of literature during the reign of the
Trn dynasty were patriotic and Buddhist literature. To
commemorate the victory of i Vit against the second
Mongol invasion the grand chancellor Trn Quang Khi
composed a poem, named Tng gi hon kinh (Return to
the capital), which was considered one of the nest examples of Vietnamese patriotic literature during the dynastic era.[96] Patriotism in Trn literature was also represented by the proclamation Hch tng s (Call of Soldiers), written by general Trn Quc Tun, which was the
most popular work of the hch (appeal, call) form in Vietnamese literature.[97] Besides members of the Trn clan,
there were several mandarins and scholars who were well
known for patriotic works such as Trng Hn Siu, an
eminent author of the ph form,[95][98] or general Phm
Ng Lo with his famous poem Thut hoi. As Buddhism
was de facto the national religion of the Trn dynasty,
there were many works of Trn literature that expressed Bnh Sn tower in Vnh Khnh pagoda during Trn dynasty,
the spirit of Buddhism and Zen, notably the works of Tam Sn town, L river commune, Vnh Phc province
the Emperor Trn Nhn Tng and other masters of Trc
Lm School.[99] Besides the literature created by the upper classes, folk narratives of myths, legends, and ghost
stories were also collected in Vit in U Linh Tp by L
T Xuyn and Lnh Nam chch qui by Trn Th Php.
These two collections held great value not only for folk 3.2 Performing arts
culture but also for the early history of Vietnam.[100]
Trn literature had a special role in the history of Vietnamese literature for its introduction and development of
Vietnamese language (Quc ng) literature written in ch
nm. Before the Trn dynasty, Vietnamese language was
only used in oral history or proverbs.[101] Under the rule
of the Emperor Trn Nhn Tng, the Vietnamese language was used for the rst time as the second language
in ocial scripts of the royal court, besides Chinese.[99] It
was Hn Thuyn, an ocial of Nhn Tng, who began to
compose his literary works in the Vietnamese language,
with the earliest recorded poem written in ch Nm in
1282.[102] He was considered the pioneer who introduced
ch nm in literature.[103] After Hn Thuyn, ch Nm
was progressively used by Trn scholars in composing
Vietnamese literature, such as Chu Vn An with the collection Quc ng thi tp (Collection of national language
poems) or H Qu Ly who wrote Quc ng thi ngha
to explain Shi Jing in the Vietnamese language.[104] The
achievement of Vietnamese language literature during the
Trn era was the essential basis for the development of
this language in the subsequent literature of Vietnam.[99]

The L and Trn dynasties were considered the golden

age of music and culture.[105] Although it was still seen
as a shameful pleasure at that time, theatre was rapidly
developed towards the end of the Trn dynasty with the
role of L Nguyn Ct (Li Yuan Ki), a captured Chinese soldier who was granted a pardon for his talent in
theatre. It was L Nguyn Ct who imported many features of Chinese theatre in the performing arts of i
Vit such as stories, costumes, roles, and acrobatics.[105]
For that reason, L Nguyn Ct was traditionally considered the founder of the art of ht tung in Vietnam,
which is nowadays a challenged hypothesis because ht
tung and Beijing opera were dierent in concepts such
as the way of using painted faces, costumes, or theatrical
conventions.[106] The art of theatre was introduced to the
royal court by Trn D Tng and eventually the emperor
even decided to cede the throne to Dng Nht L who
was born to a couple of ht tung performers.[66]
To celebrate the victory over the Yuan invasion in 1288,
Trn Quang Khi and Trn Nht Dut created the Ma
bi bng (dance of owers) for a major three-day festival
in Thng Long. This dance has been handed down to
the present and is still performed at local festivals in the
northern region.[107]


Thnh Tng, the emperor also permitted his brother Trn

ch Tc, a prince who was well known for his intelligence
and knowledge, to open his own school at the princes
palace.[40] Several prominent mandarins of the future
royal court such as Mc nh Chi and Bi Phng were
trained at this school.[110] The ocial school of the Trn
dynasty, Quc hc vin, was established in June 1253 to
teach Four Books and Five Classics to royal students (thi
hc sinh). The military school, Ging v ng, which
focused on teaching about war and military manoeuvre,
was opened in August of the same year.[26][111] Together
with this military school, the rst Temple of Military Men
(V miu) was built in Thng Long to worship Jiang Ziya
and other famous generals.[112]

Carved wooden doors from the Ph Minh pagoda, Nam nh

province, northern Vietnam (13th-14th century)

Bronze ceremonial helmet from the Tran dynasty in Dai-Viet

Education and examination

Although Buddhism was considered the national religion

of the Trn dynasty, Confucianist education began to
spread across the country. The principal curricula during this time were the Four Books and Five Classics, and
Northern history, which were at the beginning taught only
at Buddhist pagodas and gradually brought to pupils in
private classes organized by retired ocials or Confucian
scholars.[108] The most famous teacher of the Trn dynasty was probably Chu Vn An, an ocial in the royal
court from the reign of Trn Minh Tng to the reign
of Trn D Tng, who also served as royal professor of
Crown Prince Trn Vng.[109] During the reign of Trn

Seven years after the establishment of the Trn dynasty,

the Emperor Trn Thi Tng ordered the rst imperial examination, in the second lunar month of 1232, for royal
students with the purpose of choosing the best scholars in
i Vit for numerous high-ranking positions in the royal
court. Two of the top candidates in this examination were
Trng Hanh and Lu Dim.[24] After another imperial
examination in 1239, the Trn emperor began to establish the system of 7-year periodic examinations in order to select royal students from all over the country.[108]
The most prestigious title of this examination was tam
khi (three rst laureates), which was composed of three
candidates who ranked rst, second, and third in the examination with the names respectively of trng nguyn
( , exemplar of the state), bng nhn ( , eyes positioned alongside) and thm hoa ( , selective talent).[113]
The rst tam khi of the Trn dynasty were trng nguyn
Nguyn Hin, who was only 12 at that time,[114] bng
nhn L Vn Hu who later became a royal historian of
the Trn dynasty,[115] and thm hoa ng Ma La.[116] In
the 1256 examination, the Trn dynasty divided the title
trng nguyn into two categories, kinh trng nguyn for
candidates from northern provinces and tri trng nguyn
for those from two southern provinces: Thanh Ha and
Ngh An,[117] so that students from those remote regions
could have the motivation for the imperial examination.
This separation was abolished in 1275 when the ruler decided that it was no longer necessary.[108]
In 1304, the Emperor Trn Anh Tng decided to standardize the examination by four dierent rounds in which
candidates were eliminated step by step through tests
of classical texts, Confucianist classics, royal document
redaction, and nally argument and planning.[118] This
examining process was abandoned in 1396 by the Emperor Trn Thun Tng under pressure from H Qu
Ly, who replaced the traditional examination with the
new version as a part of his radical reforms of the social and administrative system. H Qu Ly regulated the
imperial examination by a prefectural examination (thi
hng) and a metropolitan examination (thi hi) following in the next year. The second-degree examination included four rounds: literary dissertation, literary composition, royal document redaction, and eventually an es-

say which was evaluated by the Emperor in person.[119] It
should be noted that for the lower-ranking ocials, the
emperor had another examination which tested writing
and calculating, such as the examination in the sixth lunar
month of 1261 during the reign of Trn Thnh Tng.[120]
During its 175 years of existence, the Trn dynasty carried out fourteen imperial examinations including ten ofcial and four auxiliary contests. Many laureates from
these examinations later became prominent ocials in
the royal court or well-known scholars such as L Vn
Hu, author of the historical accounts i Vit s k,[115]
Mc nh Chi, renowned envoy of the Trn dynasty to
the Yuan dynasty,[121] or Nguyn Trung Ngn, one of
the most powerful ocials during the reign of Trn Minh
Tng.[121] Below is the complete list of examinations with
the candidates who ranked rst in each examination:[122]




Replica of Trn dynastys pagoda, Qung Ninh Museum and Library, Vietnam

There is evidence for the use of feng shui by Trn dynasty

ocials, such as in 1248 when Trn Th ordered several feng shui masters to block many spots over the country for the purpose of protecting the newly founded Trn
dynasty from its opponents.[126] Achievements in science
during the Trn dynasty were not detailed in historical
accounts, though a notable scientist named ng L was
mentioned several times in i Vit s k ton th. It

was said that ng L was appointed by Emperor Minh

Tng to the position of national inspector (lim phng
s)[127] but he was noted for his invention called lung linh
nghi which was a type of armillary sphere for astronomic
measurement.[128] From the result in observation, ng
L successfully persuaded the emperor to modify the calendar in 1339 for a better t with the agricultural seasons
in i Vit.[129][130] Marquis Trn Nguyn n, a superior of ng L in the royal court, was also an expert in
calendar calculation.[131]
Near the end of the Trn dynasty the technology of
gunpowder appeared in the historical records of i Vit
and was responsible for the death of the King of Champa,
Ch Bng Nga, after the Trn general Trn Kht Chn
red a cannon at his battleship in January 1390.[77] According to the NUS researcher Sun Laichen, the Trn dynasty acquired gunpowder technology from China and effectively used it to change the balance of power between
i Vit and Champa in favour of i Vit.[132] As a result of this Sun reasoned that the need for copper for manufacturing rearms was probably another reason for the
order of H Qu Ly to change from copper coins to paper money in 1396.[133] The people of the Trn dynasty
and later H dynasty were not satised with the imported
technology and continued to improve their rearms using
gunpowder. The development of i Vit technology in
using gunpowder resulted in weapons of superior quality
to their Chinese counterparts. These were acquired by
the Ming dynasty in their invasion of i Vit.[134]

Patterned brown glazed ceramic jar with lotus and chrysanthemum motifs from Nam nh Province (13th-14th century)

During the rule of the Trn dynasty, medicine had a better chance to develop because of a more signicant role
of Confucianism in society.[135][136] In 1261,[120] the emperor issued an order to establish the Institute of Royal
Physicians (Thi y vin) which took charge of managing medicine in i Vit, carrying out the examination
for new physicians and treating people during disease

epidemics.[135] In 1265 the institute distributed a pill

named Hng ngc sng to the poor, which they considered able to cure many diseases.[137] Besides the traditional Northern herbs (thuc Bc), Trn physicians also
began to cultivate and gather various regional medicinal
herbs (thuc Nam) for treating both civilians and soldiers.
During the reign of Trn Minh Tng the head of the Institute of Royal Physicians Phm Cng Bn was widely
known for his medical ethics, treating patients regardless of their descent with his own medicine made from
regional herbs;[135][138] it was said that Phm Cng Bn
gathered his remedies in a medical book named Thi y
dch bnh (Diseases by the Royal Physician).[139] Another
Trn person and fellow countryman of Phm Cng Bn
was the monk Tu Tnh, one of the most famous physicians in Vietnamese history, who was called Father of
the Southern Medicine for creating the basis of Vietnamese traditional medicine with his works Hng ngha
gic t y th and Nam dc thn hiu.[140] Nam dc
thn hiu was a collection of 499 manuscripts about local herbs and ten branches of treatment with 3932 prescriptions to cure 184 type of diseases while Hng ngha
gic t y th provided people with many simple, easy-toprepare medicines with high eect.[140][141]

See also
List of emperors of the Trn dynasty

Notes and references

[1] Taylor 2013, p. 120.

[2] ed. Hall 2008, p. 159.
[3] eds. Dutton & Werner & Whitmore 2013 .
[5] Taylor 2013, p. 103.
[6] Gunn 2011, p. 112.


[16] National Bureau for Historical Record 1998, p. 186

[17] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 156
[18] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 157
[19] Ng S Lin 1993, pp. 157158
[20] Chapuis 1995, p. 79
[21] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 160
[22] National Bureau for Historical Record 1998, p. 194
[23] Chapuis 1995, p. 80
[24] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 163
[25] Ng S Lin 1993, pp. 161162
[26] Trn Trng Kim 1971, p. 50
[27] Trn Trng Kim 1971, p. 49
[28] Ng S Lin 1993, pp. 164166
[29] National Bureau for Historical Record 1998, pp. 195196
[30] Alexander Woodside (1971). Vietnam and the Chinese
Model: A Comparative Study of Vietnamese and Chinese
Government in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century.
Harvard Univ Asia Center. pp. 8. ISBN 978-0-67493721-5.
[31] Georey C. Gunn (1 August 2011). History Without Borders: The Making of an Asian World Region, 1000-1800.
Hong Kong University Press. pp. 112. ISBN 978-9888083-34-3.
[32] K. W. Taylor (9 May 2013). A History of the Vietnamese.
Cambridge University Press. pp. 120. ISBN 978-1-10724435-1.
[33] Kenneth R. Hall (2008). Secondary Cities and Urban Networking in the Indian Ocean Realm, C. 1400-1800. Lexington Books. pp. 159. ISBN 978-0-7391-2835-0.
[34] Hall (1 January 1955). Secondary Cities & Urban Networking in the Indian Ocean Realm, c. 1400-1800. Lexington Books. pp. 159. ISBN 978-0-7391-3043-8.
[35] Jayne Werner; John K. Whitmore; George Dutton (21 August 2012). Sources of Vietnamese Tradition. Columbia
University Press. pp. 29. ISBN 978-0-231-51110-0.

[7] Embree & Lewis 1988, p. 190.

[8] Woodside 1971, p. 8.
[9] Womack 2006, p. 121.

[36] Philippe Truong (2007). The Elephant and the Lotus:

Vietnamese Ceramics in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
MFA Pub. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-87846-717-4.

[10] Vietnamese History: A Chronological Outline

[37] Ainslie Thomas Embree; Robin Jeanne Lewis (1988).

Encyclopedia of Asian history. Scribner. p. 190.

[11] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 159

[38] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 173

[12] Taylor (2013), p. 120

[39] Ng S Lin 1993, pp. 172173

[13] Hall (2008), p. 159

[40] Chapuis 1995, p. 81

[14] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 153

[41] Trn Trng Kim 1971, p. 51

[15] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 154

[42] Ng S Lin 1993, pp. 189190

[43] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 193

[79] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 270

[44] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 192

[80] Ng S Lin 1993, pp. 278279

[45] Chapuis 1995, p. 83

[81] Chapuis 1995, p. 94

[46] Trn Trng Kim 1971, p. 58

[82] Ng 1993, pp. 287288

[47] Ng S Lin 1993, pp. 192195

[83] Ng 1993, pp. 288291

[48] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 195

[84] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 292

[49] Ng S Lin 1993, pp. 196198

[85] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 294

[50] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 197

[86] Ng S Lin 1993, pp. 294295

[51] Trn Trng Kim 1971, p. 61

[87] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 296

[52] Chapuis 1995, p. 84

[88] Chapuis 1995, p. 96

[53] Delgado, James P. (2009). Khubilai Khans Lost Fleet: In

Search of a Legendary Armada. University of California
Press. pp. 161162. ISBN 0-520-25976-9.

[89] Taylor 2013, p. 166.

[54] Trn Trng Kim 1971, p. 62

[91] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 179

[90] ed. Hall 2008, p. 161.

[56] proof that he runs the blog
[57] Trn Trng Kim 1971, p. 65
[58] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 205
[59] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 207
[60] Chapuis 1995, p. 85
[61] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 223
[62] Trn Trng Kim 1971, p. 66
[63] Chapuis 1995, p. 86

Chapuis 1998, p. 95
Trn Trng Kim 1971, p. 73
Dng Qung Hm 1968, pp. 232238
Trn Trng Kim 1971, p. 53
Tham Seong Chee 1981, pp. 304305
Tham Seong Chee 1981, p. 305
Tham Seong Chee 1981, pp. 312313
L Mnh Tht. A Complete Collection of Trn Nhn
Tngs Works. Archived from the
original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved 2009-12-10.

[65] Trn Trng Kim 1971, p. 69

[100] Dror, Olga (1997). Cult, culture, and authority: Princess

Liu Hnh in Vietnamese history. University of Hawaii
Press. pp. 1428. ISBN 0-8248-2972-7.

[66] Chapuis 1995, p. 89

[101] Dng Qung Hm 1968, p. 292

[67] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 259

[102] Kevin Bowen; Ba Chung Nguyen; Bruce Weigl (1998).

Mountain river: Vietnamese poetry from the wars, 19481993 : a bilingual collection. Univ of Massachusetts Press.
pp. xxiv. ISBN 1-55849-141-4.

[64] Ng S Lin 1993, pp. 258259

[68] Ng S Lin 1993, pp. 262263

[69] National Bureau for Historical Record 1998, p. 292
[70] Chapuis 1995, pp. 8990
[71] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 250
[72] Trn Trng Kim 1971, p. 70
[73] Ng S Lin 1993, pp. 269270
[74] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 273
[75] Chapuis 1995, p. 91

[103] Hn Thuyn. T in Bch khoa ton th Vit Nam (in

Vietnamese). Retrieved 2009-12-10.
[104] Dng Qung Hm 1968, p. 294
[105] Terry E. Miller, Sean Williams 2008, p. 249
[106] Terry E. Miller, Sean Williams 2008, p. 274
[107] Terry E. Miller, Sean Williams 2008, pp. 278279

[76] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 281

[108] Trng Hu Qunh, inh Xun Lm, L Mu Hn 2008,

p. 261

[77] Ng 1993, pp. 282283

[109] Ng S Lin, p. 263

[78] Chapuis 1995, p. 90

[110] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 180


[111] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 171

[112] Adriano (di St. Thecla), Olga Dror (2002). Opusculum de
sectis apud Sinenses et Tunkinenses: A small treatise on the
sects among the Chinese and Tonkinese. Olga Dror (trans.).
SEAP Publications. p. 128. ISBN 0-87727-732-X.
[113] Ng S Lin 1993, pp. 168169
[114] Nguyn Hin (in Vietnamese). T in Bch khoa ton
th Vit Nam. Retrieved 2009-12-09.
[115] L Vn Hu (in Vietnamese). T in Bch khoa ton
th Vit Nam. Retrieved 2009-12-09.
[116] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 168
[117] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 172
[118] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 217
[119] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 289
[120] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 176
[121] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 233
[122] Mai Hng 1989, p. 20
[123] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 166
[124] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 182
[125] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 267
[126] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 169
[127] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 234
[128] "ng L" (in Vietnamese). T in Bch khoa ton th
Vit Nam. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
[129] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 246
[130] "ng L: Nh thin vn hc (in Vietnamese). 2006-02-28. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
[131] Trn (in Vietnamese). T in Bch khoa ton th Vit
Nam. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
[132] Tuyet Nhung Tran, Anthony J. S. Reid 2006, pp. 7577
[133] Tuyet Nhung Tran, Anthony J. S. Reid 2006, p. 77
[134] Tuyet Nhung Tran, Anthony J. S. Reid 2006, pp. 8990
[135] Alan Kam-leung Chan, Gregory K. Clancey,Hui-Chieh
Loy 2001, p. 265
[136] Jan Van Alphen; Anthony Aris (1995). Oriental medicine:
an illustrated guide to the Asian arts of healing. Serindia
Publications, Inc. pp. 210214. ISBN 0-906026-36-9.
[137] Ng S Lin 1993, p. 257
[138] Phm Vn Sn 1983, p. 215
[139] Nguyn Xun Vit (2008-12-26). Y hc c truyn ca
tnh Hi Dng trong hin ti v tng lai (in Vietnamese). Haiduong Department of Science and Technology. Retrieved 2009-12-09.
[140] Tu Tnh (in Vietnamese). T in Bch khoa ton th
Vit Nam. Retrieved 2009-12-09.
[141] Alan Kam-leung Chan, Gregory K. Clancey,Hui-Chieh
Loy 2001, pp. 265266


8 Further reading
Alan Kam-leung Chan; Gregory K. Clancey; HuiChieh Loy (2001), Historical perspectives on East
Asian science, technology, and medicine, World Scientic, ISBN 9971-69-259-7
Chapuis, Oscar (1995), A history of Vietnam: from
Hong Bang to Tu Duc, Greenwood Publishing
Group, ISBN 0-313-29622-7
Thin (2003), Vietnamese supernaturalism:
views from the southern region, Routledge, ISBN 0415-30799-6
Hall, Kenneth R., ed. (2008). Secondary Cities and
Urban Networking in the Indian Ocean Realm, C.
1400-1800. Volume 1 of Comparative Urban Studies. Lexington Books. ISBN 0739128353. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
Lockard, Craig (2009), Southeast Asia in World
History, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19516075-8
Mai Hng (1989), Cc trng nguyn nc ta (in
Vietnamese), Hanoi: Education Publishing House
Terry E. Miller; Sean Williams (2008), The Garland handbook of Southeast Asian music, Routledge,
ISBN 0-415-96075-4
National Bureau for Historical Record (1998),
Khm nh Vit s Thng gim cng mc (in Vietnamese), Hanoi: Education Publishing House
Ng S Lin (1993), i Vit s k ton th (in Vietnamese) (Ni cc quan bn ed.), Hanoi: Social Science Publishing House
Phm Vn Sn (1983), Vit s ton th (in Vietnamese), Japan: Association of Vietnameses in
Stuart-Fox, Martin (2003), China and Southeast
Asia: Tribute, Trade and Inuence, Allen & Unwin,
ISBN 1-86448-954-5
Nicholas, Tarling (1992), The Cambridge History of
Southeast Asia, Volume one: From Early Times to
C. 1800, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-52135505-2
Taylor, K. W. (2013). A History of the Vietnamese
(illustrated ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN
0521875862. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
Taylor, Keith Weller (1991), The Birth of Vietnam,
University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-074173

Tham Seong Chee (1981), Essays on Literature and
Society in Southeast Asia: Political and Sociological
Perspectives, Singapore: NUS Press, ISBN 9971-69036-5
Trn Trng Kim (1971), Vit Nam s lc (in Vietnamese), Saigon: Center for School Materials
Tuyet Nhung Tran; Anthony J. S. Reid (2006),
Vit Nam Borderless Histories, Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, ISBN 978-0299-21770-9
Trng Hu Qunh; inh Xun Lm; L Mu
Hn (2008), i cng lch s Vit Nam (in Vietnamese), Hanoi: Education Publishing House
Wolters, O. W. (2009), Monologue, Dialogue, and
Tran Vietnam, Cornell University Library

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