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Early Lê dynasty


Dec 16, 2021

The Early Lê dynasty (Vietnamese: Nhà Tiền Lê; Hán Nôm: ; pronounced [ɲâː tjə̂n le]) or the House of Lê was a Vietnamese Buddhist royal family that ruled the kingdom of Đại Cồ Việt, now Vietnam, from 980 to 1009, following the Đinh dynasty and being succeeded by the Lý dynasty. It comprised the reigns of three emperors.

Period of Vietnamese history from 980 to 1009
Not to be confused with Lê dynasty.
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Đại Cồ Việt
Đại Cồ Việt Quốc (大瞿越國)
Status Internal imperial system within Songtributary[1][2][3]
Capital Hoa Lư
Common languages Middle Chinese, Middle Vietnamese

Government Monarchy
Lê Đại Hành (First)
Lê Trung Tông
Lê Ngọa Triều (Last)
Hồng Hiến
June 980
 Empress Dương Vân Nga enthroned Lê Hoàn
 Lê Ngọa Triều murdered and stole the throne from Lê Trung Tông
 Death of Lê Ngọa Triều
Currency Copper-alloy cash coins

Preceded by

Succeeded by
Đinh dynasty
Lý dynasty
Early Lê
Country Đại Cồ Việt (Vietnam)
Founded 9th century
Founder Lê Hoàn
Final ruler Lê Ngọa Triều
Estate(s) Hoa Lư
Deposition 1009
Part of a series on the
History of Vietnam
Hồng Bàng dynasty 2879 BC–258 BC
Thục dynasty 257 BC–179 BC
Triệu dynasty 204 BC–111 BC
Ngô dynasty 939–967
Đinh dynasty 968–980
Early Lê dynasty 980–1009
Later Lý dynasty 1009–1225
Trần dynasty 1225–1400
Hồ dynasty 1400–1407
4th Chinese domination 1407–1427
Later Lê dynasty 1428–1527
Mạc dynasty 1527–1592
Later Lê Restoration 1533–1788
Tây Sơn dynasty 1788–1802
Nguyễn dynasty 1802–1945
French Cochinchina 1862–1945 / 1945–1949
French Annam 1883–1945 / 1945–1948
French Tonkin 1883–1945 / 1945–1948
French Indochina 1887–1945 / 1945–1954
Empire of Vietnam 1945
North Vietnam
(Democratic Republic of Vietnam)
Provisional Central Government 1948–1949
South-North division 1954-1976
State of Vietnam 1949–1955
South Vietnam
(Republic of Vietnam)
Provisional Revolutionary Government
(Republic of South Vietnam)
Socialist Republic of Vietnam 1976–present
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. . . Early Lê dynasty . . .

After the assassination of the emperor, Đinh Tiên Hoàng, and the emperor’s first son, Đinh Liễn, the third son of the emperor, Đinh Phế Đế, assumed the throne at aged six with the regent Lê Hoàn. During the regency of Lê Hoàn, members of the royal court skeptical of Lê Hoàn’s loyalty to the true emperor, such as the Duke of Định Nguyễn Bặc and General Đinh Điền, led an army to the imperial palace in an attempted coup. The failure of the undertaking caused those two figures to be executed. In 980, the Song dynasty of China under Emperor Taizong ordered a Chinese army to invade Đại Cồ Việt. Because the young emperor was unable to lead the country to against the invader, the mandarins of the royal court discussed with Empress Dương Vân Nga about enthroning the most trusted general and regent, Lê Hoàn. Most of them voted in the affirmative to this proposal; consequently, the empress dethroned her own son and gave the crown to Lê Hoàn. He accepted the emperorship, establishing a new dynasty named the Early Lê dynasty. Lê Hoàn is often referred to with the posthumous name Lê Đại Hành.

Further information: Battle of Bạch Đằng (981)

Following war threats from Song China, Lê Đại Hành made preparations for war while the Song forces advanced toward Đại Cồ Việt. Later at the Battle of Bạch Đằng River, Lê Đại Hành’s forces, under the command of General Phạm Cự Lượng, were successful at halting the overland advance of the Song forces, although they incurred some losses. Seeking peace, Lê Đại Hành sent emissaries to negotiate for peace; thus the annual show of homage and offerings to the Celestial Emperor of China were resumed as a means to appease the Song dynasty.

In 982, Lê Đại Hành began expeditions to Champa, a nation south of Đại Cồ Việt. Lê Đại Hành’s army met the combined forces of Champa, Chenla and Abbasid Mercenaries in Đồ Bàn, (Quảng Nam province today) and be able to defeated all of them. Champa king Paramesvaravarman I had been beheaded and Champa capital of Indrapura was sacked by the Vietnamese. The new king of Champa agreed to be a vassal state of Đại Cồ Việt in 983.[4]

Some domestic achievements of Lê Đại Hành include constructing new monuments and galvanizing agricultural and handicraft production in order to make economic progress. Many spiritual etiquettes were developed, and Lê Đại Hành’s government was the model for that of the succeeding dynasty. Lê Đại Hành died in 1005 at the age of 65 and after 25 years of rule. In his will, Lê Đại Hành gave the throne to his youngest son, Lê Long Việt.

Out of his many princes, Lê Hoàn appointed his first prince Lê Long Thâu as the crown prince in the early years of his rule. Thâu died in 1000, and Lê Hoàn was forced to choose another crown prince. The fifth prince Duke of Khai Minh, Lê Long Đĩnh, nominated himself as crown prince. According to the Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư, Lê Hoàn viewed him as the favourable to become the next emperor, but royal court mandarins suggested him not to do it because they viewed other candidates as more viable. Lê Hoàn followed the advice and chose his older brother Lê Long Việ, the duke of Nam Phong. In 1005, Lê Hoàn died after reigning for 24 years at Trường Xuân Palace. After the death, there was a succession dispute between the princes Lê Long Đĩnh, Lê Long Tích, and Lê Long Kính and crown prince Lê Long Việt, preventing a government to take control over the entire country for eight months. In the winter of 1005, Lê Long Tích was defeated by crown prince Lê Long Việt. He fled to Thạch Hà province, now Hà Tĩnh Province, and ordered the massacre of the locals there. After a few months, Lê Long Việt was able to proclaim himself emperor Lê Trung Tông but was assassinated after ruling for three days by Lê Long Đĩnh, who replaced him as emperor.

. . . Early Lê dynasty . . .

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. . . Early Lê dynasty . . .