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Triều Hậu Lê (1428-1526)

THE (POSTERIOR) LÊ DYNASTY

Thứ Tư 21, Tháng Hai 2007

The Trần dynasty after its prosperity went into recession and was finally overthrown by its last Prime Minister Hồ Quí Ly who established the Hồ dynasty (1400-1407).

Hồ Quí Ly built his new capital city, called Tây Đô, in Thanh Hoá. Thăng Long was renamed Đông Đô and then Đông Quan. In 1406 the Minh dynasty sent an 800,000 strong army to invade Đại Việt. The uprisings against this led by a Hồ dynasty lord were defeated, and Đông Quan was occupied by the Minh invaders. The country faced a new challenge and began the war for national salvation led by Lê Lợi. After 10 years of hard struggle finally drove out the Minh, Lê Lợi came to power and founded the Lê dynasty.

On 29 April 1428 (i.e. 16 April in the Year of the Monkey) Lê Lợi proclaimed himself emperor in Kính Thiên Palace, and restored the name of the country to Đại Việt with Đông Đô (Thăng Long) as its capital. He renamed the capital Đông Kinh in 1430, and then again Trung Đô in 1446. His life was oficially recorded by Nguyen Trai on the Vinh Lang stelae.

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Bia Vĩnh Lăng (bản sao ở Bảo tàng Lịch sử)

The ancient capital city was still in use and extended eastwards. According to the 1490 map, the Forbidden Purple City was a rectangle in shape with Đoan Môn as the main gate. There were a lot of small palaces inside the city and the most secret one was Kính Thiên Palace. Surrounding the city were walls made of brick. The sides of the citadel ran along Hàng Cót Street in the East (Hàng Điếu, Hàng Da Streets today), the Tô river, near Hoàng Hoa Thám Street in the North, Bưởi Street in the West and a part of Cầu Giấy Street through Kim Mã, Tây Sơn and Trần Phú to Hàng Da Streets in the South. This was the Imperial City. The common people’s residential area was divided between 2 prefectures: Vĩnh Xương and Quảng Đức, each prefecture comprised of 18 communes.

Under the Lê dynasty, Thăng Long was the country’s largest trading centre. At the same time it attracted lots of famous artisans and craftmen. Also the Capital city was renovated, Văn Miếu was extended and Quốc Tử Giám rebuilt. Economic, cultural and educational activities, as well as examinations, were restored and developed, and these were especially encouraged by the Emperor Lê Thánh Tông. The Lê dynasty was considered the golden age of Vietnamese feudal empires. The Emperor Lê Thánh Tông himself liked to write and he gathered together 28 dignitaries, who were great scholars, to form a type of academy known as Tao Đàn Nguyên Suý over which he presided. He was a king, a politician, and a cultured citizen, who contributed a lot to the development of national literature in the 15th century.

The Lê dynasty reigned for 99 years (with 10 emperors) from the Emperor Lê Thái Tổ to the Emperor Lê Cung Hoàng.


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