Early Lê dynasty

Early Lê Dynasty
House of Early Lê
Capital Hoa Lư[1]
Languages Ancient Annamese
Religion Buddhism
Government Monarchy
   980–1005 Lê Đại Hành (first)
  1005 Lê Trung Tông
  1005–1009 Lê Ngọa Triều (Last)
   Established 980
   Disestablished 1009
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Đinh dynasty
Lý dynasty
Today part of  Vietnam

The Early Lê dynasty (Vietnamese: Nhà Tiền Lê; Hán Nôm: ; pronounced [ɲâː tjə̂n le]) was a dynasty that ruled Đại Cồ Việt (now Vietnam) from 980 until 1009. It followed the Đinh dynasty, and was succeeded by the Lý dynasty. The dynasty ruled for a total of three generations and was known for repelling the Song invasion.

Lê Hoàn (980–1005)

Following threats from Song China, the Dowager Empress Dương Vân Nga granted Lê Hoàn (later proclaimed Emperor Lê Đại Hành) rule of the country, with the previous heir still an infant. Seeking to halt the oncoming Song forces, Lê Đại Hành made preparations for war. Although they suffered at the battle on the 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. 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 was resumed, as a means to appease the Song dynasty.

In 990, Lê Đại Hành began the expeditions to Champa. After lengthy peace negotiations with the Cham kings, Champa agreed to be a vassal state.

Lê Đại Hành died in 1005, at the age of 65 and after 25 years of rule. In his will, Lê Đại Hành gave succession of the throne to his youngest son Lê Long Việt.

Lê Long Việt (1005)

Lê Long Việt's reign was very brief; he was assassinated by a coalition of his brothers Lê Ngân Tích, Lê Long Kính and Lê Long Đĩnh who refused to recognize him out of jealousy. Lê Long Việt emperor's name was Lê Trung or (Trang) Tông. After the assassination, all three brothers vied against one another for throne. Lê Ngân Tích was captured and beheaded while attempting to flee the country. Lê Long Kính "disappeared" and was never heard from again. The last remaining brother, Lê Long Đĩnh, took control of the country and proclaimed himself emperor.

Lê Long Đĩnh (1005–1009)

Lê Long Đĩnh's reign and court was famous for its "lying sessions," earning him the name Lê Ngọa Triều - the one who rules while lying.[2] Lê Long Đĩnh's rule was characterized by debaucheries, wild orgies and decadence. Historians compare him to the Roman Emperor Nero as he was well known for his cruelties, not the least of which were sadism and torture (of relatives, prisoners, thieves, beggars, traitors, etc.) in which he loved to participate. The only person under his rule who did not fear or run away from him was the future emperor, Lý Công Uẩn (973–1028), a high-ranking mandarin counselor in the court.

Resentment from the public and the imperial court culminated, proceeding Lê Long Đĩnh's death. Under pressure from the public and from the Buddhist monks, the court agreed to enthrone Lý Công Uẩn as the new emperor, thus ending the Early Lê Dynasty. In its place, the Lý dynasty ushered in a new age for Vietnam, with a combination of Confucian and Buddhist influences making a recurrence in the new dynasty.


Preceded by
Đinh dynasty
Ruler of Vietnam
Succeeded by
Lý dynasty
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