Humiliating defeat of the Mongol army invading Dai Viet by the Chinese Tran dynasty

Jun 2007
240
There are indeed plenty of writings where the Viets attempt to establish a unique identity, but I am not convinced how this significantly differs from other "Chinese regimes" such as Liao, Xixia, or even Dong Wu and Shu Han, which also speaks of different customs from the "central state". There simply weren't clearly defined nations.
Which state you mentioned wrote clearly like this?

劉龔貪功以取敗,
趙禼好大以促亡。
唆都既擒於鹹子關,
烏馬又殪於白藤海。

Liu Gong was a Southern Han emperor, father of the prince who was killed during the first battle of Bach Dang (939) by Ngo Quyen.
Zhao Jie was the second-in-command Song general who participated in the ill-fated campaign against the Ly dynasty, he wasn't killed, but didn't achieve anything anyway.
Sugetu (Tọa Độ) was the commander of Yuan force who attacked Trần dynasty from Champa, he was killed by a Southern Song subordinate or by accident, depends upon the accounts.
Omar (known in Vietnamese as Ô Mã Nhi) was the general who was captured at the second battle of Bạch Đằng (1288) in which the entire Yuan fleets perished, almost all high commanders were captured and later killed.

The idea that throughout the whole period, Dai Viet under different dynasties were able to smash many Northern invasion. The upcoming later Le dynasty would soon join those past dynasties as the legitimate ruler of this land.

I don't know if Xixia, Liao or Jin wrote such a poem to claim their legitimate rule in the land of "Northern China".

We actually have the same instance in Chinese history where two succeeding dynasties had the same dynastic name, "Zhao", "Wei", "Yan", "Han", just to name a few. The only difference is that posterity added the term "former" and "later" into it. Vietnam is different in that it existed longer, but the concept of a state name based on location, at least initially, appears similar and that's why Viet regimes claimed successor to Nam Viet.
Vietnamese historians also wrote Former Le, Later Le and such, but those are dynastic names and are distinguished from the name of the state. Never had they mixed them together.

This seem to have been the case by the Ming dynasty because of the passage of time, and the constant northern invasions which forged a Viet identity, but one wonders whether this is in fact the case during the Song and how much Dai Viet is different from Xixia or the Liao in this respect.
Tang culture still had a portent influence on the state long after this dynasty had vanished.

A separate identity of course long existed before the Ming times, here is one comment by Le Van Huu (1230–1322):

前吳王能以我越所集之兵,破劉弘操百萬之眾,拓土稱王,使北人不敢復來者。可謂以一怒而安其民,善謀而善戰者也。雖王自居,未即帝位改元,而我越之正綂,庶幾乎復續矣。

Rough translation: The former lord Ngo (Ngo Quyen) was able to employ the newly assembled army of our Viet to smash Luu Hoang Thao (a Souther Han Han prince), formed a kingdom and declared himself king, as such the Northerners did not dare to come back. Thus it could be said that his rage pacified the people, he had good strategems and potent as a warrior. Although he only established himself as a king and was not able to claim the "emperor" title, as well as possessed his own calenda, yet our Viet state was continued due to him.
 
Feb 2011
1,018
Name of regime? That's funny!
Considering that name remained unchanged for almost 1000 years except for certain brief periods, whereas "China" changed name all the times: Song, Yuan, Ming, etc. The name of a Vietnamese dynasty might change, but its guohao remained almost constant.
"China" was always known as "Zhongguo"; however, dynasties such as the Song, Ming, etc. also considered themselves "guo," after the tradition established during the Western Zhou, and so equated themselves with both "Zhongguo" and "Da Ming [guo]," as an example. This is not equivalent to the name of "China" changing. When Wu Zetian usurped the Tang throne and established the Zhou dynasty, there was no corresponding change in the idea of "China" or "Zhongguo," only the dynastic identity, even though we find instances the new state being called "Zhou guo."

Vietnamese rulers also had several names for their own land/country, some of which persisted, others of which did not. For example, the ruler of the Tran Dynasty was recorded as having said the following:

欲問安南事,
安南風俗淳。
衣冠唐制度,
禮樂漢君臣。

Here, Annam 安南 is used to stand for Vietnam/Dai Viet. That Vietnamese rulers never used their own dynasty names as state names is liable to be because their dynasty names were actual family names - Ly, Tran, Nguyen - and no where in East Asian tradition was it normal to use a family name as a state name. To this end, the historical term Viet 越 was precisely the sort of region name suitable for use as a state name, as was also practiced in China, except that to the Vietnamese, Viet 越 stood for their total geography, as opposed to being just one region among many, as was the case with the region names "Song" and "Tang" in China.

Of course, Yuan, Ming, and Qing have completely different etymologies that were more religious/ideological than geographical, but by then the Chinese practice of having dual names - both Zhongguo and dynastic - was already well established.
 
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heavenlykaghan

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
4,437
You misunderstand the term Da Yue.


IT DOESN'T MATTER WHICH VIETNAMESE DYNASTY WAS CURRENTLY IN POWER, their guohao remained "Dai Viet" until the Nguyen dynasty, even during the fragmentation period of between Trinh and Nguyen. The Chinese emperor would still bestow the same title "Annan Guowang" to the king of Le dynasty, even if he was then only a figurehead. It was an almost unbroken name for the land where the king ruled, even though from outside they still called it Annan or Giao Chi (Jiaozhi). Thus, in almost all titles written about Vietnam, extant or disappeared, we found "Hoang Viet" (The Royal Viet), "Dai Viet" (The Great Viet). "Dai Viet Su Ky Toan Thu" for example didn't list Le, Ly, Tran and later Le as the name of the STATE, but simply the name of a dynasty. The "guohao" remained "Dai Viet", that was the significant difference between "Han, Zhao, etc" and the Vietnamese. In fact, the Vietnamese NEVER used the name of a dynasty to name their own state.
Actually, you are the one who is misunderstanding Chinese guohao here as you are just repeating what I already said. Zhongguo has never being the guohao of any dynasty. The closest that came was probably the Liao title of its own state in Khitan script, which is roughly translated as "The great central Khitan state". The Qing was the first state to use Zhongguo in formal treatises, but it wasn't the guohao either.

Wei, Zhao, Yan, and Liang were the guohao. They are not strictly speaking, dynasties as each regime had their own surname. Li is the dynasty, whereas Tang was the formal name of the state (guohao).

In this sense, Da Yue is hardly unique, at least during the Song.


The examples I raised is precisely of this nature.

For example, when the Jie people of the Shi family replaced the Liu family of the Xiongnu Zhao, their guohao remained Zhao even though the dynasty changed.

The Northern Liang which lasted from 397-401 was first ruled by Duan Ye, and then replaced by the Juqu family and the guohao remained Liang. Their state was called Liang simply because the region was called Liang.

The same happened with the Yan, where the Murong family of the Former Yan established in 337 was eventually replaced by Feng family of the Northern Yan in 407, and the guohao remained Yan until its conquest by the Wei in 436.


None of these regime's guohao changed even though the dynasty did.
Zhongguo was no more than a geopolity, and southern China, and in consequence, most southern dynasties weren't part of Zhongguo until the Ming. These southern dynasty's self reference to Zhongguo is of the exact same nature as Dai Viet; a largely cultural idea.



No, during Warring States Period, you say "Qinguo" (State of Qin), "Yanguo" (State of Yan) etc, other periods followed suit. In Vietnamese history, that was rarely the case, the overall name remained "Dai Viet". Nobody, even in folk culture, called "State of Trinh", "State of Mac" or "State of Bau".

It is certainly interesting to research more deeply into the idea of statehood in Vietnamese history.
No, if you actually look at sources from the time carefully, the term "guo" is still rarely used, most of the time, these states were simply called "Qin", "Wei", etc.

Here is just a random passage from the Wei Shijia in the Shiji:

二十六年,虢山崩,壅河。
三十二年,伐郑。城酸枣。败秦于注。三十五年,齐伐取我襄陵。三十六年,秦侵我阴晋。
三十八年,伐秦,败我武下,得其将识。是岁,文侯卒,子击立,是为武侯。
魏武侯元年,赵敬侯初立,公子朔为乱,不胜,奔魏,与魏袭邯郸,魏败而去。
二年,城安邑、王垣。
七年,伐齐,至桑丘。九年,翟败我于澮。使吴起伐齐,至灵丘。齐威王初立。
十一年,与韩、赵三分晋地,灭其後。
十三年,秦献公县栎阳。十五年,败赵北蔺。
十六年,伐楚,取鲁阳。武侯卒,子立,是为惠王。


I don't have the experience with 3 kingdoms history. But what I mean to say before is that the "Chaogong" system served as a mean for the Viets to preserve peace with Chinese dynasty. Due to the balance of power, they chose to be submissive outward to buy peace and to be bestowed the title "king". It was quite like a contract.
You can say the same about states such as Dong Wu, which have submitted to Cao Wei before, but kept their court independent and never had ambitions to unify "China".


It survived much longer thus allowing for future evolution.
I agree with that, but I am still questioning how Dai Viet fundamentally differs from other regimes south of the Yangze river during the Song period. There are certainly relative differences due to geographic isolation, but the boundary is far from clear.
 

heavenlykaghan

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
4,437
Which state you mentioned wrote clearly like this?

劉龔貪功以取敗,
趙禼好大以促亡。
唆都既擒於鹹子關,
烏馬又殪於白藤海。

Liu Gong was a Southern Han emperor, father of the prince who was killed during the first battle of Bach Dang (939) by Ngo Quyen.
Zhao Jie was the second-in-command Song general who participated in the ill-fated campaign against the Ly dynasty, he wasn't killed, but didn't achieve anything anyway.
Sugetu (Tọa Độ) was the commander of Yuan force who attacked Trần dynasty from Champa, he was killed by a Southern Song subordinate or by accident, depends upon the accounts.
Omar (known in Vietnamese as Ô Mã Nhi) was the general who was captured at the second battle of Bạch Đằng (1288) in which the entire Yuan fleets perished, almost all high commanders were captured and later killed.

The idea that throughout the whole period, Dai Viet under different dynasties were able to smash many Northern invasion. The upcoming later Le dynasty would soon join those past dynasties as the legitimate ruler of this land.

I don't know if Xixia, Liao or Jin wrote such a poem to claim their legitimate rule in the land of "Northern China".

Wait, I think you misunderstood my argument. I am not arguing Xixia, Jin and Liao are writing that there is a continuous Chinese state, on the contrast, I am saying there isn't one, at least not in terms of guohao, and that's why Dai Viet is hardly unique in being its own state.






"China" was always known as "Zhongguo"; however, dynasties such as the Song, Ming, etc. also considered themselves "guo," after the tradition established during the Western Zhou, and so equated themselves with both "Zhongguo" and "Da Ming [guo]," as an example. This is not equivalent to the name of "China" changing. When Wu Zetian usurped the Tang throne and established the Zhou dynasty, there was no corresponding change in the idea of "China" or "Zhongguo," only the dynastic identity, even though we find instances the new state being called "Zhou guo."

Vietnamese rulers also had several names for their own land/country, some of which persisted, others of which did not. For example, the ruler of the Tran Dynasty was recorded as having said the following:

欲問安南事,
安南風俗淳。
衣冠唐制度,
禮樂漢君臣。

Here, Annam 安南 is used to stand for Vietnam/Dai Viet. That Vietnamese rulers never used their own dynasty names as state names is liable to be because their dynasty names were actual family names - Ly, Tran, Nguyen - and no where in East Asian tradition was it normal to use a family name as a state name. To this end, the historical term Viet 越 was precisely the sort of region name suitable for use as a state name, as was also practiced in China, except that to the Vietnamese, Viet 越 stood for their total geography, as opposed to being just one region among many, as was the case with the region names "Song" and "Tang" in China.

Of course, Yuan, Ming, and Qing have completely different etymologies that were more religious/ideological than geographical, but by then the Chinese practice of having dual names - both Zhongguo and dynastic - was already well established.

1) Zhongguo was never a guohao, it was only a geological concept, and at best a geo-political concept and this geopolitical concept did not include what is today southern China. For example, Sanguozhi was fairly clear that Shuhan was the land of the Yi and not Zhongguo: 當九州鼎沸之會 ,英雄奮發之時,君臣相得,魚水為喻,而不能與曹氏爭天下,委棄荊州,退入巴蜀,誘奪劉璋,偽 連孫氏,守窮 踦之地,僭號邊夷之間。The only difference between Shu Han and Dai Viet is that the former attempted to recover the central plains, but the same cannot be said of the Dong Wu, so I am still questioning how Dai Viet is fundamentally different.

2) When Wu Zetian changed the title of the state to Zhou, the name of the state did in fact change. This is duly noted in the Jiu Tangshu biography of Wuzetian: "九月九日壬午,革唐命,改国号为周"
We even have an instance of a Japanese envoy asking the question: "In the past the name of the state was Tang, now it's Zhou, why is that?"



The problem is that you only have an idea of being a state when you have other states of comparable standing to compare to, and for much of history, the geopolitical China did not consider itself to be one among many states, but one court surrounded by smaller satellites and hence it never really had the strong concept of its nationhood at least until the Song.
 
Jun 2007
240
Wait, I think you misunderstood my argument. I am not arguing Xixia, Jin and Liao are writing that there is a continuous Chinese state, on the contrast, I am saying there isn't one, at least not in terms of guohao, and that's why Dai Viet is hardly unique in being its own state.
Yeah, I understand your point when you bring up Xixia, Liao and then Jin. The two former existed in a world, say, post-Tang, and became a regional power that potentially challenged the authority of Song state. Dai Viet was also a newly created independent kingdom during this time. But the, how to say, the convention of naming the state is quite different, and you can see that from the title of any Xixia, Liao or Jin emperors. Li Yuanhao was also called Xia Jingzong, or Xixia Jingzong according to some books I read. When the state of Xixia was annihilated by the Mongols, no kings were named as such, no state remained as such.

Now compare to the Vietnamese rulers. The Ly dynasty ruled their supposed "kingdom", or perhaps a confederation of different tribes, or a kingdom in which the power of the court still remained decentralized, how did they call themselves? Ly Thanh Tong (Li Shengzong), Ly Nhan Tong (Li Renzong). What is the name of the dynasty? Ly dynasty! But what is the name of the state? Dai Viet. Tran dynasty, Dai Viet; Le dynasty, Dai Viet. Sure, there was a period of times when the name of the state was changed, and this was clearly recorded in their histories, but it was later removed and reverted to the old name. Ho Quy Ly changed the name of the state in to Dai Ngu (大虞), which wasn't endeared by the modern Vietnamese since the "Ngu" also means stupid. It is this tradition that we call up on.

Clearly, an interpretation can be drawn from this, that they do not confound the name of a ruling dynasty with the name of the state. Dynasties could change but their state remain almost the same in name. The name Dai Viet must has some significance in it so that they still preserved it up until the Nguyen dynasty, right?

The Northern Liang which lasted from 397-401 was first ruled by Duan Ye, and then replaced by the Juqu family and the guohao remained Liang. Their state was called Liang simply because the region was called Liang.
Did they express the same sense of continuity as shown in the case of Vietnamese dynasties? While the name of what now we call "China" was changed so many times, the same is not true for the Viets. The name "Dai Viet" or "Dai Co Viet" was first used in the X century and continued to do so up untl the XIX century, with different dynasties ruling it, even at times divided the country into different parts.

In this discussion, it seems that you limit your timeframe to the Song period, is that correct?
 
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Mar 2016
10
Vietnam
I'd love to see a movie based on the Mongols' exploits in Vietnam. Have any ever been made by the Vietnamese?
You will wait for your whole life because the film makers/ producers in my country are not good enough to do such a thing. If they do, be careful before you watch their films because some Chinese companies who specialize in providing war customes will join the team and make the film look like a Chinese film instead. There have been two films about Vietnam's history but the customes and scenes are not accepted by the Vietnamese viewers. We just ignore these films.
 
Mar 2016
10
Vietnam
Are any Chinese members here currently living in China? I went to Guangzhou last month and have found out that the city's foods and people's outlooks are somehow similar to us. The foods are a bit different but I can eat them well, better than the terrible foods of Kunming with Di people (is this correct, 彝族 in Chinese). There are a lot of Vietnamese people in Guangzhou buying and selling goods. If they don't speak, I don't know that they are my people. Chinese people also thought that I was a local guy or a Chinese tourist. The same happens for some friends of mine. Even when we speak Chinese with our accent, they cannot identify us. Are there some cities like this in China? I heard some people travel to Shanghai and Beijing talking about how different and oily the foods are but not many people say the same things to Guangzhou. I am planning to go somewhere in China in September but still do not know where to go.
 
Aug 2016
78
yes @trunghq yes lots of similarities. if carefully comparing some rudimentary vocabulary like cloud, man, woman… u'd find more links btwn Vietnamese and Cantonese.

But in regards of physical buildup and facial features perhaps people of neighboring Guangxi Province (capital - Nanning) is closer to Viets. Zhuang people there are said to be just the same as your Nung etc..


~Tapa talks: Orange is the new black.~
 

heylouis

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
6,511
China
Are any Chinese members here currently living in China? I went to Guangzhou last month and have found out that the city's foods and people's outlooks are somehow similar to us. The foods are a bit different but I can eat them well, better than the terrible foods of Kunming with Di people (is this correct, 彝族 in Chinese). There are a lot of Vietnamese people in Guangzhou buying and selling goods. If they don't speak, I don't know that they are my people. Chinese people also thought that I was a local guy or a Chinese tourist. The same happens for some friends of mine. Even when we speak Chinese with our accent, they cannot identify us. Are there some cities like this in China? I heard some people travel to Shanghai and Beijing talking about how different and oily the foods are but not many people say the same things to Guangzhou. I am planning to go somewhere in China in September but still do not know where to go.
only want to make a suggestion. if you are going somewhere in Sep, make it rather early, not too late. after 15 and to Oct, you'd find *a lot* people.
well...maybe you can choose another month, or you might want to just experience the environment of lots people. anyway, don't make the plan too hurry...