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LY NHAN TONG or LY CAN DUC was the fourth monarch of the LY DYNASTY . He ruled over DAI VIET from 1072 AD to 1128 AD until his death . He succeeded his father Emperor LY THANH TONG at the age of seven only . However , at this tiny age , LY NHAN TONG ruled the Empire with the help and assistance of his mother Y LAN and the Chancellor LY DAO THANH . He was born on 22nd February , 1066 AD at LONG DUC PALACE , THANH LONG . And he died on 15th January , 1128 AD at the age of 61 . He had altogether five spouses namely : 1. EMPRESS LAN ANH ; 2. EMPRESS KHAM THIEN ; 3. EMPRESS CHAN BAO ; 4. EMPRESS THANH CUC ; and 5. EMPRESS CHIEU THANH . But he had no issue from his espouses at all . So he had adopted two sons namly : 1. PRINCE LY DURONG HOAN ; and 2. PRINCE LY DURONG CON from the Marquises SUNT HlEN ; so that he could choose a capable successor to maintain the throne for the LY DYNASTY out of them . After becoming the Emperor of DAI VIET , LY NHAN TONG made important contributions to the development of DAI VIET . Firstly , he established CONFUCIANISM as the official philosophy of the state . Secondly , he created CONFUCIAN-based Imperial exams . Moreover , he created schools based on the CONFUCIAN system of learning . During his longest reign of 55 years , he also experienced several wars against the neighboring countries of DAI VIET . Out of two such wars : 1. Wàr with Song Dynasty of CHINA ; and 2. War with CHAMPA Kingdom , the SINO-VIETNAMESE War from 1075 AD to 1076 AD was the fiercest .


Initially question arose as to who would be the Regent of LY NHAN TONG as he was only of seven years of age at the time of the death of Emperor LY THANH TONG in 1072 AD . So it was decided that the Chancellor LY DAO THANH and the Empress Mother THUONG DUONG would be the Regent of the Emperor . But she was soon dismissed by Emperor LY NHAN TONG by coming in influence of his natural mother Y LAN . Later Empress Mother THUONG DUONG with 76 of her Imperial maids were imprisoned in the THUONG DUONG palace . The ruthless Empress L LAN didn’t stop there . She ordered to kill all of them including Empress THUONG DUONG . They were buried in the tomb of LE THANH TONG . And after the assassination of the Empress Mother THUONG DUONG , L LAN became the Regent of the Emperor LY NHAN TONG . A VIETNAMESE historian , NGO SI LIEN has written , ” although having a devotion to BUDDHISM , L LAN was too ruthless in killing the innocent empress mother “, and he also remarked that the chancellor LY DAO THANH was transferred to a position in the southern border likely because he advised against Y LAN murder of THUONG DUONG . On the other hand , in February 1117 AD Emperor LY THANH TONG on the advice of his Regent mother Y LAN issued an edict prohibiting people killing buffaloes . It was made criminal offense and accused would be heavily punished . Reason to this effect was given that since buffaloes were essential for farming , the death of buffalo would seriously effect the farming community as such . Moreover , the reign of LY NHAN TONG was highly praised for national education . Following the Emperor’s order , the first Imperial examination based on CONFUCIAN learning was organized in VIETNAM in February , 1072 AD . LE VAN THINH became the first rank laureate in the Imperial examination of VIETNAM who later on promoted to the position of Chancellor in 1086 AD and remained till 1096 AD . The first National Academy, QUOC TU GIAM ( the first school based on CONFUCIAN learning) was established in 1076 AD . Apart from that , he brought about reforms in the ranking of officials in the royal court and in the country . Moreover , to protect the capital THANG LONG against floods , Emperor LY NHAN TONG ordered construction of the CO XA DIKE . It was the first DIKE ( constructed wall that regulates water levels ) systems in DAI VIET .


Relationship between DAI VIET and the SONG DYNASTY deteriorated when the SONG chancellor WANG ANSHI brought about his reforms in 1069 AD . It was a series of reforms initiated by the NORTH SONG DYNASTY politician WANG ANSHI when he served as minister under Emperor SHENZONG from 1069 AD to 1076 AD . These reforms had three components namly : 1. State finance and trade ; 2. Defense and social order ; and 3. Education and improving governance . WANG’S policies saw each part of the society as a part of a greater whole . It included : 1. Equal law ; 2. Green sprouts law ; 3. Hydraulic works law ; 4. Labor recruitment law ; 5. Balanced delivery law ; 6. Market exchange law ; 7. Baojia law ; 8. General and troops law ; 9. Three college law . The Balanced delivery law called on fiscal intendants in six of the southern Circuits to disregard quotas on tribute items and to buy and sell items according to price on the open market . It was seen by the Kingdom of DAI VIET as the changing relationship between the SONG and its frontier people as an abandonment of the traditional tribute paradigm . WANG called for military action from the SONG Imperial troops . King LY NHAN TONG decided to stay one step forward by ordering the General LY THUONG KIET and TON DAN to launch a military campaign under the pretext of rescuing the CHINESE people from the draconian law and cruel reforms . So in 1075 AD , the DAI VIET General LY THUONG KIET attacked on the LIAN and the QIN of the SONG CHINA . And other army under General TON DON besieged the citadel of YONGZHOU . Although General LY THUONG KIET succeeded in defeating SONG reinforcements intended for YONGZHOU , yet the SONG army and people inflicted high casualties on the VIETNAMESE forces despite the fact that besiegement prolonged for forty days only . So when the VIETNAMESE army decided to end the seige of YONGZHOU , the VIETNAMESE Generals decided to get revenge by killing more than 58 thousand people . Some historians counts this number of killings as 100,000 . In counter attack with the help of SONG’S Vassal Kingdoms like CHAMPA and KHMER , the SONG Imperial troops again attacked DAI VIET in the region of PHU LUONG where they defeated LY THUONG KIET’S forces in a major battle . LY THUONG KIET tried to boost the morale of his troops singing a nationalistic poem called Nam quoc son ha . But being aware of the adverse situation for VIETNAMESE forces , General LY THUONG KIET finally proposed a cease-fire which was willingly accepted by the SONG DYNASTY because by that time they had lost more than 400,000 men of their army . The SONG army retreated even after occupying a vast region of VIETNAM which later on was gradually returned to DAI VIET after a long negotiations .

Similarly , in the south hostilities between DAI VIET and CHAMPA escalated . Emperor LY NHAN TONG and his General LY THUONG KIET had defeated the army of CHAMPA several times and lastly in 1104 AD , one year before his death in 1105 AD . But the success of General LY THUONG KIET during his military campaigns against the Kingdom of CHAMPA helped Emperor LY NHAN TONG to stabilize the southern region of DAI VIET , to some extent , for the later years of his reign .




Published by ARBIND KUMAR



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