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LY ANH TONG or LY THIEN TO was the sixth Ruler of the later LY DYNASTY . He ruled DAI VIET from 1138 AD to until his death in 1175 AD . He was chosen the successor of his father at the age of two only . As per the Lunar Calander , LY ANH TONG was born during the third month of 1136 AD as LY THIEN TO to the parents like Emperor LY THAN TONG and Empress LE THI . Initially LY THIEN LOC who was four years older than LY THIEN TO was preferred by Emperor LY THAN TONG to be the crown prince of DAI VIET as he was the son of his favorite concubine . But in 1138 AD , the ill Emperor decided to make LY THIEN TO his successor by demoting LY THIEN LOC due to severe pressure put by the three other concubines of the Emperor . These concubines namly : 1. LADY CAM THANH ; 2. LADY NHAT PHUNG ; and 3. LADY PHUNG THANH , who were afraid of the coronation of a concubine’s son who might threaten their position in the Royal Family . And soon after naming his successor , Emperor LY THAN TONG died . On 5th November 1138 AD , LY THIEN TO as LY ANH TONG ascended the throne of DAI VIET at age of two and ruled with the help of DO ANH VU , an official in the royal court of LY ANH TONG . After changing the era name he elevated his mother LE THI to Empress mother of LY DYNASTY . During 37 years of his reign he changed the era name thrice . DAI DINH ( 1140 AD TO 1162 AD ) , CHINH LONG BAO UNG ( 1163 AD TO 1173 AD ) and THIEM CAM CHI BAO ( 1174 AD TO 1175 AD ) . The reign of LY ANH TONG was considered as the last relatively stable period of the LY DYNASTY .


EMPEROR LY ANH TONG’S early reign started in 1138 AD uptil 1158 AD when DO ANH VU died . Now he had become an independent ruler . As the royal court witnessed the rise of the power of DO ANH VU who used to decide almost all matters of the country uptil 1158 AD . Moreover , he despised other officials of the royal court . According to DAI VIET SU KY TOAN THU (The official chronicles of DAI VIET) , the reason for such an immense power of DO ANH VU was the secret personal relationship of Empress LY THI with the former . As a result , some of the mandarins such as VU DAI , NGUYEN DURONG , NGUYEN QUOC , and DURONG TU MINH tried their level best to topple DO ANH VU , but failed completely . And later they were arrested and put to death by the order of DO ANH VU . Even after the death of Empress LY THI in 1147 AD , DO ANH VU maintained his strong position in the Royal Court until his death in 1158 AD . Apart from that , The chancellor , DO ANH VU , was credited to suppress the rebellion in 1140 AD started by the priest called THAN LOI claiming himself the son of LY NHAN TONG . THAN LOI was later captured by TO HIEN THANH and was beheaded on the order of LY ANH TONG . Emperor LY ANH TONG issued several edicts during his reign . In 1142 AD , in order to memorialize the TRUNG SISTERS ( TRUNG TRAC and TRUNG NHI ) against the CHINESE DOMINATION , he ordered to build the TEMPLE OF TRUNG SISTERS in the southern suburbs of THANG LONG . He was the first ruler of DAI VIET who promoted BUDDHISM as the state religion . An other important decision during his reign was that of the campaign against CHAMPA with the purpose of replacing King HARIVARMAN-I with his brother-in-law VAMSARAJA of KHMER . VAMSARAJA had asked for help from Emperor LY ANH TONG for this campaign . The Emperor appointed General LY MONG with the command of 5000 soldiers for this purpose . VAMSARAJA with his soldiers of 100,000 and with General LY MONG attacked CHAMPA . But the army of CHAMPA under the command of King HARIVARMAN-I defeated the joint army of VAMSARAJA and LY MONG at the Battle of MY SON . VAMSARAJA and General LY MONG were killed in the battlefield in 1152 AD . But in 1154 AD , for healing the relationship with DAI VIET , King HARIVARMAN-I sent his daughter to DAI VIET where she married with Emperor LY ANH TONG as his concubine .


After the death of Chancellor DO ANH VU in 1158 AD , Emperor LY ANH TONG ruled DAI VIET with the help of the prominent official TO HIEN THANH . Being a capable officer of LY ANH TONG , TO HIEN THANH helped him in the civil and military matters . On the advice of TO HIEN THANH , Emperor LY ANH TONG established the first Temple of CONFUCIUS in the THANG LONG in 1156 AD . Previously CONFUCIAN was jointly worshipped in the TEMPLE OF LITERATURE located in the city of present day HANOI . Credit goes to TO HIEN THANH that he pacified the revolt of the NGUU HONG and AI LAO in 1159 AD on the western border . He also got victory in the war against CHAMPA in 1167 AD which stabilized the southern border of DAI VIET . On the other hand , the relation between the LY DYNASTY and the SONG DYNASTY changed considerably when the SONG Emperor XIAOZONG decided to acknowledge DAI VIET as the Kingdom of ANNAM which is the VIETNAMESE form of the CHINESE name ANNAN which meant ‘the pacified south’ . It was previously designated as the district of GIAO CHI by his predecessors . As result , that since the SONG DYNASTY formally recognized the Ruler of DAI VIET as a king rather than a district governor . Emperor LY ANH TONG had already opened the principal port of VON DON in 1149 AD for the trade between DAI VIET and the SONG DYNASTY of CHINA . However , Emperor LY ANH TONG died in 1175 AD at the age of 39 only . He entrusted TO HIEN THANH with the regency of his three-year-old crown prince denying the advice of the Empress who wanted to put other prince on the throne of DAI VIET . This decision of the Emperor was widely appreciated . A historian like NGO SIE LIEN considered it a right decision to maintain the oder of succession for the royal family and royal court . For knowledge sake, it would be wise to know that Emperor LY ANH TONG’S elder son , the prince HIEN TRUNG who was born in 1151 AD , was earlier made the crown prince of the LY DYNASTY , but for committing adultery with a concubine in the royal palace , he was stripped of all titles and he also was imprisoned for that in 1174 AD .



Published by ARBIND KUMAR



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