VIETNAM ( SERIES -28 )
DECLINE OF THE LY DYNASTY OF DAI VIET
Decline of the LY DYNASTY started with Emperor LY HUE TONG who ruled DAI VIET from 1211 AD to 1224 AD . He was the son of Emperor LY CAO TONG and Empress AN TOAN . He was born on July 1194 AD in THANG LONG and died on 3rd September 1226 AD at the age of 32 in CHAN GIAO PAGODA in THANG LONG . Like his father he was also a BUDDHIST . During the reign of Emperor LY HUE TONG , many members of the TRAN family assumed key roles in the government . TRAN THU DO was also one of them . Later TRAN THAI TONG was put on the throne of DAI VIET by the TRAN family by using its position of power in the royal court thus founded the TRAN DYNASTY . However it would be useful to know as to what happened to Emperor LY HUE TONG ? In 1224 AD , Emperor LY HUE TONG became mentally sick . Issue of his succession became need of the hour. He had no son and only daughters . So , he appointed his seven year old daughter LY CHIEU HOANG as his successor . Though she was unacceptable to TRAN THU DO because her being a woman , yet he had some schemes to end the LY DYNASTY forever and place a TRAN on the throne of DAI VIET. So, LY CHIEU HOANG was accepted as Empress . And Emperor LY HUE TONG retired to become a BUDDHIST MONK . On the other hand , TRAN THU DO eliminated all the family members of the LY DYNASTY and its potential pretenders . Knowing this information , Emperor LY HUE TONG committed suicide . Thus , ended the LY DYNASTY of DAI VIET .
EMPRESS LY CHIEU HOANG OF DAI VIET
LY CHIEU HOANG or LY THIEN HINH was the nineth and last sovereign of the LY DYNASTY . She ruled DAI VIET from 1224 AD to 1225 AD . The first female monarch of DAI VIET/VIETNAM was TRUNG TRAC who was the only queen regnant . And LY CHIEU HOANG was only Empress regnant of DAI VIET . She was born in September 1218 AD as the second child of Emperor LY HUE TONG and Empress TRAN THI DUNG . Empress TRAN THU DO was the cousin of Empress TRAN THI DUNG . When Emperor LY HUE TONG became mentally ill/sick , he decided to cede the throne of the LY DYNASTY to crown princess LY CHIEU HOANG . Succeeding to the throne of DAI VIET at the age of only six , Empress LY CHIEU HOANG ruled under the regency of Royal Guard TRAN THU DO and other members of the TRAN Clan . Even Empress Regent’s servants were chosen from TRAN families by TRAN THU DO . TRAN THIEM or TRAN THU DOS’S 7 year old nephew , TRAN CANH , was one of them . One day TRAN CANH informed TRAN THU DO that the Empress Regnant seemed to have affection towards him . So , TRAN THU DO immediately decided to use this chance to carry out his plot to overthrow the LY DYNASTY and found the Dynasty of TRAN Clan . So what he did that he first moved the whole TRAN Clan to the royal palace and arranged a secret marriage ceremony between seven years old LY CHIEU HOANG and seven years old TRAN CANH in October/November 1225 AD without the appearance/knowledge of any mandarin or the member of the LY family . It was followed by the announcement of TRAN THU DO in the royal court that Empress LY CHIEU HOANG has ceded the throne in favor of her newly married husband for the reason that she was incapable for the position . Thus , TRAN CANH had been chosen as her successor . Now the 216-year old reign of the LY DYNASTY was ended . And the age of TRAN DYNASTY came into existence on 31st December , 1225 AD .
INHUMAN GRAND CHANCELLOR TRAN THU DO
The role of Grand Chancellor was quite inhuman and opportunistic . Though the father of the new Emperor TRAN CANH or TRAN THAI TONG ( new name ) , TRAN THURA , acted as Regent in the Royal Court , yet the Grand Chancellor TRAN THU DO held absolute power in the royal court and in the matters of civil and military affairs . Despite that TRAN THU DO was afraid of the attempt of the political opponent who might overthrow his newly formed TRAN DYNASTY any moment . So he ordered the last Emperor LY HUE TONG to commit suicide on 8th October 1226 . Empress LY CHIEU HOANG was downgraded to Empress consort CHIEU THANH in January 1226 AD . Even not satisfied with the death of Emperor LY HUE TONG , the Grand Chancellor TRAN THU DO decided to kill all the members of LY Royal family in August 1232 AD . However , authentication of this event has been challenged by a historian like NGO SI LIEN on the basis of the fact that members of the LY Clan were still appointed as the General of DAI VIET by TRAN ANH TONG . According to DAI VIET SU KI TOAN THU ( Royal Chronicles of Dai Viet ) Empress LY CHIEU HOANG was unable to bear a child for the Emperor . So the Grand Chancellor TRAN THU DO exploited the situation by forcing Emperor’s elder brother TRAN LIEU to give up his wife Princess THUAN THIEN , the elder sister of Empress LY CHIEU HOANG , for the Emperor , even though she was pregnant of three months at that time . And after the marriage THUAN THIEN was made the new Empress of the TRAN DYNASTY and LY CHIEU HOANG was downgraded to princess . TRAN LIEU raised a revolt against the royal family in view of loosing his three months pregnant wife . Meanwhile Emperor TRAN THAI TONG finding awkward about the situation decided to become a Monk in YEN TU mountain . The Grand Chancellor TRAN THU DO persuaded Emperor TRAN THAI TONG to return to the throne . And TRAN LIEU surrendered after realizing the gravity of the situation and weakness of his soldiers. TRAN THU DO wanted to behead TRAN LIEU but he was prevented by the Emperor TRAN THAI TONG . This historical decision by TRAN THU DO and Emperor TRAN THAI TONG was severely criticized by the historian like NGO SI LIEN who considered it as the origin of the downfall of the TRAN DYNASTY . On the other hand , Emperor TRAN THAI TONG decided to remarry Princess CHIEU THANH to General LE PHU TRAN in 1258 AD as he had an essential role in the victory of DAI VIET over the first MONGOL invasion . This event was also criticized by the historians as lack of moral code during the early TRAN period . And Princess CHIEU THANH died in CO PHAP at the age of 61 in March 1278 AD . Thus , one can think of the prevalent moral situation regarding marriages so far as during TRAN DYNASTY was concerned . Due to her role in the collapse of LY DYNASTY, LY CHIEU HOANG was not worshiped along with her eight ancestors at the LY BAT DE Temple of DAI VIET .
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TO BE CONTINUED ………………..
MERRY CHRISTMAS !