VIETNAM ( SERIES -31 )
EMPEROR TRAN NHAN TONG OF DAI VIET
TRAN NHAN TONG or TRAN KHAM was the third Emperor of the TRAN DYNASTY . He ruled DAI VIET from 1278 AD to 1293 AD . He was born on 11th November 1258 AD as TRAN KHAM , the first son of Emperor TRAN THANH TONG and Empress THIEN CAM TRAN THI THIEU . New baby TRAN KHAM resembled to Pupil of Heavenly Kim Tien that’s why he was named in his childhood as KIM TIEN DONG TU . In December 1274 AD , he was entitled as the crown prince of DAI VIET . In the same year , Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG married Princess KHAM TU , the eldest daughter of Grand Prince HUNG DAO TRAN QUOC TUAN . His father Emperor TRAN THANH TONG was always concerned about the education of his son . So , he appointed the prominent mandarin of the royal court , LE PHU TRAN , as the crown prince’s professor with two famous scholars NGUYEN SI CO and NGUYEN THANH HUAN as his assistants in 1274 AD . The Emperor himself composed a book of poetry like DI HAU LUC to educate Prince TRAN KHAM . On 8th November , 1278 AD , Emperor TRAN THANH TONG decided to cede the throne for Prince TRAN KHAM and he himself held a title of a Retired Emperor . Now Prince TRAN KHAM was named as Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG . After the coronation , Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG changed the era name as THIEU BAO ( 1278 AD to 1285 AD ) . He also second time changed the era name as TRUNG HUNG ( 1285 AD to 1293 AD ) . Despite ceding his throne in favor of his son , the Retired Emperor TRAN THANH TONG continued to co-rule the country with Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG from 1279 AD to 1290 AD ( till his death ) .
ATTACK OF YUAN DYNASTY OVER DAI VIET
YUAN DYNASTY of CHINA consolidated its position in 1279 AD by way winning a decisive victory over the SONG DYNASTY in the Battle of YAMEN . This marked the end of the SONG DYNASTY and the total control of KUBLAI KHAN over CHINA . Now he marched toward the southern region like DAI VIET and CHAMPA . In view of this situation at its northern border , Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG and his father Retired Emperor TRAN THANH TONG , on the one hand adopted a flexible policy with the YUAN DYNASTY and , on the other hand , began to secretly prepare the country for war . So , for keeping the country stable before the war , Prince CHIEU VAN was appointed to quell the revolt led by TRINH GIAC MAT in DA GIANG . In 1278 AD , Prince CHIEU VAN , with the sound knowledge of a minority People’s language and culture , successfully accomplished the task . And in this way , DAI VIET was free to deal with the threat from the North . In October 1282 AD , all the members of the royal family , officials of the royal court and all the Generals ( Retired and present ) were called by the Retired Emperor TRAN THANH TONG and Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG to discuss about the unavoidable war with the YUAN DYNASTY in the north . In 1283 AD , QUOC TOAN was appointed as the Commander-in-chief of the army . The Retired Emperor and the Emperor began exercises with their Generals and troops . Under the command of KUBLAI KHAN’S Prince TOGHAN , in December 1234 AD , the second YUAN invasion over DAI VIET commenced . DAI VIET was attacked from two directions . TOGHAN attacked from the North with infantry , while General SOGETU advanced from the southern border through CHAMPA’S territory . In the beginning of the war when Prince CHIEU MINH was trying to stop SOGETU’S fleet in NGHE AN Province , Retired Emperor TRAN THANH TONG and Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG had to retreat as several high-ranking officials and members of TRAN DYNASTY including THANH TONG’S own brother , Prince CHIEU QUOC and TRAN KIEN ( the son of Prince TINH QUOC ) defected to YUAN . So , for the safety of DAI VIET and retreating Retired Emperor TRAN THANH TONG and Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG , Princess AN TU was offered to Prince TOGHAN , while MARQUIS BAO NGHIA was captured and later killed in the battlefield of DA MAC defending the two Emperors . Due to the defection of the southern governor NGHE AN and under pressure from SOGETU’S navy , QUANG KHAI had to retreat . But this critical situation shortly changed when in April 1285 AD , the DAI VIET’S troop under the command of Prince CHIEU THANH and others defeated SOGETU’S fleet . On 10th May 1285 AD , in the decisive battle of CHUONG DOUNG , SOGETU’S navy was completely destroyed by QUANG KHAI and the war turned in favor of the TRAN DYNASTY . On 6th June 1285 AD , both — Retired Emperor TRAN THANH TONG and Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG returned to the capital THANG LONG , after ten days of the death of YUAN’S General SOGETU . The YUAN DYNASTY , however , launched its third invasion over DAI VIET in March 1287 AD . Despite invasion continued for a year or so , DAI VIET army defeated YUAN decisively on the 8th March , 1288 AD in the Battle of BACH DANG . General QUOC TUAN with the help of other Generals completely destroyed the logistics convoy of the YUAN navy . On the other hand , General PHAM NGU LAO took charges of ambushing Prince TOGHAN’S retreating army .
PEACE RETURNED TO DAI VIET
The Retired Emperor TRAN THANH TONG died on 25th May 1290 AD at the age of 50 . As the sole ruler of DAI VIET , Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG ordered to relax the taxing policy , relieving the poor and postponing the military campaign against AI LAO ; so that the country could recover from two consequent wars , several famines and natural calamities . On 3rd February 1292 AD , Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG entitled his first son TRAN THUYEN as Crown Prince of the TRAN DYNASTY and later passed the throne to him on 3rd March 1293 AD . The Retired Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG was ordained as a BUDDHIST MONK in 1295 AD . Now he spent more times in spiritual awakening . In 1299 AD , he came to the mountain of YEN TU where he vowed to follow the ten ascetic practices as a BUDDHA’S student . He also established a BUDDHIST MONASTERY for teaching about BUDDHIST principles . He was said to have founded TRUC LAM , the only indigenous ZEN BUDDHIST sect in DAI VIET . He propagated the ZEN Practices called DASAKUSALAKARMANI ( The Good Acts Theory ) among Monks and people . In 1301 AD , he reached CHAMPA and remained there for nine months at King JAYA SIMHAVARMAN-II’S court . He also married his daughter Princess HUYEN TRAN with King JAYA SIMHAVARMAN-III in return for two CHAM Provinces . And he died in 1290 AD .
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