VIETNAM ( SERIES -35 )
EMPEROR TRAN NGHE TONG OF DAI VIET
TRAN NGHE TONG or TRAN PHU was the eighth Emperor of the TRAN DYNASTY who reigned from 15th November 1370 AD to 9th November 1372 AD . He ruled the country only for two years . It shows how instable then TRAN DYNASTY was . He was born in 1321 AD as TRAN PHU , as the third son of the Emperor TRAN MINH TONG from a concubine LE . LE was the younger sister of Empress HIEN TU . He was the father-in-law of Emperor NHAT LE . Rest of the story we have already studied in our earlier blog . I would not like to repeat all those intrigues and stories about the dethronement of Emperor DOUNG NHAT LE here again . So , let us start with TRAN NGHE TONG , who as an Emperor , was credited with the re-establishment of the TRAN CLAN ruling again in DAI VIET . However , Emperor TRAN NGHE TONG proved to be inefficient and ineffective ruler during his reign . He remained to be a Retired Emperor from 1372 AD to 1394 AD . As a Retired Emperor , he oversaw the ruling of his three consecutive successors . They were as follows : 1. DUE TONG ; 2. PHE DE ; and 3. THUAN TONG . Emperor TRAN NGHE TONG also witnessed many defeats of DAI VIET in the struggle with CHAMPA including that of the battle of DO BAN where Emperor DUE TONG was killed in action . And after the decease of the Retired Emperor TRAN NGHE TONG in 1394 AD , the TRAN DYNASTY fell into the situation of a completely chaos . It survived only for six more years until HO QUY LY took over the throne of DAI VIET in 1400 AD .
EMPEROR TRAN DUE TONG OF DAI VIET
TRAN DUE TONG or TRAN KINH was the nineth Emperor of the TRAN DYNASTY who ruled over DAI VIET from 1373 AD to 1377 AD . He succeeded the throne from his brother Emperor TRAN NGHE TONG . He was born on 13th June 1337 AD as TRAN KINH from his father called Emperor TRAN MINH TONG and Imperial Consort DON TU . He was their eleventh child . He was a staunch BUDDHIST . After the coronation , he changed the era name to LONG KHANH which means a ‘great joy’. According to DAI VIET SU KY TOAN THU ( The royal chronicles of DAI VIET ) , Emperor TRAN DUE TONG was indeed an arrogant and hard-headed ruler. As he always ignored the advice from his mandarins . He began to prepare for a military campaign against King CHE BONG NGA troops of CHAMPA . Emperor TRAN DUE TONG announced officially about his plan in December 1373 AD, while DAI VIET was passing throgh several revolts . To improve the domestic situation , he established the Imperial examination for reorganizing army and administrative system in February 1374 AD . He appointed HO QUY LY for the position of military counsellor and TRAN NGUYEN DAN for the position of controlling the northern border in the royal court . This witnessed rising of HO QUY LY in the Imperial Court . In 1377 AD , Emperor TRAN DUE TONG decided to personally command a major military campaign with 12,000 army of DAI VIET against CHAMPA . Reason of such campaign was CHAMPA’S denial of paying tribute to DAI VIET . In this campaign the TRAN’S troops were decisively defeated in the battle of DO BAN (VIJAYA) where Emperor TRAN DUE TONG was killed while fighting with the troops of CHAMPA . Many high ranking Generals and Mandarins were also killed . On the contrary, HO QUY LY and DO TU BINH survived because both of them ran away from the battle field without rescuing the Emperor TRAN DUE TONG . For that DO TU BINH was only demoted to an ordinary soldier while HO QUY LY was left untouched for the reason better known to Retired Emperor TRAN NGHE TONG . He now passed the throne to TRAN PHE DE .
EMPEROR TRAN PHE DE OF DAI VIET
TRAN PHE DE or TRAN HIEN was the tenth Emperor of the TRAN DYNASTY of DAI VIET . He reigned the country from 1377 AD to 1388 AD . After his father’s death in the battlefield of DO BAN , he was enthroned by the Retired Emperor TRAN NGHE TONG who remained as the Regent during his reign . He was born in 1361 AD . Emperor TRAN DUE TONG was his father and Queen GIA TU ( LADY LE ) was his mother . After being enthroned , he only remained a de jure ruler because the real power was remained with Retired Emperor TRAN NGHE TONG . According to DAI VIET SU KY TOAN THU (Royal Chronicles of Dai Viet) , Emperor TRAN PHE DE was a weak and ignorant character man which benefited HO QUY LY in his gradual control of the royal court of DAI VIET . But after major defeat of the TRAN forces in the battle of DO BAN , the forces of CHAMPA attacked DAI VIET several times . Fearing CHE BONG NGA’S forces of CHAMPA might attack again on the capital THANG LONG , the Rulers of DAI VIET decided to hide royal treasure and worshiping objects on Mount THIENKIEN and the KHALANG caves . Besides that Emperor TRAN PHE DE and Retired Emperor TRAN NGHE TONG also faced many inside revolts due to famine . However, in May 1380 AD , TRAN’S army under the command of HO QUY LY first time defeated the troops of CHAMPA in THANH HOA . It consolidated the position of HO QUY LY in the royal court . General DO TU BINH resigned from the position of highest commander of TRAN army . And thus , Ho QUY LY began to hold all civil and military power in the royal court . In view of unstoppable rise of HO QUY LY in the royal court , Emperor TRAN PHE DE with the help of his minister TRAN NGAC plotted to reduce his power . HO QUY LY , on the other hand , had already started a defamation campaign against the the Emperor which ultimately made Retired Emperor TRAN NGHE TONG to dethrone and downgrade Emperor TRAN PHE DE to Prince LINH DUC in December 1388 AD . It was not so smooth a change as some of the loyal Generals of Emperor TRAN PHE DE tried to enter into the royal palace to overturned this decision . But they were stopped by Emperor TRAN PHE DE . Later he was forced to suicide by the Retired Emperor TRAN NGHE TONG . And now throne passed to Emperor TRAN THUAN TONG .
EMPEROR TRAN THUAN TONG OF DAI VIET
TRAN THUAN TONG or TRAN NGUNG was the eleventh Emperor of the TRAN DYNASTY who reigned DAI VIET from 1388 AD to 1398 AD . He was enthroned by his father Retired Emperor TRAN NGHE TONG . Though he had remained the Emperor of DAI VIET for ten long years , but actual power was held by Retired Emperor TRAN NGHE TONG and HO QUY LY. He was obliged by HO QUY LY to change the capital from THANG LONG to THANH HOA . On 15th March 1398 AD , under the pressure of HO QUY LY , Emperor TRAN THUAN TONG ceded the throne in favor of his three years old son TRAN AN who ruled DAI VIET as Emperor TRAN THIEU DE and he himself became the Retired Emperor at age of 20 only . Finally , HO QUY LY ordered a General to kill Retired Emperor TRAN THUAN TONG in 1399 AD . He was buried in YEN SINH LANG . TRAN KHAT CHAN and TRAN HANG — two powerful figures of the royal court of DAI VIET were also killed . And the TRAN DYNASTY collapsed in 1400 AD when HO QUY LY established his own HO DYNASTY .
NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG ARE TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON THE SUBJECT .
TO BE CONTINUED ………………