So Van Cuoi Vo

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Vietnamese History: Traditional Vietnamese account

The third book of Đại Việt Sử ký toàn thư (大越史記全書 Complete Annals of Great Viet)[1], published in editions between 1272 and 1697, has the following to say about the Trưng Sisters:

Queen Trưng [徵, Zheng] reigned for three years.

The queen was strong and brave. She expelled Tô Định [蘇定, Sū Dìng] and established a kingdom as the queen, but as a female ruler could not accomplish the rebuilding of the state.

Her taboo name was Trắc [側, Cè], and her family name was Trưng.

Her family name was originally Lạc. She was the daughter of General Lạc from Mê Linh from Phong Châu, and she was the wife of Thi Sách [詩索, Shī Suǒ] from Chu Diên County. Thi Sách was the son of General Lạc’s doctor, and they arranged the marriage. (The work Cương mục tập lãm [Gangmu Jilan] erroneously indicated that his family name was Lạc.) Her capital was Mê Linh.[...]

Her first year was Canh Tí [40 AD, Gengzi]. (It was the 16th year of Han Dynasty’s Jianwu era). In the spring, the second month, the governor of Wangku Commandery, Tô Định, punished her under the law, and she also hated Định for having killed her husband. She therefore, along with her sister Nhị, rose and captured the commandery capital. Định was forced to flee. Nam Hải, Cửu Chân, Nhật Nam, and Hợp Phố all rose in response to her. She was able to take over 65 cities and declare herself queen. Thereafter, she began to use the family name of Trưng.

Her second year was Tân Sửu [41 AD, Xinchou]. (It was the 17th year of Han Dynasty’s Jianwu era). In the spring, the second month, there was a solar eclipse, and the moon was dark. The Han saw that as Lady Trưng had declared herself queen and captured cities, causing much distress in the border commanderies. It thus ordered Trường Sa, Hợp Phố, and our Giao Châu to prepare wagons and boats, repair the bridges and the roads, dredge the rivers, and store food supplies. It commissioned Mã Viện (Ma Yuan) as the General Fupo and Liu Long the Marquess of Fule as his assistant in order to invade.

Her third year was Nhâm Dần [42 AD, Renyin]. (It was the 18th year of Han Dynasty’s Jianwu era). In the spring, the first month, Mã followed the coastline and entered Sui Mountain. He went for over a thousand li and reached Lãng Bạc (west of Tây Nhai in La Thành was named Lãng Bạc) He battled with the queen, who saw that the enemy’s army was large. She considered her own army to be ill-trained, and feared that it could not stand. Therefore, she withdrew to Jin (禁) River. (Jin River was referred to in history as Jin (金) River.) Her followers also thought that the queen was a woman and could not be victorious, and therefore scattered. Her kingdom therefore ended.

Lê Văn Hưu (one of the historians editing the annals) wrote: Trưng Trắc, Trưng Nhị are women, with a single cry lead the prefectures of Cửu Chân, Nhật Nam, Hợp Phố, and 65 strongholds heed their call. They established a nation and proclaimed their rule as easily as their turning over their hands. It awakened all of us that we can be independent. Unfortunately, between the fall of the Triệu Dynasty and the rise of the Ngô Dynasty, in the span of more than one thousand years, men of this land only bowed their heads and accepted the fate of servitude to the people from the North (Chinese).
The reign of Trưng Nữ Vương [Trưng Queens], started in the year of Canh Tý and ended in Nhâm Dần, for a total of 3 years (40-42).

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