Trần Thánh Tông

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Trần Thánh Tông
陳聖d宗
Emperor of Đại Việt
Tran Thanh Tong.jpg
Emperor of the Trần dynasty
ReignMarch 30, 1258 – November 8, 1278
Predecessor Trần Thái Tông
Successor Trần Nhân Tông
Retired Emperor of the Trần dynasty
ReignNovember 8, 1279 – October 12, 1290
Predecessor Trần Thái Tông
Successor Trần Nhân Tông
Born(1240-10-12)October 12, 1240
Thăng Long, Đại Việt
Died3 July 1290(1290-07-03) (aged 49)
Thăng Long, Đại Việt
Burial
Dụ Lăng
SpouseEmpress Thiên Cảm Trần Thị Thiều
IssueCrown Prince Trần Khâm
Prince Tá Thiên Trần Đức Việp
Princess Thiên Thụy
Full name
Trần Hoảng (陳晃)
Era dates
Thiệu Long (紹隆, 1258–1272)
Bảo Phù (寶符, 1273–1278)
Posthumous name
Huyền công thịnh đức nhân minh văn vũ tuyên hiếu hoàng đế
(玄功盛德仁明文武宣孝皇帝)
Temple name
Thánh Tông (聖宗)
House Trần dynasty
Father Trần Thái Tông
MotherEmpress Thuận Thiên

Trần Thánh Tông (October 12, 1240 – July 3, 1290), personal name Trần Hoảng (陳晃), was the second emperor of the Trần dynasty, reigning over Đại Việt from 1258 to 1278. After ceding the throne to his son Trần Nhân Tông, Thánh Tông held the title of retired emperor (Thái thượng hoàng) from 1279 to his death in 1290. During the second and the third Mongol invasions of Đại Việt, Retired Emperor Thánh Tông and Emperor Nhân Tông were credited as the supreme commanders who led the nation to the final victories and, as a result, established a long period of peace and prosperity over the country. With his successful rulings in both military and civil matters, Trần Thánh Tông was considered as one of the greatest emperors of not only the Trần dynasty but also the whole dynastic era in the history of Vietnam.

Contents

Background and during Thái Tông's reign

Trần Hoảng was born on September 25, 1240 (in the lunar calendar), [1] as the second prince but the first natural son of King Trần Thái Tông and Empress Consort Thuận Thiên. He had a half-brother on the mother's side, Prince Tĩnh Quốc (Tĩnh Quốc đại vương) Trần Quốc Khang, who was born after the forced marriage by Trần Thủ Độ between Emperor Nhân Tông and Princess Thuận Thiên. In fact, although being Thái Tông's first prince, Trần Quốc Khang was the son of his elder brother Prince Hoài Trần Liễu, therefore officially he was not chosen by Thái Tông as the heir, a position which ultimately belonged to Prince Trần Hoảng. [2] Besides Prince Tĩnh Quốc, Trần Hoảng had other younger brothers, including Prince Chiêu Minh Trần Quang Khải (who was also born to Empress Thuận Thiên), Prince Chiêu Quốc Trần Ích Tắc, and Prince Chiêu Văn Trần Nhật Duật. [3]

In 1257, Crown Prince Trần Hoảng witnessed the first Mongol invasion in Vietnam. [4] In the beginning, Đại Việt's army suffered several defeats by the Mongols, who had already conquered a vast area in Asia. Several high-ranking officials of the Trần dynasty were so frightened that Prince Khâm Thiên Trần Nhật Hiệu, younger brother of Thái Tông, even suggested to the Emperor that they might escape from Đại Việt to Song China. [5] But because of the firm faith of Emperor Thái Tông, Grand Chancellor Trần Thủ Độ, and the talents of generals such as Prince Hưng Đạo Trần Quốc Tuấn and Lê Phụ Trần, the Trần dynasty was able to repulse the invasion and ultimately re-establish peace in Đại Việt in December 1257. [6] [7]

Returning to the capital Thăng Long, Trần Thái Tông decided to cede the throne to Crown Prince Trần Hoảng, now Trần Thánh Tông, on the 24th day of the second lunar month (March 30), 1258. After the coronation, Thánh Tông changed the era name to Thiệu Long (紹隆; 1258–1272). During his reign, the Emperor had one more era name, Bảo Phù (寶符; 1273–1278). [8] Although passing the throne to his son, Thái Tông continued to rule the country with Thánh Tông in the position of retired emperor from 1259 to his death in 1277. [1]

As emperor

After his enthronement, Thánh Tông and his father began to rehabilitate both the country's economy and administrative system, which had been heavily damaged by the Mongol invasion and the troubled time at the end of the Lý dynasty. In June 1261, the king opened an examination for scholars who wanted to be appointed as mandarins of the administrative system. The examination comprised two abilities of writing and calculating. [9] In the royal court, Thánh Tông proved to be a skilled ruler with his often right appointment of officials, such as his brother Prince Chiêu Minh Trần Quang Khải for the position of grand chancellor, [10] or Lê Phụ Trần and Prince Hưng Đạo Trần Quốc Tuấn for the position of military commander. [9] [11] For members of the royal family, Thánh Tông had them hire the poor to cultivate their land, thus creating social reform. [6] [12]

In March 1266, Trần Thánh Tông ordered his first imperial examination to be carried out, in which more than 50 scholars were chosen for high-ranking positions in the royal court and administrative system of Đại Việt. [12] For the purpose of educating more scholars for the royal court, Thánh Tông permitted his brother Trần Ích Tắc to open a private school at the latter's palace due to his intellectual ability. [6] Several prominent future mandarins of the royal court, including Mạc Đĩnh Chi or Bùi Phóng, were trained in this school. [13] At the same time, the Emperor also reinforced Đại Việt's army by several recruitments, and by reorganizing the military to improve its efficiency. [6] [13] In addition, Trần Thánh Tông always kept a vigilant eye on the northern border by sending several scout units to learn about military actions of the Yuan dynasty, the potential threat against Đại Việt. [12] [14]

After the death of Retired Emperor Trần Thái Tông on April 1, 1277 (in the lunar calendar), Trần Thánh Tông officially began his reign as the sole ruler of Đại Việt, [15] but he decided to pass the throne to Crown Prince Trần Khâm, now Trần Nhân Tông, only one year later. He took up the post of retired emperor on the 22nd day of the tenth lunar month (November 8), 1278. [16]

As retired emperor

Second Mongol invasion

In 1279, the Yuan dynasty decisively defeated the Song dynasty in the Battle of Yamen, which marked the end of the Song dynasty and began the total control of Kublai Khan over China. [17] As a result, Kublai Khan began to expose his attempt to take over the southern countries like Đại Việt or Champa. Aware of the situation, Thánh Tông and Nhân Tông began to prepare the military for the obvious and inevitable war while trying to maintain a flexible policy towards the Yuan dynasty. [18] Prince Chiêu Văn Trần Nhật Duật was appointed with the task of pacifying the revolt led by Trịnh Giác Mật in Đà Giang by diplomatic means to keep the country stable before the war. With his knowledge of the minority people's language and culture, Trần Nhật Duật successfully accomplished his task in 1278; the Trần dynasty was hence free to deal with the threat from the north. [19] In October 1282, Retired Emperor Trần Thánh Tông and Emperor Trần Nhân Tông gathered all members of the royal family, the Trần clan, and officials at the royal court in Bình Than to discuss the unavoidable war. [20] Two prominent generals of the Đại Việt army who were noticed on this occasion were Trần Khánh Dư, the former commander of the army but who was deprived of all titles after his guilt, and Trần Quốc Toản, a marquis who was only sixteen years old. [20] In 1283, Prince Hưng Đạo Trần Quốc Tuấn was appointed the commander-in-chief (Quốc công tiết chế) of the Đại Việt army, and the Retired Emperor and the Emperor began to hold military exercises with their generals and troops. [20]

In December 1284, the second Yuan invasion of Đại Việt began under the command of Kublai Khan's son Toghan. [21] Đại Việt was attacked from two directions, with Toghan himself commanding the infantry's invasion from the northern border while the Yuan navy under General Sogetu advanced from the southern border through Champan territory. [22] At the beginning of the war, Thánh Tông and Nhân Tông ordered the army to retreat to avoid pressure from the Yuan force when Prince Chiêu Minh Trần Quang Khải commanded troops try to stop Sogetu's fleet in the Nghệ An Province. During this time, several high-ranking officials and members of the Trần royal family defected to Yuan forces, including Thánh Tông's own brother Prince Chiêu Quốc Trần Ích Tắc, and Trần Kiện, who was the son of Prince Tĩnh Quốc Trần Quốc Khang. For the safety of Thánh Tông and Nhân Tông's retreat, Princess An Tư was offered as a gift and a diversion for Toghan, while Marquis Bảo Nghĩa Trần Bình Trọng was captured and later killed in the Battle of Đà Mạc while defending the two emperors. [23] At the southern border, Trần Quang Khải was also forced to retreat under the pressure of Sogetu's navy and the defection of the governor of Nghe An. [24] Despite the repeated problems, the royal family and royal court of the Trần dynasty maintained their harmony and determination owing to favourable decisions and actions from Thánh Tông, Nhân Tông, [25] Trần Quốc Tuấn and Trần Quang Khải. [26]

The critical situation of the Trần dynasty began to change after their victory at the Battle of Hàm Tử in April 1285, where troops commanded by Trần Nhật Duật, Prince Chiêu Thành, Trần Quốc Toản, and Nguyễn Khoái were finally able to defeat Sogetu's fleet. On May 10, 1285 (in the lunar calendar), Trần Quang Khải fought a decisive battle at Chương Dương where Yuan's navy was almost destroyed; the balance on the battlefield tilted definitively in favour of the Trần dynasty. [24] [27] Ten days after Sogetu was killed, Emperor Nhân Tông and Retired Emperor Thánh Tông returned to the capital, Thăng Long, on June 6, 1285 (in the lunar calendar). [28]

Third Mongol invasion

In March 1287, the Yuan dynasty launched their third invasion of Đại Việt. [29] Unlike in the second attack, Prince Hưng Đạo Trần Quốc Tuấn, the commander-in-chief, affirmed that Đại Việt's army could easily break the Yuan military campaign. Indeed, this invasion ended one year later with a disastrous defeat of the Yuan navy at the Battle of Bạch Đằng on March 8, 1288 (in the lunar calendar). [30] Besides Trần Quốc Tuấn, other notable generals of the Trần dynasty during this time included Prince Nhân Huệ Trần Khánh Dư, who destroyed the Yuan navy's logistics convoy [31] [32] [33] [34] at the Battle of Vân Đồn, and General Phạm Ngũ Lão, who was responsible for ambushing Toghan's retreating troops. [35]

In rewarding generals and mandarins Trần dynasty after the victory, Thánh Tông and Nhân Tông also reminded them to be cautious of the northern border. [36] The Emperor also issued an order in which the family name of every defector from the Trần clan was changed to Mai – Trần Kiện, for instance, was renamed Mai Kiện. As the only prince from the Trần clan who defected, Trần Ích Tắc was exempt from this requirement, but was referred to in historical accounts of the Trần dynasty by the name "Ả Trần" ('the woman named Trần'), implying that Trần Ích Tắc was as cowardly as a woman. [33] [36] [37]

Retired Emperor Trần Thánh Tông died on May 25, 1290 (in the lunar calendar), at the age of 50. [38] He was buried in Dụ Lăng with the posthumous name Huyền công thịnh đức nhân minh văn vũ tuyên hiếu hoàng đế (玄功盛德仁明文武宣孝皇帝). [39]

Family

Trần Thánh Tông had one consort, Empress Thiên Cảm Trần Thiều, the fifth daughter of his uncle Trần Liễu. [1] Thánh Tông's first son, Trần Khâm, was born on November 11, 1258 (in the lunar calendar), only eight months after the Emperor's enthronement; [1] he was entitled as Crown Prince in December 1274. [14] His second son, Prince Tá Thiên Trần Đức Việp, was born in 1265. [12] Trần Thánh Tông's only daughter was Princess Thiên Thụy, [40] who married to Prince Hưng Vũ Trần Quốc Nghiễn, son of Trần Quốc Tuấn. She had an adulterous affair with General Trần Khánh Dư, which almost led to the latter's death by order of the Emperor. [20] Princess Thiên Thụy and her younger brother Trần Nhân Tông died on the same day, November 3, 1308 (in the lunar calendar). [40]

Legacy

The Lê dynasty historian Ngô Sĩ Liên praised Trần Thánh Tông as one of the finest monarchs of the Trần dynasty, as not only a righteous ruler, but also a dutiful son, kind-hearted brother and father with sense of responsibility who was credited for the stability of both the royal family and the whole country. Thánh Tông's successful reign was the foundation for the subsequent long period of prosperity and peace in Đại Việt. [1] [18] [39] Moreover, like his brother Trần Quang Khải, Trần Ích Tắc and Trần Nhật Duật, Trần Thánh Tông was a renowned scholar. Thánh Tông taught his princes with his own poems, and he also had a literary work named Di hậu lục. [14] As a Confucian historian, Ngô Sĩ Liên did, however, sometimes criticize the Emperor for his devotion for Buddhism, which was seen as not being suitable for a person in a high position like him. [1]

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Prince Chiêu Văn Trần Nhật Duật (1255–1330) was the sixth prince of Trần Thái Tông, first emperor of Trần Dynasty. Being younger brother of the Emperor Trần Thánh Tông, Trần Nhật Duật was one of the most important figures of Trần family and royal court during the reigns of four successive emperors Thánh Tông, Nhân Tông, Anh Tông and Minh Tông. In the second war of resistance against Mongol invasion, Trần Nhật Duật was the general who commanded Đại Việt army to defeat the navy of Mongol general Sogetu in Battle of Hàm Tử, one of the biggest victories of Trần Dynasty. With his knowledge of numerous foreign languages and cultures, Prince Chiêu Văn was also a prominent diplomat of Trần Dynasty who helped the Emperor to maintain good relations with several ethnic groups in the northwestern region of Đại Việt.

Prince Chiêu Minh Trần Quang Khải (1241–1294) was the third son of Trần Thái Tông, first emperor of the Trần Dynasty of Vietnam. Being the younger brother of the Emperor Trần Thánh Tông and holding the position of grand chancellor of the Trần Dynasty for many years, Trần Quang Khải was one of the most important figures of the Trần family and the royal court during the reigns of emperors Thánh Tông and Nhân Tông. In the second war of resistance against the Mongol invasion, Trần Quang Khải and Trần Hưng Đạo were two key commanders of the Đại Việt army who helped the Emperor defeat the troops of Kublai Khan's son prince Toghan. Besides his military and administrative activities, Prince Chiêu Minh was also a famous poet and was credited as the creator of the dance of flowers. Today, Trần Quang Khải is still considered as one of the most famous historical figures of the Trần Dynasty and is worshiped in several temples in Vietnam.

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Prince Tĩnh Quốc Trần Quốc Khang (1237–1300) was the first prince of the Emperor Trần Thái Tông, the eldest brother of Trần Thánh Tông and princes Trần Quang Khải, Trần Ích Tắc and Trần Nhật Duật. Although a son of Thái Tông in name, Trần Quốc Khang's father was actually Prince Hoài Trần Liễu, who was forced by grand chancellor Trần Thủ Độ to give up his wife, Princess Thuận Thiên, to his younger brother Thái Tông when she was already pregnant with Trần Quốc Khang. For this reason, Trần Quốc Khang was not chosen as successor of Thái Tông for the throne and he did not have a significant role in royal court either, as his younger brothers did. Afterwards he was appointed as governor of Nghệ An, a position that his descendants inherited. Since Trần Quốc Khang was in fact a son of Trần Liễu, he was also a natural brother of general Trần Hưng Đạo, commander-in-chief of Đại Việt army.

Prince Yên Sinh Trần Liễu (1211–1251) was the elder brother of the Trần Thái Tông, the first emperor of Trần Dynasty. Initially, Trần Liễu was honoured by his younger brother with the title King Hiển but he was downgraded to Prince Yên Sinh after the short-lived revolt in fury of losing his pregnant wife, Princess Thuận Thiên, to the Emperor under the pressure of Imperial Regent Trần Thủ Độ. Besides this event, Trần Liễu was well known in the history of Vietnam for being father of Trần Hưng Đạo, commander-in-chief of the Đại Việt army during the second and third war of resistance against the Mongol invasion.

Mother of the Nation Lady Linh Từ Trần Thị Dung (?–1259) was the last empress and the last empress mother of the Lý Dynasty. She was entitled by the Emperor Lý Huệ Tông as Empress Consort of the Lý Dynasty from 1216 to 1225 before becoming Empress Mother of the Lý Dynasty when her daughter Lý Phật Kim was enthroned as Lý Chiêu Hoàng in 1225. After Trần Thủ Độ, Trần Thị Dung's cousin, successfully overthrew the Lý Dynasty and founded the Trần Dynasty, Trần Thị Dung was downgraded to Princess Thiên Cực while her brother Trần Thừa's son became Trần Thái Tông, first emperor of the Trần Dynasty. Besides Lý Chiêu Hoàng, Trần Thị Dung had another daughter who eventually also became Empress of the Trần Dynasty, the Empress Thuận Thiên.

Empress Thuận Thiên (1216–1248) was the second empress of Trần dynasty, she succeeded her younger sister Empress Chiêu Thánh in 1237 by an arrangement of Trần Thủ Độ in which Prince Hoài Trần Liễu was forced to give up his 3-month pregnant wife Princess Thuận Thiên to the Emperor Trần Thái Tông. Thuận Thiên was born in the royal family of the Lý dynasty as the first child of the Emperor Lý Huệ Tông and Lady Thuận Trinh Trần Thị Dung with whom she witnessed the turbulent time of the Late Lý and Early Trần Dynasty. She was mother of four princes including the second emperor of the Trần Dynasty Trần Thánh Tông and grand chancellor Prince Chiêu Minh Trần Quang Khải.

Phạm Ngũ Lão (1255–1320) was a general of the Trần Dynasty during the reigns of three successive emperors Nhân Tông, Anh Tông and Minh Tông. His talent was noticed by Prince Hưng Đạo Trần Quốc Tuấn who married his adopted daughter to Phạm Ngũ Lão and recommended him for the royal court. Renowned as a prominent general in battlefield, Phạm Ngũ Lão was one of the few commanders of the Vietnamese army during the second and third Mongol invasion who did not come from the Trần clan. After the war of resistance against the Yuan dynasty, Phạm Ngũ Lão continued to participate in numerous military campaigns of the Trần Dynasty in which he often succeeded. Today, Phạm Ngũ Lão is still considered one of the most capable military commanders of both the Trần Dynasty and history of Vietnam.

Trần Quốc Tảng was the third son of Trần Hưng Đạo. He was a general of the Trần Dynasty during the reign of emperors Trần Nhân Tông and Trần Anh Tông who was also his son-in-law. As a member of Yên Sinh's line in Trần clan, Trần Quốc Tảng supported the plot of taking over the throne from Trần Cảnh's line which was opposed by his father Trần Quốc Tuấn and his elder brother Trần Quốc Nghiễn, this difference made Hưng Đạo break off the paternal relation with Trần Quốc Tảng until his death in 1300.

Lê Phụ Trần (?–?) was a general of the Trần Dynasty during the reigns of three successive emperors: Thái Tông, Thánh Tông, and Nhân Tông.

Lý Thần Tông (1116–1138), personal name Lý Dương Hoán, was the fifth monarch of the Lý Dynasty, reigning over Đại Việt from 1127 to his death in 1138. Becoming the ruler of Đại Việt at the age of twelve, Lý Thần Tông successfully maintained the order of the royal court and strengthened the stability of the country with the assistance of capable officials. For that reason, Đại Việt under Lý Thần Tông was able to witness a peaceful period like during the reign of his predecessors. However, Lý Thần Tông died at age 23 before passing the throne to his crown prince Lý Thiên Tộ.

References

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 175
  2. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 165
  3. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 166
  4. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 173
  5. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , pp. 172–173
  6. 1 2 3 4 Chapuis 1995 , p. 81
  7. Trần Trọng Kim 1971 , p. 51
  8. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 174
  9. 1 2 Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 176
  10. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 181
  11. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 189
  12. 1 2 3 4 Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 179
  13. 1 2 Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 180
  14. 1 2 3 Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 182
  15. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 183
  16. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 185
  17. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 186
  18. 1 2 Trần Trọng Kim 1971 , p. 52
  19. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , pp. 186–187
  20. 1 2 3 4 Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 188
  21. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , pp. 189–190
  22. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 193
  23. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 192
  24. 1 2 Chapuis 1995 , p. 83
  25. Chapuis 1995 , pp. 84–85
  26. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , pp. 192–193
  27. Trần Trọng Kim 1971 , p. 58
  28. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , pp. 192–195
  29. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 195
  30. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , pp. 196–198
  31. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 197
  32. Trần Trọng Kim 1971 , p. 61
  33. 1 2 Chapuis 1995 , p. 84
  34. Delgado, James P. (2009). Khubilai Khan's Lost Fleet: In Search of a Legendary Armada. University of California Press. pp. 161–162. ISBN   0-520-25976-9.
  35. Trần Trọng Kim 1971 , p. 62
  36. 1 2 Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 200
  37. Trần Trọng Kim 1971 , p. 63
  38. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 201
  39. 1 2 Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 202
  40. 1 2 Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 220

Bibliography

Trần Thánh Tông
Born: 1240 Died: 1290
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Trần Thái Tông
Emperor of Trần dynasty
1258–1278
Succeeded by
Trần Nhân Tông
Preceded by
Trần Thái Tông
Retired Emperor of Trần dynasty
1279–1290
Succeeded by
Trần Nhân Tông