Early Lý dynasty

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Not to be confused with Lý Dynasty.
Early Lý Dynasty
Nhà Tiền Lý

Capital Long Biên
Government Monarchy
 -  544–548 Lý Nam Đế (first)
 -  571–602 Hậu Lý Nam Đế (last)
 -  Lý Bí proclaimed himself emperor 544
 -  Surrender of Hậu Lý Nam Đế 602
History of Vietnam Map of Vietnam
2879–0258 Hồng Bàng dynasty
2879–1913 Early Hồng Bàng
1912–1055 Mid-Hồng Bàng
1054–258 Late Hồng Bàng
257–207 Thục dynasty
207–111 Triệu dynasty
11140 1st Chinese domination
40–43 Trưng Sisters
43–544 2nd Chinese domination
544–602 Early Lý dynasty
602–938 3rd Chinese domination
939–967 Ngô dynasty
968–980 Đinh dynasty
980–1009 Early Lê dynasty
1009–1225 Later Lý dynasty
1225–1400 Trần dynasty
1400–1407 Hồ dynasty
1407–1427 4th Chinese domination
1428–1788 Later Lê dynasty
1527–1592 Mạc dynasty
1545–1787 Trịnh lords
1558–1777 Nguyễn lords
1778–1802 Tây Sơn dynasty
1802–1945 Nguyễn dynasty
1858–1945 French imperialism
from 1945 Republic
Further subjects
Champa dynasties 192–1832
Historical capitals
Prehistoric and ancient cultures
List of monarchs
Country's names
Economic history
Military history

The Early Lý Dynasty (Vietnamese: nhà Tiền Lý) was a dynasty of Vietnam dating from 544 to 602. Its founder, Lý Nam Đế (Lý Bí) (r. 544–548) is traditionally counted the first emperor of Vietnam, as signified by the throne name ending with "Đế," (literally "Lý South Emperor"). The capital at that time was Long Biên and the country was known as Vạn Xuân.

This dynasty is to be distinguished from the main Lý Dynasty, or Later Lý Dynasty, (nhà Hậu Lý) 1009–1225 founded by Lý Thái Tổ.

Political resistance[edit]

The sixth century was an important stage in the Vietnamese political evolution toward independence. During this period, the Vietnamese aristocracy became increasingly independent of Chinese authority, while retaining Chinese political and cultural forms. At the same time, indigenous leaders arose who claimed power based on Vietnamese traditions of kingship. A series of failed revolts in the late sixth and early seventh centuries increased the Vietnamese national consciousness. Lý Bí (Lý Nam Đế), the leader of a successful revolt in 543 against the Liang dynasty, was himself descended from a Chinese family that had fled to the Red River Delta during a period of dynastic turbulence in the first century A.D.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Lý Bí declared himself emperor of Nam Việt in the tradition of Triệu Đà and organized an imperial court at Long Biên.[11] Lý Bí was killed in 547, but his followers kept the revolt alive for another fifty years, establishing what is sometimes referred to in Vietnamese history as the Earlier Lý Dynasty.

While the Lý family retreated to the mountains and attempted to rule in the style of their Chinese overlords, a rebel leader who based his rule on an indigenous form of kingship arose in the Red River Delta. Triệu Quang Phục made his headquarters on an island in a vast swamp.[12] From this refuge, he could strike without warning, seizing supplies from the Liang army and then slipping back into the labyrinthine channels of the swamp. Despite the initial success of such guerrilla tactics, by which he gained control over the Red River Delta, Triệu Quang Phục was defeated by 570. According to a much later Vietnamese revolutionary, General Võ Nguyên Giáp, Vietnamese concepts of protracted warfare were born in the surprise offensives, night attacks, and hit-and-run tactics employed by Triệu Quang Phục.

Anterior Lý Dynasty[edit]

Regal Titles[edit]


  1. ^ Taylor (1983), p. 135
  2. ^ Walker (2012), p. 134 East Asia: A New History, p. 134, at Google Books
  3. ^ Catino (2010), p. 142 The Aggressors: Ho Chi Minh, North Vietnam, and the Communist Bloc, p. 142, at Google Books
  4. ^ Kohn (2006), p. 308 Dictionary of Wars, p. 320, at Google Books
  5. ^ Coedès (1966), p. 45 The Making of South East Asia, p. 45, at Google Books
  6. ^ Coedès (1966), p. 46 The Making of South East Asia, p. 46, at Google Books
  7. ^ Lockhart (2010), p. 221 The A to Z of Vietnam, p. 221, at Google Books
  8. ^ Lockhart (2010), p. 221 The A to Z of Vietnam, p. 221, at Google Books
  9. ^ West (2009), p. 870 Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania, p. 870, at Google Books
  10. ^ Taylor (1991), p. 155 The Birth of Vietnam, p. 155, at Google Books
  11. ^ Tucker, p. 8
  12. ^ Tucker, p. 9
  13. ^ Spencer Tucker Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: a political, social, and military History Volume 1 Oxford University Press. Page 393 - 1998 " Founder of the early Lý dynasty, Ly Bôn was born into a wealthy family in Long Hưng District, Thái Bình Province. Bon was an official for the Chinese colonial administration ruling Vietnam. A talented individual, he left government service to prepare for an uprising that forced the Chinese governor out of Vietnam. Bon took Thăng Long (Hà Nội) and built a new independent state named Vạn Xuân (Ten Thousand Years of Spring)."


  • Taylor, Keith Weller. (1983). The Birth of Vietnam (illustrated, reprint ed.). University of California Press. ISBN 0520074173. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  • Tucker, Spencer C. Vietnam. University Press of Kentucky, Feb 25, 1999 - 256 pages

Preceded by
Second Chinese domination
Dynasty of Vietnam
Succeeded by
Third Chinese domination