Khúc Hạo

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Khúc Hạo
Jiedushi of Tĩnh Hải quân
Reign 907–917
Predecessor Khúc Thừa Dụ
Successor Khúc Thừa Mỹ
Ruler of autonomous Vietnam
Reign 907–917
Predecessor Khúc Thừa Dụ
Successor Khúc Thừa Mỹ
Issue Khúc Thừa Mỹ
House Khúc family
Father Khúc Thừa Dụ
Born  ?
Ninh Giang, Hải Dương, Tĩnh Hải quân
Died 917
Đại La, Tĩnh Hải quân
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Khúc Hạo (died 917) (Chinese: 曲顥; pinyin: Qū Hào) was the Vietnamese self-declared jiedushi of northern Vietnam (Tĩnh Hải quân) from 907 to 917 succeeding his father Khúc Thừa Dụ.[1]

During his reign, Khúc Hạo made several important social and administrative reforms including a new system of administrative division, the levelling of cultivated land tax and the abolishment of corvée. Besides, Khúc Hạo maintained a discreet policy towards Chinese authorities and thus brought a period of stability and prosperity to his country. Khúc Hạo deceased in 917 and was succeeded by his son Khúc Thừa Mỹ who failed to keep the autonomy of Tĩnh Hải quân when he was defeated by the army of the kingdom of Southern Han in 923. However, Khúc Hạo's ruling is still considered a foundation for the administration of Vietnam in the early independent time afterwards.

Background[edit]

The date of birth of Khúc Hạo was unknown but he came from the Khúc family which was a powerful clan with long history and tradition in Hồng Châu, Cúc Bồ (now Ninh Giang, Hải Dương, Vietnam).[2] In early 10th century, the head of Khúc family Khúc Thừa Dụ succeeded in taking over the control of Tĩnh Hải quân (now the northern part of Vietnam) and became the first Jiedushi of native origin that marked the beginning of the independence of Vietnam,[3][4] because while the country still nominally belonged to the Tang Dynasty, it had now a status of autonomy with a native ruler who could decide matters without any interference from China.[5]

History[edit]

As the son of Khúc Thừa Dụ, Khúc Hạo began to hold the position Jiedushi in 907 after his father's death and continue to consolidate the autonomy of the country.[2] On the other hand, in old historical books such as the Đại Việt sử lược or Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư, it was Khúc Hạo, instead of Khúc Thừa Dụ, who was mentioned as the first member of the Khúc family holding the position Jiedushi,[6][7] according to Đại Việt sử lược, he succeeded this title from the Chinese Jiedushi named Độc Cô Tồn[7][8] while in Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư, Khúc Hạo self-entitled him Jiedushi after rising a revolt that took control over Tĩnh Hải quân.[6] After Keith Weller Taylor, since the power was smoothly transferred from Khúc Thừa Dụ to his son Khúc Hạo and there is no indication of struggle or political conflict in the period from 880 to 906, one can reason that the Khúc family was actually in control of the country throughout these years.[9]

In the position of ruler of Tĩnh Hải quân, Khúc Hạo made several important social and administrative reforms.[10] He decided to changed the basic administrative unit from hương (township), which was established during the Tang Dynasty, to giáp. For each giáp, Khúc Hạo appointed a quản giáp (supervisor of giáp) and a phó tri giáp (deputy-supervisor of giáp) to keep the control, a system of family register (sổ hộ) was also created in order to collect an accurate statistics of population and manpower of the country. Another important social changes initiated by Khúc Hạo were the levelling of cultivated land tax (thuế ruộng) and the abolishment of corvée (lực dịch).[11] The reign of Khúc Hạo was praised for its tolerance and simplicity towards common people, hence Tĩnh Hải quân had a period of stability and prosperity.[2] In regard to relation with Chinese authorities, Khúc Hạo maintained a discreet policy towards the new Later Liang which continued to accept the autonomous reign of the Khúc family by giving Khúc Hạo the title Jiedushi of the Protectorate General to Pacify the South (An Nam đô hộ sung Tiết độ sứ) in the ninth month of 907.[11] He assigned his own son Khúc Thừa Mỹ to the position of ambassador in Guangzhou with the mission of not only keeping a good relation with the northern country but also studying the real situation in China at the time.[10][12]

Khúc Hạo deceased in 917[2] and was succeeded by his son Khúc Thừa Mỹ who failed to keep the autonomy of Tĩnh Hải quân when he refused to acknowledge allegiance to the newly established kingdom of Southern Han[10] and afterwards was defeated by the army of this kingdom in 923[13] or 930.[14] Nevertheless, Dương Đình Nghệ, who was a subordinate of the Khúc family, quickly restored the indigenous control of the country in 931.[14] In the Đại Việt sử lược,[7] Khúc Thừa Mỹ was recorded as younger brother, not son, of Khúc Hạo but from the Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư in the Lê Dynasty, Ngô Sĩ Liên wrote that Khúc Hạo was Khúc Thừa Mỹ's father.[6]

Legacy[edit]

Today Khúc Hạo is still regarded as one of the first rulers of an independent Vietnam, a street in Hanoi and other places are named in honour of Khúc Hạo.[15]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bruce M. Lockhart, William J. Duiker The A to Z of Vietnam - 2010 Page 188 "Although he died the following year, he was succeeded by his son, Khúc Hạo, who was, in turn, succeeded by his own son, Khúc Thừa Mỹ."
  2. ^ a b c d "Khúc Hạo" (in Vietnamese). Từ điển Bách khoa toàn thư Việt Nam. 
  3. ^ "Khúc Thừa Dụ" (in Vietnamese). Từ điển Bách khoa toàn thư Việt Nam. 
  4. ^ Trần Trọng Kim 1971, p. 28
  5. ^ Đinh Xuân Lâm et al. (2005). Từ điển nhân vật lịch sử Việt Nam (in Vietnamese). Hanoi: Education Publishing House. p. 102. 
  6. ^ a b c Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993, p. 52
  7. ^ a b c Nguyễn Gia Tường (translator) (1993). Đại Việt sử lược. Ho Chi Minh City: Ho Chi Minh City Publishing House, University of Ho Chi Minh City. p. 21. 
  8. ^ National Bureau for Historical Record 1998, p. 73
  9. ^ Taylor, Keith Weller (1976). The birth of Vietnam. University of California Press. pp. 259–261. ISBN 0-520-04428-2. 
  10. ^ a b c Trần Trọng Kim 1971, p. 29
  11. ^ a b Đinh Xuân Lâm et al. (2005). Từ điển nhân vật lịch sử Việt Nam (in Vietnamese). Hanoi: Education Publishing House. p. 170. 
  12. ^ Chapuis 1995, p. 36
  13. ^ "Khúc Thừa Mỹ" (in Vietnamese). Từ điển Bách khoa toàn thư Việt Nam. 
  14. ^ a b "Dương Đình Nghệ" (in Vietnamese). Từ điển Bách khoa toàn thư Việt Nam. 
  15. ^ "More than a sports club". Vietnamnet.vn. 2004-06-29. 

Bibliography[edit]

Khúc Hạo
Born:  ? Died: 917
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Khúc Thừa Dụ
Jiedushi of Tĩnh Hải quân
907–917
Succeeded by
Khúc Thừa Mỹ
Preceded by
Khúc Thừa Dụ
Ruler of autonomous Vietnam
907–917
Succeeded by
Khúc Thừa Mỹ