Văn Lang

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Not to be confused with Vãn Lãng District, Lạng Sơn.
Map of Văn Lang in 500 BC
History of Vietnam
(geographical renaming)
Map of Vietnam showing the conquest of the south (the Nam tiến, 1069-1757).
2879–2524 BC Xích Quỷ
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Văn Lang was the first nation of the ancient Vietnamese people, founded in 2879 BC and existing until 258 BC.[1] It was ruled by the Hùng Kings of the Hồng Bàng dynasty. There is, however, little reliable historical information available. Hùng Vương is the title of a line of kings and the Văn Lang kingdom are attested in Chinese (Ch'in and T'ang dynastic) sources.[2] The people of Văn Lang were referred to as the Lạc Việt, or sometimes simply as the Lạc.

According to the 15th century book Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư (Đại Việt Complete History), the nation had its capital at Phong Châu (present-day Phú Thọ Province). It was bordered to the east by the South China Sea, to the west by Ba Thục (present-day Sichuan), to the north by Dongting Lake (Hunan), and to the south by Lake Tôn (Champa). According to Trần Trọng Kim's book, Việt Nam sử lược (A Brief History of Vietnam), the country was divided into 15 regions as in the table below:[3]

Regions of Văn Lang
Name Present-day location
Phong Châu (King's capital) Phú Thọ Province
Châu Diên Sơn Tây Province
Phúc Lộc Sơn Tây Province
Tân Hưng Hưng Hóa (part of Phú Thọ Province) and Tuyên Quang Province
Vũ Định Thái Nguyên Province and Cao Bằng Province
Vũ Ninh Bắc Ninh Province
Lục Hải Lạng Sơn Province
Ninh Hải Quảng Yên (a part of Quảng Ninh Province)
Dương Tuyên Hải Dương Province
Giao Chỉ Hà Nội, Hưng Yên Province, Nam Định Province and Ninh Bình Province
Cửu Chân Thanh Hóa Province
Hoài Hoan Nghệ An Province
Việt Thường Quảng Bình Province and Quảng Trị Province
Cửu Đức Hà Tĩnh Province
Bình Văn unknown

Việt Sử Lược (Việt Brief History) notes that Văn Lang consisted of 15 regions: in it there are 10 names recorded similar to those given in Đại Việt Complete History (Giao Chỉ, Vũ Ninh, Việt Thường, Ninh Hải, Lục Hải, Hoài Hoan, Cửu Chân, Bình Văn, Cửu Đức, and Văn Lang), and five regions with different names (Quân Ninh, Gia Ninh, Thang Tuyền, Tân Xương, and Nhật Nam). The founder of Văn Lang was Hùng Vương (King Hùng). The Hùng Vương throne was hereditary. The Hùng Kings were military commanders and religious leaders at the same time. Văn Lang was supposedly ruled by 88 Hùng Kings, but only 18 names are recorded (or, according to recent research, 18 names of 18 Dynasties, like Ancient Egyptian):

  1. Hùng Dương (Lộc Tục)
  2. Hùng Hiền (Lạc Long Quân)
  3. Hùng Lân (vua)
  4. Hùng Việp
  5. Hùng Hy
  6. Hùng Huy
  7. Hùng Chiêu
  8. Hùng Vỹ
  9. Hùng Định
  10. Hùng Hy
  11. Hùng Trinh
  12. Hùng Võ
  13. Hùng Việt
  14. Hùng Anh
  15. Hùng Triều
  16. Hùng Tạo
  17. Hùng Nghị
  18. Hùng Duệ

Văn Lang ended when, in roughly 258 BCE, the Âu Việt tribe invaded. The Âu Việt king, Thục Phán, defeated the last Hùng Vương, uniting the two kingdoms, naming the new nation Âu Lạc, and proclaiming himself King An Dương Vương.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Trần Trọng Kim (2005). Việt Nam sử lược (in Vietnamese). Ho Chi Minh City: Ho Chi Minh City General Publishing House. p. 17. 
  2. ^ Keith Taylor, The Birth of Vietnam, Appendix A, Appendix B and C
  3. ^ Trần Trọng Kim (2005). Việt Nam sử lược (in Vietnamese). Ho Chi Minh City: Ho Chi Minh City General Publishing House. p. 18. 
  4. ^ Chapuis, Oscar (1995). A History of Vietnam: From Hong Bang to Tu Duc. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 13, 14. ISBN 0-313-29622-7. 

See also[edit]