Cao Xuân Dục

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Cao Xuân Dục

Cao Xuân Dục (Hán tự: 高春育; 1843–1923) was a scholar, historian-mandarin, and court adviser in the Nguyễn Dynasty, Vietnam.[1]


Cao Xuân Dục was born in Thịnh Mỹ, Diễn Châu, Nghệ An. In 1876, he entered Vietnamese Imperial examination and was awarded the degree of provincial graduate (舉人 - cử nhân), in the same class with the famous anti-French patriot Phan Đình Phùng from Hà Tĩnh.

He served under the Nguyễn Emperors Đồng Khánh and Thành Thái and held several important government posts including Governor-General of Hưng Yên (1889) and minister of education (1907).[2] He was one of the four top advisers to the Emperor during the Vietnam-France conflict in the early 20th century.

When Trương Như Cương, a pro-French collaborator, coerced his colleagues to sign a petition to Thành Thái to promote him to viceroy, Dục refused to sign. Instead he wrote a quick poem on the petition.

The sky cannot have two suns.
A nation cannot have two kings.
Your servant Cao Xuân Dục
cannot sign.

He was later vilified by Cương's group and demoted to a lowly local post in Hoàng Xá outside of Hanoi.

A relief of Cao Xuân Dục was sculptured on a wall in a cave in this local region to commemorate his righteousness.[3]

Cao Xuân Dục retired in 1913 to concentrate on building his library, Long Cương Bảo Tàng Thư Viện (named after his pseudonym), collecting and maintaining Vietnamese literature.

A street in Ho Chi Minh city was named after Cao Xuân Dục[4]


Cao Xuân Dục made significant contribution in maintaining Vietnamese culture and literature in 19th and 20th century.[5] He spent many years writing, collecting, copying, re-writing and preserving valuable books including:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bradley Camp Davis, States of banditry: The Nguyen government, bandit rule, and the culture of power in the post-Taiping China-Vietnam borderlands University of Washington 2008 - Page 104 "Cao Xuân Dục"
  2. ^ Võ Thạnh (6 December 2016). "Triều đại phong kiến duy nhất có Bộ Học" (in Vietnamese). VnExpress. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  3. ^ Relief of Cao Xuân Dục in a cave in Hoàng Xá
  4. ^ map of Cao Xuan Duc street Ho Chi Minh city
  5. ^ Cao xuân Dục - Nhà văn hoá lớn cận đại - A/Prof. Chương Thâu (history)