Dương Tam Kha

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Dương Tam Kha
King of Vietnam
Predecessor Ngô Quyền
Successor Ngô Xương Ngập and Ngô Xương Văn
Full name
Dương Chủ Tướng
Dynasty Ngô dynasty

Dương Tam Kha (born Dương Chủ Tướng (), ?–?) was King of Vietnam during the short time from 944 to 950 in the Ngô dynasty.[1][2]

Early years[edit]

Dương Tam Kha was one of Dương Đình Nghệ's sons, brother of Ngô Quyền's wife, empress Dương. According to "Đại Việt sử lược" (大越史略) (abridged historic book of Great Viet), his birth-name was Dương Chủ Tướng (), but according to "Tống sử" (宋史, History of Song), he was named Dương Thiệu Hồng (). Some historians said that he was the third son of Dương Đình Nghệ, after Dương Nhất Kha and Dương Nhị Kha.[3]

Subordinate general period[edit]

He was a subordinate general of Khúc Hạo in the area of Aichau (now Thanh Hóa Province). In the year 931, Dương Đình Nghệ defeated Ly Khắc Chính and Ly Tiến, took up the capital of Đại La (former name of Hanoi), professed himself as "Tiết độ sứ" (equivalent to Lord Protector), a title established by Chinese government to rule Giao Chỉ, a district covered most northern area of Vietnam today. Dương Tam Kha became a subordinate general of his father.

Six years later, Kiều Công Tiễn, also a general of Dương Đình Nghệ, mutinied and killed his master in order to replace Dương Đình Nghệ as "Tiết Độ Sứ". In 938, Ngô Quyền, son-in-law and also former general of Dương Đình Nghệ defeated the potency of Kiều Công Tiễn and also killed him. After that, Dương Tam Kha follow Ngô Quyền as his general. Some historic books said that he and Ngô Xương Ngập, son of Ngô Quyền, led the army to defeat Kiều Công Tiễn in Đại La.

As the Ngô Quyền's campaign was being developed, Kiều Công Tiễn sent the envoys to Southern Han to petition for sending army to help himself. King of Southern Han, Liu Yan, dispatched his son, Liu Hung-ts’ao to lead an infantry army to help Kiều Công Tiễn, he also led a different army to supply his son. But Kiều Công Tiễn was killed before this army arrived. In the November of 938, at the Battle of Bạch Đằng, the army was defeated by Ngô Quyền, Liu Hung-ts’ao was killed. Dương Tam Kha participated in this campaign.[4]

Mutiny and accession[edit]

In 944, before his death, Ngô Quyền had Dương Tam Kha become regent for his son, Ngô Xương Ngập. But, after the demise of Ngô Quyền, he forced his nephew-in-law to abdicate and installed himself as king, calling himself "King of Pacification Dương." Ngô Xương Ngập fled to Trà Hưong village (modern Hải Dương Province) and was hidden by a leader of area "hào trưởng" named Phạm Lệnh Công. "Hào trưởng" is a title for a man who is leader of his kin and also of a large area around his fief. He has a power to own his army. We also know that Dương Đình Nghệ was merely a "hào trưởng" before he defeated the Southern Han army and liberated Đại La capital. Phạm Lệnh Công threefold conducted Ngô Xương Ngập to the deep forest to elude the searching forces of Dương Tam Kha. Thanks to his efforts, Ngô Xương Ngập was in safety. Afterward, Dương Tam Kha adopted the second son of Ngô Quyền. During his reign, he kept the nation going through a flat and stable way, encouraged deforestation in areas of the kingdom for further settlement.[5]

In 950, Dương Tam Kha forced Ngô Xương Văn to quell the rebellion in Thái Bình Province, but he turned his army to dethrone Dương Tam Kha. Although Dương Tam Kha dethroned his brother after the death of his father, Ngô Xương Văn did not kill him, but degraded him to "Envoy of Chương Dương".[6]

Later years[edit]

He spent his later years reclaiming new land called Giao Thủy with his family and follower. Some historic evidence showed that he was the father of Dương Vân Nga who married Đinh Tiên Hoàng in 966.[7] She would eventually become the last ruler of the Đinh dynasty who would rule as dowager empress in her sons name, eventually giving rise to the Lê dynasty through her marriage to Lê Hoàn in 980.


  1. ^ Đại Việt sử lược
  2. ^ Nguyễn Minh Tường (2006), Book title "Về sự nghiệp và vị thế của Dương Tam Kha trong lịch sử dân tộc ở thế kỷ X", Nghiên cứu Lịch sử, số 9 (365), Page 36-42, Viện Sử học, Hà Nội, Chapter 9.
  3. ^ Đại Việt sử lược
  4. ^ Đại Việt sử lược
  5. ^ Đại Việt sử lược
  6. ^ Đại Việt sử lược
  7. ^ Đại Việt sử lược
Dương Tam Kha
Died: 950
Preceded by
Ngô Quyền
King of Nam Việt
944 to 950
Succeeded by
Ngô Xương Ngập and Ngô Xương Văn