Hồ Quý Ly

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Thánh Nguyên
Emperor of Đại Ngu
Emperor of Hồ dynasty
Reign 1400 – 1401
Predecessor Dynasty established
Successor Hồ Hán Thương
Born 1336
Full name
Real name(s):
Lê Quý Ly
Hồ Lý Nguyên
Hồ Quý Ly
House Hồ dynasty
Dynasty Hồ dynasty

Hồ Quý Ly (; 1336–?), name at birth: Lê Quý Ly (黎季犛), was the founder and first emperor (1400–01) of the Hồ Dynasty of Vietnam, who rose from the post as a mandarin under the Trần Dynasty.[1] His reigning title was Thánh Nguyên (聖元).[2][3]

Hồ Quý Ly's ancestors have origin from Zhejiang, China and came to Vietnam during the Later Han dynasty (947-950).[4][5]

In 1400, Hồ Quý Ly dethroned the last Trần emperor, his cousin-in-law through Empress Hiển Trinh, and declared himself emperor, establishing the Hồ Dynasty and renaming the country from Đại Việt to Đại Ngu. During his reign, he made several significant economic and administrative reforms.[6] In 1396, he enacted a law issuing paper money instead of minting bronze coins but failed, mostly because of the lack in credibility in paper money as it was easy to duplicate at that time. In 1397, he began to work on land reform policies, limiting the area of land to be owned by aristocrats, mandarins and landlords to 10 acres for each household. He also ordered standardisation of measurement methods, imperial examination reforms and promote the use of chữ Nôm as official writing system instead of chữ Hán.

From 1400 to 1403, Hồ Quý Ly and his son, Hồ Hán Thương sent three expeditions against Champa. The 1402 campaign resulted in the Champa King Jaya Simhavarman V relinquishing southern Quảng Nam and northern Quảng Ngãi to the Hồ dynasty.[7]:111–112

In 1401, he abdicated in favor of his second son Hồ Hán Thương.

In 1407, Hồ Quý Ly failed to rally his subjects in the war of resistance against an attack by the Ming Yongle Emperor's forces.[8] He was captured by Ming forces in Thien Cam cave and was exiled to China. He was forced to enlist in the Ming army as a common soldier. It is not clear when he died.[6] His son, Hồ Hán Thương, and grandson, Hồ Nhuế, also died in Chinese exile.[7]:112–113

Hồ Quý Ly has been a subject of controversial debates among Vietnamese historians, some scholars highly value his radical thoughts and reformation, while others regard him as an usurper. He ordered the construction of a citadel in Thanh Hóa Province. The remnants of this citadel are included in UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anh Tuấn Hoàng Silk for Silver: Dutch-Vietnamese Relations, 1637-1700 2007 Page 18 "By the end of the following century, however, the Trần had declined and the dynasty was eventually usurped by Hồ Quý Ly, who founded the Hồ Dynasty in 1400 but failed to preserve independence of the country from Ming invasion ..."
  2. ^ Taylor (2013), p. 166
  3. ^ Hall (2008), p. 161
  4. ^ K. W. Taylor (9 May 2013). A History of the Vietnamese. Cambridge University Press. pp. 166–. ISBN 978-0-521-87586-8. 
  5. ^ Kenneth R. Hall (2008). Secondary Cities and Urban Networking in the Indian Ocean Realm, C. 1400-1800. Lexington Books. pp. 161–. ISBN 978-0-7391-2835-0. 
  6. ^ a b Corbin, Justin, The History of Vietnam, 2008, p. 10–11.
  7. ^ a b Maspero, G., 2002, The Champa Kingdom, Bangkok: White Lotus Co., Ltd., ISBN 9747534991
  8. ^ Patricia M. Pelley Postcolonial Vietnam: New Histories of the National Past 2002 Page 151 "The combination of the Trần court's incompetence and the treachery of Hồ Quý Ly, who first inserted himself in the royal family and then, in 1400, usurped the throne, provided the Ming Chinese with a pretext to invade."

External links[edit]

Hồ Quý Ly
Hồ Dynasty
Preceded by
Trần Thiếu Đế
as Emperor of the Trần Dynasty
Emperor of Đại Ngu
Succeeded by
Hồ Hán Thương