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Bảo tàng lịch sử Quốc gia

Vietnam National Museum of History

12/12/2017 00:00 780
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Nguyễn Trãi, also known under his style name Ức Trai (1380–1442) was from Chi Ngại village, Phượng Sơn district, Lạng Giang (now Chí Linh, Hải Dương Province). His father was Nguyễn Ứng Long (Nguyễn Phi Khanh), a Confucian scholar and mother Trần Thị Thái, daughter of high ranking mandarin Trần Nguyên Đán of Tran dynasty.

Nguyễn Trãi, also known under his style name Ức Trai (1380–1442) was from Chi Ngại village, Phượng Sơn district, Lạng Giang (now Chí Linh, Hải Dương Province). His father was Nguyễn Ứng Long (Nguyễn Phi Khanh), a Confucian scholar and mother Trần Thị Thái, daughter of high ranking mandarin Trần Nguyên Đán of Tran dynasty.

In 1400, he graduated as doctor and served in Ho Dynasty. In 1406, Ming force invaded and conquered Vietnam; he joined the liberation army or Lam Son revolution led by Le Loi as the closest adviser and the primary strategist. Many diplomatic letters and pronouncements were written by him. In 1442, he was blamed for the death of the king, he and his entire extended families were accused to be exterminated. In 1446, King Lê Thánh Tông officially pardoned Nguyễn Trãi, saying that he was wholly innocent in the death of King Lê Thái Tông.

Nguyen Trai submitted Le Loi a strategy book for defeating the Wu (Picture: Hoang Hoa Mai)

He left to future generations so many great art and literary works such as "Quan Trung tu menh tap" (Works compiled in the Army), "Uc Trai thi tap" (Selected poems of Uc Trai), "Du dia chi" (Geographical Notes), "Quoc am thi tap" (Selected poems in national language), "Binh ngo dai cao", the text of Vinh Lang stele and many other works. Apart from the literary value, those works are also the quintessence of the ideology of the time, of the great mettle of the Vietnamese nation. For this reason in 1980, UNESCO recognized Nguyen Trai the world’s cultural celebrity on the occasion of his 600th birth day.

A text in Binh Ngo Dai Cao (Great Proclamation of the Pacification of the Wu (Chinese army)

Vinh Lang stele exhibited in Vietnam National Museum of History

He was commemorated in temples in Nhi Khe (Ha Noi) Con Son (Hai Duong), Hoang Mai and Gia Lam district (Hanoi). He was named for schools and streets in cities and provinces across Vietnam.

Nguyen Trai Temple in Nhi Khe commune, Thuong Tin district, Hanoi

Nguyen Trai Temple in Con Son, Hai Duong province

Nguyen Trai Monument

Nguyen Thi Lo (Nguyen Trai's wife) Monument in Le Chi Vien Relic

Vietnam National Museum of History is now keeping a portrait of Nguyen Trai. The painting describes Nguyen Trai in a mandarin’s costume (blue colour embroidered with dragons and clouds), a wearing a dragon fly-winged hat. The portrait was made on silk and it was said to be the oldest silk painting in Vietnam. He sits on a throne, with rosy complexion, beard and hair are snow white. This is a special ritual portrait of the 15th century left until today. The portrait is said to be made when Nguyen Trai was 60 years old of age (1439) and it was donated by his 17th- generation nephew to the museum in December, 1959.

Portrait of Nguyen Trai preserved in Vietnam National Museum of History

Đinh Quỳnh Hoa (Collections Management Department

EN: Tran Trang


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