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Doan Thuong a famous character in Vietnam history

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 . Last updated Mon, 01 Jun 2015 14:05

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In the late 12th century and the early 13th century, Vietnam history had many fluctuations by the transferring between the Ly Dynasty and Tran Dynasty. This period appeared a famous historic character with the title “Dong Hai Dai Vuong” - Doan Thuong.

This is a turbulent period in the Vietnam history when converting from the Ly Dynasty to Tran Dynasty in the late 12th century and the early 13th century. Amid the chaos and whirl of the conspiracies, even the wars, there was a powerful force emerging and led by Doan Thuong in Hong Chau. He is the loyal subject of the Ly Dynasty or the person, who betrayed this dynasty. As being the person against the Tran Dynasty so he was liquidated or he was died in the battle with another power. Doan Thuong is a character who on two lines reflecting the history of the canonical history and the folk legend as well as at the different times of history always gets the different reflection and evaluation. But anyway, the title “Dong Hai Dai Vuong” was granted by the imperial court or the people, it is also a historic material source to learn about this character.

This is a place to worship “Dong Hai Dai Vuong” - Doan Thuong, formerly Xuan Do or Bong Do village, Truong Tan district, Hong Chau province. Now is Thung Do village, Doan Thuong commune, Gia Loc district, Hai Duong province. Among the differences and contradictions of two historic lines, there is only general information about the birth place of Doan Thuong. The genealogy of the Doan family recorded a detail without having in the canonical history that Doan Thuong was born on August 12, the year of Tan Suu (1181). While the canonical history did not record, the folk legend showed clearly that Doan ancestors lived in Son Linh, then moved to Lai Cao (Tu Liem, Hanoi). In the 11th century, they settled in To Xuyen (Thai Binh province now) and Hong Chau (Hai Duong province now).

The branches of the Doan family since then to the Tran Dynasty, Le Dynasty continued to move to many different provinces of Thai Binh, Hung Yen, Hai Duong, Hai Phong nowadays at the same time or before coming to Thung Do and giving birth Doan Thuong here. The genealogical books as “Doan Toc Dai Ton Pha Ky” and “Doan Toc Pha Ky” now are always donated by the descendents of the Doan family when having the occasions to met each other and worship ancestors. Nine ancestors of Doan Thuong participated and achieved feats in events such as the Khuc family raising dynasty, Ngo Quyen defeating Nam Han enemy, Dinh Bo Linh quelling 12 revolts in the 10th century to the 11th century when King Ly Thai To moved capital to Thang Long. Especially, the 5th ancestor of Doan family, Doan Kham ranked the 2nd in the Minh Kinh examination in 1075 and held office as the Minister.

Both the canonical history and folk legend has it that Doan Thuong has the same wet nurse with Ly Sam prince, the son of King Ly Cao Tong. When recording the activities of Doan Thuong in the dynasty of the 7th King Ly (1176 - 1210), there is the big difference between the canonical history and folk legend. While the genealogy and the memories later of the Doan family said that Doan Thuong passed an examination, the year of Giap Ty (1204) in the Ly Cao Tong reign and was assigned many important positions in the court. The canonical history as “Dai Viet su luoc” wrote in the early of 14th century recorded completely different that Doan Thuong betrayed in the date “Tri Binh Long Ung” of King Ly Cao Tong. The King sent troops to put down. And only through the bribery tactic to disperse these forces, he could escape.

In the Ly Hue Tong reign (Ly Sam prince formerly) who had the same nurse with Doan Thuong, the difference between 2 historic lines of canonical history and folk legend was bigger. In the historic books as “Dai Viet Su Ky Toan Thu”, “Kham Dinh Viet Su Thong Giam Cuong Muc” did not mention the activities of Doan Thuong in the Ly Cao Tong reign, they only mentioned his activities in the Hue Tong reign, Ly Sam. Doan Thuong only appeared from 1211 to 1224 in the reign of the penultimate King of the Ly Dynasty.  With the status and position of a leader, he always changed in performing some action when supporting, when betraying.  Therefore, sometimes he was rewarded and conferred a title thanks to his support. The folk legend considered him as a hero who defended the state and loved the people. So in 1217, he was conferred a title as “Dong Hai Dai Vuong” by King Ly Hue Tong.

According to the canonical history, this was the last and highest title of Doan Thuong in the Le – Mac Dynasty. From 1226 to 1228, the orthodox historic books recorded that at that time there were only 2 power forces including Doan Thuong in Hong Chau and Nguyen Noi in Bac Giang (Gia Lam, Hanoi and Tu Son, Bac Ninh now). After using military to quell revolt but not success, the wily Great tutor of the Tran Dynasty, Tran Thu Do changed the strategy, he conferred Nguyen Noi as “Hoai Gia Vuong” to bribe and also had the intention to corrupt Doan Thuong but Doan Thuong did not obey and refused the official title of the Tran dynasty. In winter 1228, Doan Thuong was killed by Nguyen Noi. To get the diverse and good analyses and comments from people, the noble title “Dong Hai Dai Vuong” and especial the mysterious stories about his death is one of the reasons why he is worshiped later.

The mystery about the death of Doan Thuong was written firstly in a book collecting the mysterious and thrilling stories in the folk culture with the name “Viet Dien U Linh ”. The death of Doan Thuong was also reflected similarly in the content of the myths as the story of General Ly Chien in the 15th century. According to the folk legend, Doan Thuong was wounded to die but still rode horse to Yen Nhan, Hung Yen, then fell from the horse and died. His drops of blood scatted along the long road to the world of the death was considered the base for 72 temples that worshiped people dying in the battle appeared in the folk stories. Since 18th century, when researching again history, people started to review the problem that Doan Thuong was loyal or betray of the Ly Dynasty. With his biography and merit, Doan Thuong has become a good genius in the dream of people.

There are hundreds of places worshiping “Dong Hai Dai Vuong” Doan Thuong. This is a folk culture phenomenon bearing the identity of family and region without being a historic phenomenon. The horizontal lacquered boards, parallel sentences, rituals and religious architectural works were used to ceremony and honor Doan Thuong in the late Ly Dynasty and the first Tran Dynasty. The place worshiping “Dong Hai Dai Vuong” has become a center converging the man’s heart in both the spiritual place and the modern life. 

 

Source: VTV4 – VTV.vn

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