Hậu Lý Nam Đế

Hậu Lý Nam Đế (, born Lý Phật Tử (), c. 518 – 602) was the last king of the Early Lý dynasty, founded by his cousin Lý Nam Đế. He reigned in Vạn Xuân (present-day north Vietnam) from 571 to 602.[1]

Hậu Lý Nam Đế
King of Vạn Xuân
PredecessorTriệu Việt Vương
SuccessorDynasty collapsed
IssueLý Nhã Lang
Lý Phật Tử (李佛子)
HouseEarly Lý Dynasty
FatherLý Nam Đế (Uncle)

Clash with Triệu Việt VươngEdit

Phật Tử was a cousin of Lý Nam Đế, who was stated to be of localized Chinese descent.[2][3][4][5][6] Additionally, according to historian Catherine Churchman, Phật Tử was referred as a (俚) man,[7] which means Lý Phật Tử might be a leader of Tai-speakers,[8] who historically inhabited the Red River Delta from 200 AD to 700 AD.[9] Lý Phật Tử and Triệu Việt Vương had a peace agreement in place; however, Lý Phật Tử had ambitions to claim to the entire territory of Việt people. Around 570 AD, Lý Phật Tử's army overran Long Biên, a region that belonged to Triệu Việt Vương, and seized it. Triệu Việt Vương was caught by surprise and defeated, he retreated to the river Đại Nha (now in Nam Định Province, northern Vietnam) where he killed himself. Lý Phật Tử then proclaimed himself the Later Lý Nam Đế and went on to rule Vạn Xuân (Vietnam) as an independent state for the next 32 years.

Fall of Late Lý Nam Đế and the 3rd Chinese dominationEdit

In 602 AD, the new Sui dynasty emerged as the sole power in a unified China after having defeated the Chen dynasty. The new Sui Emperor Sui Wendi sent a 120,000-man army to invade Vạn Xuân and re-claim dominion over the Viet people. Lý Phật Tử realized his army would not be strong enough to engage in a major conflict with the Sui invading force. At the same time, he also received enormous pressure from his ruling administration to avoid any confrontation with the emerging Sui Dynasty. In the winter of 602, when the Sui force marched on Vạn Xuân, Lý Phật Tử decided to surrender in exchange for stability in the region.

Aftermath of Early Lý dynastyEdit

The Early Lý dynasty, although defeated, proved that it was capable of independence and self-rule. Through more than 60 years of rebellion and defiance, the national sentiment of Viet people was awakened. When the northern imperial power began showing signs of weakness and disunity at the end of the Tang dynasty, the Việt people would seize the opportunity to slip from the Chinese rule.


  1. ^ Anh Thư Hà, Hồng Đức Trần A Brief Chronology of Vietnam's History 2000 Page 22 "draw to a cave in Tam Nông (Phú Thọ), while his relatives Lý Thiên Bảo and Lý Phật Tử led a number of troops to Thanh Hóa. The King fell seriously ill. After handing the powers to Triệu Quang Phục for continuing the struggle, the King died ..."
  2. ^ Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư "Former Southern Emperor Lý" text: "帝姓李,諱賁,龍興太平人也。其先北人,西漢末苦於征伐避居土,七世遂爲南人。" translation: "The Emperor's surname is Lý, taboo name Bí/Bôn, he was a man from Long Hưng, Thái Bình . His ancestors were northerners. At the end of the Western Han era, they fled conquests and massacres [then] dwelt [in this] land. By the seventh generations they became through-and-through southerners."
  3. ^ Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư "Latter Southern Emperor Lý" text: "帝姓李,諱佛子,前南帝族將也。" "The Emperor's surname is Lý, taboo name Phật Tử, he was a general from the clan of the Former Southern Emperor Lý"
  4. ^ Taylor (1991), p. 155 The Birth of Vietnam, p. 155, at Google Books
  5. ^ Coedès (1966), p. 45 The Making of South East Asia, p. 45, at Google Books
  6. ^ Coedès (1966), p. 46 The Making of South East Asia, p. 46, at Google Books
  7. ^ Suishu, vol. 53 text: "仁壽中,會交州俚人李佛子作亂"; translation: "In the middle of the Renshou era, [this] happened [in] Jiaozhou, a Lĭ man [named] Lĭ Fózĭ revolted"
  8. ^ Churchman 2016, p. 91–92.
  9. ^ Chamberlain 2000, p. 97, 127.

Works citedEdit

  • Chamberlain, James R. (2000). "The origin of the Sek: implications for Tai and Vietnamese history" (PDF). In Burusphat, Somsonge (ed.). Proceedings of the International Conference on Tai Studies, July 29–31, 1998. Bangkok, Thailand: Institute of Language and Culture for Rural Development, Mahidol University. ISBN 974-85916-9-7. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  • Churchman, Catherine (2016). The People Between the Rivers: The Rise and Fall of a Bronze Drum Culture, 200–750 CE. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 978-1-442-25861-7.
Preceded by Ruler of Vietnam
Succeeded by