Lê Long Đĩnh

Lê Long Đĩnh ([le lawŋm ɗǐŋ̟ˀ]; , 15 November 986 – 19 November 1009), also known as Lê Ngọa Triều (黎臥朝), was the last emperor of the Early Lê family of the kingdom of Đại Cồ Việt, ruled from 1005 to 1009. After killing his predecessor and brother Lê Long Việt, he took the throne and named his era Cảnh Thụy. His mysterious death at aged 24 led to the fall of Anterior Lê Dynasty, then all of power was seized by House of Lý.[1] In some history book, he was portraited as the debauched, cruel emperor. However, there were still a lot of temples created that people still worship him until now and recently, some historians proved that some rumours about his ruling style was aggrandise, even seen as fabrication.[citation needed]

Lê Long Đĩnh
Emperor of Đại Cồ Việt
A statue of Lê Long Đĩnh in Hoa Lư
Emperor of Đại Cồ Việt
PredecessorLê Trung Tông
SuccessorLý Thái Tổ of Later Lý Dynasty
Monarch of Early Lê family
PredecessorLê Trung Tông
SuccessorLý Công Uẩn
Born15 November 986
Hoa Lư, Đại Cồ Việt
Died19 November 1009 (aged 23)
Hoa Lư, Đại Cồ Việt
Lê Long Đĩnh (黎龍鋌)
Era dates
Ứng Thiên (應天)
Cảnh Thụy (景瑞)
Regnal name
Khai Thiên Ứng Vận Thánh Văn Thần Vũ Tắc Thiên Sùng Đạo Đại Thắng Minh Quang Hiếu Hoàng Đế (開天應運聖文神武則天崇道大勝明光孝皇帝)
Posthumous name
Ngọa Triều Hoàng Đế (臥朝皇帝) called by Lý Công Uẩn
FatherLê Đại Hành
MotherConcubine Diệu Nữ


Lê Long Đĩnh also had name as Lê Chí Trung (黎至忠) and was born on 15 November 986 (Georgian calendar). He was the fifth son of emperor Lê Hoàn but later historians does not note any background of his mother, only information of concubine and he was the half brother of Duke of Nam Phong (Nam Phong vương) Lê Long Việt.[2]

Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư recorded that in 992, he was granted title Prince of Khai Minh (Khai Minh Vương, 開明王) and the land of Đằng county (now Hưng Yên province).[3] In 1004, Duke of Kinh Thiên and crown prince Long Khâu died, Lê Đại Hành made Lê Long Việt as the dauphin of Việt Nam and Long Đĩnh as Duke of Khai Minh.

Throne contestEdit

In 1005, Lê Đại Hành died in Trường Xuân palace, crown prince Lê Long Việt contest the crown with the other 3 brother who were Lê Long Tích, Lê Long Kính and Lê Long Đĩnh. All side used forces to fight in 8 months so the nation was not under control. In October 1005, Lê Long Việt defeated Lê Long Tích and make him fled to Champa and get killed local people at Cơ La estuary. Then, Lê Long Việt proclaimed as emperor with title Trung Tông hoàng đế (Emperor Trung Tông) . However he was assassinated by intruders deployed by Lê Long Đĩnh after reigning in 3 days. All of loyalist ran and hid themselves from the scene, only Lý Công Uẩn embraced the body of the emperor and crying. In winter 1005, Lê Long Đĩnh took the throne with Posthumous name Khai Thiên Ứng Vận Thánh Văn Thần Vũ Tắc Thiên Sùng Đạo Đại Thắng Minh Quang Hiếu Hoàng đế (開天應運聖文神武則天崇道大勝明光孝皇帝) and gave title to his mother as Hưng Quốc Quảng Thánh Hoàng Thái Hậu (興國廣聖皇太后).


Foreign relationEdit

After the death news of emperor Lê Đại Hành to China, Some Song dynasty Mandarins urged Song emperor to dispatch force to invade Đại Cồ Việt. However, with the high self-esteem and respect to the tributary activities of Đại Cồ Việt, Song emperor refused to follow that idea. Some trading activities allowed by both countries at the border line.

Buddhist supporting and educationEdit

In Spring 1007, Lê Long Đĩnh ordered his brother to give a white Pangolin (or white Rhinoceros) as an gift to Song dynasty in exchange to get Buddhist Sutras to Vietnam In Vietnamese buddhism records of Zen buddhist Thích Mật Thể, the 14th year of Ứng Thiên era (1008), Vietnam sent the envoy to song to pay tribute and asked for taking 9 classics and sutra to Vietnam. Song emperor approved it and gave it to Vietnamese ambassador. The nine classics included : I Ching, Classic of Poetry, Book of Documents, Book of Rites, Spring and Autumn Annals, Classic of Filial Piety, Analects, Mencius. This were the 9 classics of Chinese civilization first time came to Vietnam under reign of Lê Long Đĩnh.


Tyrannical and brutal reignEdit

According to Complete annals of Đại Việt, he was one of the most brutal and sadistic rulers during Vietnam's dynastic era. His reign was considered a reign of terror at the time. He is comparable to the Roman Emperors Caligula and Commodus in their traits of excess cruelty and paranoia. Some of the acts of cruelty that he committed were:

  • He often executed innocent people who were condemned to death for entertaining purposes by some frightful ways such as tying them with hay to burn to death or ordering an executioner called Liêu Thủ Tâm (廖守心) from Great Song to gradually mutilate victims to death slowly using dull bladed swords and axes. When the victims cried out in agony, this executioner would manipulate the victims into thinking they were not dying. The emperor was said to have delighted in the deaths of his victims.
  • After capturing prisoners of war, he ordered his soldiers to march the prisoners along the riversides and crammed them into cages that were tied along the river banks. When the high tides came in at dusk, he would watch them drown slowly.
  • The emperor himself often stuck livestock such as pigs or cows to death before he allowed servants to prepare them for feasts. At court banquets, he killed cats and served them to his guests and court officials and made them eat the cats. Afterwards, he would play around with their severed heads in front of the court audience, frightening them and reducing their chances of questioning his audacity.

Later lifeEdit

According to historical records, he had contracted hemorrhoids and often held court while lying down, earning the popular name "Lê Ngọa Triều" ("Ngọa" means "lie" and "Triều" means "court"). He was not given a temple name because his successor usurped the Anterior Lê Dynasty and started the Lý Dynasty.

He held the throne for four years, until 1009, when he died at the age of 24. His son Sạ was but a child so under the management of an official named Đào Cam Mộc (陶甘沐). When Lý Công Uẩn became emperor of Ly dynasty, all the officials enthroned him without any debate. The Anterior Lê Dynasty was finished after only three reigns.


  1. ^ Lê Long Đĩnh chết vì bệnh trĩ hay bị đầu độc?, Vĩnh Khang, đăng trên website trên Bảo tàng lịch sử quốc gia
  2. ^ Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư, Bản Kỷ Toàn Thư, Quyển 1, Kỷ nhà Lê, Mục Ngọa Triều Hoàng đế.
  3. ^ Theo Cương Mục, tiền biên V, 31 thì Đằng Châu "là xã Đằng Châu, huyện Kim Động, tỉnh Hưng Yên nhà Trần gọi là Khoái Lộ, nhà Lê gọi là Khoái Châu. Nay tương ứng các địa bàn các huyện Kim Động, Khoái Châu, Văn Giangthành phố Hưng Yên, tỉnh Hưng Yên và một phần tỉnh Thái Bình.
Lê Long Đĩnh
Born: 986 Died: 1009
Preceded by
Lê Trung Tông
Emperor of Đại Cồ Việt
Succeeded by
Lý Thái Tổ
(of Lý Dynasty)