Lý Đạo Thành

Lý Đạo Thành (Chinese: 李道成, ? - 1081), courtesy name Bá Định (伯定), was a member of the royal family and the chancellor in the royal court of Lý Dynasty. Highly appreciated for his ability and righteousness, Lý Đạo Thành had a major role in the stability and prosperity of Annam during the early years of Lý Nhân Tông's reign when Lý Đạo Thành also acted as a regent for the young emperor. Today Lý Đạo Thành is still considered one of the great officials of the Lý Dynasty and in history of Vietnam.[1]

Lý Đạo Thành
Chancellor of the Lý Dynasty
MonarchLý Thánh Tông
Lý Nhân Tông
Succeeded byLê Văn Thịnh
Personal details


There was only a brief account about Lý Đạo Thành in the Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư but according to some folk stories, Lý Đạo Thành was born in 1053 to a noble family in Thái Cực, Thọ Xương.[2] It was said that Lý Đạo Thành was a member of the Lý royal family[3] and already held the position of chancellor (Vietnamese: thái sư) when the emperor Lý Thánh Tông died in 1072.[4] Together with the Empress Mother Thượng Dương, the chancellor was appointed by Lý Thánh Tông to act the regency for his successor Lý Nhân Tông who was only 7 at that time.[4] According to the historian Ngô Sĩ Liên, during the purge of Empress Mother Thượng Dương by the emperor and his natural mother Ỷ Lan in 1073,[5] Lý Đạo Thành was transferred to the position of governor in the southern province Nghệ An likely because he advised against the act of Ỷ Lan and the emperor.[4] One year later, the emperor decided to restore Lý Đạo Thành to his former post.[4] In his Việt Nam sử lược, Trần Trọng Kim remarked that Lý Đạo Thành was not only a competent official but also possessed a strong and righteous character, therefore he had an important contribution in the stability and prosperity of Đại Việt during the early years of Lý Nhân Tông's reign.[3][6]

According to Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư, Lý Đạo Thành deceased in the tenth month in 1081,[7] his position of chancellor was succeeded by Lê Văn Thịnh who was afterwards deprived of all titles and banished to a remote region after a controversial treason case in 1096.[3]


Lý Đạo Thành is considered one of the most famous chancellors of the Lý Dynasty,[3] in the book Lịch triều hiến chương loại chí, the historian Lê Tung praised Lý Đạo Thành as one of the two greatest regents of the Lý Dynasty, together with Tô Hiến Thành.[2] Today his contribution is still highly appreciated, Lý Đạo Thành is worshipped as a tutelary deity in several villages in Northern Vietnam,[2] a street in Hanoi is also named in honour of Lý Đạo Thành.[8]



  1. ^ David G. Marr, Anthony Crothers Milner - Southeast Asia in the Ninth to Fourteenth Centuries -1986 - Page 153 "Upon his accession in 1054, Lý Nhân Tông appointed Lý Đạo Thành as thái sư.[83] The position of thái sư... Initially, the senior queen, not Càn Đức's mother, exercised royal authority "assisted" by Lý Đạo Thành. But within a year, Càn Đức's mother, a concubine named Ỷ Lan, obtained the death of the senior queen and the demotion and exile of Lý Đạo Thành."
  2. ^ a b c "Phát hiện ngôi đình thờ Lý Đạo Thành tại Hà Nội" (in Vietnamese). Hanoimoi.com.vn. 2005-01-09.
  3. ^ a b c d Trần Trọng Kim 1971, p. 42
  4. ^ a b c d Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993, p. 109
  5. ^ National Bureau for Historical Record 1998, pp. 139–140
  6. ^ Chapuis 1995, p. 76
  7. ^ Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993, p. 112
  8. ^ Agar, Charles (2006). Frommer's Vietnam. John Wiley and Sons. p. 146. ISBN 0-7645-9676-4.