Famous Vietnamese Emperors of the Old Dynasties
Emperor Ho Quy Ly
Ho Dynasty

          A descendant of the Le family and a mandarin of the Tran Dynasty, Ho Quy Ly gained a high position at court and issued many civil and military reforms. In 1400 he ovethrew the Tran Emperor and founded the Ho Dynasty. He limited the aristocracy in land and serfs and improved the army and national defense. He was a capable general who repelled a Ming Chinese invasion and made considerable gains in a campaign against Champa. His reforms had a lasting impact on Vietnam.
Emperor Dinh Bo Linh
Dinh Dynasty

          A general in the area of his village Hoa Lu, Dinh Bo Linh fought in the power struggle after the fall of the Ngo Dynasty. He defeated his enemies and reigned as King of Dai Co Viet. In 966 he took the title "Hoang De", august emperor, equal to the ruler of China and updated the government and military. In 979 the Emperor and Crown Prince Dinh Lien were killed as they slept.
Emperor Le Hoan
Early Le Dynasty

          Commander of the imperial army under Dinh Bo Linh, following his death Le Hoan won the throne as King Le Dai Hanh. He defeated an invasion by the Sung Dynasty of China and in 981 recieved their recognition of his throne. He then attacked south, seizing Quang Nam and the capital of the Champa kingdom. This expansion added much to Vietnamese culture, enlarging it to include elements of the Hindu-khmer. He strengthened and centralized power and made his sons governors of important regions.
Emperor Quang Trung
Tay Son Dynasty

          Born in Kien Thanh, Binh Thanh village as Nguyen Hue, he rose to fame by defeating the feuding and unpopular Trinh and Nguyen lords to unite Vietnam. He deposed Emperor Le Chieu Thong, who returned with a Qing Chinese army to restore him in 1788. In a surprise attack during Tet, Nguyen Hue destroyed the Chinese invaders and proclaimed himself Emperor Quang Trung. At home, he reorganized the economy and national administration. He is most noted for replacing Han Chinese with the Nom tongue as the official language of Vietnam. He died soon after in 1792.
Emperor Ly Bon

         A Vietnamese mandarin of Chinese descent, Ly Bon led a rebellion against Chinese rule in 524 while at the same time at war with the Champa kingdom in the south. After a long struggle, Ly Bon liberated Viet-Nam in 544 as the nation of "Van Xuan" (10,000 Springs). He then ruled as Emperor and fought to unite the country. He was assassinated by the mountain tribes, but his bravery inspired others for centuries.