The Nguyễn Dynasty’s Miếu Lịch Đại Đế Vương

In 1823 a temple was completed at the Nguyễn Dynasty capital to honor “emperors of succeeding generations.” It was referred to in classical Chinese as the “Lịch đại đế vương miếu.”

I just did a google search for this term and the first web page which came up said the following: “The Temple for Emperors of Succeeding Generations for worshiping the Hùng Kings is no longer extant” (Miếu Lịch đại đế-vương thờ Hùng Vương nay đã mất).

So the Temple for Emperors of Succeeding Generations was for worshipping the Hùng kings. Oh really?? Isn’t that leaving a few people out?

If one consults Nguyễn Dynasty records, one will find that this temple honored the following people, and in this order:

Fu Xi

Shen Nong

Huang Di

Yao

Shun

Xia Yu

Shang Tang

Zhou Wen Wang

Wu Wang

Kinh Dương Vương

Lạc Long Quân

Hùng Vương

Sĩ Vương (i.e., Shi Xie)

Đinh Tiên Hoàng

And then many more Vietnamese rulers.

3 thoughts on “The Nguyễn Dynasty’s Miếu Lịch Đại Đế Vương

  1. That’s very interesting point to see how Vietnamese nationalists are successful.

    Just something off-point here, but I think it ‘s interesting point. When you mention about the Mieu Lich Dai De Vuong of the Nguyen Dynasty, I recall something relates to the Nguyen’s ancestor worship altars at the Thái Miếu building.

    The Thai source called “phongsawadan Yuan chabap nai yong (พงศาวดารญวน ฉบับนายหยอง) mentions an interesting point that Gia Long made an altar for Rama I after Rama I passed away. In page 755, the writer mentioned that Rama I’s altar is kept in the Thai Mieu building along with Gia Long’s letter to remind the Nguyen’s descendants not to betray to Siam . When I first read it, that’s very surprised if that altar is still exist or was really once kept there. But when I kept reading that chronicle more, I just felt that the writer seems like pro-Siamese. That might be because he is the Viet Kieu officer who was working for Bangkok court during Rama V’s reign. And even though, the writer mentioned that he wrote this source by using the references from the Dai Nam Thuc Luc, the way he wrote is very pro-Siamese. Moreover, it may be add some facts which never happened in that source. But most of that it’s more interesting that when the Thai scholars study about Vietnam, they still quote this pro-Siamese source.

    1. This is very interesting. I took a quick look at the Kham dinh Dai Nam hoi dien su le to see if I could find any information on this, but I couldn’t. Did you ever find anything in the Dai Nam thuc luc about this?

      Yes, you point to a big problem which is that between Siam and Vietnam were “intermediaries” – namely, Vietnamese in Bangkok – who probably altered (whether consciously or unconsciously) the information which went back and forth between the two sides.

      1. Yes, you are right. If I remember correctly, the writer wrote this source following the command from Rama V court. So this writing was served some purpose of the Siamese. I did check from the DNTL, but I couldn’t find anything about this. That’s why I feel like this source sounds pro-Siamese. Not sure if we could interpret this in sense that worshiping the altar show the high respect to ancestors in Vietnamese culture. Therefore, if Gia Long taught his descendants this, the Vietnamese (at least once in their history) also respected Siam like their ancestor? Sounds really invented history for serving national interest!

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