One of the earliest texts that contains information about Vietnamese history is a fifteenth-century work known as the Arrayed Tales of Selected Oddities from South of the Passes (Lĩnh Nam chích quái liệt truyện 嶺南摭怪列傳) [“Arrayed Tales” for short]. This text contains stories about various famous people from Vietnamese history.
However, there is something strange about its preface. The preface is written from what we could call a “Chinese perspective.” Here is how it begins:
“Although the Cassia Sea is in [the area of] South of the Passes, marvelous mountains and streams, potent land, outstanding people, and miraculous affairs perhaps can all be found there.”