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The Ngô Dynasty ( ; Hán tự: , Ngô Triều; 939-967) was a dynasty in Vietnammarker.

Around the year 930 AD, as Ngô Quyền () rose to power, northern Vietnammarker was a province and vassal state of Chinamarker and was referred to as Giao Chỉ (交趾). Every year the governor/administrator of Giao Chỉ had to pay tribute and give offerings to China. During the beginning of the 900s, China was plagued and weakened by internal in-fighting during what is known as the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. The celestial emperor of China thus had his mind and hands full of problems in the North. Giao Chỉ took this opportunity to proclaim its independence and self government. Under the administration of Dương Đình Nghệ (), this took place.

Dương Đình (Diên) Nghệ

Dương Đình Nghệ (, 937-938) was the self-appointed administrator around 930. Previously, he had been considered a skillful and talented general under Khúc Hạo (), descendant of the Khúc family who had sought independence of the nation from the Chinese for three generations in the early 900s. Dương Đình Nghệ's rule however was challenged and defeated by local strongman Kiều Công Tiễn () who elevated himself to the post of governor/administrator but who would not remain in a position of power for long.

Tiền Ngô Vương ( ) or Ngô Vương (), reign: 939-944

Ngô Quyền (897-944) was Dương Đình Nghệ's favorite and most loyal general. He served under Dương Đình Nghệ's command and married one of his daughters. After he saw his mentor and father-in-law killed, Ngô Quyền sought revenge. He challenged and defeated Kiều Công Tiễn in 938. The latter, before his death and battle with Ngô Quyền, had sent an emissary to China to ask for help. The Chinese emperor sent an army to the South to rescue Kiều Công Tiễn in 938. Ngô Quyền had been warned of their coming and waited at Bạch Đằng River to destroy the Chinese army, the first of his many victories at the famous river. Ngô Quyền then ascended to the throne and took the name Ngô Vương. He moved the capital back to Cổ Loa Thànhmarker. He reigned for only five years, until 944, when he died at age 47. A short reign for an ambitious emperor to reorganize the country. Nevertheless, Ngô Vương ushered in a new Vietnamese era of continuous independence and self-governance.

1st Battle of Bạch Đằng River ():To defeat the Chinese army coming to supply aid to his rival, Ngô Vương cleverly planted iron spikes underneath the Bạch Đằng River and timed the attack of the Southern Han navy. The attack began during high tide in order to conceal the spikes beneath the water. After the Vietnamese held the enemy in place for a few hours, the tides receded and the spikes impaled the boats. The Vietnamese forces followed this impalement with fire attacks, which annihilated the huge warships. The Southern Han navy and the Prince of Southern Han were killed. This tactic was repeated again during the Trần Dynasty by Trần Hưng Đạo against the third Mongolmarker Invasion.

Dương Tam Kha (), reign: 944-950

Before his death, Ngô Vương's wish was to see his brother-in-law Dương Tam Kha act as regent for his son Ngô Xương Ngập (). However Ngô Vương's wish was not fulfilled. Dương Tam Kha usurped the throne and proclaimed himself "Binh Vương" (). He took Ngô Xương Ngập's younger brother, Ngô Xương Văn as his adopted son and made him heir to the throne. Fearing for his life, Ngô Xương Ngập went into hiding with his retinue. Dương Tam Kha's reign was unpopular and many revolts and rebellions sprung up across the country.

Hậu Ngô Vương (後吳王): Nam Tấn Vương (南晉王) & Thiên Sách Vương (天策王), co-reign: 950-954

Ngô Xương Văn (吳昌文) deposed Dương Tam Kha in 950 and styled himself "Nam Tấn Vương." Out of respect for his uncle, Ngô Xương Văn did not have him killed, but merely demoted him and sent him into exile. Ngô Xương Văn then searched out his older brother Ngô Xương Ngập in order to share the throne with him. After arriving at the capital, Ngô Xương Ngập styled himself "Thiên Sách Vương."

Thiên Sách Vương (天策王 ),reign: 954-965

Brought back by his younger brother Ngô Xương Văn to the throne, Ngô Xương Ngập soon abused his rights as the oldest son and began to rule Giao Chỉ as dictator. The country was ripe for open rivalries between different lords who fought each other to become the next successor.

Ngô Sứ Quân (吳使君 ),reign: 965-968

After Ngô Xương Ngập's death in 965, his son Ngô Xương Xí (吳昌熾) succeeded him. But as he ascended to the throne Ngô Xương Xí was faced with the daunting task of having his rule recognized by the now open rivalry between the 12 lords who fought one another as they vied for control of the country. With the announcement of his rule, the country was thrown into a chaotic period called the Thập Nhị Sứ Quân (十二使君 ) Rebellion.

"The 12 Lords Rebellion" or "Thập Nhị Sứ Quân Rebellion" (966-968)

The 12 Lords were:
  • Ngô Xương Xí (the nominal emperor whose reign and rule were contested)
  • Đỗ Cảnh Thạc
  • Trần Lãm (who proclaimed himself Trần Minh Công. It was Trần Lãm who trained Đinh Bộ Lĩnh who soon would emerge and prove himself as the strongest of the 12 lords and eventually found the Đinh Dynasty.
  • Kiều Công Hãn (who proclaimed himself Kiều Công Che)
  • Nguyễn Khoan (who proclaimed himself Nguyễn Thái Bình)
  • Ngô Nhật Khánh
  • Lý Khê
  • Nguyễn Thủ Tiệp
  • Lý Đường
  • Nguyễn Siêu
  • Kiều Thuận
  • Phạm Bạch Hổ


  1. Đại Việt Sử Ký Toàn Thư, by Ngô Sĩ Liên (大越史記全書。吳士連編。内閣官板)
  2. Việt Nam Sử Lược, by Trần Trọng Kim
  3. Việt Sử Toàn Thư, by Phạm Văn Sơn
  4. Ngô Quyền by Chi D. Nguyen

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