Dynasty. - 1225-1414.
By the marriage of the Queen  CHIEU-HOANG with the Prince 
TRAN-CANH the new dynasty came to power which governed Annam for two
TRAN-CANH, afterwards known by the name of  THAI-TOHG, was so
unfortunate in his domestic affairs, that he ran away from the palace
and took refuge in a pagoda, refusing to reign any longer. He was
requested by his courtiers to return to the capital, but as the Chinese
were then invading the kingdom, he went to the frontier with his army
and drove them back to their own country.
Tired however of the throne, Thai-tong abdicated in 1258 in favour of
his son  THANH-TONG, who had to fight and drive away the Mongols
then invading Annam for the first time. But he ultimately had to agree
to pay a triennial tribute to China, which has been continued to the
present day. The rest of his reign was peaceful; following his father's
ex-ample, he abdicated in 1279 in favour of his son  NHON-TONG.
When this king ascended the throne, an order was received from the
Emperor KUBLAI that he should personally appear at his court. The king
refused to accede to this demand, and thus originated the second Mongol
invasion of the country, in 1285, by an army of 500,000 men commanded by
OMANHI. A brother of the king, called TRAN ICH-TAO, took the side of the
Mongols, and together they defeated the Annamese army, driving the king
to the mountains of the  Thanh-hoa province. Once masters of the
country, the invaders raised the treacherous Tran Ich-tac to the throne,
but the loyal Annamese very soon gathered a fresh army which defeated
the Mongols in several battles, and compelled them to recross the
frontiers. In 1286 another Mongol expedition came to Annam, but was also
defeated and driven back to China. In 1288 peace was signed. Four years
afterwards the King Nhong-tong abdicated in favour of his son  ANH-TONG.
Nothing particular is mentioned about him in the Annals, except that he
abolished the custom followed by his predecessor of tattooing on the
legs the picture of a dragon as a mark of nobility and sign of valour.
Anh-tong also abdicated in 1314 in favour of his son  MINH-TONG,
whose reign was peaceful and devoted to the organization of the country.
Following the rule established by his predecessors, the king ceded the
throne in 1330 in favour of his son  HIEN-TONG. This king died after
a reign of twelve years without leaving a direct heir, so his younger
brother  DU-TONG was made king under the regency of his father, the
During the reign of Du-tong the kingdom was on several occasions
desolated by droughts and floods, which necessitated frequent
distributions of rice and cash to the needy. There was also a
considerable number of rebels and thieves in the provinces, which were
taken prisoners and beheaded. At this time the export trade of Annam was
largely developed, and the number of foreign vessels arriving at its
coasts became quite important.
King Du-tong died in 1368 without leaving a direct heir, and on this
account there is an interregnum of two years in the history of Annam,
passed in fights and quarrels between the members of the Royal family.
At last, in 1370,  NGHE-TONG was proclaimed king; at first he had to
maintain his rights against another Royal Prince, and three years later
he was driven from his capital by the hordes of Ciampa who invaded the
country. The king then abdicated in favour of his younger brother 
DUE-TONG, who in 1378 was killed in a war against Ciampa.
Then came to power a nephew of the King Nghe-tong, called Prince
KIEN, and designated by the name of  PHE-DE, who, after a reign
fraught with disturbances and rebellions, was dethroned and succeeded in
1390 by  THUAN-TONG. It was at this period that the decline of
An-nam's power set in. The kings were unable either to repress the
rebellions which broke out in the provinces, or to resist the invasions
of neighbouring tribes. The people lived in a con-tinual state of war,
and this contributed to the rise, above their ordinary sphere, of the
more fortunate generals. The result was the same as in every country in
the world: the military prestige gained by the victories of those
generals increased their ambitious views and made them anxious to place
the crown on their own heads, either by palace intrigues, or by a
rebellion of the soldiers under their command. Thus, during the reign of
Thuan-tong, it was easy to predict the course of events. His power was
altogether in the hands of General  Ho QUI-LY, whose influence
during the last reign had already been paramount. In the same year in
which Thuan-tong was proclaimed king. General Ho had the good fortune to
defeat the mobs of a rebel bonze who had revolted in the province of
Thanh-hoa under the name of  XUONG-PHU; and to bring to a successful
close a long campaign against the armies of Ciampa. Peace was restored
in the country, and its real ruler Ho QUI-LY devoted himself to its
administration, instituting the laws relating to Paper-money, as we have
already seen. He also ordered the con-struction of a new city which was
to be made the capital of the kingdom. This town, built in the province
of  Thanh-hoa, was called  Tai-do or Western Capital, and the
Court took possession of it in the 11th moon of 1398.
Four months later Ho Qui-ly forced the King Thuan-tong to resign in
favour of  THIEU-DE, a boy three years old. During the ceremonies of
his proclamation, Ho Qui-ly nearly became the victim of a conspiracy
against his life by the Lords and Mandarins; but they had to pay dear
for it, as nearly four hundred of them lost their heads in consequence.
At last this general became weary of supporting mock kings, and in 1402
took the throne for himself. His history will be continued later on when
dealing with other rebels. He was dethroned in 1407 by the intervention
of the Chinese army, and the Annamese proclaimed  GIAN DINH-DE as
their king, and proceeded to fight in the  Nghe-an province against
the customary invaders of the country. But another  Tran Prince raised
his banner against him, and having assembled a numerous army, proclaimed
himself king in 1410 under the name of  TRUNG QUAN-DE. This
political division of the country was only favorable to the Chinese
invaders, as was soon seen by the two Annamese parties, who in
consequence joined hands under the supremacy of TRUNG QUANG. But it was
already too late, as the Chinese had made great progress, and at last,
in 1414, made Trung Quang prisoner, subdued Annam, and caused it to
become a province of the Chinese Empire.
No. 16. - Obverse:
Reverse: without rim.
No. 17. - Same as before, but having the character
in the running hand style. Diminutive coins issued by King 
THAI-TONG (1225-1258) in his third nien-hao.
No. 18. - Obverse:
Thieu-phong-binh-bao, or cheap coin of Thieu-phong.
Reverse: without rim.
No. 19. - Same as before, but having the character
in the running hand style.
No. 20. - Obverse: Same as before, but
Naguyen-bao or original coin, instead of
The four characters are written in the seal style. Diminutive coins
issued by King  DU-TONG (1342-1370) in his first nien-hao.
No. 21. - Obverse:
No. 22. - Same as before, but of smaller size.
No. 23. - Same as before, but having
instead of Thong-bao.
Of all kings of the Tran Dynasty, Du-tong cast most cash, and this
was due to the calamities suffered by the country during his reign; for,
owing to the repeated loss of crops, there were frequent distributions
of cash to the people This king was also the first who, during his
second nien-hao, cast the three above coins of size equal to those
current in China.
His successor did not cast cash, but some were issued by the rebels
who were in anus from this period until the end of the dynasty.