Âu Lạc

ISBN (identifier) Hanoi An Dương Vương
History of Vietnam
of Vietnam
Map of Vietnam showing the conquest of the south (the Nam tiến, 1069-1757).
2879–2524 BC Xích Quỷ
2524–258 BC Văn Lang
257–179 BC Âu Lạc
204–111 BC Nam Việt
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History of Vietnam

Âu Lạc (Hán tự: 甌雒/甌駱) was a semi-legendary Vietnamese state from 257 BC[1] to 179 BC.[2] It was a merger of the former states of Nam Cương (Âu Việt) and Văn Lang (Lạc Việt)[2] but was finally annexed by the state of Nam Việt (Nanyue). Its capital was in Cổ Loa,[3] which was located in present-day Hanoi's Dong Anh district.[4]



Thục Phán was the first and only monarch of Âu Lạc and used the royal title of An Dương Vương. He created the Thục dynasty by uniting the mountainous Âu Việt region (comprising what is today northernmost Vietnam and parts of southern China) with the more southerly Lạc Việt (located in the Red River Delta of what is today northern Vietnam).[2] According to old Vietnamese historical records Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư and Khâm định Việt sử Thông giám cương mục, An Dương Vương (Thục Phán) was a son of Prince Thục Chế of the Kaiming dynasty of state of Shu, pronounced Thục in Vietnamese.) Chế was a descendant of Lô Tử Bá Vương, who was the last ruler of Shu.[5][6] When Chế was a little kid, his relatives brought him and sought refuge in the southern Chinese provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan and then moved their people to modern-day northern Vietnam after the destruction of Shu state, in 316 BCE, by King Huiwen of Qin from the neighbouring Qin state. Twenty-five years later, Chế married a native woman and had a child named Phán, who became a well known warrior. After assembling an army, he defeated King Hùng Vương XVIII, the last ruler of the Hồng Bàng dynasty, in around 258 BC. Then, he proclaimed himself An Dương Vương ("King An Dương"). After a successful resistance against an invasion by King Huiwen's descendant Qin Shi Huang, he annexed the kingdom of Văn Lang, which was in the Red River Delta. Some modern Vietnamese believe that Thục Phán came upon the Âu Việt territory (modern-day northernmost Vietnam, western Guangdong, and southern Guangxi, with its capital in what is today Cao Bằng Province.)[7] He then renamed Văn Lang as Âu Lạc, combining the names of the conquering and conquered peoples, and established a new fortress and capital at Co Loa on a rise overlooking the Red River about 16 km (10 mi) northeast of central Hanoi.[4] An Dương Vương still kept the Văn Lang's state model, but he reformed and centralized the state with the king holding more power. He encouraged the development of blacksmiths and merchants, established towns and cities, which replaced the tribal society of previous Văn Lang. Âu Lạc encouraged trading with Chinese, Javanese, and Indians.


Around 180 to 179 BC, Âu Lạc was conquered by Nam Việt, a kingdom that had its capital city, Panyu, around modern Guangzhou. Nam Việt rule lasted until 111 BC. In Vietnamese history, the rule of the Nam Việt kings is referred to as the Triệu dynasty.

See also


  1. ^ Philip Quang Phan, Vietnamese-American engineers: An examination of the leadership ... - Page 26 University of Phoenix - 2009 "The first written records of Vietnamese in leadership date back to 208 BC, with Thục Phán as King An Dương Vương of the kingdom Âu Lạc (Nguyễn, 1999). Throughout history, Asians in leadership positions was related to the following ..."
  2. ^ a b c Taylor, Keith Weller (1991). Birth of Vietnam, The. University of California Press. pp. 23–27. ISBN 0520074173.
  3. ^ Patricia M. Pelley - Postcolonial Vietnam: New Histories of the National Past - Page 213 2002 "To bring Hanoi's singular status into sharper focus, Nguyễn Lương Bích discusses the previous capitals, beginning with Phong Châu, the capital of the prehistoric Hùng kings, and Cổ Loa, the capital of An Dương Vương."
  4. ^ a b Ray, Nick; et al. (2010), "Co Loa Citadel", Vietnam, Lonely Planet, p. 123, ISBN 9781742203898
  5. ^ Taylor (1983), p. 19
  6. ^ Asian Perspectives, Volume 28, Issue 1 (1990), p. 36
  7. ^ Chapuis, Oscar (1995). A History of Vietnam: From Hong Bang to Tu Duc. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-29622-2.