Lê Thái Tông

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Lê Thái Tông (* December 22, 1423 , † August 28, 1442 , real name: Le Nguyen Long ) was the second ruler of the Empire of Vietnam under the Lê dynasty . His brief reign from 1433 to 1442 was marked by internal power struggles within the court.


Lê Thái Tông was the second son of the emperor and dynasty founder Lê Lợi . Lê Thái Tông was preferred to the firstborn by his father as Crown Prince.


In 1433, at the age of ten, he succeeded his father as emperor after his death. Formally, the minor ruler ruled without a superintendent. In fact, the affairs of state were run by old companions of his father who had made a career as military leaders under him. At the beginning of his tenure, one of them, Le Sat, dominated the management of official business. Because of his fondness for military hierarchies and draconian criminal justice, he made large parts of the court his opponents.

In 1437 Lê Thái Tông Le Sat dropped and his opponents obtained the death penalty against him. He was replaced by vassals from the military, but they no longer achieved his dominant position of power. From 1439 Lê Thái Tông was in charge of official business, led military operations and began reforming court ceremonies. In addition, his reign was overshadowed by famine, natural disasters, and other agricultural problems.

In 1439 Lê Thái Tông died unexpectedly after visiting the prominent scholar Nguyen Trai . His concubine Nguyen Thi Lo, as well as the scholar and their families, were sentenced to death on charges of regicide. However, later Vietnamese sources assumed disease as the cause of death and the regicide is considered unproven. The families of the condemned were rehabilitated by later rulers.

Lê Thái Tông left four sons. The firstborn Le Nghi Dan was planned to be crown prince while he was still alive, but then dropped again as heir to the throne and appointed prince of the southern provinces. His brother Le Khac Xuong was appointed Prince of the Northern Provinces. The third youngest son Le Bang Co was chosen as crown prince and ruled briefly under the ruler name Lê Nhân Tông . His fourth son, Le Tu Tanh, who had been saved from palace intrigue by Nguyen Trai, ruled for 38 years as Emperor Lê Thánh Tông .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b c d e K. W. Taylor: A History of the Vietnamese. Cambridge, 2013 pp. 192-198