On the morning of March 16, 2018, the Centre for Scientific and Cultural Activities Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam held an incense offering ceremony to celebrate the 521st Anniversary of the death of King Le Thanh Tong (1497 - 2018)
The ceremony commemorates and pays tribute to King Le Thanh Tong –a clear-sighted King and a cultural celebrity, a great man of culture, a poet, and a national reformer. The statue of King Le Thanh Tong is located on the second floor of Hậu Đường (rear building) of the Thái Học buildings in Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam, a Special National Site.
Attending the ceremony were board members and staff of the Centre for Scientific and Cultural Activities Van Mieu – Quoc TuGiam. Doctor Le Xuan Kieu, Director of the Centre for Scientific and Cultural Activities Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam presided over the incense offering ceremony.
(Statue of King Le Thanh Tong on the 2nd floor of Hậu Đường (rear building) at the Thái Học buildings in Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam, a Special National Site)
Le Thanh Tong’s real name was Hao, and his pen-name was Tu Thanh. He was the fourth son of King Le Thai Tong. He was the king for 37 years (1460-1497) and gave 2 titles to his reign: Quang Thuan and Hong Duc. He was a clear-sighted, decisive king as well as a talented scholar and a warrior.
Under his rule, Dai Viet country was independent, united and powerful; culture and education were highly developed. He was a great reformer: he reorganized the government structure, gave prominence to jurisdiction, promulgated the Hong Duc law, and ordered the making of the map Hong Duc - the first map of Dai Viet country. He ordered the renovation of Van Mieu and enlarged Quoc Tu Giam in 1483 into a spacious architectural complex, The talented children of common people were allowed to study in Quoc Tu Giam during this time.
He developed Confucian education and examinations, ordered the National examination to be held every three years and made it a fixed convention. Le Thanh Tong was a poet, and founder of the Tao Đàn society. He also ordered the revision of many great historical works such as: Dai Viet complete history, Thiên nam dư hạtập.
(Director of the Centre for Scientific and Cultural Activities Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam offered incense at the statue of King Le Thanh Tong)
From 1463-1496, under king Le Thanh Tong, 12 exams were held and 502 men passed the exam. During this time there were many famous Vietnamese scholars such as Lương The Vinh, Pham Don Le, and Vu Tuan Chieu.
The laureates’ stelae were first erected at Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam in 1484 under the reign of the King Le Thanh Tong. King Le Thanh Tong ordered 10 stone stelae to be set up for the examinations held from 1442 to 1484. He found it important to recognize and honor Confucian-educated men for future generations to admire and follow. The King ordered minister Quach Dinh Bao, the minster of Rite ministry, to check the list of the rank of the laureates of each examination held from 1442 to1484; Chief Academian Than Nhan Trung, and Academian Dao Cu composed the text to inscribe on stelae, written on the stelae by Nguyen Tung (title: Trung thư giám chính tự ), and engraved by To Ngai (title: Kim quang môn đãi chiếu). The first series of 10 stone stelae were set up on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the reign title Hong Duc XV (1484). This event marked the beginning of the erection of laureates’ stelae at Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam Thang Long.
Translator: Le Huong