RELICS

PhD. Trần Cảnh and Agriculture of Vietnam

Trần Cảnh (1684 - 1758) was born in Dien Tri, Chi Linh district (now Truc Truc village, Quoc Tuan commune, Nam Sach district, Hai Duong province). He passed the Royal exam held in 1718 (in the reign of King Lê Dụ Tông). PhD. Trần Cảnh has a lot of things to do with the Quốc Tử Giám school. When he was young, he used to study at this school. Later, he became the Principal of this school. The stone stele that records his name is still preserved at the Special National landmark, Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám.

 

The stone stele that records name of PhD. Trần Cảnh, at the Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám

Having served as a Court mandarin for 40 years, Trần Cảnh held many important positions in the court including Hàn lâm viện Thị chếĐông các Học sĩ, Governor of Phung Thien district, Principal of Quốc Tử Giám school, Minister of Justice, Minister of War, Minister of Rites.. He had a gift for the agricultural fields, so he was given the task of encouraging agricultural expansion of Nam Sach and Kinh Mon in Hai Duong. Trần Cảnh called upon the people who lived scatteredly in the districts to gather, reclaim virgin soil and establish villages along the Kinh Thay river, from Nam Sach, Chi Linh, Kinh Mon (Hai Duong province) to the Dong Trieu (Quang Ninh province) and Thuy Nguyen (Hai Phong). He was very strict in implementing the land policies issued by the government. By his orders, the land in the areas he managed was redistributed to people

 The worship house of Trần family in Hai Duong province

Trần Cảnh also wrote a book about weather, meteorology and farming experience to teach the people of his time. Unfortunately, this book has been lost. For his great contributions to Vietnamese agriculture, PhD. Trần Cảnh is considered as one of the pioneers in the field of agriculture in Vietnam.

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The Seminar “Life and Career of Hoàng giáp Nguyễn Đương Hồ”.

Nguyễn Đương Hồ (1657 - 1740) was born in Tien Du district, Bac Ninh province. He passed the Royal examination held in 1683 (under the reign of King Lê Hy Tong). For more than 40 years as an official,  he held many positions working in the Court as well as on borderlands.  Hoàng giáp Nguyễn Đương Hồ always did well in all of his work; he proved himself a virtuous, honest mandarin. He put forward many reform policies that contributed to strengthening the government, discipline and building a prosperous country. He also made significant contributions to his homeland, and indeed,  he is a good example for the following generations to follow.

In order to evaluate Hoàng giáp Nguyễn Đương Hồ on his life and career as well as on his contributions to the country and homeland, on 11/8/2016,  at the ancestral temple (National Historical Site) of the Nguyen Duong Family ( in Duong Huc village, Dai Dong commune, Tien Du district, Bac Ninh province), Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Bac Ninh province in collaboration with People's Committee of Dai Dong commune and Nguyen Duong family organized a scientific Seminar: “Life and Career of Hoàng giáp Nguyễn Đương Hồ”

21 discourses presented by researchers were a demonstration of his contributions to the Le - Trinh dynasties,  also to the country and his homeland. In particular, the researchers also proposed many solutions to promote tangible and intangible cultural heritages that are related to Hoàng Nguyễn Đương Hồ and are meaningful for the educating of his descendants and local people today. Conservation solutions were also proposed to preserve and promote the value of the ancestral temple and Nguyễn Đương Hồ's tomb. 

 

(The seminar held at the ancestral temple of Nguyen Duong family)

(The ancestral  temple of Nguyen Duong family)

 

Writer: Nguyễn Dương Hoà

Translator: CT


Nguyen Cong family organizing the launch of the book "Life and career of Duke Nguyễn Công Cơ”

 

On December 10, the launch of the book "Life and career of Duke Nguyễn Công Cơ” compiled by Colonel, writer Trần Anh Thái took place at the ancestral temple of family Nguyen Cong in Xuan Dinh, Bac Tu Liem district,  Hanoi.

The book consists of 7 chapters. Chapter 1 is about Xuan Dinh land and the Nguyen Cong family while the Chapter 2 and Chapter 7 are about Ph. Dr. Nguyễn Công Cơ (1675-1733): significant events in Nguyen Cong Co's life and career from his childhood to retirement.

As said in the book, "Nguyễn Công Cơ was born in a family that was well-known for a tradition of studiousness. When he was a child, he was famous throughout the locality for his literary and poetic talents. When he was 13, he passed the Local exam. when he was 23 years old, he passed the National Exam which was held in 1697. He worked as  Deputy Minister of Finance; He was sent to work in China (in the Qing Dynasty,1715). When he returned home, he was promoted to Minister of War. Being a military mandarin, a high-ranking official, he still led an ordinary life. Today,  His name is found on a stone stele at the historic Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam, Hanoi that Records the information of the exam held in 1697".

It can be said that the book with more than 200 pages provides further information about the life and career of Ph.Dr. Nguyễn Công Cơ and his contributions to the country.

The book "Life and career of Duke Nguyễn Công Cơ”

 

The book launch at the ancestral temple of Nguyen Cong family

 

Writer: Mai Hương

Translator: CT

 


Nguyễn Quý Đức(1648-1720)

Nguyễn Quý Đức (1648-1720) was born in Dai Mo commune, Tu Liem district, Hanoi. When he was 29, he passed the Royal examination.

In 1690, he was appointed diplomat to China (in the Qing dynasty). In 1794, he was promoted to Deputy Minister of Rites. In 1695, he was promoted to Imperial Adviser. In 1708, he was promoted to Minister of War. He was an honest mandarin, he forbad his inferiors harassing people. He always felt sorry for the misery of people. 

Scientist Lê Quý Đôn wrote about him as follows: "He is a strict, cautious and tolerant man. He held the post of Prime Minister for more than 10 years, always obeyed the law, and appreciated talented people. He was a brilliant Prime Minister when the nation was at peace"|

The historian Phan Huy Chú wrote about him: “He was generous and calm. Normally, when he met someone, he was always easy-going . At a discussion, if a problem had not reached a satisfactory conclusion, he tried to keep his opinion, even if it was discussed three or four times, no one could stop him. His literature had deep meanings. Most important documents of the Court were written by him. He was Prime Minister for 10 years as he was highly appreciated for his generosity”.

Nguyễn Quý Đức composed many poems, including two volumes: "Sứ trình thi tập" and "Thi châu tập", but now there are only nearly 90 poems left, which are written in both Chinese and Chinese-Transcribed Vietnamese.

Statue of  Nguyễn Quý Đức 

Content: Collected

Translator: CT


General Nghiêm Kế’s Temple

General Nghiêm Kế's Temple is located in Gieng hamlet, Quan Do commune, Yen Phong district, Bac Ninh province.  In particular, the temple is also the place to worship two famous scholars, Nghiêm Phụ and Nghiêm Ích Khiêm.

The statue of General NGhiêm Kế 

According to the family records of the Nghiem Thi family, Nghiêm Kế belonged to the second generation of the Nghiem family. When the resistance against the Mongols of the Tran Dynasty took place for the first time in 1258, he became one of the generals taking on an important position in the resistance. After the resistance ended in success, he was promoted to general.

The temple is also a place of worship for two scholars: Nghiêm Phụ and Nghiêm Ích Khiêm - Descendants of General Nghiêm Kế. Nghiêm Phụ was born in 1450. In 1473, he took the Local examination and passed four rounds of this exam. In 1478, he passed the Royal examination and was recognized as a Ph. Doctor. After that, he worked as a mandarin in the royal court. Nghiêm Ích Khiêm was born in 1459 and passed away in 1499. In 1490, under the reign of King Lê Thánh Tông, he took the Royal examination and he was second best of the top 3 candidates, so he was given the academic title Hoàng giáp. After that, he became a military mandarin.

The temple was built in the Le dynasty( in the early twentieth century).  when a Scorched-earth policy was carried out, the temple was destroyed. When the country was independent, the Nghiem family's ​​descendants rebuilt a new temple on the former ground. Today, the temple consists of such construction items as the three-door gate, Left House, the Tiền tế House and the temple. The worship area includes the Tiền tế House and the temple, which are tile-roofed. Tiền tế House has 5 compartments, this is the place for the meeting and for discussing important events of the Nghiem family.

In 2005, at Tiền tế House, a stone stele was set up to record the history of Nghiem family.  The stele has 2 sides, one side is engraved with Chinese inscriptions, the other side is in Vietnamese. The temple consists of 3 compartments, the central area is for the worshipping of  Nghiêm Kế, Nghiêm Phúc Tuấn and Nghiêm Yết. The left and right areas are for the worshiping of the ancestors, including two scholars who had passed the Royal examination, Nghiêm Phụ and Nghiêm Ích Khiêm. Behind the altar is a statue of the general Nghiêm Kế. Every year, on the 10th day of the 3rd lunar month, Nghiem family's ​​descendants across the country will gather at the temple to celebrate ancestors’ Commemoration Day

Along with other relics, General Nghiêm Kế's  Temple is one of the famous Sites of Quan Do village. On April 20, 1995, this temple was recognized by the Ministry of Culture and Information as a national Site. The temple is of religious and cultural value, contributing to the preserving and promoting  of the  historical, cultural and artistic value ​​of the country

Writer: Lâm Thùy Ngân

Translator: CT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hội nguyên, PhD. Nhữ Đình Toản

The Hội nguyên(title given to the best candidate of National exam), PhD. Nhữ Đình Toản (1703 - 1774) was born in Hoach Trach commune, Duong An district, Thuong Hong prefecture, Hai Duong( now Hoach Trach village or known as Vac village, Thai Hoc commune, Binh Giang district, Hai Duong province). He was a famous mandarin in the reign of of the Le King- Trinh Lord. He was born into a family which was famous for a tradition of studiousness, loyalty, and for four successive generations with 5 people passing the Royal exam.

Ph.Dr. Nhữ Đình Toản's temple.

At the age of 34, he came first in the National exam held 1736( in the reign of King Le Y Tong ). The Royal exam held in the same year could select 15 Doctors, and Nhữ Đình Toản was one of the them.

In 1738, Nhữ Đình Toản began his career as a mandarin. For nearly 35 years, working as a military mandarin and civil mandarin, in every position he hold, he also did well; he was well-mannered, so he was highly appreciated by people of his time and also by following generations. Nhữ Đình Toản used to hold many important positions in the court such as: The Great Tutor (1742) and the Minister of the Infantry. Besides, he was trusted by the Lord.

Starting his career as a PhD, Nhữ Đình Toản held many important positions both in the Court and in royal palaces. He was always respected and praised by people of his time as a great mandarin.

 

Photo, Writer:  Minh Thuý

Translator: CT


Great personality Nguyễn Cao

Nguyễn Cao, whose full name is Nguyễn Thế Cao, was born in 1837. His family that is in Cach Bi village, Que Vo district, Bac Ninh province was famous for a tradition of studiousness and outstanding scholars. According to the records of the Nguyen family, the ancestor of the Nguyen family was originally an official of the Le dynasty, his hometown was in Thanh Hoa. He had 6 sons who were mandarins working for this dynasty. Nguyễn Cao belonged to fourth generation of the family

His father was Nguyễn Thế Hanh (1810-1840). When he was 22 , he passed the Local exam, then he became a district Chief. Her mother was Nguyễn Thị Điềm, she was born into a family of high-ranking military mandarins(she was born in Quế Ổ). She was  beautiful and virtuous.

Nguyễn Cao lost his parents when he was three, so he lived with his grandmother. When he was ten, his grandmother died, so he soon became self-reliant and studied hard. He was educated by two great teachers of that time: Junior Doctor Nguyễn Phẩm and Hoàng giáp, Ph D. Nguyễn Văn Nghị. The two teachers not only taught him knowledge but also the spirit of patriotism and loyalty.

Nguyễn Cao was not only smart but also hard working. He came first in the Local exam held in Hanoi in 1867. Since then people always respected and called him Thủ khoa Cao(the one came first). When he passed the exam, he did not immediately worked as a mandarin, but went back to his home town where he founded a private school and worked as a teacher.

During the first invasion of the North in November 1873, the French invaders from Hanoi swept to occupy Gia Lam and Sieu Loai.  Nguyễn Cao commanded the people of Bac Ninh province to fight against the French, killing many enemies and liberating a large area. When the Nguyen court signed a treaty with the French, he pretended illess as an excuse and then went home. At this time, the Chinese bandits swept into the northern provinces and the mountainous districts of Bac Giang province. They robbed and killed local people cruelly. Nguyễn Cao led the rebellion against Chinese bandits. After that, he was appointed the governor of Yên Dũng district, then the county Chief of Lang Giang. Afterwards, he asked for the permission to go reclaiming virgin soil in the plantations in Nha Nam, Phu Binh,  helping local people there.

In 1882, the French colonialists launched an attack on the North for the second time, at that time Nguyễn Cao called on the people to rally their army to fight against the French. In a major battle in Gia Lam, Nguyễn Cao was seriously injured. However, he tried to  maintain the position of commander. The Nguyen king gave him 20 taels of silver for treatment. After his recovery, Nguyễn Cao continued to lead the battle against the French, and many other battles in Pha Lai, Yen Dung, Que Duong, Vo Giang, Tu Son, Thuan Thanh, and Ung Hoa district, Ha Tay province.

On March 27, 1887, at a battle in Kim Giang (now Ung Hoa district, Hanoi), he was captured by the French. The enemy tried to seduce and bribe him. However, he refused.  Moreover, to keep his uprightness, he committed suicide.

Nguyễn Cao devoted his life to the liberation of the country and the training of talents. His name has been mentioned in history and remembered as a patriot, a leader of the anti-French uprisings, a model teacher, and a great poet.

Nguyễn Cao is truly a great personality of the nation and of his homeland. Streets in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Bac Ninh City, Bac Giang City and a Secondary School in Que Vo district are named after him. In Hanoi, a temple in Trung Liet is for the worshiping of Nguyễn Cao.  In  many other places where he went to reclaim, fought and taught people also have temples built. Nguyễn Cao’s  Temple in Cach Bi (Que Vo) is recognized by the State as a National historical and cultural Site.

Writer: Trần Thùy Linh

Translator: CT


The seminar on building up a profile of Chu Văn An

Under the direction of the Hanoi People's Committee and the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports; and as proposed by Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO, on May 25,  The Centre for Scientific and Cultural Activities, Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám held a seminar to gather opinions of scientists and representatives of Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports and representatives from Thanh Tri district on a proposal that the 650th Death anniversary be organized by UNESCO to commemorate great personality Chu Văn An.

After the discussion,  scientists all agreed on building up a profile of Chu Văn An to request UNESCO for a cooperation to celebrate the 650th Death anniversary of Chu Văn An.

 

Discussing at  the seminar

CT


Seminar “Trạng nguyên Nguyễn Đăng Đạo and traditional fondness for learning of Nguyễn Đăng family in Hoài Thượng, Tiên Du, Bắc Ninh province”.

On October 13, the Centre for Scientific and Cultural Activities, Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám held the seminar “Trạng nguyên Nguyễn Đăng Đạo and traditional fondness for learning of Nguyễn Đăng family in Hoài Thượng, Tiên Du, Bắc Ninh province” at Thái học House, The Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám.

Trạng nguyên Nguyễn Đăng Đạo (1651-1719), was born in Hoài Thượng, Tiên Du district, Bac Ninh province. when he was 33 years old, he came first in the Royal examination held in 1863 (in the reign of Le Hy Tong), so he was awarded the academic title of Trạng nguyên (the title given by the King to the best candidate of the Royal examination)

He held such important positions in the Court as Bồi tụng(equivalent to Deputy Prime Minister), Vice Minister of Finance, Vice Minister of Interior, Court Counsellor, Minister of War…He was sent to China(Qing dynasty) to demand three caverns back, including  Ngưu Dương, Hồ Điệp, Phổ Viên that are located in Tuyên Quang province. When he passed away, he was conferred the title of Minister of Interior, and the title of Good Genius; He was worshipped in the communal house in Hoài Bão village.

The 27 discourses presented by scientists focused on :

1. Homeland and  Nguyễn Đăng family of Trạng nguyên Nguyễn Đăng Đạo

2. Trạng nguyên Nguyễn Đăng Đạo: Life and career.

3. The conservation and promotion of traditional fondness for learning  of Nguyễn Đăng family in Hoài Thượng village, Bắc Ninh province.

The seminar

Scientists also focused on discussing:

1. Trạng nguyên Nguyễn Đăng Đạo’s personality.

2. Contributions of Nguyễn Đăng Đạo in the fields he worked.

3. Role and relation of the graduates of Nguyễn Đăng family with Quốc Tử Giám

4. Giá trị di sản dòng họ Nguyễn Đăng trong điều kiện hiện nay.

Heritable value of Nguyễn Đăng family in modern time. 

A part of the workshop space will be used to display exhibits about the homeland, the family and Trạng nguyên Nguyễn Đăng Đạo. The exhibition displays nearly 100 documents, images, technical drawings and many artifacts such as Chinese books, book holders, book boxes, writing brushes, to help visitors know more about life and career of Nguyễn Đăng Đạo, graduates and traditional fondness for learning of Nguyễn Đăng family.

CT


Seminar “Traditional competition-examinations of Bắc Giang province and the Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám”

On November 30, the Centre for Scientific and Cultural Activities, Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám in cooperation with Bắc Giang Museum organized the seminar “Traditional competition-examinations of Bắc Giang province and the Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám”

Mr. Phạm Định Phong. Deputy Director of Department of Cultural Heritage expressed his opinion at the seminar

For a long time, Bac Giang has been known as the " A sacred land of great people". Here, so many talented people were born, they made great contributions to people and the country.

Bắc Giang is the homeland of 58  graduates who were awarded the doctoral degree in the feudal time. They all had their names engraved on stone steles at the Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám,  at the Văn Miếu in Bắc Ninh; and at the local temples. Their names are also kept in many other historical records. Their lives and careers always interest researchers. They are good examples for the tradition of studiousness and competion-examinations in Bắc Giang. More than 20  discoursed presented by researchers, leaders, managers of centres from provinces focused on discussing the traditional competition-examinations of Bac Giang province; famous scholars whose names were engraved on stone steles at the Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám in Hanoi.

CT


HOÀNG GIÁP NGUYỄN DUY HIỂU

Nguyễn Duy Hiểu  passed the Royal examination held in 1628, (he was the second best candidate of the first-class, so he was conferred the title of Hoàng giáp). His name was engraved on the stone stele at the Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám. After he passed the Royal examination, he work as Hàn lâm viện Hiệu lý. Some months later, he was promoted to Nghĩa Phú tử. In November 1629, he was promoted to Lại khoa Cấp sự trung.

At the end of 1631, according to the Court regulation, those who were descendants of the high-ranking mandarins would be conferred the title of Triều liệt Đại phu, and so he was conferred that title. In less than 2 years, he was promoted to post of Lại khoa Đô Cấp sự trung. About half a year later, he was promoted to post of Ngự sử đài Thiêm Đô Ngự sử.

In 1637, Nguyễn Duy Hiểu went on a business trip to China (Ming dynasty) with Giang Văn Minh and four deputy envoys, Nguyễn Quang Minh, Trần Nghi, Nguyen Bình and Thân Khuê. During this trip, they all died. However, there is no record of Nguyễn Duy Hiểu's death. Today, his descendants still kept a certificate of acknowledment by King Lê Thần Tông, which acknowledged his merit for that mission. The certificate said as follows:

"…He was sent to China in a business trip to pay tributes to China; he completed his mission, then he lost his life while he was still in office….."

It shows that the king and his officials highly appreciated his merit.

We can see that Nguyễn Duy Hiểu is a talented diplomat who made a great contribution to the country and people.

He was also very faithful and upright. For his contributions, he deserves to be remembered by the whole nation for good.

 

The stone stele that has his name engraved on at the Văn Miếu - Quốc Tử Giám

CT

 

 

 


PHD, DUKE NGUYEN CONG CO

Duke Nguyen Cong Co was one of the typical celebrity of culture in Tu Liem. He was born in 1676 in Xuan Tao village which is now part of Bac Tu Liem district, Hanoi.

Nguyen Cong Cu passed the exam to become doctoral laureate in 1697 under the reign of Le Hy Tong at the age of 22. Nowadays, his name and hometown are carved on the stone stelae at Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam, Hanoi .

After becoming the doctoral laureate, Nguyen Cong Co was appointed to be Hanlin Editing Clerk. In 1704, Trinh Luan, Trinh Phat, Dao Quang Nhai plotted to rebel, The incident was investigated and Nguyen Cong Co reported the findings to the King. The King ordered them to be punished and promoted Nguyen Cong Co to be Deputy Minister.

Nguyen Cong Co was sent to be chef envoy to tribute Thanh empire in China in 1715. A year later, Nguyen Cong Co and his delegates returned their hometown to tell Vietnamese King about the imperial edict of Thanh in China. The Chinese King ordered gold bars and sliver bars to be used for offeringsinstead of items and ivory and rhino horn. Afterwards, Nguyen Cong Co was promoted to Minister of National Defence.

In 1720, the court carried out an investigation into the contributions of mandarins for the last 10 years. Nguyen Cong Co was ranked among the best and promoted to “Cao Quan Cong and Tham tung”title at the age of 46

Nguyen Cong Co was an upright mandarin who told the king to reorganize the Huong exam after he found mistakes in the arrangement for Huong exam. The king decided to promote Nguyen Cong Co’s title. He passed away in 1733

There are some literacy pieces and poems in Han writing recorded in “Toan Viet thi luc” book.

The house of worship of Nguyen Cong Co located in Xuan Tao village (Bac Tu Liem district). This area used to be the salt warehouse of the court. After his death, the court endowed families of Nguyen Cong Co with this area to build a temple to honor him here.

Photo: The main gate of the house of worship of Nguyen Cong Co

The house of worship was founded 300 years ago. In 2008, the house of worship was reconstructed to include a main gate and the house of worship. The main gate was built simply with double floor and eight separate roofs of dragon scale – shape tiles. The ground from the main gate was paved with Bat Trang brick and three step staircase

Photo: House of worship of Duke Nguyen Cong Co

The house of worship was designed with three sections. The  section is the most important section with an altar of Duke Nguyen Cong Co and twoWorkpalanquin given by King. There are horizontal lacquered boards hanging in the house of worship which praise Nguyen Cong Co’s contributions to a nation. Certificate of Cultural historical site 1993 and the board recording Duke Nguyen Cong Co’s life and his career are hung on the remaining two sections.

Photo: The altar of PhD, Duke Nguyen Cong Co

Nguyen Cong Co’s life and his career was recorded in historical documents such as Dai Viet su ky tuc bien, Kham Dinh Viet su thong giam cuong muc, Dang khoa luc...He was an upright and clear – sighted man who was envied by many.

Nguyen Cong Co was a founder of examination tradition of Nguyen families in Cao village. Every year, on 23 October of Lunar calendar, Nguyen Cong families hold offerings to commemorate  the anniversary of Nguyen Cong Co’s death

Writer and photographer: Thu Hang


TIẾN SĨ TRẦN CÔNG XÁN (1731-1787)

Trần Công Xán (hay còn gọi là Trần Công Thước), là người thôn Trung, xã An Vĩ, huyện Khoái Châu, tỉnh Hưng Yên. Ông thi đỗ Đệ tam giáp Đồng Tiến sĩ xuất thân khoa Nhâm Thìn niên hiệu Cảnh Hưng 33 (1772) đời Lê Hiển Tông khi 42 tuổi. Trong sự nghiệp làm quan của mình, Tiến sĩ Trần Công Xán từng trải qua các chức vụ quan trọng trong bộ máy triều đình như Bồi tụng (1784), Đồng Bình chương sự (1787). Năm 1787, Trần Công Xán cùng với phái đoàn của triều Lê Trung hưng đi sứ Nhà Tây Sơn yêu cầu trả lại đất Nghệ An. Tuy nhiên, việc không hoàn thành, cả phái đoàn đi sứ bị giam, sau được thả về và bị đắm thuyền chết. 

Theo các cụ cao niên trong làng cho biết, sau khi vinh quy bái tổ, Tiến sĩ Trần Công Xán cùng các vị chức sắc địa phương lập nên Văn chỉ thôn Trung (xã An Vĩ) là nơi thờ các Tiên Thánh, đồng thời khuyến khích con cháu về đạo lý uống nước nhớ nguồn, tôn trọng sự học. Hiện nay, sự tích về Tiến sĩ Trần Công Xán được lưu giữ trong hai cuốn sách chữ Hán tại Viện Nghiên cứu Hán Nôm, có tiêu đề: Tiến sĩ Trần Công Xán sự trạng (ký hiệu A.2136) và cuốn Hưng Yên tỉnh Khoái Châu phủ Đông An huyện Kim Động huyện Phù Cừ huyện các xã thần tích (ký kiệu AE.a3/5).

Ảnh: Nhà thờ Tiến sĩ Trần Công Xán

Nhà thờ Tiến sĩ Trần Công Xán được xây theo kết cấu chữ Nhị, gồm Tiền tế, Hậu cung. Tiền tế là nếp nhà 5 gian, được dựng vào ngày 12 tháng 3 năm Đinh Sửu (tức ngày 18 tháng 4 năm 1997). Tiền tế và Hậu cung cách nhau một khoảng sân nhỏ. Hậu cung là nếp nhà 3 gian, được lợp ngói mũi hài, trùng tu năm 2008.

Ảnh: Khám thờ Tiến sĩ Trần Công Xán

Gian chính giữa Hậu cung đặt khám thờ, bên trong đặt bài vị thờ Tiến sĩ Trần Công Xán, hai gian tả hữu thờ Quan Trần Triều. Hiện nhà thờ còn lưu giữ được một số di vật như: bài vịnh về Tiến sĩ Trần Công Xán được viết bằng chữ Hán dưới triều vua Tự Đức, hoành phi, câu đối ca ngợi Tiến sĩ Trần Công Xán. Đặc biệt nhà thờ còn có 1 bản sắc phong thời Nguyễn (18/11/1889) phong Tiến sĩ Trần Công Xán với nội dung: “Sắc ban cho xã An Vĩ, huyện Đông An, tỉnh Hưng Yên vốn thờ Tiến sĩ Bình chương sự Trần phủ quân tôn thần. Trong việc giúp nước che chở cho dân, thần vô cùng linh ứng, nhưng từ trước tới nay chưa từng được ban sắc tặng phong. Nay trẫm kế nối mệnh lớn, nghĩ đến công lao tốt đẹp của thần, nên ban cho thần là Quang ỷ Dực bảo Trung hưng Trung đẳng thần. Lại đặc chuẩn cho (dân xã) thờ thần như cũ, mong thần hãy phù hộ che chở cho dân của ta. Kính cẩn thay! Ngày 18 tháng 11 năm Thành Thái năm thứ nhất (1889)”.

Họ tên, quê quán của Tiến sĩ Trần Công Xán được khắc tên trên bia Tiến sĩ khoa thi năm 1772 tại Di tích Quốc gia đặc biệt Văn Miếu - Quốc Tử Giám (Hà Nội) và trên bia Tiến sĩ tại Văn Miếu Xích Đằng (tỉnh Hưng Yên).

Bài và ảnh: Hoa Ngân


TẾ TỬU QUỐC TỬ GIÁM NGUYỄN BÁ LÂN (1700 - 1785)

 

Nguyễn Bá Lân sinh năm Canh Thìn (1700) trong một gia đình có truyền thống hiếu học tại làng Cổ Đô (xã Cổ Đô, huyện Ba Vì, thành phố Hà Nội). Ông không chỉ là một tác gia lớn của nền văn học trung đại, mà ông còn là một nhà giáo có nhiều đóng góp cho sự nghiệp đào tạo giáo dục đào tạo nhân tài của đất nước.

Làng Cổ Đô yên bình nằm bên dòng sông Đà cuộn sóng. Tạo hóa đã ban cho mảnh đất này nhiều sự “hữu duyên” nên đã có nhiều truyền thuyết ra đời từ nơi đây. Đất Cổ Đô còn nổi tiếng là đất văn học nên người dân luôn tự hào về truyền thống hiếu học, khoa bảng của làng.

Cha của Nguyễn Bá Lân là Nguyễn Công Hoàn vô cùng nổi tiếng về thơ văn thời bấy giờ. Nguyễn Công Hoàn hiệu là Mai Hiên, tên chữ là Hạo Nhiên, là người có tài văn học xuất chúng, nổi tiếng gần xa. Người ta ca tụng ông là một trong “Tràng An tứ hổ” gồm: nhất Quỳnh, nhị Nham, tam Hoàn, tứ Tuấn. Nguyễn Công Hoàn nức tiếng văn chương nhưng con đường khoa cử của ông lại không may mắn. Ông thường đi dạy học khắp nơi, đến khi Nguyễn Bá Lân 15 tuổi, ông về trực tiếp dạy dỗ con trai của mình. Nguyễn Bá Lân đã lĩnh hội được những tinh túy chắt lọc trong kiến thức mà cha truyền thụ, ông sớm nổi tiếng văn hay, chữ tốt so với chúng bạn cùng thời. Năm 31 tuổi ông đỗ đầu kỳ thi Hội, vào thi Đình, Bá Lân đỗ đầu hàng Đệ tam giáp Đồng Tiến sĩ xuất thân khoa thi năm Tân Hợi niên hiệu Vĩnh Khánh 3 (1731).

Sau khi thi đỗ có nhiều điều kiện để thi thố tài năng, quan lộ của Nguyễn Bá Lân bắt đầu rộng mở. Năm 1737 khi đang là Đốc đồng trấn Sơn Nam, chúa tin cậy giao cho ông làm Giám quân, ông đã lập được công to, nên nhà chúa giao ông giữ chức Bồi tụng. Năm 1744, Bá Lân được bổ làm Lưu thủ Hưng Hóa, sau đó làm Đốc trấn Cao Bằng. Với tấm lòng yêu dân, trách nhiệm với biên cương của đất nước, ông hoàn thành xuất sắc nhiệm vụ của mình, được dân chúng tin yêu, kính trọng. Vì vậy, năm 1756, ông được triều đình vời về Kinh thăng làm Thiêm Đô Ngự sử kiêm Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám, đồng thời giữ chức Bồi tụng trong phủ chúa. Nguyễn Bá Lân cùng một lúc làm việc trong cung vua, phủ chúa và phụ trách Quốc Tử Giám đủ thấy ông là người có khả năng lãnh đạo và tầm quản lý vĩ mô. Đây là giai đoạn quan trọng, thăng hoa nhất của Nguyễn Bá Lân, cũng là thời kỳ ông có nhiều đóng góp nhất cho văn hóa, giáo dục của nước nhà.

Quốc Tử Giám có vai trò là trung tâm đào tạo, giáo dục nhân tài cho quốc gia nên Tế tửu thường do các bậc đại thần đạo cao, đức trọng phụ trách. Tế tửu vừa trông coi việc tế lễ vào dịp xuân thu nhị kỳ, vừa quản lĩnh việc dạy và học trong nhà Giám. Một nhiệm vụ quan trọng khác của người đứng đầu Quốc Tử Giám là xem xét, đánh giá chính xác tài, đức của Giám sinh tiến cử lên triều đình, nhằm tuyển chọn được những nhân tài xứng đáng cho đất nước. Trong thời gian Nguyễn Bá Lân làm Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám, ông rất sát sao với việc học tập của Giám sinh, luôn công tâm, chính trực trong quá trình đánh giá học trò. Do vậy học trò trường Giám đã có nhiều người đỗ đại khoa có phần nhiều công sức dạy dỗ, giám sát của Nguyễn Bá Lân trong thời gian ông giữ Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám như các Giám sinh: Phạm Nguyễn Đạt đỗ Hội nguyên, Phan Khiêm Thụ và Phan Lê Phiên, đỗ Tiến sĩ khoa thi năm 1757.

Năm 1770, Nguyễn Bá Lân xin về trí sĩ, chúa Trịnh ưng cho nhưng vẫn lưu giữ ông ở gần kinh thành để khi có việc có thể gặp ông tham khảo ý kiến. Năm 1772, Nguyễn Bá Lân được triều đình khởi phục, bổ giữ chức Thượng thư Bộ Lễ - chức quan đứng đầu, chịu trách nhiệm tổ chức và kiểm soát việc học hành thi cử, chọn nhân tài cho đất nước và các vấn đề lễ nghi triều chính.

Năm 1786, Nguyễn Bá Lân mất, được triều đình truy tặng hàm Thái tể, tước Quận công, thọ 86 tuổi. Hơn 50 năm làm quan, trải qua nhiều trọng trách trong cung vua, phủ chúa ở cả văn và võ, Nguyễn Bá Lân không chỉ là một trí thức có kiến thức uyên bác, làm việc cẩn trọng mà còn là người thanh liêm, chính trực hết lòng vì dân vì nước. Dù ông làm việc ở đâu cũng luôn tận tâm, tận lực với công việc, nên ông được vua yêu, chúa mến. Các sử gia đều đánh giá cao về ông, khen ông là người có văn học, thẳng thắn, trung thực, là một bề tôi danh vọng.

Không chỉ là một danh thần, một nhà giáo, Nguyễn Bá Lân còn là một tác gia lớn trong nền văn học Việt Nam thế kỷ XVIII. Bài phú Nôm Ngã ba Hạc phú với lời văn điêu luyện, phép tắc nhuần nhuyễn, câu chữ và ý tứ độc đáo, gợi cho người đọc như đang thưởng ngoạn thiên nhiên vũ trụ đầy tươi vui và sống động là một bài phú tiêu biểu cho phú Việt Nam, có ảnh hưởng mạnh mẽ đến các tác gia viết phú sau này. Ngoài ra, Nguyễn Bá Lân còn có nhiều bài phú và thơ vịnh bằng chữ Hán như Giai cảnh hứng tình, Dịch đình hương xa, Trương Hàn tư thuần lư… Thơ và Phú của ông đã góp phần đưa tên tuổi ông thành một tác gia tiêu biểu của làng phú, của văn học Việt Nam.

Nguyễn Bá Lân là một danh Nho, danh thần, một nhân cách lớn, xứng đáng là một tấm gương sáng cho hậu thế noi theo./.

 

Ths. Nguyễn Thị Mai 

Phòng Nghiên cứu - Sưu tầm Trung tâm hoạt động VHKH Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám


NHỮNG TƯ LIỆU LỊCH SỬ GHI CHÉP VỀ TẾ TỬU QUỐC TỬ GIÁM VŨ MIÊN

Vũ Miên (1718-1782) làm quan dưới triều vua Lê Hiển Tông vào nửa cuối thế kỷ XVIII. Ông được sinh ra trong một gia đình có truyền thống khoa bảng ở xã Xuân Lan, huyện Lang Tài, nay thuộc thôn Ngọc Quan, xã Lâm Thao, huyện Lương Tài, tỉnh Bắc Ninh. Ông làm quan đến chức Thượng thư vì thế có nhiều tư liệu cổ ghi chép về ông.

 

Ảnh: Tượng thờ Vũ Miên tại nhà thờ

 

Quê quán Vũ Miên được ghi chép thống nhất trong các sách như: Khâm định việt sử thông giám cương mụcViệt sử cương mục tiết yếu và trên bia Tiến sĩ khoa Mậu Thìn, niên hiệu Cảnh Hưng 9 (1748) đặt tại Văn Miếu - Quốc Tử Giám Hà Nội đều ghi ông là người xã Xuân Quan, huyện Lang Tài.

 

Tiểu sử của Vũ Miên được ghi chép chi tiết trên thác bản bia thần đạo khắc dựng năm Cảnh Hưng thứ 43 (1782). Bia thần đạo tóm tắt tiểu sử Liên Khê hầu Vũ Miên như sau: Vũ Miên sinh năm 1718, tên húy là Trọng, tiểu tự Hy Nghi. Ông nội là Vũ Bá Xuân được tặng Triệu Phái bá, bà nội là Nguyễn Thị Bái, được tặng Tự phu nhân. Cha làm Huấn đạo, tên Vũ Khuê, được phong tặng Công bộ Hữu thị lang Lan Khê hầu. Mẹ là Đỗ Thị Đễ được phong tặng Chánh phu nhân. Bản thân ông năm 15 tuổi học ở trường huyện, 18 tuổi vào học trong Quốc Tử Giám, 31 tuổi thi Hội đỗ Hội nguyên, văn phú, sách đều giỏi loại nhất. Làm quan Đốc đồng xứ Kinh Bắc, trải giữ các chức Tri Lễ phiên, Bồi tụng, Tham tụng, kiêm hành Ngự sử đài, Binh bộ, Lại bộ. Phu nhân là Vũ Thị Mát. Con trưởng của ông là Phó Hiến sát sứ Vũ Thiều, cháu đích tôn là Tri phủ Vũ Trinh.

         

Ảnh: Nhà thờ Vũ Miên

 

Ông đỗ Tiến sĩ năm Mậu Thìn (1748), việc đỗ đạt của ông được ghi chép nhiều trong các sách: Đại Việt sử ký tục biên, Việt sử cương mục tiết yếuLịch triều hiến chương loại chí, và được khắc trên bia Tiến sĩ khoa Mậu Thìn, niên hiệu Cảnh Hưng 9 (1748) đặt tại Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám Hà Nội; được khắc trên bia Kim bảng lưu phương (từ khoa Tân Hợi – 1731 đến khoa Đinh Mùi – 1787) đặt tại Văn miếu Bắc Ninh; được khắc trên bia Tục lập đề danh bi có niên đại vào năm Cảnh Hưng thứ 43 (1782). Trên chuông lớn Bích Ung đặt tại Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám Hà Nội cũng có đề cập đến năm ông đỗ Tiến sĩ là năm 1748. 

 

Sau khi Vũ Miên đỗ đạt, ông liên tục làm quan dưới triều Lê - Trịnh, lần lượt qua nhiều chức quan từ nhỏ tới lớn. Các chức quan của ông được chép trong Đại Việt sử ký tục biên và Khâm định Việt sử thông giám cương mục: Trong thời gian từ 1761 đến 1778 ông là kinh qua các chức: Giản quan năm 1761, Bồi tụng và Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám năm 1767, Thự thiêm đô ngự sử năm 1768, Phó Đô ngự sử năm 1774, Hữu thị lang bộ Hình, Hữu thị lang bộ Binh năm 1777, Hành tham tụng năm 1778, khi mất (1782) ông được phong tặng hàm Thượng thư, thụy Ôn Cẩn.

 

Khi làm Tổng tài Quốc sử quán, ông được giao chủ trì biên soạn Quốc sử tục biên. Bộ sách này chép sự việc từ niên hiệu Vĩnh Trị (1676) đời Lê Hy Tông đến niên hiệu Vĩnh Hựu (1735-1739) đời Lê Ý Tông, gồm 6 quyển. Hoàn thành bộ quốc sử, Vũ Miên lại cùng Nguyễn Hoản, Uông Sĩ Lãng, Phan Trọng Phiên biên soạn sách Đại Việt lịch triều đăng khoa lục vào năm 1779. Sách chép danh sách đỗ đạt Trạng nguyên, Tiến sĩ từ năm 1075 đến năm 1787.

 

Vào năm 1761 Vũ Miên làm tán lý quân vụ Hưng Hóa. Lúc ấy quan quân đạo Hưng Hóa vây giặc Thành đã lâu, quân sĩ nhiều người bị nhiễm chướng dịch. Tháng 9, giặc Thành nhân cơ hội nước lên to, phá vây chạy, quan quân đuổi theo bắt được, giải về kinh sư, giết giặc Thành cùng đồ đảng, Hưng Hóa được yên. Nhờ lập được công lớn nên tới năm Giáp Ngọ - Cảnh Hưng thứ 35 (1774),“Chúa cho Bồi tụng Vũ Miên làm Phó Đô ngự sử”. Vũ Miên cũng có đóng góp trong việc dẹp giặc Lê Duy Mật. Khởi nghĩa Lê Duy Mật diễn ra suốt 30 năm với quy mô rất rộng lớn. Vũ Miên tham gia vào việc bàn công việc tiến đánh hợp ý Chúa. Nhờ vậy dẹp tan được giặc Lê Duy Mật.

 

Các sách Đại Việt sử ký tục biên, Việt sử cương mục tiết yếu đều khi Vũ Miên mất năm 1782 vì bệnh nặng.

 

Vũ Miên giữ chức Tổng tài quốc sử quán nên ông có rất nhiều các tác phẩm bằng cả chữ Hán và chữ Nôm như: Lê triều Vũ Liên Khê công Bắc sứ tự thuật kí, Đại Việt lịch triều đăng khoa lục. Ngoài ra ông còn có một số bài thơ văn được chép rải rác trong các tác phẩm: Quốc âm thi, Hồng ngư trú tú lụcCẩm tuyền vinh lụcLịch đại quần anh thi văn tậpViệt thi tục biênĐạo giáo nguyên lưu.

 

Qua những tóm lược tư liệu cổ ta có thể thấy Vũ Miên là người luôn tận hiếu tận trung, cống hiến hết mình vì xã tắc. Từ khi bước vào chốn quan trường, ông luôn tận lực làm hết trách nhiệm của mình. Có thể nói Vũ Miên là người văn võ song toàn, có sự nghiệp chính trị và quân sự vẻ vang, ông có nhiều đóng góp trong việc chính sự cũng như góp phần làm ổn định tình hình biên giới của đất nước.

Bài và ảnh: Minh Lan


DUKE NGUYEN NGHIEM (1708-1775)

 Nguyen Nghiem (or Hy Tu) was a native of Nghi Xuan district, Ha Tinh province. He was a famous scholar with high glory and not only virtue in favour with the court, but he was respected as Khue constellation and Dau constellation.

 

 The horizontal board “Co kim nhat nguyet” (Like the sun and the moon shining through time – past and present)

Nguyen Nghiem’s family had many contributions to examination tradition of Nghi Xuan. His younger brother was Nguyen Hue  who passed philosophy exam in 1733. His son was Nguyen Du who a preeminent poet respected as a World Cultural Personality with “Truyen Kieu”

When he was a child, Nguyen Nghiem was so smart and fond of study and at the top of a list of successful candidates in exams. After passing Huong exam 1723, Nguyen Nghiem studied as an official student in Quoc Tu Giam in 1724. He got high marks in the essays which displayed notice on Thai Hoc gate (giving names of successful candidates in examination). In 1731, Nguyen Nghiem passed Dinh exam with second rank (Hoang giap) as the youngest candidate of  that exam.

After that, Nguyen Nghiem took office as a literacy official, then he was appointed as many to many significant positions. In 1761, Nguyen Nghiem was appointed as a headmaster of Quoc Tu Giam. He retired at the age of 64. In 1774, Trinh Sam king recalled him to be Minister of a nation. Nguyen Nghiem passed away at the age of 68.

 

Photo: Bich Ung bell

When Nguyen Nghiem worked as headmaster of Quoc Tu Giam, he ordered the horizontal board “....” and 4 small bells and Bich Ung bell to be made and put aside. Nowadays, only the Bich Ung bell and the horizontal board hang at House of Ceremony at Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam of Hanoi. While students make offerings to honor Sage and Saint, Bich Ung bell is rung.

Nguyen Nghiem was also famous author with valuable works on many subjects including two texts engraved on the stone stelae erected in 1760 and 1766.

High ranking Duke Nguyen Nghiem was a smart and diligent man, skilled in strategy and appointed to many important positions. He always put his attention to the country’s fate. With his career in training students, Nguyen Nghiem recognized his responsibility clearly for development of study of a nation. Therefore, he summoned up all his strength and love for students at Quoc Tu Giam when he worked as a headmaster of Quoc Tu Giam. His contributions to Van Mieu  - Quoc Tu Giam and culture of a nation were extremely great.

Collect and edit: Mai Ngan An


 


TẾ TỬU QUỐC TỬ GIÁM NGUYỄN TRÍ VỊ (1670-1744)

Nguyễn Trí Vị tự là Hiền Nhu, hiệu Phúc Diên, sinh giờ Mùi ngày 14 tháng 4 năm Canh Tuất (1670) tại làng Sơn Đồng, huyện Đan Phượng, nay là xã Sơn Đồng, huyện Hoài Đức, Hà Nội. Xã Sơn Đồng là vùng đất có truyền thống hiếu học từ lâu đời, toàn xã có trên 20 dòng họ với 8 vị đỗ Đại khoa, trong đó, dòng họ Nguyễn Trí có hai Tiến sĩ là Nguyễn Trí Cung và Nguyễn Trí Vị.

 

Cổng nhà thờ Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám Nguyễn Trí Vị, xã Sơn Đồng, Hoài Đức, Hà Nội (p.NCST)

Sinh ra trong gia đình vốn có truyền thống đèn, sách nên từ nhỏ, Nguyễn Trí Vị rất chăm chỉ học hành. Ông cùng với người anh họ là Nguyễn Trí Cung thi đua học giỏi và đỗ cao. Mùa xuân năm Quý Mùi, niên hiệu Chính Hòa (1703), Triều đình mở khoa thi, Nguyễn Trí Cung tham dự kỳ thi và đỗ Đệ tam giáp Đồng tiến sĩ xuất thân, được làm lễ vinh quy bái tổ rất long trọng. Đây là sự kiện khiến ông ngày đêm ra sức dùi mài kinh sử. Năm sau, Nguyễn Trí Vị đi thi Hương và đỗ Tú tài, được cử làm Tri huyện Thiên Bản (thuộc Nam Định ngày nay). Vẫn chưa đạt được mục tiêu, nên ông quyết chí tiếp tục sôi kinh nấu sử. Học tài, thi phận, khoa thi năm 1710, ông vẫn chỉ đỗ Tú tài. Hai lần thi không đỗ cao nhưng ông không những không nản chí mà quyết tâm càng cao hơn, dồn sức cho học tập càng nhiều hơn. Đến năm Nhâm Thìn niên hiệu Vĩnh Thịnh thứ 8 đời Lê Dụ Tông (1712) triều đình mở khoa thi. Nguyễn Trí Vị tham dự và đỗ Đệ tam giáp Đồng tiến sĩ xuất thân. Họ tên, quê quán của ông được khắc trên bia Tiến sĩ tại Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám: “Đệ tam giáp Đồng tiến sĩ xuất thân. Nguyễn Trí Vị: xã Sơn Đồng, huyện Đan Phượng”.

Ngay năm đó, ông được vua sắc phong khen ngợi vì đã đỗ đạt, đồng thời cử ông làm Giám sát ngự sử đạo Hải Dương, với chức trách giữ việc giám sát bách liêu, tuần án quận huyện, cứu thị hình ngục, chỉnh đốn triều nghi ở địa phương. Năm 1714, ông được thăng chức Hiến sát sứ tỉnh Thái Nguyên, hàm chánh lục phẩm. Hiến sát sứ là chức quan đứng đầu của Hiến sát sứ ty, chịu trách nhiệm quản lý việc thực hiện chức trách của Hiến sát sứ ty: đàn hặc, khám đoán, xét hỏi, hội đồng kiểm soát, khảo khoá, tuần hành.

Là vị quan tài năng lại tận tụy, cẩn trọng, ông được triều đình đánh giá cao, nên sau đó ông được triệu về kinh, sung làm Hàn lâm viện Đãi chế, chuyên việc hiệu đính văn thư, từ mệnh, lệnh chỉ, sắc phong…

Khoảng đầu năm Vĩnh Hựu thứ 2 (1737), ông được sắc phong giữ chức Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám, chức quan đứng đầu trường Quốc học, một trong những chức quan quan trọng đối với nền giáo dục, đào tạo nhân tài cho nhà nước và chỉ những người văn tài lỗi lạc, học vấn uyên thâm và đạo cao đức trọng mới được bổ dụng.

Chức trách của Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám là trông coi Văn Miếu, ngày ngày đến nhà Thái học hội các học trò để giảng sách sử, hàng tháng theo đúng kỳ cho tập làm văn để gây dựng nhân tài. Ngoài ra, Tế tửu còn phải tổ chức đánh giá sự tiến bộ trong học thuật của học trò công bằng, khách quan vì những đánh giá đó là căn cứ để triều đình cất nhắc và bổ dụng. Nguyễn Trí Vị đã hoàn thành xuất sắc chức trách của một vị Tế tửu, góp phần củng cố, phát triển nền giáo dục nước nhà, được triều đình đánh giá là người có tâm thuật, hành sự cung kính trung cần.

Trong thời gian làm quan trong triều, Nguyễn Trí Vị là một người có tài, có đức, nhưng cũng luôn có ý thức góp sức xây dựng đất nước, quê hương, khích lệ chí khí hậu sinh. Năm Vĩnh Thịnh thứ 12 (1716), ông là người góp phần quan trọng trong việc xây dựng Văn miếu Đan Phượng, là người soạn bài ký cho bia “Văn miếu Đan Phượng huyện bút ký” đặt tại Văn miếu Đan Phượng. Bài ký là một tư liệu quan trọng không chỉ cho thấy con người Nguyễn Trí Vị, mà còn giúp ta nghiên cứu về Văn Miếu hàng huyện, về đời sống văn hóa, đạo đức làng xã Việt   Nam đầu thế kỷ XVIII. Văn bia cho biết, việc xây dựng Văn miếu là để tôn kính, biết ơn các bậc tiên triết, thánh hiền đời xưa đã gây dựng lên phong tục, giáo hóa tốt đẹp, để cho đời sau thấm nhuần văn chương, đức nghiệp. Bài ký cho biết, Văn Miếu được các thân sĩ địa phương quyên góp tiền xây dựng chỉ trong vòng một năm, là bởi vì: “Lòng bền thì không có việc gì khó. Công trình nguy nga, tráng lệ biểu hiện lễ nhạc của một vùng xuân thu nhắc nhở muôn đời. Khiến cho đạo lớn được không ngừng phát huy chí khí của hậu sinh được luôn khích lệ. Mở rộng đường, nên tài lương đống giúp nước yêu dân. Chưa được vậy, thì cũng là khuôn phép của bậc chân nhân, trí sĩ”.

Văn bia Văn miếu Đan Phượng là một sử liệu quan trọng trong việc nghiên cứu về lịch sử hình thành và tồn tại của các di tích Nho học Việt Nam, và về truyền thống hiếu học, tôn sư trọng đạo của người Đan Phượng nói riêng, dân tộc Việt Nam nói chung.

Năm Vĩnh Hựu thứ 3 (1738), Nguyễn Trí Vị  70 tuổi, theo lệ được về trí sĩ được gia phong Hàn lâm viện Thừa chỉ, tước Đan Sơn bá, được nhà vua vinh phong hàm Đặc tiến Kim tử Vinh lộc Đại phu, được khao lão thượng thọ theo tục lệ của làng.

Nguyễn Trí Vị mất năm 1743 tại quê nhà, hưởng thọ 74 tuổi. Nhà vua hay tin đã phong tặng ông là Đặc tiến Kim tử Vinh lộc Đại phu, Công bộ Hữu thị lang Đan Sơn bá, và ban cho 500 quan tiền để làm ma chay, 200 quan cho con cháu dùng vào việc thờ cúng hàng năm. Ông ra đi trong sự tiếc thương và lòng cảm mộ của gia đình, dòng họ, nhân dân địa phương và văn thân sĩ phu cả nước. Với những cống hiến của ông cho đất nước và sự phát triển văn hóa tại Đan Phượng quê hương ông, ông xứng đáng là một nhà trí thức, một nhà giáo dục lớn của quê hương Đan Phượng.

Ths. Hoàng Mai Lan -Cán bộ Phòng Nghiên cứu – Sưu tầm

Trung tâm HĐVHKH Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám


 

TẾ TỬU QUỐC TỬ GIÁM NGUYỄN CÔNG THÁI (1684 – 1758)

 

Nguyễn Công Thái húy là Phấn, tên tự là Hanh, sinh ra tại xã Kim Lũ, huyện Thanh Trì, (nay thuộc phường Đại Kim, quận Hoàng Mai, thành phố Hà Nội). Kim Lũ (hay Kẻ Lủ) nổi tiếng là vùng đất giàu truyền thống hiếu học và khoa bảng ở Thăng Long. Dòng họ Nguyễn Kim Lũ là một trong những dòng họ có nhiều người đỗ đạt khoa cử, ra làm quan giúp nước như Nguyễn Công Thái, Nguyễn Trọng Hợp, Nguyễn Siêu… nên người xưa có câu ca dao:

Nơi đây Lủ những ba làng

Lủ Trung mũ áo làm quan đại triều

Từ nhỏ, Nguyễn Công Thái nổi tiếng thông minh, học giỏi. Năm 18 tuổi, ông thi đỗ Giải nguyên khoa thi Hương năm Nhâm Ngọ (1702). Khoa thi năm Ất Mùi, niên hiệu Vĩnh Thịnh 11 (1715), ông đỗ Đệ tam giáp đồng Tiến sĩ xuất thân. Cùng đỗ khoa này còn có nhiều danh sĩ như Nguyễn Quý Ân, Nguyễn Kiều ở Từ Liêm. Sau khi thi đỗ, Nguyễn Công Thái được triều đình điều ra Nghệ An và Thanh Hoa đảm nhận chức Giám sát Ngự sử  rồi Hiến sát sứ Nghệ An, Đốc đồng Thanh Hoa, Tham chính Kinh Bắc. Năm 1720, ông được triệu về triều vào làm việc tại tòa Đông các với chức vụ là Đông các hiệu thư. Năm 1724, ông được nhậm chức Đông các Đại học sĩ. Năm Bảo Thái 8 (1727), Nguyễn Công Thái được thăng Hồng lô Tự khanh, tri Binh phiên. Năm 1728, trong khi giữ chức Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám, ông cùng với Tả thị lang bộ Binh là Nguyễn Huy Nhuận đàm phán với sứ nhà Thanh về phân định biên giới. Hoàn thành sứ mệnh cũng là lúc triều đình tổ chức khoa Đông các, ông tham dự, trúng cách, được triều đình bổ nhiệm làm Phó Đô Ngự sử kiêm Đông các Hiệu thư, đồng thời được ban tước Kim Lĩnh bá. Năm 1733, Nguyễn Công Thái được thăng chức Thị lang Bộ Công, chức quan thứ 2 sau Thượng thư của bộ chuyên quản về việc sửa chữa, xây dựng thành trì, cầu cống, đường sá cũng như thợ thuyền, quản lý núi rừng, vườn tược, sông đầm… Ông hoàn thành chức trách của mình, có nhiều công lao đóng góp với triều đình, nên năm 1741, đặc thăng Tham tụng, Lễ bộ Thượng thư, tước Kiều quận công. Năm 1744, ông được triều đình thăng làm Hộ bộ Thượng thư, hàm Thiếu bảo, ban cho thực ấp, được chúa giao trọng trách Tham tụng. Từ đó, ông được giao nhiều trọng trách khác nhau, nhiều lần đảm nhiệm Tham tụng, trải các chức Thượng thư bộ Binh, Thượng thư Bộ Lễ, Thượng thư bộ Lại. Năm 1753, chúa tin cẩn, giao trọng trách Bảo phó để trợ giúp Thế tử Trịnh Sâm. Năm 1756, ông xin trí sĩ tại quê nhà. Năm 1758, Tham tụng, Lại Bộ thượng thư, Thái tử Thái bảo, Kiều quận công mất, được triều đình truy tặng hàm Thái tử Thái phó, ban tên thụy là Trung Mẫn, an táng tại quê nhà.

Nhà thờ Nguyễn Công Thái, Xã Đại Kim, Hoàng Mai, Hà Nội (Ảnh p.NCST)

Hơn 40 năm làm quan, Nguyễn Công Thái từng đảm nhiệm nhiều chức vụ khác nhau: từ Giám sát Ngự sử đến Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám, Tham tụng, Thị lang bộ Công, Thượng thư Bộ Hộ, Thượng thư Bộ Lễ, Thượng thư bộ Binh, Thượng thư bộ Lại… ông luôn chứng tỏ tài năng và trí tuệ của mình, được được vua Lê chúa Trịnh coi trọng, tin dùng. Trong thời gian làm quan, ông đã 5 lần ông xin về trí sĩ, nhưng cả 5 lần ông đều được vời ra giúp việc ngay sau đó. Đặc biệt, trong thời gian ông đảm nhiệm chức Tế tửu (như Hiệu trưởng) Quốc Tử Giám – trường đại học đầu tiên của Việt Nam, ông đã có những đóng góp không nhỏ đối với sự phát triển giáo dục, đào tạo nhân tài ở nước ta.

Nguyễn Công Thái được bổ nhiệm Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám vào khoảng năm 1728 với trách nhiệm Phụng mệnh trông coi nhà Văn Miếu, rèn tập sĩ tử, phải chiếu theo chỉ truyền năm trước, hằng tháng theo đúng kỳ cho (học trò trường Giám) tập làm văn, để gây dựng nhân tài, giúp việc thực dụng cho nước(1). Theo quy định thời kỳ này, những người được bổ nhiệm chức Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám phải là những bậc đại khoa, văn chương, trí tuệ uyên bác, đạo đức trong sáng. Nguyễn Công Thái là một quan chức mẫn cán, tài năng, chắc chắn không phụ lòng mong đợi của triều đình, hoàn thành xuất sắc chức trách của người quản lý và người thầy giáo, đào tạo được nhiều nhân tài cho đất nước.

Nguyễn Công Thái không chỉ là vị quan tài năng, hết lòng phụng sự đất nước mà còn là một tác gia. Ông đã có 7 lần soạn và nhuận sắc các bài kí được khắc trên bia đá tại ở hai địa điểm thiêng liêng, biểu dương cho tinh thần tôn sư trọng đạo, khích lệ truyền thống hiếu học của đất nước là miếu thờ Chu Văn An và Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám. Năm 1717, Nguyễn Công Thái là người soạn văn bia Văn Trinh công Từ bi kí(2) cho Miếu thờ Chu Văn An tại xã Huỳnh Cung tổng Cổ Điển huyện Thanh Trì (Hà Nội). Bài ký ghi về hành trạng, công tích của Chu Văn An, một vị Tư nghiệp Quốc Tử Giám nổi tiếng dưới triều vua Trần Minh Tông (1324 – 1329), một danh sư đồng thời là một danh nhân văn hóa tiêu biểu của Việt Nam. Bài ký là tư liệu quý cho chúng ta tìm hiểu về thân thế, sự nghiệp của một vị Tư nghiệp Quốc Tử Giám, một danh nho, người thầy đạo cao đức trọng, về lịch sử ngôi miếu thờ, cũng như truyền thống văn hóa uống nước nhớ nguồn của con người Việt Nam. Văn bia cũng cho chúng ta hiểu thêm được về bản thân con người Nguyễn Công Thái.

Đáng chú ý là 6 bài ký Văn bia Tiến sĩ tại Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám do Nguyễn Công Thái nhuận sắc, đó là các bài kí các khoa thi năm 1724, 1743, 1746, 1748, 1752 và 1754. Đây là những đóng góp lớn của Nguyễn Công Thái đối với nền văn chương nước nhà, bởi những bài ký trên bia Tiến sĩ tại Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám không chỉ được coi là những sử liệu quan trọng, mà còn là những áng văn chương uyên bác, mẫu mực (thể loại bi ký) còn lại ở nước ta. Thông thường, những người nhuận sắc – người sẽ hiệu chỉnh nội dung, rà soát sửa chữa văn phong, câu chữ để đảm bảo cho bài ký không chỉ chính xác về nội dung, tư tưởng mà còn chau truốt, hay về nghệ thuật, phải là người học vấn tinh thông, văn chương uyên bác. Nguyễn Công Thái là người tài giỏi trong lĩnh vực văn học và phải được Chúa tin dùng(3) và vì vậy ông được tín nhiệm giao cho việc quan trọng này.

Con người và sự nghiệp của ông đã được triều đình ghi nhận không chỉ ở những chức trách mà ông được giao phó, mà còn ở những sắc phong tặng cho ông. Nội dung 10 sắc phong liên quan đến Nguyễn Công Thái hiện còn giữ được cho chúng ta rõ hơn về nhân cách, con người ông. Các sắc phong tặng ông đề ghi những dòng khen ngợi: “Người có ngôn luận sắc bén, góc cạnh, phong thái riêng” hay “người có tâm thuật, có tài trong công việc, tiên phong, trung chính, chăm chỉ” hay “tính ông trong sạch, giản dị, thẳng thắn, có công to lập ngôi chúa nên được Ân vương rất tin cậy quý trọng”.

Những tư liệu như văn bia, sắc phong, gia phả hiện còn là bằng chứng chân thực về Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám Nguyễn Công Thái, một danh thần, một nho sĩ thế kỷ XVIII, đồng thời là di sản văn hóa quý báu của dân tộc. Con người và sự nghiệp của Tiến sĩ, Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám là bài học quý báu, là tấm gương sáng cho thế hệ sau học tập. Nguyễn Công Thái xứng đáng là một danh nhân văn hóa, niềm tự hào của người dân Kim Lũ Hà Nội nói riêng và của Việt Nam nói chung./.

Lâm Thuỳ Ngân - Cán bộ Phòng Nghiên cứu – Sưu tầm

Trung tâm HĐVHKH Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám


HEAD MASTER OF QUOC TU GIAM – PHUNG KHAC KHOAN (1528 – 1613)

 Phung Khac Khoan lived in Bung village, Thach That district, Hanoi . It was said that he was Nguyen Binh Khiem’s half-brother on Nguyen Binh Khiem’s father’s side. Phung Khac Khoan was well-known with his knowledge of literature and divination but he did not participate in any exams and worked as mandarin under the reign of Mac dynasty.

Under the reign of Le Trung Tong, Phung Khac Khao followed and aided Le Ba Ly to liquidate Mac dynasty. He passed Huong exam with the first rank in Thanh Hoa at the age of 29 then he worked as a leader, taking responsibility for the army and the people of the nation,and attended important and secret business at Ngu dinh of Trinh Kiem.

 In 1580, Phung Khac Khoan participated in Hoi exam with the second rank (Hoang Giap) then he was appointed as mandarin under the reign of Le The Tong.

 Phung Khac Khoan was an excellent politician and diplomat. Although he lived in a period of domestic struggles, he always demonstrated the duties of a Vietnamese scholar. He was good at diplomatic relations,  and protected national prestige earning the respect of the Chinese King.

Phung Khac Khoan authored many literary works which showed his passion, spirit and concern as a patriotic scholar. Over 500 remaining poems and letters in Han and Nom writing illustrate the confidence of Phung Khac Khoan as a person  who wanted to repair the virtue of a fallen society. His poems in Han writing were standard and model and his poems in Nom writing were simple leaving a mark on Nom Vietnamese poetry.

Phung Khac Khoan was not only famous author but he was also a responsible teacher for people and the nation. When he worked as a headmaster of Quoc Tu Giam, he played a role as an officiating priest to train talents for a nation wholeheartedly. When he retired, he opened private school called “Hoang dao thu duong” to teach people with his friends, to share literature and enlighten people’s minds. He also built Nhat Tien Kieu and Nguyen Tien Kieu at Thay pagoda to make sightseeing of the village  more beautiful. According to a legend, he also taught villagers how to plough and dig a ditch, plant and knit to provide a life of comfort.

Phung Khac Khoan was a talented teacher, expert of culture and diplomat in the 16th  century. He was respected by Trinh Tung king and call Sir Phung. In order to commemorate Phung Khac Khoan’s contributions, people honor him as Trang Bung ( a doctoral laureate with highest rank of Bung village). Phung Khac Khoan passed away in 1613 at the age of 86 and is honoured at his temple located in his hometown.

Writer: Hoàng Thị Tuyết Hương

 

 


NGO SI LIEN – DEPUTY HEAD OF QUOC TU GIAM

 

 

Ngo Si Lien was born in Chuc Ly village, Chuong My district, Hanoi . Unfortunately, historians are uncertainwhen Ngo Si Lien was born. Ngo Si Lien took part in Lam Son struggle to rise up in arms with Le Thai To leader to fight Minh invaders from China. Oncethe nation was independent, the Le Dynasty was founded . In 1442, Le Thai Tong opened the first examination under the reign of Le Dynasty to seek out talents to support the administration board. There were 450 examinees and 33 doctoral laureates among them. Ngo Si Lien passed exam with the third rank called doctor, then his name written on the stone stele at Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam.

 

 

After Ngo Si Lien  passed the exam with the third rank, he was appointed to many official roles at the court. Under the reign of King Le Thanh Tong , Ngo Si Lien was tasked with the responsibility for compiling history of National Institute of Historical Research. There was many condition to be a historian such as: talent, knowledge, and learning aptitude. King Le Thanh Tong  recognized Ngo Si Lien’s talent, virtue and true worth and selected him to be an official of history. After eight years, the book series of “Dai Viet su ky toan thu” (national history) was completed.

 The national history series compiled by historians includes writings by Ngo Si Lien.  The series includes 15 books broken into two parts; Part 1 with five books recording historical situations from Hong Bang to the end of 938; Part 2 with 10 books from 938 to 1428. A bonus part was new, which was compiled by Ngo Si Lien recording historical situations from Hong Bang to the end of An Duong Vuong – the first period of history was recorded and recognized as a national history.

Ngo Si Lien was honored as a teacher of historian with wonderful intelligence and strong patriotism by his comments during compiling events, characters as well as his method of compiling historical events

 “Dai Viet su ky toan thu” by Ngo Si Lien was the first complete series of national history at the present. This document iss indispensable to researchers of history, culture and education. It is a precious cultural heritage of Vietnam.

Ngo Si Lien  not only contribute to history, but he also worked as a teacher with his achievements for education of a nation. While he was working as a historian at the National institute of Historical Research, he also worked as a deputy head of Quoc Tu Giam. He was responsible for the teaching program at Quoc Tu Giam under Le Thanh Tong.

Nearly 30 years under the reign of Le Thanh Tong, education and examination of Vietnam were developed, offering12 examinations to select 500 successful candidates.

In 1478, Ngo Si Lien played a role as an examiner to compare original exam with copy of original exam paper (when a candidate finished his exam, it was stamped and rewritten by the examiner in case his teacher recognized his exam and correctedit. After that, another examiner read again to compare the copy to the original exam).

Ngo Si Lien passed away in his hometown. Villagers built a house of worship to honor him in August of Lunar month, unfortunately, house of worship of Ngo Si Lien no longer exists. His name and tittle are immortal on the stone stele, streets, a school in Hanoi and in the nation. He is remembered as an important educator, historian and a scholar of Hanoi.

MA. Lê Thị Thu Hương

 

 


TẾ TỬU QUỐC TỬ GIÁM NGUYỄN TRỰC (1417-1473)

Nguyễn Trực tự là Công Đĩnh, sinh năm 1417, người xã Bối Khê, huyện Thanh Oai (nay là thôn Song Khê, xã Tam Hưng, huyện Thanh Oai, thành phố Hà Nội). Ông xuất thân trong một gia đình dòng dõi, có truyền thống khoa bảng (Cụ nội làm Hàn lâm viện Thị giảng, ông nội là Nho học Huấn đạo, cha là Quốc Tử Giám Giáo thụ). Tương truyền, khi ông chưa đầy 10 tuổi đã nổi tiếng thần đồng, 12 tuổi đã làu kinh sử, thích làm thơ phú, 18 tuổi đỗ đầu kỳ thi Hương ở Sơn Tây, 26 tuổi đỗ Đình nguyên khoa thi Nhâm Tuất năm 1442, trở thành vị Trạng nguyên đầu tiên của triều Lê, được lưu danh trên bia Tiến sĩ đặt tại Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám.

 

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Nhà thờ Trạng nguyên Nguyễn Trực, xã Tam Hưng, Thanh Oai, Hà Nội (Ảnh P.NCST)

 

Với kiến thức học rộng, tài cao, Nguyễn Trực đã đem hết tài năng của mình ra phò nhà Vua, giúp nước. Dưới thời Lê Nhân Tông, ông được bổ làm Trực học sĩ viện Hàn lâm, kiêm Vũ kỵ úy, thăng An phủ sứ phủ Nam Sách, khi về triều được bổ chức Thị giảng, kiêm Ngự tiền học sinh cục thứ hai viện Hàn lâm, tiếp đó giữ chức Trung thư Thị lang ở sảnh Trung thư (Lịch triều hiến chương loại chí, Tập 1, Nxb Giáo dục, trang 282).

Nguyễn Trực từng vâng mệnh đi sứ Trung Quốc, tài ứng đối khôn lường của ông khiến nhà Minh vị nể, khen tặng là Lưỡng quốc Trạng nguyên. Ông là một nhà thơ danh tiếng, một thành viên ưu tú của Hội Tao đàn, được Vua Lê và quần thần kính trọng. Dân gian kể rằng mỗi khi vua Lê Thánh Tông làm xong một bài thơ mới thường đưa cho ông xem trước để ngâm vịnh.

Nguyễn Trực không chỉ là một vị quan thanh liêm, một nhà chính trị xuất sắc, thường được vua mời tham gia nghị bàn những việc cơ mật của triều đình mà còn là một nhà giáo ưu tú của đất nước. Năm Hồng Đức thứ 4 (1473), ông được thăng Gia hạnh đại phu, Thừa chỉ viện Hàn lâm, kiêm Tế tửu Quốc Tử Giám(2), trở thành người đứng đầu trường Quốc học lớn nhất đất nước. Đây là một cơ hội lớn để ông biến những tư tưởng cầu hiền – trị quốc trong bài văn đình đối (viết năm Đại Bảo 1442) của mình trở thành hiện thực.

Những tư tưởng này chính là các tiêu chí đào tạo nhân tài, là những luận bàn về đạo của người Quân tử và kẻ Tiểu nhân trong đó khẳng định rõ đường lối chiêu hiền, đãi sĩ (dùng người quân tử, đẩy lui kẻ tiểu nhân) nhằm “trao chức vụ cho hiền tài, giao công việc chỉ theo năng lực cho những người có đủ 3 yếu tố: Trí - Nhân – Dũng, tạo điều kiện cho họ có thể cống hiến cho đất nước.

Muốn vậy, các bậc Đế vương cần xa lánh tiểu nhân, nêu gương sáng về tài đức cho trăm họ và giỏi thuật dùng người. Ông nói: "trí, nhân, dũng" là ba đức lớn lao trong thiên hạ, không có "trí" thì không thể biết người, không có "nhân" thì không thể chọn người, không có "dũng" thì không thể dùng người. Lấy "trí" biết người thì có thể biết rõ ràng và biết được thực tài của họ; lấy "nhân" chọn người thì không bỏ người tài ngay trong lúc họ khốn cùng, ắt chọn được lòng thành của họ; lấy "dũng" mà dùng người thì tin dùng mà chẳng nghi ngờ, ắt thấy được chuyên tâm của họ. Nếu có đủ ba điều "trí, nhân, dũng " thì nghĩa lý của việc "dùng người, bỏ người" sáng tỏ và lòng yêu ghét chính trung (Văn Đình đối của Trạng nguyên Nguyễn Trực khoa thi năm 1442do PGS.TS Nguyễn Văn Thịnh dịch)

Đề cập đến cách tìm người Hiền, Nguyễn Trực cũng chỉ rõ:“Người hiền tài nơi dân chúng của muôn nước cũng là bề tôi của bậc Đế vương”. Vì vậy thì nhà Vua muốn trọng dụng người tài thì trước hết phải “gần gũi bề tôi cương trực, dùng kẻ sĩ chính trực để dẫn Vua đi vào đường đúng, đặt Vua ở chỗ không sai” và “chỉ có bậc đại nhân mới có thể sửa sai trái trong lòng Vua”. Từ quan điểm đó, ông đưa ra kết luận:“Vua có nhân, không ai không nhân; Vua có nghĩa, không ai không nghĩa; Vua chính không ai không chính. Trước nhất Vua chính thì nước mới định được”.

Chính nhờ những nhận định thẳng thắn, xác đáng này mà bài văn Đình đối của ông đã giật giải Nguyên trong kỳ thi năm 1442.

Nguyễn Trực qua đời vào ngày 28 tháng 12 năm Hồng Đức thứ 4 (1473) tại Thăng Long, hưởng thọ 57 tuổi. Tài năng và công lao của ông mãi được sử sách và dân gian lưu truyền./.

Ths. Đặng Anh Vân

Cán bộ phòng Nghiệp vụ Thuyết minh, Trung tâm HĐVHKH Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám


Trang Nguyen Nguyen Truc (1417 – 1473) )

 

Trang Nguyen (The first title of the first class laureate) Nguyen Truc’s given name was Cong Dinh, his pen-name was Hu Lieu.  He was born in Boi Khe commune, Thanh Oai district, then moved to Nghia Bang commune, Quoc Oai district (now Nghia Huong commune, Quoc Oai district, Hanoi).

Nguyen Truc was born on May 16, 1417,  “The Year of the Rooster”  at Am Long Dau, Phat Tich mountain, into a famous and doctoral laureate family. His great grandfather, Nguyen Huu, worked as a professor at the Academy of Criminal Institution under the Tran Dynasty.

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Worship house of Nguyen Truc, Tam Hung commune, Thanh Oai district, Ha Noi (Photo: Collections and Research Department Department)

 

His grandfather was Nguyen Binh - a famous and talented man who used to be District Education Commissioner of Ung Thien government. Nguyen Truc's father was Nguyen Thi Trung who was a pure and strict ethical Confucian scholar.

When the Ming invaders invaded Vietnam, Nguyen Thi Trung realized that the land of Nghia Bang, Quoc Oai district was the place where " Talented people get together.", so he gathered his books, traveled here and married Do Thi Trung.

Although Nguyen Truc came from a family which had great contributions to the Court, he was poor. When he was young, he helped his parents take care of buffalos. He often sat on buffalos and read books. Nguyen Truc was famous throughout the region as a child prodigy. At the age of twelve, Nguyen Truc was good at poetry. At the age of eighteen, he passed the Huong (regional) examination, receiving  the first grade, in the Year of the Dog, in the reign of Dai Bao 3 (1442).  Healong with450 students attended the Hoi (National) exam, where Nguyen Truc was one of 33 winners, and then joined Dinh (royal) examination. His Majesty bestowed Nguyen Truc the first grade doctoral laureate when he was only 26 years old.

After passing the examination, Doctoral Laureat Nguyen Truc fulfilled important positions at the court. He received the order of King Le Nhan Tong to be the Ambassador to the Ming Dynasty. In 1457, Nguyen Truc was appointed to welcome the Ming envoy to Vietnam. Ming Ambassador Hoang Gian asked everything, he explained clearly, making the Ming envoy deeply admired. In the same year, he was promoted á Acedemician (title: Trung trinh Đại phu Hàn lâm viện Thừa chỉ). Later, the king also assigned him to direct the construction of Thien Phuc pagoda in Phat Tich mountain and supervise the construction of Chan Khe pavilion. King Le Nhan Tong respectfully let the painter draw his portrait and place it beside the king to show his love and admiration of the king.

Under the reign of King Le Thanh Tong, Nguyen Truc was increasingly respected. In 1473, King Le Thanh Tong summoned him to the palace and promoted him as the Royal Highness of the Academy and the Quoc Tu Giam Te Tuu (the director of the first University). The talents and virtue of Nguyen Truc were always appreciated by King Le Thanh Tong. Therefore, the king's poems mostly were given to Nguyen Truc to comment firstly. The king also ordered to bring the “Thiên Nam dư hạ” book (a national law book) to his house to comment.

On December 28, 1473, Nguyen Truc fell ill and died, at the age of 57. The collection of poems  Boi Khe thi tập (Hu Lieu episode), containssix poems written in Toàn Việt thi lục (a collection of Chinese poetry of Viet Nam).

 

Translator: Thu Huong

 


 

HISTORICAL DOCUMENT  ABOUT

THE 2ND CLASS DOCTORAL LAUREATE  NGUYEN DUY THI

Nguyen Duy Thi, a famous Vietnamese scholar, was born in 1572, in Yen Lang commune, Yen Lang district (now Thanh Lang town, Binh Xuyen district),  located in  Vinh Phuc province.

Nguyen Duy Thi passed Mau Tuat exam in Quang Hung 21 (1598) and received the 2nd class grade when he was 27 years old.  This information was recorded in many historical books. Contents of the nomination in 1651 (currently kept in the family ancestral house of worship), Đại Nam nhất thống chí, Complete History of Great Viet states that Nguyen Duy Thi died in 1651, at the age of 81 years old. After his death, he was given the name Hanh Do,  and awarded the title Thai te.

 

Photo: Exhibition about the career and life of Nguyen Duy Thi at Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam

 

For more than 50 years as a mandarin, through Historical documents such as Lịch triều hiến chương loại chí, Khâm định Việt sử thông giám cương mục (Complete History of Great Viet), provide details about the 50 years Nguyen Duy Thi spent as a manadarin.  In addition, he was appointed as: Minister of Construction, Minister of Military Affairs, and Minister of Interior.

He was also appointed many other positions in the fields of diplomacy, culture and education such as Te Tuu Quoc Tu Giam (director of the first University), a position he held for over 30 years (about 1620 to 1651); Examination Supervisor of Hoang Dinh 14 (1613) and Quy Hoi exams in Vinh To year (1623); and The Second Examiner of Duong Hoa 3 exam (1637). These events are recorded in the nomination of the Nguyen Duy family in Thanh Lang and the three steles of the three examinations are now kept at the Temple of Literature

 

Photo:Historical books recorded about career and life of Nguyen Duy Thi

 

Only three of his works remain, which can be found on rubbed copy which are kept at the Institute of Sino-Nom studies. Two poems in Chinese titled Bạc chu Bành Thành ngộ tuyết thứ Chánh sứ Nguyễn Phác Phủ vận và Bành Thành hoài cổ họa Chánh sứ Nguyễn Phác Phủ ,  were written on the way to the Ming dynasty in 1606, and recorded in Toàn Việt thi lục (a collection of Chinese poetry of Viet Nam).

               Translator: Thu Huong


 

The temple of Mandarin Nguyen Duy Thi

 

Nguyen Duy Thi Temple now belongs to Doan Ket quarter, Thanh Lang town, Binh Xuyen district, Vinh Phuc province. The temple was built about  400 years ago, on the grounds of Binh Quan Palace- the palace of Thuong Lang  Mandarin Nguyen Duy Thi. The temple is a place of worship and memorial of the descendents of the Nguyen Duy family to his ancestor Te Tuu Quoc Tu Giam (The Rector of Quoc Tu Giam) Nguyen Duy Thi and his son – The 3 rd  class doctoral laureate Nguyen Duy Hieu.

 

Photo: Worship House of Nguyen Duy Thi Doan Ket quarter, Thanh Lang town, Binh Xuyen district, Vinh Phuc province

 

Nguyễn Duy Thì (1572-1651), posthumous was Hanh Đo, passed the exam in 1598 of the Le The Tong Dynasty. In the 7th Hoang Dinh year (1606), he was trusted by King Le - Lord Trinh and was appointed as Deputy Chief of Diplomatic Delegation to pay tribute to the Ming dynasty and a number of other court officials to give thanks to King Ming for the ordination of King Le.

 In 1612, Nguyen Duy Thi and other court officials from 13 areas offered  a proposal called "The way to manage the Nation" which revolved around promoting the role of the Head of State and the people to stabilize the country after natural disasters and troubles of the society in XVII century. For more than 50 years serving King Le - Lord Trinh, Nguyen Duy Thi  held many positions including: Rector Quoc Tu Giam, Tham Tung, Minister of Interior Affairs and Academic... After his death, he was posthumously awarded title Thai te.

 

 

Today, at the temple of The Rector of Quoc Tu Giam Nguyen Duy Thi, there are precious books on display.  The temple provides space formeetings and discussions of important events of the family. The middle space is the place of worship of Madarin Nguyen Duy Thi, the other two spaces are the worship of grandparents and parents of Madarin Nguyen Duy Thi and his eldest son Nguyen Duy Hieu.

In 2013, the family cast a bronze statue of Nguyen Duy Thi and placed it in the center of the altar. The statue is about 1m high, carved with a sitting posture on the throne, legs balanced in front of the head, wearing a hat, wearing a long tunic, right hand placed on the knee, left hand holding a card. The sculptural lines of the statue of Nguyen Duy Thi propvide an appearance of an official who was wholeheartedly devoted to the country.

 

Photo: Nguyen Duy Thi's grave

 

Every year, on the 11th of September (lunar month), descendants of Nguyen Duy throughout the country will gather at the temple to celebrate the anniversary of the death  of their ancestors. There are two precious artifacts preserved by the Nguyen Duy Thi family, which include the Chinese family genealogy book and 34 nominations for Nguyen Duy Thi, and his relatives. These items have important meanings and historical value.  In 1993,  the temple was recognized as a provincial cultural and historical landmark, becoming one of the traditional relics of Thanh Lang,  in particular, Binh Xuyen district,  and Vinh Phuc the province in general.

Translator: TH


HOANG GIAP NGUYEN DUY THI  AND VAN MIEU – QUOC TU GIAM THANG LONG

Hoang giap (2nd –class laureate) Nguyen Duy Thi was born in Yen Lang commune, Yen Lang district, Tam Doi province, now belonging to Thanh Lang town, Binh Xuyen district, Vinh Phuc province. He was a scholar and a high-ranking official who made great contributions to the country in many fields.  He was also a teacher with many contributions to the Temple of Literature - Quoc Tu Giam (The school for children of royal families and civil mandarins of the Capital)  and advanced the national education of the country in the first half of the 17th century.

 

 

Photo: Statue of Nguyen Duy Thi at the worship house of Nguyen Duy family

 

Nguyen Duy Thi passed the examination in 1598 with the title Hoang giap (2nd –class laureate). He was appointed to important positions such as Deputy Minister of Rite and the Vice Rector of Quoc Tu Giam. Later he worked as Minister of Construction, and The Rector of Quoc Tu Giam  in 1640. He died in 1651. For more than 50 years, he was an honest, assertive and trustworthy official who worked diligently and with integrity in all fields, especially in the field of culture and education where he made many contributions to the country.

Photo: Nguyen Duy Thi Exhibition at the Seminar of career and life of Nguyen Duy Thi at Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam

 

From the 1620s, Nguyen Duy Thi was in charge of educating and training talented people for the nation in Quoc Tu Giam. Quoc Tu Giam was also the agency of managing and directing the education and nomination of the state, so the prosperity of training and fostering talents of the country depended on the prosperity and development of Quoc Tu Giam, and vice versa, the talent was due largely to the strategy, orientation and development of Quoc Tu Giam.

For more than 30 years working as Vice- rector and then Rector of Quoc Tu Giam, Nguyen Duy Thi and the officials of Quoc Tu Giam contributed to consolidate the national education and the examination system of selecting talents for the country

Photo: Historical books recorded about Nguyen Duy Thi

 

Hoang Giap Nguyen Duy Thi and the officials were also entrusted by the court to organize three examinations in 1613, 1623 and 1637. He was appointed as Supervisor, Second Examiner. These three exams are recorded on a doctoral stele at the Temple of Literature - Quoc Tu Giam, Hanoi.

 

Translator; Thu Huong


The rector of Quoc Tu Giam Nguyen Duy Thi, his life and career

Minister Nguyen Duy Thi (2nd class doctoral laureate, rector of Quoc Tu Giam), was a famous Vietnamese scholar in the early XVII century. For a long time, he was a pillar of the community and the Le - Trinh court.

 

Photo: Traditional craft village in his hometown

 

Nguyen Duy Thi (1572 - 1651) was born in a traditional Confucian family. As a child he was studious, intelligent, big-minded, and full of ambition. He soon succeeded and made a name for himself, his family and his clan.

Nguyễn Duy Thi began working as a mandarin after passing the examination in 1598. According to the Le Dynasty's rule, doctor laureates, after visiting their village to pay respect to the ancestors, parents and teacher, returned to the royal court and were appointed. Hoang Giap (2nd class doctoral laureate) was appointed as the title Hieu Uy while the other Doctor Laureates were appointed as Supervisor. After being appointed, these officers usually worked for a period of nine years to be considered for promotions or remission. Nguyen Duy Thi was in charge of reviewing and refuting six ministers of unfair questions, or correct appointments to the Ministry of Interior.

In 1606, Nguyen Duy Thi was appointed as a deputy envoy (vice ambassador) to the Ming dynasty for tribute. After this mission, he was promoted to (title: Thiêm Đô Ngự sử tước Phương Tuyền bá).

In 1626, he was promoted to Minister and Duke, the highest title for an official. After being promoted to Minister, Nguyen Duy Thi was continuously assigned important positions by the government. He also worked as Minister of Construction, Minister of Military, and Minister of Interior.

Nguyen Duy Thi also worked in other positions in the fields of culture, education, and science, such as the Deputy Rector of Quoc Tu Giam and then Rector of Quoc Tu Giam. Quoc Tu Giam was a specialized agency of the State, and was the first and only university of the feudal state. Officials in Quoc Tu Giam were tasked with serving Thai Hoc (Quoc Tu Giam under Le dynasty), by training students monthly, according to the schedule of study to train talents for the country.

Photo:Nguyen Duy Thi’s tomb at home

 

Nguyễn Duy Thì was born at a time of turmoil for society. The court of King Le and Lord Trinh were in a state of decentralization, highly bureaucratic, with staggering officials, and the people lived in tough conditions. His dedication to the people is clearly shown in the Proposal to Trinh Lord in 1612. The content of the proposal was very profound, a rare case recorded by the historian.

The main idea of the Proposal was: "The people are the root of the country, the ruler of the country must love the people".

 

Translator: Thu Hương


CHU VAN AN AND HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO VIETNAMESECULTURE.

 

 

Chu Van An, “a model educator of all time,” is not merely a teacher, an intellectual, an official, or poet but also a cultural activist. He was a great contributer to national culture.

During his life, Chu Van An compiled many works. His works included  Tứ thư thuyết ước (10 volumes of explanatory notes about the Four Books – Confucian Classics), the collection of Tiều Ẩn thi tập Poetry (1 book), and Quốc ngữ thi tập (1 book).

In addition, he also wrote books on geography (Địa đạo dẫn giải chương cú tập chú ), the universe and astronomy (Thiên văn chiêm nghiệm tập chú) and a book of medicine (Y học yếu giải tập). Chu Van An was straightforward, talented and a virtuous teacher. He was an intellectual, an educator, and a cultural person "who did not ask people to know him but only worried that he did not have the virtue to be known" and "learning success for himself is to succeed for people, enrich the people, and gracefully  leave behind knowledge for generations ",

He was a shining example for generations to follow. For the past 650 years,  Chu Van An’s thoughts about culture and education are still intact and have great positive educational meaning in the modern society.

 

Writer: Truong Thuy Hong

Translator: Le Thu Huong


CHU VAN AN AND PHUONG HOANG MOUNTAIN

(Photo: Chu Van An's temple on Phuong Hoang mountain)

While working as as  director of Quoc Tu Giam, Chu Van An contributed to the training of  talents and the King's son. Under Tran Du Tong King (1341 - 1369), state affairs were confusing and the King neglected his attention to the nation which caused the courts to abuse their authority. In protest, Chu Van An presented his petition to the King to order seven bad mandarins to be executed. After the King refused Chu Van An's petition,  he left office to live in seclusion on Phuong Hoang Mountain, Hai Duong district. According to "Kien Van Tieu Luc", Le Quy Don (1726 - 1784) wrote: "There were five moral  and upright talents under Tran dynasty. Chu Van An's petition to order seven bad mandarins to be executed, affected everyone inside and outside of town then he retired and did not care about material things. Chu Van An was respected by lords and admired by mandarins, he was the loftiest talent".

Phuong Hoang Mountain is a beautiful sight  to see with an immense pine tree forest, fresh stream, old pagodas and towers and 72 quaint mounts. This was a place to entertain great men's minds under Ly – Tran. Chu Van An gave his whole mind to writing, teaching and writing medical prescriptions for poor people and composing poems. Today, almost all of his writings have been lost, only 12 poems were written in Han character and book of medical prescription. Although some of his writings were written at the end of his life on Phuong Hoang, his poems expressed composed spirit from a retired talent.

Chu Van An's writings were full of a sense of purpose and uprightness expressing the intense emotion he felt for his nation. Chu Van An passed away in 1370 when he was 78 years old. In order to commemorate his contributions, villagers built a temple to honour him in Hai Duong (Luu Quang temple). His tomb was on Phuong Huong Mountain and near  Luu Quang temple. On September, 14, 1994, Luu Quang temple was ranked as a National Historical site.

In 2000, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism authorized Hai Duong Museum and Institute of Archaeology to research and excavate Phuong Hoang Mountain. They discovered many  archaeological relics and items under Tran and Le dynasty  concerning Chu Van An (tomb, Son well and stone statue). .

Nowadays, Chu Van An's temple on Phuong Hoang Mountain is one of the famous cultural attractions, visited by domestic and foreign tourists. Especially, many  students throughout the country always visit to show deep gratitude and respect to one of the greatest educators in Vietnam.

Bùi Bích Phương


WHAT MADE CHU VAN AN BECOME A GREAT MAN

 

(Attendants of the seminar in the  ceremony to commemorate Head Master Chu Van An)

1.Chu Van An (1292 – 1370) was a contemporary of Truong Han Sieu (1274-1354), Doan Nhu Hai (1280-1335), Nguyen Trung Ngan (1289-1370), who were high-ranking mandarins under the Tran dynasty.

King Tran Minh Tong (1300-1314-1357) had eyes for Chu Van An and appointed him as a teacher to train royal princes. Chu Van An improved his personal life and career by himself instead of taking the opportunities in history. 

2. Chu Van An’s father was a common man from Northern Vietnam.  He and his wife had a simple wedding in his wife’s hometown.

Chu Van An did not come from a good lineage, although this did not hold him back  with his successful career.

3. Chu Van An and his family lived in Thanh Liet village – his mother’s hometown. Customary to village rules, Chu Van An and his father were not recognized as  natives of the village.

Researchers  thought for a long time that there was a matter with the relationship between Chu Van An and the place he lived then. After 700 years, the residents of Thanh Liet village honoured Chu Van An as an outstanding man. When Chu Van An decided to found his own school, he selected another place instead of Thanh Liet village.

During the reign of Tran Du Tong, the King overindulged, causing the ruin of the court. Chu Van An submitted a petition to the King requesting the beheading of seven dishonest mandarins, but the King refused. Chu Van An was so upset by this that he moved to the mountainous area of Phuong Hoang in Chi Linh District, Hai Duong province to open a school and lived in this area until he died. It was thought that the place Chu Van An lived was not as important as the things he achieved.

4. In fact,  Chu Van An spent his life studying and improving himself. He epitomized the dutiful man.

Chu Van An successfully brought Confucianism to Vietnam. He summarized four Confucianism books (Dai hoc, Trung dung, Luan Ngu, Manh Tu) to create a schoolbook  for himself. Chu Van An’s book was famous for illustrating ways to be a great man for contemporary students.

Chu Van An tried to self – improve to become an exemplary, everlasting educator and spread the system of education to the nation.

Chu Van An is engraved in Vietnamese people’s memories as a self – made man who madegreat contributions to train the talents of the nation and develop a traditional education system for Vietnam.

 

 

Author: Historian Le Van Lan

The text extracted from “Chu Van An – his life and career” seminar

 

Translator: Bich Phuong 


CHU VAN AN AND HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO VIETNAMESE CULTURE

 

Some additional evaluations of Chu Van An’s contributions to Vietnamese culture from today’s persepctive.

 

  1. 1.Timeline of honoring Chu Van An during the renewal of the country

In 1994, the Communist Party of Vietnam implemented the Resolution of the Fourth Plenum focusing on education and training of the Vietnamese culture.  The goal was to revitalize the role of teachers and honor them.  During this period of teacher appreciation, there was a new found interest and understanding of Chu Van An and his influence of Vietnamese education and culture.  Restoration of monuments in the hometown of Chu Van An, and other memorial activities began to take place.  Continuing today, Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam Culture and Science Center not only honors Chu Van An as a traditional teacher but also as a cultural icon.  Chu Van An is honored nationwide. 

  1. 2. Main ideas from the 1994 article “Chu Van An – a Vietnamese teacher’s personality”

Chu Van An dedicated his life to be a teacher to all; forgoing the opportunity to be a mandarin.  He felt responsible to train talents for the nation with his teachings.  He thought that teaching a future king would be the best for the country.  His teachings and beliefs have been handed down in the history of Vietnam from generation to generation.  Chu Van An is best described as a wise man, a talented and virtuous teacher, who over time has   had a profound influence on contemporary culture and education.

  1. 3. New reflections on Chu Van An’s contribution to Vietnamese Culture. 

            Chu Van An, “a model educator of all time,” is not merely a teacher, an intellectual, an official, or poet but also a cultural activist. It has been expressed that nowadays Confucian education is no longer appreciated (Chinese characters and Confucian ideology), therefore it is illogical to say that Chu Van An is an exemplary educator of all time Vietnamese scholars disagree with that statement because he was a great teacher providing students with both knowledge and a moral compass. If an individual understands Chinese characters and Confucian ideology, he/she has the opportunity to examine and perfect themselves.  As a result, Confucian ideology and Chinese characters help to make society better.       Chu Van An’s educational ideology is still applicable in modern time. He always appreciated the importance of intellectuals; education and culture that help develop and maintain social order.    His life, career and the period in which he lived provide future generations valuable lessons. He placed importance on culture which still holds true today.  The development or decline of a nation depends crucially on its cultural, and spiritual basis.

            His life and career leave us a clear proof of a great intellectual. For hundreds of years, historians and cultural activists have deeply respected Chu Van An for his personality along with his intellect, virtue and responsibility for the nation. Living in the time when the country witnessed a chaotic political situation, he was not afraid to lose his career and even his life submitting a petition called ‘That tram so’ to the King Tran Du Tong to demand that seven bad mandarins be executed immediately. Being a courageous official, he never yielded to violence; moreover, fame and wealth were not the things that desired. His courageous act was an initiation for people to resolve the conflicts between authorities and intellectuals. It was because only when intellectuals overcame the lures by their desire for power and fame could they show their real abilities.

            His lifestyle and lofty soul are as a good example for people of all generations. Furthermore, it does make sense in modern time when the nation is growing faster and faster. As a result, people tend to run after money, fame and technology, so they forget traditional beliefs. They became increasingly dependent on material conditions; their souls became insensitive, empty and filled with mixed-up information. With his courageous spirit, Chu Van An led a meaningful and modest life in a disorganized society. His lifestyle initiates a positive orientation for future generations, despite differences between the time he lived and present day.

 

Author: Associate Professor and Dr. Le Quy Duc

Translator: Chuong Van


THE INFLUENCE OF CHU VAN AN TO THE COMTEMPORARY

 

Teacher Chu Van An had been respectfully known as a role model for teachers throughout the ages because of his high moral standards and for his excellence in teaching.

Many scholars were well known for their knowledge but some of them obtained prosperity and high leadership positions from cunning instead of virtue and wisdom. Chu Van An was a brilliant but unlucky man.  The king did not recognize his helpful contributions to rule the nation.

Historians said that from a young age, Chu Van An was known as a respectable man of pure, moral integrity who did not seek fame and wealth and only liked to stay at home to read books. After passing the doctoral examinations, he refused to work as a mandarin and returned to his native village to open a school and worked as a teacher. He had many students who came from different parts of the country. Many of them were successful in learning and after passing the examinations they became high ranking mandarins in the court, such as Pham Su Manh, and Le Quat. When they visited their old teacher, they still observed high etiquette and were received by him. While those who failed to meet his standards, were scolded and he refused to meet with them. His serious noble conduct and intelligence made his reputation spread far and wide, and attracted more and more students.

Due to people’s compliments for his virtue and talent, Chu Van An was invited by the court to the capital city to be in charge of Quoc Tu Giam; the first national university. During the reign of Tran Du Tong, the King overindulged, causing the ruin of the court. Chu Van An submitted a petition to the King requesting the beheading of seven dishonest mandarins but the King refused. Chu Van An was so upset by this that he moved to the mountainous area of Phuong Hoang in Chi Linh District, Hai Duong province to open a school and lived in this area until he died. In order to express gratitude towards Chu Van An for contributions he made, villagers of Nguyem Bao and Hai Duong villages built the Temple for Chu Van An on Phuong Hoang mountain to commemorate him forever. Today, the temple is recognized as a historical monument in Hai Duong with inscriptions of parallel sentences in Chinese in praise of the everlasting exemplary educator

With a lofty soul and immense knowledge, Chu Van An was worthy of being an outstanding teacher in the national education system. It was King Tran Nghe Tong who ordered the statue of Chu Van An to be erected at Van Mieu. The King wished to recognize the most virtuous and excellent man as an example to all generations at Van Mieu.

Chu Van An is honored as the most outstanding Vietnamese educator. He successfully brought Confucianism to Vietnam. His ideology and viewpoints in education are of great significance for all generations.

Author: Pro.PhD Nguyen Duc Nhue (Institute of History)

The text extracted from “Chu Van An – his life and career” seminar

 

Translator: Bich Phuong 


CHU VAN AN AND HIS CAREER FROM THE SOURCES OF HAN - NOM DOCUMENTS

According to The Complete Annals of Dai Viet (Dai Viet Su Ky Toan Thu), Chu Van An was born in 1292 in Van Thon village, now part of Thanh Tri District in Hanoi. After he passed doctoral examinations, he refused to work as a mandarin and returned to his native village to open a school and worked as a teacher

His syllabus mostly revolved around Confucian teachings, thus making him one of the most important figures in spreading Confucianism to Vietnam. His decision not to enter into government service was a wise one, as he had a real gift for teaching. He strongly believed that a good teacher must be strict and act as a role model, both intellectually and ethically, for his students. During his teaching career, many of his students became top officials in the Vietnamese government, including Emperor Tran Minh Tong’s son Tran Vuong, who later went on to become Emperor Tran Hien Tong.

While Chu Van An’s professional career was straightforward in official historical documents, his fame and ability as an educator have inspired many a myth among the common people. In one such story, his teaching ability was so remarkable that even river spirits attended his classes.

Chu Van An was dedicated at Van Mieu in Hanoi from 1370 to 1809.  When Nguyen Dynasty moved the new capital to Hue, thedynasty founded another university as the highest examination center. During this time, Van Mieu in Hanoi, was no longer the biggest national university, and was used as a small school. Since 1837,  Chu Van An has been honored in Hue.  He is honored as the greatest educator of the nation both in Hanoi and Hue.

Throughout the country, Chu Van An is honored in the community temple in every village as a Sage or Saint and an educator.   In addition, other well – known scholars who passed doctoral examinations and inspired and supported their village are also honored.

During his career, Chu Van An wrote many famous books in Chinese.   Some of these books have survived and inspired historians and scholars to achieve great things.

Chu Van An spent his entire life teaching and training students in three different areas of Vietnam, including his hometown, Quoc Tu Giam (The first national university) and Hai Duong. One Chinese document states Chu Van An was the first man to open a private school that attracted many students from near and far with his lofty soul and immense knowledge. Through the ups and downs of life, Chu Van An made contributions to rule the nation and train the talents. He is revered among the Vietnamese people

Writer: PhD. Nguyen Huu Mui (Han Nom Institute)

The text extracted from “Chu Van An – his life and; career” seminar

Traslator: Bich Phuong


LIFE AND CAREER OF SCHOLAR CHU VAN AN THROUGH HISTORY WRITTEN BY IMPERIAL COURT AND PRIVATE DOCUMENTS

 

The ancient documents (history written by Imperial court and private documents) wrote about the life and career of Chu Van An.

I. The first historical book written about Chu van An was Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư (Complete Annals of Dai Viet). The writers wrote about the life and career of Chu Van An during the recession society of Tran dynasty (the 13th – 14th century).

The following historical books such as: Đại Việt sử ký tiền biên under Tay Son dynasty, Khâm định Việt sử thông giám cương mục under Nguyen dynasty, and works of writers such as: Nam Ông mộng lục – Ho Nguyen Trung, Kiến văn tiểu lục  - Le Quy Don, Hoàng Việt thi tuyển – Bui Huy Bich…also used information from Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư to write about Chu Van An.

Records about Chu Van An in the history written by Imperial court and private documents:

1. Chu Van An was born in Thanh Liet commune, Thanh Đam district, which now is part of Thanh Tri, Ha Noi. He died in 1370 at Phuong Hoang mountain, Chi Linh province (now part of Van An precinct), Chi Linh town, Hai Duong province. Chu Van An is the first Vietnamese Confucian scholar to be worshiped in The Temple of Literature by King Tran Nghe Tong. He is also worshipped in many places throughout the country.

2.Chu Van An was straightforward, talented and a virtuous teacher and scholar under Tran dynasty. He was known for being straight forward and not being concerned with fame and advantages. During the Tran Du Tong Dynasty (1341-1369) the affairs of the court were not good.  Mandarins abused their power, so Chu Van An submitted a petition requesting the killing of seven bad madarins. Unfortunately, the King did not reply to his petition. Chu Van An resigned and lived in seclusion in Kiet Đac hill of Chi Linh district, Hai Duong province.

The Vietnamese historians and scholars all respect his frank manner and honoured him as the venerated educator.

3. Chu Van An studied by himself for many years and became an outstanding educator who made great contributions in education for Viet Nam.

It was said that Chu Văn An was awarded the title Thai Hoc Sinh (doctor degree) under the Tran dynasty. However, he did not work as a mandarin,.  He founded a private school to train many talents for the nation, including Pham Su Manh and Le Ba Quat who worked at the court as Nhập nội hành khiển (chief mandarin) under Tran dynasty. His students always paid respect to him because he was full of integrity. His students, some of whom were even a minister or prime-minister, treated him as teacher, and those who were invited in usually knelt to listen to him. Those who were not good mandarins would be driven away.

After he resigned and came to live in seclusion in Kiet Đac hill of Chi Linh district, Hai Duong province.

King Tran Minh Tong  (1314-1329) invited him to the Capital to instruct Tran Vuong crown prince (who later became the King Tran Hien Tong ) and appointed him as Tư nghiệp(Director) of Quoc Tu Giam, looking after the training in Quoc Tu Giam and ceremony in the Temple of Literature.

All the ancient books noted that in 1370, he died at the age of 79. King Tran Nghe Tong was so upset, he gave Chu Van An the posthumous name “Khang tiet”, awarded him the title Văn Trinh Công and ordered him honoured in the Temple of Literature. Chu Văn An is the first Vietnamese Confucian scholar to be worshiped in the Temple of Literature.

Chu Van An spent his life for education and training talents for the nation. He continues to be respected as the everlasting teacher of generations.

4.Chu Văn An wrote Tứ thư thuyết ước as the textbook for students.

II. Decoding the life and achievement of Chu Van An.

Firstly about his name, from Nguyen dynasty in the time King Tu Duc (1848-1883) all the historians wrote about his name being Chu Van An.

Secondly about the year he was born. Historical documents do not write about his birthday, only his death day in 1370. So now we should research more.

We should research about whether he was awarded the title Thai Hoc Sinh (doctor degree) under the Tran dynasty or not.

In a word, Chu Van An always worried about country and training talents (including the princes and students from different parts of country under 14th century.

 

 

Writer: Doctor Nguyen Huu Tam – Institute of History

Excerpted from Science Seminar “Chu Van An scholar – Life and  career”


CHU VAN AN – LIFE AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE EDUCATION OF A NATION

Chu Van An was a confucian scholar and educator under feudal society. But he had many valuable contributions for future generations of the nation.

Life and career of Chu Van An (1292-1370)

Chu Van An was born in 1292, and died in 1370. He was also called Chu An. He lived in Thinh Liet commune, Thanh Đam district, which now belongs to Thanh Tri, Ha Noi. When he was young, he was renowned for being full of integrity and righteousness and he only stayed at home to read books and teach.

Chu Van An was a famous confucian scholar and a great teacher under the Tran dynasty.  King Tran Minh Tong (1314-1329) invited him to the Capital to instruct Crown Prince Tran Vuong (who later became King Tran Hien Tong) and appointed him as Tư Nghiep of Quoc Tu Giam (Director of Quoc Tu Giam), looking after the training in Quoc Tu Giam. During the reign of King Tran Du Tong, the court was in disarray; mandarins abused their power. He submitted a petition recommending seven bad mandarins to be killed. Unfortunately, the King did not reply to his petition. Chu Van An then resigned and lived in seclusion in Kiet Đac hill of Chi Linh district, Hai Duong province. Later, King Tran Nghe Tong invited him to the Capital to work as a mandarin and help the king in governing the country. But he only went to the court to congratulate the king and returned home. In 1370 he died at the age of 79. King Tran Nghe Tong decreed that Chu Van An be honoured in Van Mieu

Chu Van An wrote Tứ thư thuyết ước a textbook for students plus 10 other books. Unfortunately, these books cannot be found today.  In his education activity Chu Van An tried his best to introduce Confucian doctrine and created a positive environment for Confucianism to reach a higher importance above Buddhism among Vietnamese. His students always paid respect to him because as a teacher he was full of integrity and righteousness. Former students who rose to the ranks of minister or prime-minister, continued to treat him with respect. Students who were invited to visit usually knelt to listen to him. Those who were not good mandarins would be driven away.

He composed poems such as: “Tiểu Ẩn thi tập” và “Quốc ngữ thi tập” but the manuscripts do not exist today.

Generations of Vietnamese have considered Chu Van An as the everlasting teacher for all.  After the revolution in 1945, a tree-lined street and a secondary school, the most renowned in the country, were named after him to commemorate his righteousness and achievement.

Chu Van An’s contributions to the education of the nation

The moral, prestige and capacity of the teacher: Chu Van An identified, the teacher must always be a model of morality, prestige and talent. Throughout his life, he devoted himself to education. With the opening of a private school, he contributed to making the academic atmosphere of the Tran dynasty more active.

Chu Van An determined the task of a teacher. He taught: “Confucian scholar’s obligation is that our success in studying is for the other’s success, merit to people, to give favour for the next life”.

Chu Van An’s opinion about education principle: He always advocated that education was for everyone. Under Tran dynasty some public schools were opened for the sons of royal families by the court. Chu Van An opened private school in his native village for the poor students in order to improve their talents to help the country. Chu Van An got love and respect from his students.

Chu Van An’s opinion about education content: Through his teachings, Chu Van An directed people to a model of kindness and righteousness in their daily lives. He taught his students to respect the workers and be in charge of their life.

He taught his students to be brave, high – minded, abolish what is unjust and be willing to sacrifice for the nation.

Chu Van An’s opinion about education methods: Chu Van An always emphasized the rigor of education for the younger generation. The strictness must first come from the teachers. He confirmed: “Teacher must be strict.” According to Chu Van An “strictness” provides rules and discipline as a model for education.

Chu Van An’s opinion about teaching materials: Chu Van An was always interested in the compilation of materials for learners. Chu Văn An wrote Tứ thư thuyết ước as the textbook for students, but these books have not been found today. He also wrote traditional medicine books, and composed poems.

Writer: Prof. Doctor Duong Hai Hung – Doctor. Mai Quoc Khanh

(HaNoi National University of Education)

Translator: Le Huong 

Excerpted from Science Seminar “Chu Van An scholar – Life and career”


THE WAYS TO EXPRESS GRATITUDE TOWARDS CHU VAN AN

Chu Van An who is engraved in the memories of Vietnamese was a self – made man, who made contributions to train the talents and develop traditional education system of Vietnam.

  1. 1.Temples dedicated to Chu Van An

Throughout Vietnam, there are many temples dedicated to Chu Van An. In Hanoi, Chu Van An is honored at Van Mieu as the greatest, everlasting educator. In his hometown temples are dedicated to him and his mother as a Sage or Saint and the teacher of the nation.

There is a temple dedicated Chu Van An in Hai Duong. After leaving office, Chu Van An moved to the mountainous area of Phuong Hoang in Chi linh District, Hai Duong province to open a school and lived in this area until he died. In order to express their gratitude towards Chu Van An, villagers of Hai Duong built the Temple for Chu Van An on Phuong Hoang mountain to commemorate him forever. Today, Temple of Chu Van An on Phuong Hoang mountain is recognized as a historical monument in Hai Duong with inscriptions of parallel sentences in Vietnamese and Chinese in praise of the everlasting exemplary educator.

          There is a temple in Hung Yen dedicated to Confucius, Chu Van An and native scholars.  The temple was built in order to encourage the talents and heighten the education of the people.  Locals come to the temple to make a wish for their children to be prosperous in studying and be lucky in life.            In recent years, several temples were reconstructed throughout the country to honor the great men of the nation such as Chu Van An in Vinh Phuc, Dong Nai.

2. Making offerings and organizing festivals to Chu Van An.

As a Vietnamese tradition, people came to Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam to make offers to the great men, dedicated in Van Mieu; Chu Van An among them.

         On the first day of Lunar New Year, the beginning new year writing ceremony is organized with the cooperation between Department of Education and Training Hanoi and People’s Committee of Thanh Tri District. Before opening the event,  representatives from People’s Committee in Hanoi, the Department of Education and Training Hanoi and People’s Committee of Thanh Tri District make offerings to Chu Van An and report all results they achieved during the last year.   Four characters are ordered to commence a new year’s writing: nation, prosperity, people, and desire to consolidate the country and improve the talents of the nation.       

In Tam Hiep Commune, the festival is held by villagers around the first four days of the Lunar New Year to offer guardian of village and Chu Van An. It is customary for villagers in Tam Hiep Commune to wish for themselves luck and the best things in new year.        

       In Hai Duong, the temple of Chu Van An on Phuong Hoang mountain is one of the well - known historical sites.  There is an annual ceremony held by Chi Linh villagers. The ceremony includes making offerings to Chu Van An, picking up the sedan chair used to usher god, and organizing traditional games.

          Some ceremonies are held for young students from high schools in the Temple of Chu Van An with activities such as: camping trips, playing traditional games, and discovering historical sites by themselves. This provides a chance to learn about Vietnamese history and Chu Van An for the younger generation.

3. Giving the name Chu Van An to streets and schools

The Vietnamese government decided to publish regulations for naming streets and schools after great men who made contributions to the nation. . Because of  Chu Van An’s influence and contributions his name is often used on streets on schools.

       There are 50 schools named Chu Van An throughout the country including a high school in Ha Noi originally built in 1908 by the French. The school changed its name to Chu Van An in 1945 and is now one of the most prestigious schools in Hanoi.

4.Statues of Chu Van An

Statues of Chu Van An can be found in Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam, Chu Van An high school and Van Mieu in Tran Bien – Dong Nai. The various forms of Chu Van An’s statue express him as a role model  and educator with a lofty soul and immense knowledge.

                  There is no doubt that in the last 600 years, Chu Van An has influenced Vietnam. His career became a precious moral value of culture for the nation. Every Vietnamese is proud of Chu Van An and honors him as the greatest man with highest personality and human dignity.

                                                    Author:  NTM

The text extracted from “Chu Van An – his life and career” seminar


CHU VAN AN – THE GOD OF HAPPINESS – IN TRADITIONAL BELIEF

According to Viet Dictionary by Prof. Hoang Phe, chief editor the phrase “God of Happiness” is explained: “the god always does the best things (a person who does good things will be honoured after death) is dedicated as God of Happiness by villagers”

In historical books, Gods of Happiness honoured by people are heros. They were willing to sacrifice themselves to protect the country and people. In addition, gods of happiness make great contributions to develop the education of the nation such as Ly Dao Thanh under Ly dynasty, Chu Van An under Tran dynasty, and Nguyen Trai under Le dynasty.

The phrase God of Happiness Chu Van An was wrtten in Tối linh từ thực lục. This book is kept at the Institute of Han-Nom Studies and was published in A.1323. The contents of the book is about the admiration of  Vietnamese  Scholar  Chu Van An. The book also illustrates the text of the stele Huỳnh Cung huyện từ bi ký placed at the Temple of Thanh Tri district. The stele contains text praising Chu Van An for his contributions. The author of the text was Dortor Nguyen Cong Thai. He passed the royal exam and received the title Doctor Laureate in 1715. The text showed that God of Happiness Chu Van An has been worshiped at two places:

1. God of Happiness Chu Van An has been worshiped at Huynh Cung village.

Chu Van An opened a school in Huynh Cung village. The ancient geographical books wrote that besides Huynh Cung village, God of Happiness Chu Van An also was worshiped in eight other villages. These villages worshiped Chu Van An at the same Cat temple at Xa Can. And two of Chu Van An’s students have been worshiped there as gods of Happiness.

2. God of Happiness Chu Van An worshiped at Chi Linh

The temple of God of Happiness Chu Van An has been worshiped at Chi Linh district, Hai Duong province.

In the middle of the temple there is a horizontal lacquered board: “God of Happiness of Confucianism in Viet Nam”

In the history of  Vietnamese  beliefs, individuals who made great contributions to the people and the nation have been dedicated as Gods of Happiness and  worshiped at the Communal House. However, it is rare for an individual to be worshiped as God of happiness of Confucianism.

3. God of Happiness of Confucianism

On the text of stele Huỳnh Cung huyện từ bi ký, Dortor Laureate Nguyen Cong Thai wrote about the effects of God of Happiness Chu Van An to develop education and improve  the life  and wellbeing  for people.

In 1370, God of Happiness Chu Van An passed away at the age of 79. King Tran Nghe Tong gave him the posthumous name as Khang Tiet, awarded him the title Văn Trinh Công and ordered him to be honoured in the Temple of Literature. He was honoured in the Temple of Literarure from the Tran dynasty (14th century) to the Le trung hung dynasty (18th century). Since 1837 he has been honoured at the temple till present day. Many villages built temples to worship Chu Van An as God of Happiness.

Author: Prof. Nguyen Ta Nhi (Institute of Han – Nom Studies)

Excerpted from Science Seminar “Chu Van An scholar – Life and career”


CHU VAN AN IN THE HEARTS OF THE RESIDENTS LIVING IN THANH TRI DISTRICT

 

Chu Van An(1292 -1370) was born in Quang Liet Village, Thanh Liet Commune, Thanh Tri District, Hanoi. History records indicate he achieved the most honorable position of his time. He was studious and founded a private school.  Chu Van An was invited to work as a mandarin-head master of Quoc Tu Giam School. When he passed away, King Tran Nghe Tong decided to give him a posthumous name “Van Trinh” in recognition of his excellent morals and talent. Then the King ordered that Chu Van An be worshipped in Van Mieu like other Confucian deities. This privilege bestowed on Chu Van was very unusual in his time.

In the hearts of the residents living in Thanh Tri District, his modest way of living was as a good example to everyone of all time. Consequently, Chu Van An was worshipped as a tutelary god in a spacious temple near To Lich riverside.  In addition, to show their respect for him, they address him as “Duc thanh Chu-Chu Saint” or “Duc thanh Van-Literature Saint”.

 

It can be said that: “ a dead person is a completely dead  if he or she leaves no contributions to mankind”.  In fact, 700 years after his death, Chu Van An is still thought of  as a talented, and virtuous educator.

Chu Van An- a brilliant philosopher:

The history book “Dai Viet Su ky Toan thu-Complete Annals of Dai Viet” states that: “ He stayed inside reading books; he was a man of great learning; many students heard of that then came to ask to study  from him, his students then occupied high positions in court”. His students were not only taught to become talented but virtuous as well. No matter what position they occupied, they always kept his teachings in their minds and tried to be good men of the nation. According to Chu Van An, the goal of education is not merely for knowledge but virtue.

Chu Van An-An upright man not to yield to violence

Chu Van An is not only remembered for his talent but also moral integrity, as a result, he has many other admirers apart from his students. He always heightens decency and the ability to work independently. He demands that his students be honorable and brave not to yield to violence. His teachings focused on the responsibility for people and the nation. When he was a head master looking after training students, he always followed state affairs. When the nation witnessed a chaotic political situation, many bad mandarins abused their power and stole state property. Chu Van An decided to submit a petition to the King, requesting that seven bad mandarins be executed. The petition reflected his righteousness and courage and served as a reminder for everyone to raise their voices to protect reason.

 

Chu Van An’s enormous contribution to Vietnamese education. 

His personality is reflected by his “Reformed teaching methodology”. He was an exemplary educator. He stressed that teachers had to create big changes in their students’ careers and do more for the nation. He founded a private school in Huynh Cung Village (now in Thanh Tri District). His school was open for all students regardless of their social status. After the foundation of the school, education under the Tran dynasty became more exciting. Chu Van An devoted his whole life to education for the development of the nation, not for any private benefits.

Approximately 700 years since his death, many of documents about Chu Van An have been lost; the Temples in which he is being worshipped have changed remarkably in their appearance. However, the image of Chu Van An is still in the hearts of people, especially the residents in Thanh Tri District, as a upright, talented educator and Confucian philosopher.

         

The Administration and residents in Thanh Tri District have proved a sense of responsibility for the conservation of the temple to Chu Van An. The conservation work has been carefully done to keep the original condition. With an investment of more than 7.8 billion VND from State budget and another 700 million VND as a donation from locals and visitors, the temple was restored.  After the restoration, the temple still looks ancient with traditional architecture. The conservation of the temple reflects the respect that Vietnamese have for Chu Van An, an exemplary educator of all time.

 

Particularly, Thanh Tri residents feel proud that the temple was constructed in their homeland, Thanh Liet Commune. Every year, on the 4th of Lunar New Year, The People’s Committee of Thanh Tri hold Khai But ceremony (Begin a new year by writing) to commemorate Chu Van An, as well as, to show respect for traditional fondness for learning. Many other ceremonies to honour the great educators of Vietnam are organized in Thanh Tri District, the homeland of Chu Van An, including:

-‘Mua Khai truong’(The ceremony to start a new school year) on August 15th(Chu Van An’s Birthday)

 ‘Le hoi ve nguon’(Novenber 26th , the ceremony to commemorate Chu Van An’s Death)

-‘Le hoi mua thi’(the ceremony to pray for a lucky school year)

- Vietnamese Teachers’ Day on November 20th : the ceremony to commemorate Chu Van An

The above-mentioned ceremonies reflect deep respect of the residents in Thanh Tri and Hanoi paid for Chu Van An. This gives proof of long-lasting existence of Chu Van An in the hearts of Vietnamese people, especially the residents in Thanh Tri District.

Source:  Seminar “Chu Van An, life and career

Translator: Chuong Van 


PRINCIPAL CHU VAN AN AND VAN MIEU-QUOC TU GIAM IN THANG LONG

 

Chu Van An, also known as Linh Triet, was born in Quang Liet Commune, Long Dam District(now Thanh Liet Commune, Thanh Tri District, Hanoi) in 1292. As an upright, talented educator, he made considerable contributions to Confucian education of Vietnam, especially to training talents and defining the role of Confucianism in national management and development. For many years, he has become a model educator for many generations in Vietnam. Today, Chu Van An has been still considered as the first Head Master of Quoc Tu Giam who had a significant influence on Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam and education system of Vietnam in the 14th Century.

 

Statue of Chu Van An in Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam 

Van Mieu and Quoc Tu Giam in Thang Long were established in the late 11th century.  Van Mieu- the Temple of Literature was founded in 1070 under the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong to worship Confucius and the Confucian scholars. It was also a place to educate  Crown Princes. Six years later (1076), an official state school  called Quoc Tu Giam was established as a royal school for royal children.

Under the Ly dynasty, Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam did not receive much attention from the court, so education was not fully fostered.  During this time, only a few events were recorded, such as  in 1075, the court held the first examination to select talented men. This exam can be considered as the first examination in  the history of Confucian education. Subsequently, in 1077, the Ly dynasty held another examination, the candidates had to take a written test, then did the maths and answered law questions. However, this exmination was not really a confucian examination. The importance and use of Confucianism had not been appreciated until 1156 when  King Ly Anh Tong ordered the foundation of  the Temple of Confucius, and 10 years later in1165 confucian examinations were held. Until the end of the Ly dynasty, there are several events recorded as in 1171, the Temple of Confucius was rebuilt;  in 1195,  the Three- Religion examination (Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism) was held. Apparently, under  Ly dynasty, Confucian studies began to be noticed by the court, but not seriously. Van Mieu and Quoc Tu Giam were founded to honor the ancestor of Confucianism and for the noble children to study there. However,  Confucianism and Confucianists had  not  been really valued in the Ly dynasty.

Tran Thai Tong(Tran dynasty) came to the throne  in 1225, ruling over Tran dynasty. The King was interested in training and looking out for talents. In 1232, Tran Thai Tong ordered to hold the first Confucian Examination. The successful candidates would be classified into three ranks based on the levels they had achieved in the exam.  Four years later, in 1236, Tran Thai Tong chose not only confucian students but also a special official who was responsible for  the  work in Quoc Tu Giam. In 1243, King Tran Thai Tong ordered the repairs of  Quoc Tu Giam; later in  1246, the king issued a decree that said a doctoral examinations was held  every 7 years.  After that, in 1247, an examination was held and Nguyen Hien was the best candidate that achieved the title Trang Nguyen, Le Van Huu was the second best one - Bang Nhan, Dang Ma La was the third best one-Tham Hoa. In 1253, the king ordered the establishment of  the National Academy and in September that year, he invited his Confucian scholars to the National Academic to teach the Confucian Classics

A series of events  proved the importance of Confucianism and Confucian education in society. In particular, the court recognized the role of the teacher in Quoc Tu Giam, so in 1272, King Tran Thanh Tong issued a proclamation  for looking out for talents for the position of Principal of Quoc Tu Giam. Thus, Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam had truly become the highest education center of Dai Viet. Because it is the place of study  for managers, leaders of country, moreover, the training had become better and the person in charge of the school's affairs was a Thuong thu(Now Minister). Candidates would take the exams to obtain Ph.D. certificates-the highest degree. The study here was also the highest level: classics of Confucianism: Four Books and Five Classics Chu Van An was born in the countryside of Thang Long, he was famous for his Confucian knowledge. There is no evidence that he participated and passed any exams but his status and talent were recorded in many documents and handed down among generations. The Complete Annals of Dai Viet by Ngo Si Lien said "An (a native of Thanh Dam district), an upright and disinterested man, he is at home reading books and comprehensively understands  confucian teachings, so his class is always full of students. His students then are successful in studies and work for the government. One of his successful students are Pham Su Manh, Le Ba Quat, the both are civil mandarins, however,  when they came to visit the teacher, they would kneel down next to his bed talking to their teacher a few sentences and then went away. any bad students were seriously scolded, even got no permission to meet him again. " It is also said by Ngo Si Lien that, Chu Van An was invited by King Tran Minh Tong  to the capital to  teach the Crown Prince Tran Vuong, and was appointed as the  Principal of  Quoc Tu Giam.

In the context when the court needed talented people who are interested in teaching Confucianism as mentioned above,  so the finding a qualified and wise person like Chu Van An is a good fortune.  That King Tran Minh Tong invited him to work as a Principal and at the same time to teach the Prince proves  his prestige and talents in academia and society. So far there is no information on exactly what year he was invited to serve as a Principal of Quoc Tu Giam, but there are two things we can say for sure: First, Chu Van An held the highest position in Quoc Tu Giam. Second, he was the first Principal to be officially recognized.

Historically speaking, since Quoc Tu Giam was officially mentioned in 1076, until 1272 it was mentioned that the selecting a Principal for Quoc Tu Giam was carried out, and that the chosen person should be "Good, ethical and expert in Confucian Classics" , but no documents say, in this election, King Tran Thanh Tong selected whom to appoint, and no documents clearly explain  What a principal did in Quoc Tu Giam. To further understand, let's try to find out what responsibilities a principal of Quoc Tu Giam took. According to Dr. Dang Kim Ngoc, "Tu nghiep (or Principal), literally, is the person in charge of the education and training of talents" , Therefore, Tu nghiep was the highest position  in Quoc Tu Giam.

Thus, it can be seen that Chu Van An was King Minh Tong invited to Quoc Tu Giam and taught the Prince about the end of 1328. The following year, in1329, Prince Vuong came to the throne, it was King Tran Hien Tong . Chu Van An worked throughout the life of Emperor Tông (1329-1341), into the Trần Dụ Tông (1341-1369). In this time, the history said that Chu Van An submitted a petition to the King but was not replied, so he resigned and then secluded himself from society. Thus, the time he submiited the petition to the King was the time he left Quoc Tu Giam, and that is when the court got into a chaotic political situation, many bad civil mandarins abused their power. Said about King Tran Du Tong in the Complete Annals of Dai Viet by Ngô Sĩ Liên, the period of chaos was during the period of Dai Tri (1358-1369). Thus, it can be predicted that in the early 60s of the 14th century, Chu Van An found that King Tran Du Tong did not care about the fate of his nation, so he tried to persuade the king. In contrast, the king did not give him any responses. Thus, the time Chu Van An worked in  Quoc Tu Giam is from 1328 to about 1360. With more than 30 years of holding the position of a Principal in charge of education and the training  of talents in Quoc Tu Giam, Chu Van An did specific work that contributed to the development of Confucianism, and to training talents for the country. There are no specific records of the work that Chu Van An did at the school, but it is certain that, in addition to teaching the Prince, Chu Van An took responsibility for education in Quoc Tu Giam. He  must have planned and prepared for the content of learning and training for the children at the school. Perhaps the lectures, educational content of Chu Van An during his career were summarized from the lectures when he was a teacher at the school in Huynh Cung, and then, gathered into the book Tu thu thuyet uoc that the later generations have been still referring to (unfortunately, we have not found this book yet). During the period when Chu Van An was still in office(from about 1328 to 1460), the court did not hold any examinations (or it did but the events were not recorded in historical documents). Except in 1345, the document did not  list the name of the people  who had passed, as well as their significant contributions to the educational development of the country. Possibly,  the court had no need for personnel, or held examinations  but not excellent people were found.  This needs more evidence, but there can be a hypothesis that at that time, Quoc Tu Giam had trained enough personnel for the court, so the court had no need to look out for more talents in the society. If so, then the contribution of Chu Van An is so great. That explains why later generations highly appreciate Chu Van An's contribution to education, consider him "the model Confucianist to be worshiped in  the Temple of Literature "

Chu Van An left the Quoc Tu Giam at the age of 60, even then he was invited to hold another positions (not Principal of  Quoc Tu Giam), but he refused. But his life, born to have a special relation with the Temple of Literature, so when he died in 1370, he was worshiped here. This must have been a big decision of the court at the time, and a special blessing to Chu Van An. He was the first Vietnamese to be worshiped  in the Temple of Literature. After that, Truong Han Sieu and Do Tu Binh were two other Vietnamese people who were worshiped by Tran dynasty in 1372 and 1380. The worship of the three men in The Temple of Literature marks the important step in the reception of Confucianism. However, among the three who were worshiped in the Temple of Literature under the Tran Dynasty, only Chu Van An was the one who was considered by the following generations to be the most worthy.

Over the course of history, even when Confucianism is no longer used since the last examination  held in 1919, Chu Van An has always been a symbol of Vietnamese education, always honored and respected in Van Mieu. In particular, to honor the study, honor the model teacher of Vietnam, the state had the statue of Chu Van An made in 2003 and honored him at the first floor of Rear building(Thai Hoc section) where he taught his students.

the statue of Chu Van An at Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam is now put in the middle of the Rear building, where thousands of people come to offer incense. It is a reverence, honor of this generation. Hopefully, the generations of Vietnamese, as well as tourists  always pay their respects to the moral teacher. Hence, they try to follow the  good example of the predecessors . Chu Van An - the model teacher of Vietnamese education, who has associated with the development of Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam has become a symbol of education  in Vietnam.

Writer: Nguyen Van Tu 
Source: Scientific seminar “Chu Van An-Life and Cereer” 

Translator: Chuong Van 

 


Chu Van An – The principal of Quoc Tu Giam (1292 -1370)

Chu Van An (1292 – 1370), his given name was Linh Triet, his pen name was Tieu An. It was said that Chu Văn An was awarded the title Thai Học Sinh (doctor degree) under the Tran dynasty. However, he did not work as a mandarin, instead he founded a private school to train many talents for the nation.  His life can be divided into three main periods: the period of opening a school in his homeland, the period of working as the rector of Quoc Tu Giam Thang Long and the period of retreating to live in Phuong Hoang Mountain, Chi Linh district. Education was considered his career throughout these three periods.

 

Description: http://api.vanmieu.gov.vn/rivera-resource/media/upload/2016/08/26/tuong-chu-van-an-1-20160715103226655-20160826151220524.jpg

The statue of Chu Van An at Thai Hoc buiding

 

When he was in his homeland, Chu Van An opened a school in Huynh Cung, located along the To Lich river. The school was famous from near and far, students from everywhere came to study. Many of them passed and advanced on the way of the mandarin, including two famous figures: Pham Su Manh and Le Quat. They were two scholars who have made great contributions to the country, and they were also two great authors who were listed in the history of Vietnamese literature.

His students always paid respect to him because he was full of integrity, and was uprighteous. His students who were even a minister or prime-minister, treated him as teacher, and those who were invited in usually knelt to listen to him. Those who were not good mandarins would be driven away.

Tran Minh Tong King (1314-1329) invited him to the Capital to instruct Tran Vuong crown prince (who later became the Tran Hien Tong King) and appointed him as Principal of Quoc Tu Giam, looking after the training in Quoc Tu Giam.

During his time as the headmaster of Quoc Tu Giam, he made a lot of contributions to completing the teaching program of the Confucianist ideology and talent training for the country. He was one of the first principals of the National School of the country. Over 30 years in this position, from teaching princes to writing textbooks, proposing criteria for collecting students, curriculum, examinations for training and selecting the  talents for the country  Chu Van An made a great contribution to the education of the country.

Teacher Chu Van An was entrusted by the court to teach Prince Tran Vuong (who later became King Tran Hien Tong). He also devoted himself to help Prince Hao who succeeded the throne and became King Tran Du Tong (1341 - 1369). However, during the Tran Du Tong King (1341-1369) the court affaire was not good, mandarins abused their power. Even as a teacher of Quoc Tu Giam, Chu Van An still worried about the country, so he submitted a petition requiring to kill seven bad mandarins. Unfortunately, the King did not reply to his petition. Chu Van An resigned and lived a life in seclusion in Kiet Đac hill of Chi Linh district, Hai Duong province. He was a shining example for all generations to follow.

During this time, he remained devoted to teaching, researching medicine, making medicine, writing books, and writing poems. Dien Luu Quang relic - where Mr. Chu Van An used to live and teach,... forever marking the last years of Chu Van An's life. In addition to teaching, he also researched and compiled textbooks. Legend has it that in the last years of his life at Phuong Hoang mountain, Chu Van An wrote a number of works such as: Tư thư thuyet ước  (the excerpts of the Confucian classic textbooks: The Four Books), Y học yeu giai (Medicine book), some other books and 12 Chinese poems. His poems were elegant and gentle, but with a fear of concerns for the country and love for the people.

It can be said that Chu Van An devoted his whole life to the cause of education and training talent for the country. He was not only a teacher who had succeeded in imparting Confucian knowledge to train students, but also a person who combined imparting knowledge and teaching the behavior of being a kind human to mandarins. On November 26, Canh Tuat year (1370), he passed away in Phuong Hoang mountain. Chu Van An is the first Vietnamese Confucian scholar to be worshiped in Van Mieu (The Temple of Literature).

Translator: LH


FONDESS OF STUDYING AND DOCTORAL LAUREATES TRADITION   OF NGHIEM FAMILY, YEN PHONG DISTRICT, BAC NINH PROVINCE.

For over eight centuries, Nghiem family in Quan Do village has built and developed the fine traditions of the nation such as martial arts and civilization.

Many members of the clan have become notable historical figures. Besides those who dedicated their talents to protect the country through defense and military during the feudal society, such as Nghiem Tinh and Vo Nghiem Ke, there were many famous doctoral laureates. In feudal society, the Nghiem family in Quan Do village had many exemplars of intelligence, studiousness, the will to progress with education and examinations such as Nghiem Thuc, Nghiem Phu, Nghiem Ich Khiem, Nghiem Ly, Nghiem Khac Nhuong, Nghiem Cong Cuong, Nghiem Xuan Dien, Nghiem Truc Phuong, Nghiem Kinh Gian ...

Each member of the Nghiem family was hard working and studious; many of them, such as  Nghiem Thuy and Nghiem Huan, took the exam multiple times without success but had not dampen their spirits, such as. There were many members of the family who took the exam in both dynasties, such as Nghiem Xuan, Nghiem Truc Phuong and Nghiem Danh Soan.

Not only working as officials and dedicating talents to the people and the country, many doctoral laureates of Nghiem family in Quan Do village also participated in the education and training of talents for the country such as Nghiem Kinh Gian. He retired at age 56, then he opened a school in his hometown. There were many students, up to 300 in total. A different member of the family, Nghiem Xuan Dien received a Bachelor's degree under King Le Than Tong,  and also returned to his hometown to open a school,  where many students gathered. According to historical records, there were 400 students. Nghiem Soan, got Bachelor's degree under Tay Son dynasty, but did not pray for fame and prosperity. He worked as a teacher educating  over 500 students.

Many generations of Nghiem family in Quan Do village have succeeded in education and examination. There are16 family members graduated from college,  53 people have university degrees (including 17 engineers, 1 doctor) and 6 have achieved Master's degrees. The generations of Nghiem family in Quan Do, whether they are in their hometown or working away from home, whether they are successful in the government agencies, or successful in business, they all feel a connection to their hometown and donate money, to renovate and preserve the historical relics of the clan such as: worship house, temples, tombs of families (Dai Tu Ma temple, temple of North guard General Nghiem Ke, Nghiem Quy Cong tomb ...)

Looking at examination records and the educational literature, historians know the Nghiem family in Quan Do has contributed many talents for the country. Nowadays, Nghiem's descendants in Quan Do not only contribute human resources and wealth for the defense of the country but also have the hard working spirit of building their homeland. They always try their best to preserve and promote the tradition of the family in general and the tradition of studious – doctoral laureate in particular.

Translator: TH


TEACHER CHU VAN AN - YEARS OF TEACHING AT HUYNH CUNG SCHOOL

 

Thanh Tri - the land along Thang Long capital is known for many talents of the nation, including the prominent teacher Chu Van An (1292-1370). Legend has it that when Chu Van An was young, he was very keen on reading books and studied by himself . Later Chu Văn An was awarded the title Thai Hoc Sinh (doctor degree) under the Tran dynasty. However, he did not work as a mandarin. He founded a private school to train many talents for the nation.

Chu Van An statue being worshiped in Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám

The first part of mylife is associated with Huynh Cung school on the banks of the To river (To Lich).  The school was built right on the mound adjacent to the two villages of Quang Liet and Cung Hoang (now belonging to Thanh Liet commune, Thanh Tri district, Hanoi).  Chu An’s school soon became full of students from all over Thang Long Citadel, Kinh Bac province, Chau Ai province , Chau Hoan province, Thanh province, Nghe  province... school full of students.

Well-known for his profound education, and strict discipline, Chu Van An not only imparted knowledge about benevolence, righteousness, rite, knowledge, and loyalty but also focused on forging his students' serious virtue in work, moral lessons, love and respect for their families, and to teach mandarins to respect people and care about their life ... etc.

His students always paid respect to him because he was full of integrity. His students, some of whom were even ministers or prime-minister, treated him as a teacher, and those who were invited in usually knelt to listen to him. Those who were not good mandarins would be driven away.

During Chu Van An’s tenuret Huynh Cung School, it should be emphasized that: Starting from the Ly dynasty (XI-XIII century), under Tran dynasty (XIII-XV century), Le (XV-XVIII century), Nguyen (XIX-XX century), a system of Confucian schools was established from the central to local levels, starting from Quoc Tu Giam Thang Long (1076) (the first University) and then spreading to provinces and districts throughout the country.

In 1281 the court established a school in Thien Truong province, in 1397 placed educational officials in Kinh Bac, Son Nam and Hai Dong; Schools and classes were opened throughout the regions from Thang Long Citadel, Red River basin, Thai Binh River to Thanh Hoa, Nghe An; By the end of the eighteenth century, most of the provinces and cities had public schools, all villages in the country had private schools, contributing to training of the talented men for the nation. Huynh Cung School, founded by Chu Van in Thanh Tri was one of the first private schools in Vietnam.

Translator: Le Huong


CHU VAN AN – THE STATUE OF A TEACHER IN THE HEART OF VIETNAMESE NATION

Every year from March to May hundreds of schools inside and outside of Ha Noi capital visit Quoc Tu Giam (the first University of Viet Nam) to offer incense to teacher Chu Van An and encourage students to study and follow Chu Van An. In 2018 over 700 schools with more than 120.000 students offered incense to honour scholar Chu Van An at Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam.

Chu Van An was a famous confucian scholar and a great teacher under the Tran dynasty. Chu Văn An was awarded the title Thai Học Sinh (doctor degree) under the Tran dynasty (1226 – 1400). However, he did not work as a mandarin, but instead founded a private school to train many scholars for the nation. He was renowned for his integrity and righteousness when he was a teacher at a private school, Director of Quoc Tu Giam (the first University) and even when he taught a prince. He devoted all his time to education.

 

The statue of Chu Van An at Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam

He always advocated that education was for everyone. Chu Van An directed people to a model of kindness and righteousness in their daily lives. He taught students that learning must be practiced, focusing on developing skills and knowledge, encouraging students to "think, arouse and discover the truth, as well as, the hidden ability of each person" in order to fulfill their responsibilities to the family and society.

Throughout our country, there are currently 50 schools named Chu Van An and 22/64 provinces and cities have roads and streets named Chu Van An. On the occasion of the 650th anniversary of his death, the scholar Chu Van An Profile was developed by the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sport and submitted to UNESCO for expected approval in April 2019.

 

Pupils in the incense offering ceremony to commemorate teacher Chu Van An 

(Data extracted: Yearbook of Chu Van An Scientific Workshop - The Centre for Scientific and Cultural Activities Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam)

Translator: Le Huong


TƯ NGHIỆP QUỐC TỬ GIÁM CHU VĂN AN

 

Chu Văn An (1292-1370) sinh tại làng Quang Liệt, huyện Thanh Đàm (nay là thôn Văn, xã Thanh Liệt, huyện Thanh Trì, thành phố Hà Nội, Việt Nam). Ông là một nhà giáo mẫu mực của dân tộc Việt Nam. Cuộc đời Chu Văn An gắn liền với việc dạy học, làm thầy ở ba không gian: quê hương Thanh Liệt (Thanh Trì), Quốc Tử Giám (Thăng Long) và Chí Linh (Hải Dương). Năm 1324, Chu Văn An được vua Trần Minh Tông mời ra giữ chức Tư nghiệp trường Quốc Tử Giám. Quốc Tử Giám - Trung tâm giáo dục cao cấp nhất của Việt Nam thời quân chủ để đào tạo nhân tài cho đất nước. Chu Văn An chính là vị Tư nghiệp Quốc Tử Giám đầu tiên.

 

Tượng thờ Tư nghiệp Quốc Tử Giám Chu Văn An tại Khu Thái Học


Chu Văn An tấm gương mẫu mực về đạo đức, trí tuệ và tinh thần, trách nhiệm với đất nước. Ông không chỉ dạy chữ và tri thức mà còn dạy làm người (tư tưởng, đạo đức, phẩm tiết) dạy học trò biết ứng xử với xã hội, với chính mình và với thiên nhiên - đây cũng chính là giá trị nhân sinh trong thời đại ngày nay. 
Sinh thời, Chu Văn An luôn đề cao vai trò của tri thức, của giáo dục, đào tạo và của văn hóa trong công cuộc xây dựng quốc gia, dân tộc vững mạnh, yêu hòa bình. Nhân dân Việt Nam lưu truyền câu nói của ông: “Ta chưa từng nghe nước nào coi nhẹ sự học mà khá lên được”. 
Hiện tại có tới 22/64 tỉnh, thành phố trải dài trên khắp đất nước Việt Nam có đường, phố mang tên của ông gồm: Hà Nội, Hưng Yên, Hải Dương, Hải Phòng, Quảng Ninh, Lạng Sơn, Thái Nguyên, Vĩnh Phúc, Lào Cai, Thái Bình, Ninh Bình, Thanh Hóa,… Trong số 22 tỉnh, thành phố có tên Chu Văn An có 09 phố, 23 đường.
Bên cạnh đường, phố, còn có rất nhiều trường học ở các cấp mang tên Chu Văn An. Trong cả nước có 50 trường học mang tên Chu Văn An gồm: 10 trường Tiểu học, 19 trường Trung học Cơ sở, 17 trường Trung học phổ thông, 03 trường Liên cấp và 01 trường Đại học. Năm 2018, Trung tâm Hoạt động VHKH Văn Miếu - Quốc Tử Giám được giao nhiệm vụ xây dựng hồ sơ để trình UNESCO đề nghị cùng kỷ niệm 650 năm ngày mất của Chu Văn An vào năm 2020.



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