Nguyen Trai

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nguyen Trai


Born 1380; died 1442. Vietnamese poet, statesman, and national hero.

Between 1418 and 1427, Nguyen Trai and Le Loi led an armed popular struggle against the troops of the Ming dynasty of China, who in 1407 had occupied Dai Viet (Vietnam’s name during the Middle Ages). A false accusation led to Nguyen Trai’s execution.

Nguyen Trai was the first poet to use the Vietnamese vernacular. His Collection of Poems in the Vernacular is a lyric work devoted to philosophy and nature, which at the same time expresses bitterness over the frustration of political designs. In the Great Appeal for Peace With the Chinese (1428), Nguyen Trai shows sympathy for the people suffering under the yoke of the conquerors. His letters to Chinese warlords and other public appeals reveal him as an outstanding publicist. Nguyen Trai is also known as a geographer (Description of the Lands of a Great Power) and as a historian (The Deeds of the Ruler From Lamchon). Nguyen Trai led a school of social thought that, while taking shape within the framework of Confucianism, propounded democratic and socially Utopian ideas.


Xuan Dieu. “Velikii poet V’etnama.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1960, no. 12.
Pham Van Dong. “Nash natsional’nyi geroi.” Literaturnaia gazeta, Jan. 19,1963. N.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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