Last Coin

Dynasty: Vietnam
Ruler: Le Thanh Ton
Reigned: 1460 - 1497
Denomination: Bronze 1 Cash
Obverse: "HUNG-WU T'UNG-PAO"
Reverse: Blank
Reference: S 33
Weight: 4.4 gms
Diameter: 24.7 mm

VIETNAM / Late Le Dynasty

According to traditional legends, Viet Nam was formed when King Lac Long Quan (also known as the "Dragon Lord of Lac" or the "Dragon Lord of the Seas") married Princess Au Co (a Chinese immortal and descended from the High Mountains). She bore him 100 eggs, out of which 100 sons were born. They soon established a nation that stretched from southern China to northern Indonesia. After the King died in 2879 B.C., his eldest son, Hung Vuong established the Hung dynasty, and he is regarded as the real founder of the Vietnamese nation and of the first Vietnamese dynasty.

In 111 B.C., Nam Viet was conquered and incorporated into the Chinese empire.

After a long stuggle for autonomy, success came in 939, as the Tang dynasty in China was falling into decline. The Vietnamese used this as an opportunity to again fight for their independence. General Ngo Quyen successfully drove out the Chinese rulers and established the first of the "Great Dynasties" of Viet Nam that managed to remain largely independent of all foreign powers for the next 944 years.

Late Le Dynasty (1428-1776)

Under the leadership of Le Loi, a resistance movement was formed and successfully used guerrilla warfare tactics to again drive out the Chinese invaders. This strategy involved using brief but frequent surprise attacks targeting the enemy's weakest points and avoiding direct combat against superior enemy forces -- a tactic that would be used successfully throughout Viet Nam's early and modern history. This period is also considered to be the "golden era" of Viet Nam.

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