Jiaozhi (Chinese) or Giao Chỉ (Vietnamese) was a historical region corresponding to present-day Northern Vietnam. The kingdom of Nanyue (204 BC–111 BC) set up the Jiaozhi Commandery (), an administrative division centered in the Red River Delta that existed through Vietnam's First Chinese domination, first and Second Chinese domination, second periods of northern domination. During the Han dynasty, the commandery (China), commandery was part of a province of the same name (later renamed to Jiaozhou (region), Jiaozhou) that covered northern and central Vietnam as well as Guangdong and Guangxi in southern China. In 670 AD, Jiaozhi was absorbed into the Annan (Tang protectorate), Annam Protectorate established by the Tang dynasty. Afterwards, official use of the name "Jiaozhi" was superseded by "Annam" and other names of Vietnam, except during the brief Fourth Chinese domination when the Ming dynasty administered Vietnam as the Jiaozhi Province.


According to Michel Ferlus, the Sino-Vietnamese ''Jiao'' in Jiāozhǐ (交趾), together with the ethnonym and autonym of the Lao people (lǎo 獠), and the ethnonym Gelao people, Gēlǎo (仡佬), a Kra languages, Kra population scattered from Guizhou (China) to North Vietnam, would have emerged from the Austroasiatic languages, Austro-Asiatic *k(ə)ra:w 'human being'. The etymon *k(ə)ra:w would have also yielded the ethnonym Keo/ Kæw ''kɛːwA1'', a name given to the Vietnamese by Tai speaking peoples, currently slightly derogatory. In Qabiao language, Pupeo (Kra languages, Kra branch), ''kew'' is used to name the Tay people, Tay (Central Tai languages, Central Tai) of North Vietnam. The name of the territory was also used to refer to the Lac people and Vietnamese language, their ancient language. It seems to be a Baiyue, Yue or Viet endonym of uncertain meaning, although it has had various folk etymology, folk etymologies over the years. A Chinese geographer, Fan Chengda (1126–1193), explained that the Vietnamese have crossed toes, which meaning jiaozhi in Chinese. In his ''Tongdian'', Du You (735–812) wrote that "The Jiaozhi are the southern people: the big toe points to the outside of the foot, so if the man stands up straight, the two big toes point to each other, so people call them the "jiaozhi"." (The Chinese character means "hallux, big toe".) The ''Ciyuan'' disputed this: Various Vietnamese scholars such as Nguyễn Văn Siêu and Đặng Xuân Bảng have since echoed this explanation. Jiaozhi, pronounced ' in the Malay language, Malay, became the ' of the Portugal, Portuguese traders , who so named it to distinguish it from the Cochin, city and the Kingdom of Cochin in India, their first headquarters in the Malabar Coast. It was subsequently called "Cochinchina". However by viewpoint of researcher Trần Như Vĩnh Lạc, 交趾 or 交阯 in the transcribing a pronunciation "Viet" (越), as "/ˈɡw:ət/" in the ancient Names of Vietnam, Annamese. Meanwhile, James Chamberlain claims that ''Jiao'' originated as a cognate of Lao people, Lao. Chamberlain, like Joachim Schlesinger, claim that the Vietnamese language was not originally based in the area of the Red River (Asia), Red River in what is now northern Vietnam. According to them, the Red River Delta region was originally inhabited by Tai languages, Tai-Tai peoples, speakers or other Kra-Dai languages, Kra-Dai speakers such as Li people. They claim that the area become Vietnamese-speaking only between the seventh and ninth centuries AD, or even as late as the tenth century, as a result of immigration from the south, i.e., modern central Vietnam. According to Han dynasty, Han-Tang dynasty, Tang records, east of Jiaozhi and the coast of Guangdong, Kwangdong, Guangxi, Kwangsi was heavily populated by ethnic Li people (whom Chinese contemporaries called ''Lǐ'' 俚 and ''Lǎo'' 獠). Even so, Michael Churchman acknowledged that "The absence of records of large-scale population shifts indicates that there was a fairly stable group of people in Jiaozhi throughout the Han–Tang period who spoke Austroasiatic languages ancestral to modern Vietnamese."


Van Lang

The native state of Văn Lang is not well attested, but much later sources name as one of the realm's districts ('). Its territory purportedly comprised present-day Hanoi and the land on the right bank of the Red River (Asia), Red River. According to tradition, the Hung kings directly ruled Mê Linh while other areas were ruled by dependent Lac lords. The Van Lang kingdom fell to the Âu Việt, Âu under prince Thục Phán around 258 BC.

Âu Lạc

Thục Phán established his capital at Co Loa in Hanoi's Dong Anh Hanoi#Districts, district. The citadel was taken around 208 BC by the Qin Empire, Qin general Zhao Tuo.


Zhao Tuo declared his independent kingdom of Nanyue in 204 and organized his Vietnamese territory as the two commandery (China), commanderies of Jiaozhi and Jiuzhen (; present-day Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An Province, Nghệ An, and Hà Tĩnh). Following a native coup that killed the Zhao king and his Han Chinese, Chinese mother, the Han launched Han–Nanyue War, two invasions in 112 and 111 BC that razed the Nanyue capital at Panyu (Guangzhou).

Han dynasty

The Han dynasty received the submission of the Nanyue commanders in Jiaozhi and Jiuzhen, confirming them in their posts and ushering in the "First Era of Northern Domination" in Vietnamese history. These commandery (China), commanderies were headed by grand administrators (''taishou'') who were later overseen by the inspectors (, ''cishi'') of Jiaozhou (region), Jiaozhou or ('), the first of whom was Shi Dai. Under the Han, the political center of the former Nanyue lands was moved from Panyu (Guangzhou) south to Jiaozhi. The capital of Jiaozhi was first Mê Linh (Miling) (within modern Hanoi's Mê Linh District, Me Linh Hanoi#Districts, district) and then Luy Lâu, within Bac Ninh's Thuan Thanh Bac Ninh#Districts, district. According to the ''Book of Han''’s "Treatise on Geography", Jiaozhi contained 10 county (China), counties: Luy Lâu, Leilou (羸𨻻), Anding (安定), Goulou (苟屚), Miling (麊泠), Quyang (曲昜), Beidai (北帶), Jixu (稽徐), Xiyu (西于), Long Biên, Longbian (龍編), and Zhugou (朱覯). Đào Duy Anh stated that Jiaozhi's territory contained all of Tonkin, excluding the regions upstream of the Black River (Asia), Black River and Ma River. Southwestern Guangxi was also part of Jiaozhi.''Đất nước Việt Nam qua các đời'', Văn hóa Thông tin publisher, 2005 The southwest area of present-day Ninh Bình was the border of Jiuzhen. Later, the Han dynasty created another commandery named Rinan Commandery, Rinan (') located south of Jiuzhen, stretching from the Ngang Pass to Quảng Nam Province. One of the Grand Administrators of Jiaozhi was Su Ding. In AD 39, two sisters Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị who were daughters of the Lac lord of Mê Linh, led an Trung sisters' rebellion, uprising that quickly spread to an area stretching approximate modern-day Vietnam (Jiaozhi, Jiuzhen, Hepu and Rinan), forcing Su Ding and the Han army to flee. All of Lac lords submitted to Trưng Trắc and crowned her Queen. In AD 42 the Han empire struck back by sending an reconquest expedition led by Ma Yuan (Han dynasty), Ma Yuan. Copper columns of Ma Yuan was supposedly erected by Ma Yuan after he had suppressed the uprising of the Trưng Sisters in AD 44. Ma Yuan followed his conquest with a brutal course of assimilation, destroying the natives' Đông Sơn drums, bronze drums in order to build the column, on which the inscription "If this bronze column collapses, Jiaozhi will be destroyed" was carved, at the edge of the Chinese empire. Following the defeat of Trưng sisters, thousands of Chinese immigrants (mostly soldiers) arrived and settled in Jiaozhi, adopted surname Ma, and married with local Lac Viet girls, began the developing of Han-Viet ruling class while local Lac ruling-class families who had submitted to Ma Yuan were used as local functionaries in Han administration and were natural participants in the intermarriage process. In 100, Cham people in Xianglin county (near modern-day Huế) revolted against the Han rule due to high taxes. The Cham plundered and burned down the Han centers. The Han respond by putting down the rebellion, executed their leaders and granting Xianglin a two year tax respite. In 136 and 144, Cham people again launched another two rebellions which provoked mutinies in the Imperial army from Jiaozhi and Jiuzhen, then rebellion in Jiaozhi. The governor of Jiaozhi, according to Kiernan, "lured them to surrender" with "enticing words." In 157, Lac leader Chu Đạt in Jiuzhen attacked and killed the Chinese magistrate, then marched north with an army of four to five thousand. The governor of Jiuzhen, Ni Shi, was killed. The Han general of Jiuzhen, Wei Lang, gathered an army and defeated Chu Đạt, beheading 2,000 rebels. In 159 and 161, Indian merchants arrived Jiaozhi and paid tributes to the Han government. In 166, a Roman trade mission arrived Jiaozhi, bringing tributes to the Han, which "were likely bought from local markets" of Rinan and Jiaozhi. In 178, Wuhu people under Liang Long sparked a revolt against the Han in Hepu Commandery, Hepu and Jiaozhi. Liang Long spread his revolt to all northern Vietnam, Guangxi and central Vietnam as well, attracting all non-Chinese ethnic groups in Jiaozhi to join. In 181, the Han empire sent general Chu Chuan to deal with the revolt. In June 181 Liang Long was captured and beheaded, and his rebellion was suppressed. In 192, Cham people in Xianglin county led by Khu Liên successful revolted against the Han dynasty. Khu Liên found the independent kingdom of Lâm Ấp. Jiaozhi emerged as the economic center of gravity on the southern coast of the Han empire. In 2 AD, the region reported four times as many households as Nanhai Commandery, Nanhai (modern Guangdong), while its population density is estimated to be 9.6 times larger than that of Guangdong. Jiaozhi was a key supplier of rice and produced prized handicrafts and natural resources. The region's location was highly favorable to trade. Well connected to central China via the Ling Canal, it formed the nearest connection between the Han court and the Maritime Silk Road. By the end of the second century AD, Buddhism (brought from India via sea by Indian Buddhists centuries earlier) had become the most common religion of Jiaozhi.

Three Kingdoms

During the Three Kingdoms History of China, period, Jiaozhi was administered from Longbian (') by Shi Xie on behalf of the Eastern Wu, Wu. This family controlled several surrounding commanderies, but upon the headman's death Guangzhou was formed as a separate province from northeastern Jiaozhou (region), Jiaozhou and Shi Xie's son attempted to usurp his father's appointed replacement. In retaliation, Sun Quan executed the son and all his brothers and demoted the remainder of the family to common status.

Ming dynasty

During the Fourth Chinese domination of Vietnam, the Ming dynasty revived the historical name Jiaozhi and created the Jiaozhi Province in northern Vietnam. After repelling the Ming forces, Lê Lợi dismissed all former administrative structure and divided the nation into 5 ''dao''. Thus, Giao Chỉ and Giao Châu have never been names of official administrative units ever since.

Sino-Roman contact

In 166 CE An-tun (Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus) of the state of Daqin, Ta Ch'in sent missinaries from beyond Rinan to offer present of ivory, rhinoceros horn, and tortoise to the Han court. Hou Han shu records:
In the ninth Yanxi year [AD 166], during the reign of Emperor Huan of Han, Emperor Huan, the king of Daqin, Da Qin [the Roman Empire], Andun (Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus,  161-180), sent envoys from beyond the frontiers through Rinan... During the reign of Emperor He [AD 89-105], they sent several envoys carrying tribute and offerings. Later, the Western Regions rebelled, and these relations were interrupted. Then, during the second and the fourth Yanxi years in the reign of Emperor Huan [AD 159 and 161], and frequently since, [these] foreigners have arrived [by sea] at the frontiers of Rinan [Commandery in modern central Vietnam] to present offerings.
The ''Book of Liang'' states:
The merchants of this country [the Roman Empire] frequently visit Funan [in the Mekong delta], Rinan (Annam (Chinese province), Annam) and Jiaozhi [in the Red River Delta near modern Hanoi]; but few of the inhabitants of these southern frontier states have come to Da Qin. During the 5th year of the Huangwu period of the reign of Sun Quan [AD 226] a merchant of Da Qin, whose name was Qin Lun came to Jiaozhi [Tonkin]; the prefect [''taishou''] of Jiaozhi, Wu Miao, sent him to Sun Quan [the Wu emperor], who asked him for a report on his native country and its people."
The capital of Jiaozhi was proposed by Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1877 to have been the port known to the geographer Ptolemy and the Romans as Kattigara, situated near modern Hanoi. Richthofen's view was widely accepted until archaeology at Óc Eo in the Mekong Delta suggested that site may have been its location. Kattigara seems to have been the main port of call for ships traveling to China from the West in the first few centuries AD, before being replaced by Guangdong.Hill 2004 - see

and Appendix: F.
In terms of archaeological finds, a Roman Republic, Republican-era Roman glassware has been found at a Western Han tomb in Guangzhou along the South China Sea, dated to the early 1st century BC. At Óc Eo, then part of the Kingdom of Funan near Jiaozhi, Roman golden medallions made during the reign of Antoninus Pius and his successor Marcus Aurelius have been found. This may have been the port city of Kattigara Geography (Ptolemy), described by Ptolemy, laying beyond the Golden Chersonese (i.e. Malay Peninsula).


See also

*Kang Senghui, a Buddhist monk of Sogdian origin who lived in Jiaozhi during the 3rd century *Tonkin, an exonym for northern Vietnam, approximately identical to the Jiaozhi region *Cochinchina, an exonym for (southern) Vietnam, yet cognate with the term Jiaozhi




* * * * * * *


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Zürcher, Erik (2002): "Tidings from the South, Chinese Court Buddhism and Overseas Relations in the Fifth Century AD." Erik Zürcher in: ''A Life Journey to the East. Sinological Studies in Memory of Giuliano Bertuccioli (1923-2001)''. Edited by Antonio Forte and Federico Masini. Italian School of East Asian Studies. Kyoto. Essays: Volume 2, pp. 21–43.

External links

"The Southern Silk Roads" on Silk Roads Programme
{{coord missing, Vietnam Populated places along the Silk Road Former countries in Vietnamese history History of Vietnam Regions of Vietnam Former commanderies of China in Vietnam Commanderies of the Han dynasty Commanderies of the Jin dynasty (265–420) Commanderies of the Southern dynasties Commanderies of the Sui dynasty