The Info List - Zhao Tuo

Zhao Tuo, known in Vietnamese contexts as Triệu Đà, was a Qin dynasty Chinese general who participated in the conquest of the Baiyue peoples of Guangdong, Guangxi
and Northern Vietnam. After the fall of the Qin, he established the independent kingdom of Nanyue
(Nam Viet) with its capital in Panyu
(now Guangzhou) in 214 BC. In traditional Vietnamese history, he is considered an emperor of Vietnam and the founder of the Triệu dynasty, although some modern historians regard him as a foreign invader.[1]


1 Life

1.1 Early life 1.2 Conquest of Âu Lạc 1.3 Creation of Nanyue 1.4 Legitimization 1.5 Han hostility 1.6 Accommodation

2 Legacy 3 References

3.1 Citations 3.2 Bibliography

4 See also


A statue of Zhao in front of Heyuan
Railway Station

A statue of Zhao Tuo
Zhao Tuo
in Hebei, China

Early life[edit] Zhao was born around 240 BC in Zhending
in the state of Zhao (within modern Hebei). The kingdom of Zhao was defeated and annexed by Qin in 222 BC, whereupon Zhao Tuo
Zhao Tuo
joined it, serving as one of its generals in its conquest of the Baiyue
lands to its south. Conquest of Âu Lạc[edit] By Vietnamese historians, rather than Chinese history records, in 207 BC, Zhao Tuo
Zhao Tuo
defeated An Dương Vương, king of Âu Lạc in north Vietnam. The next year, he annexed Âu Lạc into his province. Creation of Nanyue[edit] At the end of the Qin Dynasty, Zhao took control of a region comprising modern-day Guangzhou
and Xingu. Zhao Tuo
Zhao Tuo
built up his power and took over the territory, partially through alliances with native Baiyue
nobility and chieftains. The Qin governor advised Zhao to found his own independent kingdom, since the area was remote and there were many Chinese settlers there.[2] He then declared himself king of Nanyue
("Southern Yue"). His capital was at Panyu
(modern Guangzhou). For an extended period, Nanyue
was at war with Changsha to the north, Minyue to the east, and the Southwestern Yi (西南夷) to the west. Within Nanyue, there were rebellions from the Tây Âu (Chinese: 西甌; pinyin: Xīōu) and Lạc Việt
Lạc Việt
(Chinese: 駱越; pinyin: Luòyuè) tribes. The largest threat to Zhao came from the Han Dynasty, which continued to claim the territory as a province. However, at the time, the Han Dynasty
was in no position to challenge his rule.[3] Legitimization[edit] In 196 BC, the Han official Lu Jia gave Zhao a seal legitimizing him as king of Nanyue
in return for his nominal submission to the Han emperor.[4] On this occasion, Zhao Tuo
Zhao Tuo
squatted and wore his hair in a bun in the Baiyue
manner.[4] Early in his reign, Emperor Gaozu gave three commanderies to the prince of Changsha Wu Rui (長沙王吳芮) and appointed Yao Wuyu as marquis of Haiyang (海陽侯徭無餘) and Zhi as prince of Nanhai (南海王織). Emperor Gaozu also put an army in Changsha state to watch over the Nanyue
kingdom, which made Zhao Tuo worried about a sudden attack. Zhao Tuo
Zhao Tuo
took an opportunity to trade and import things in large amounts from the Central Plains. Zhao Tuo also gave tribute to central authority. After Gaozu died, Emperor Hui ascended the throne and continued his predecessor's treaty obligations to Nanyue. Han hostility[edit] After seven years of the reign of Emperor Hui, Empress Dowager Lü came to power. In 183 BC, during the later days of her reign, the Empress suddenly declared trade restrictions. This included useful products such as iron tools and horses to Nanyue
territory. Wu Rui, the king of Changsha, was treated well by the Empress. The Han Empire had originally been founded through alliances with other houses, but Gaozu had removed all the kings from other dynasties except for Wu Rui. The empress, however, wanted to appoint kings from her own family. The blockade had a great impact on the Nanyue
economy, since Nanyue
needed iron plow tools. Zhao Tuo
Zhao Tuo
faulted the Prince of Changsha for the blockade, sending messengers to the capital of Chang'an
to ask for its end. But Wu threw the messengers into prison and, upon his advice, the empress dowager killed Zhao's relatives in the Central Plains and destroyed his ancestral tomb. In response, Zhao Tuo
Zhao Tuo
declared himself the Martial Emperor of Nanyue in 183 BC; from this, he is traditionally counted the first emperor of Vietnam. He sacked Changsha to the North, prompting a counterattack from Han. However, most of the empress dowager's army died from disease on their way to Nanyue. The military conflict did not stop until her death. As the victor, Zhao Tuo
Zhao Tuo
extended his territory by conquering towns near the boundary with Han's domains. He also established relationships with Minyue, Tây Âu (西甌), and Lạc Việt. The war almost wiped out the trading relations between the Central Plains and Nanyue. Accommodation[edit] In 179 BC, Emperor Wen ascended the throne. The new emperor abolished some of Qin's cruel forms of punishment. Zhao communicated with the Emperor that if he removed the two generals from Changsha and restored his relatives in Zhending, he would make peace with Han. Emperor Wen responded positively, repairing the tombs of Zhao's ancestors, promoting a surviving member of Zhao family, and moving the Han army out of Changsha. Afterwards, Zhao Tuo
Zhao Tuo
abandoned his title of emperor. Nanyue
became a vassal state of the Han again, although Zhao Tuo retained the autonomy of his kingdom and was referred to as emperor throughout Nanyue
until his death in 137 BC, aged 103. Legacy[edit] A street in Hiệp Phú Ward (District 9) in Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City
is named after him.[5] References[edit] Citations[edit]

^ Brantly Womack (2006). China
and Vietnam: the politics of asymmetry. Cambridge University Press, 2006. p. 100. ISBN 0-521-85320-6.  ^ Taylor (1983), p. 23 ^ Twitchett, Denis; Loewe, Michael, eds. (March 2008). "2 - The Former Han Dynasty". The Cambridge History of China: Volume 1: The Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 BC–AD 220. 1. Cambridge University Press. p. 128. ISBN 9781139054737.  ^ a b Taylor, Keith Weller, The Birth of Vietnam, p. 24. University of California Press, 1991. ^ Hồ Đình Quý (2007-11-20). "Vì sao chọn Triệu Đà để đặt tên đường? (Why choosing Triệu Đà to name the street)". Retrieved 2014-09-07. 


Taylor, Keith Weller. (1983). The Birth of Vietnam
(illustrated, reprint ed.). University of California Press. ISBN 0520074173. Retrieved 7 August 2013.

See also[edit]

History of China History of Vietnam Qin's campaign against the Yue tribes Nam Việt Triệu dynasty Phiên Ngung Trọng Thuỷ Han- Nam Việt
Nam Việt
War An Dương Vương Âu Lạc Phiên Ngung
Phiên Ngung
Palace Museum of the Mausoleum of King Triệu Mạt Luobowan Tomb No.1 Đông Sơn culture Changsha (state) Minyue Yelang Bách Việt

Zhao Tuo Triệu Dynasty Born: 240 BC Died: 137 BC

Preceded by An Dương Vương as king of Âu Lạc King of Northern Vietnam 203 BC – 137 BC Succeeded by Zhao Mo as ki