In the autumn of the year Canh Tuat (1010), Ly Cong Uan, founder of the Ly Dynasty (1009-1225), decided to trans-fer the capital from Hoa Lu in Ninh Binh Province to Dai La (present-day Hanoi). As the royal fleet approached the foot of Dai La Citadel, a golden fragon-shaped the king to rename the citadel” Thang Long” ( Rising Dragon). Now, nearly ten centuries later, his public statement on the decision the move the capitl stans as an enduring document of national policy and an early example of Vietnamese literature. In the edict, the Ly king appeals to historical precedent to angue in favor of a relocation of the capital. He cites two famous dynasties from ancient China, which enjoyed long-lived prosperity as a result of their willing-ness to move their capitals as of ten as necessary. In contrast, the hide-bound Le and Dinh Dynasties of Vietnam refused to move the capital from Ninh Binh and consequently” Their Dynasties were short-lived and their fates, precarious.” Part of the text of the” Edict” follows: “ In the old days, the Shang Dynasty’ up to the reign of Cheng Wang, three times. Could it be that those kings of the period of the Three Dynasties, when moving their capital in this way, obeyed an unjustifiable whim? No, they simply wanted to choose a centre favorable to the Will of Heaven and meeting undertaking for ten thousand generations to come. Bowing to ever they deemed it necessary, thus ensuring the country’s destiny, wealth and prosperity. In contrast, because such is their will and pleasure, the two dynasties of the Dinh and the Le chose to ingnore the Will of the Heaven and did not follow the examples set by the Shang and Zhou. They stayed obstinately in this place. Their dynasties were short lived and their fates, precarious. The common people were ruined while untold resources remained inised. I grieve greatly over that and feel compelled to move the capital to another place. I am all the more confirmed in this coice since Dai La, the former capital of Governor-General Gao is located in the heartland of our country. Its location evokes the image of a colied dragon, a squalting tiger. It is oriented to the four points of the compass, with a correspondingly favorable orientation the mountains and rivers. The site is sufficiently vast and level, the grounds sufficiently raised and well exposed. The population is protected against floods and high water, and its economy is well developed and prosperous. It is amost beautiful site, where men and resources come together form the four points of the compass: it will also make en excellent capital for a royal dynasty over teb thousand generations. I therefore wish to benefit from this favourable location and to move the capital there. What do you think of this decision, Members of the Court?”.
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