Home News Hot news The Name of “Ly” (Lee) in Giao Chi during Han’ Age
Mon, 26-10-2020   
The Name of “Ly” (Lee) in Giao Chi during Han’ Age

Nguyen Viet
The Center for Southeast Asian Prehistory, Hanoi, Vietnam

1- “Ly” belonged the first family name happened in Giao Chi (Northern Vietnam and partly Guangtung, Guangxi China today). Since V-III CBC, legendary talk about Ly Tien (the Got of White Horse Temple – Bach Ma, Hanoi) and Ly Ong Trong, general of Chin during the War again Hu enemy from northern, who became the Got of gigantic body in the Trem tempe (Hanoi). Those Ly are corresponding to the beginning early states in Lingnan (Giao Chi) area and to the flourishing Dong Son culture in it’s highest level. It might be originated from the ethnic name of Ly, Lao (Lee, Liao) under influence of name having nobles from northern states (Ba-Shu, Chu, Wu, Yue) in late Spring-Autom and Warring States age.

2- The first Chinese inscriftion of “Ly” name on archaeological artifacts excavated in Giao Chi was on a bronze vase dated 118 AD. Until today we collected 7 Giao Chi objects (6 bronze, 1 ceramic) with inscriftion with “Ly thi tac” (made by Ly’s family), those were dated in first half of the II CAD (118-149 AD).

3- The “Ly” name in Giao Chi was clear a noble name of Tay Vu (Xi Ou) tribal district (Bo), which was before East Han Ma Yuan’s conquest (44 AD) a biggest district (Bo) with total 32.000 hausholds. Because that Ma Yuan had to propose the Han’s Court to cut this “Bo” for three smaller “Bo” : Tay Vu, Phong Chau, Vong Hai. The “Tay Vu” (or Tay Au) name as a tribal administration name appeared firstly under Chin emperism (III CBC), when the Chin army southwarded to Lingnan (Su Ky Tu Ma Thien and Han Thu, Hoai Nam Tu truyen). During conquest of Nam Viet (Nan Yue state) by West Han General Lo Bac Duc 110 BC, the “Tay Vu vuong” (chief of Tay Vu) was killed (Han Thu). Those Tay Vo belonged to the big Tay Vu (before Ma Yuan conquest in 44 AD). The Tay Vu name, which were inscrifted on Giao Chi ceramic and bronze objects belonged to smaller Tay Vu, where located in the central Giao Chi (today Bac Ninh, northeastern Hanoi, northern Hung Yen, northwestern Hai Duong).

4- The “Ly” name of Giao Chi’s Tay Vu was inscrifted detail on a bronze vase :” Han An (AD 143) 13rd March made by Giao Chi Tay Vu”. The excavations in Luy Lau rampart, who was recorded as citadel administration of Giao Chau during II century AD were unearthed a large bronze workshop inside of the citadel rampart. This bronze workshop was dated from II-IV centuries AD. Here is very possible the Ly’s bronze workshop of Giao Chi Tay Vu in II century AD. The “Ly thi tac” was inscrifted also on the ceramic vase dated 149 AD. This evidenced that the “Ly” was also the important owner of Giao Chi ceramic workshop in II century AD.


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