Vietnam's Early History: A Translation of the "Outer Annals" of Two Vietnamese Chronicles


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Grants to Individuals in East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History Translation Grants (North America)




There is very little accurate information available in English on the early history of Vietnam. I am proposing to remedy this situation by translating the opening chapters of two important premodern Vietnamese chronicles: the 15th century Dai Vet su ky toan thu and the 19th century Kham dinh Viet su thong giam cuong muc. The initial chapters of these two texts cover a period of history from the third millenium BC to the tenth century AD. This period witnessed first the emergence of some polities in northern Vietnam, followed by 1,000 years of Chinese rule. These translated texts will thus be of benefit to anyone (but particuarly historians and archaeologists) interested in the early histories of Vietnam, China, or the world which existed in the region of what is today southern China and northern Vietnam before it had become "China" and "Vietnam."