Vietnam: Notes - Archontology

Vietnam: Notes

Names of the Ruler

The record shows the following data:

(a) Temple name. Following Chinese practice, after his death a ruler regarded as meritorious received a temple name (miêu hiệu, 廟號).

(b) Personal name. Every emperor had personal names: a name before accession (family name Nguyễn Phúc + personal name; beginning, after the second emperor, with a "generation name"); and, as taboo name (tên húy, 名諱) the family name + new personal name adopted upon accession.

The emperor Thánh Tổ prescribed, for all his descendants, a "generation name" to form the first part of the personal name of each. These "generation names" are, in succession, the words of a poem composed by the ruler; the initial ones are: Miên (綿) Hồng () Ứng () Bửu () Vĩnh ().

(c) Posthumous name. A ruler regarded as meritorious received after his death a posthumous name (thụy hiệu, 諡號) which was a string of commendatory adjectives ending with hoàng đế.

Common reference (era name)

Following the usual, questionable, practice for the Ming and Qing polities of identifying, for general use, each ruler by the era name (niên hiệu, 年號) prevalent in his reign, the same practice obtains for many rulers of Vietnam.

The eras used for common reference are:

31 May 1802 - 13 Feb 1820 Gia Long (嘉隆)
14 Feb 1820 - 10 Feb 1841 Minh Mệnh (明命)
11 Feb 1841 - 4 Feb 1848 Thiệu Trị (紹治)
5 Feb 1848 - 27 Jan 1884 Tự Đức (嗣德)
n/a Hiệp Hoà (協和) [1]
28 Jan 1884 - 14 Feb 1885 Kiến Phúc (建福)
15 Feb 1885 - 6 Nov 1885 Hàm Nghi (咸宜)
7 Nov 1885 - 31 Jan 1889 Đồng Khành (同慶)
1 Feb 1889 - 4 Sep 1907 Thành Thái (成泰)
5 Sep 1907 - 17 May 1916 Duy Tân (維新)
18 May 1916 - 12 Feb 1926 Khải Định (啓定)
13 Feb 1926 - 30 Aug 1945 Bảo Đại (保大) [2]

[1] Set to begin on 28 Jan 1884 but abandoned after the deposition of the adopting ruler.
[2] The end of this era is deemed to have coincided with formal transfer of power from imperial to republican government at public ceremony at Huế on 30 Aug 1945.