Photo of the crown of Champa, one of the early Vietnamese kingdoms (7th-8th century). Image Credit: WikiCommons

The areas under modern-day Vietnam originally emerged as distinct kingdoms, namely Văn Lang and Âu Lạc, in the fourteenth and third century BC respectively. In the second century BC most of northern Vietnam was absorbed into Chinese rule, though regions broke away for short periods of time, including rebellions spearheaded by female rulers. By the tenth century AD Vietnam had achieved independence from China and the  Đại Việt kingdom was established, which saw a flourishing Golden Age period. Between 1000 and 1500 AD the kingdom repelled Mongol and Chinese invasions, as well as expanding southwards. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries monarchical power was split as Vietnam divided into two spheres of influence, however they were again united as one kingdom by Nguyễn Ánh in 1802. Colonisation by the French and the establishment of Indochina at the end of the ninteenth century brought an end to Vietnamese monarchical rule, with a century of conflict ultimately leading to the establishment of an independent republic of Vietnam in 1976.

You can find out more about female rulers during Vietnam’s premodern period below!


Chapuis, Oscar. A history of Vietnam: from Hong Bang to Tu Duc. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995

Tran, Nhung Tuyet. Familial Properties: Gender, State, and Society in Early Modern Vietnam, 1463–1778. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2018.

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