Trần Quốc Vượng

Trần Quốc Vượng (12 December 1934 – 8 August 2005) was a Vietnamese historian, archaeologist and culturologist. He was part of the generation including Hà Văn Tấn, and Phan Huy Lê which formed the foundation of Vietnamese History Studies since the 1950s.[1][2] Since 1956, he was Professor of University of Social Sciences and Humanities - Vietnam National University, Hanoi and gave lectures on Vietnamese Ancient-Middle History, Archaeology and Culturology until 2005.[3]

Biographical Notes

Born on December 12, 1934, in Kinh Mon Village, Hải Dương province, Trần Quốc Vượng graduated as Bachelor of History-Geography at University of Hanoi. He was then invited to teach at the University of Hanoi (later known as University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi). He studied archaeology during 1959-60 and together with renowned Archaeology Institute director and professor Hà Văn Tấn led the way in unearthing Vietnam's archaeological history. He was made a professor in 1980.

He held the Rockefeller Foundation visiting fellowship to Cornell University's Centre for Southeast Asian Studies in 1991.[4]

Professor Trần Quốc Vượng's many posts included deputy general secretary of the Vietnam's Folklore Literature Association and first president of the Hanoi History Association.

Professor Trần Quốc Vượng wrote about a variety of subjects from history, to archaeology and man in society, was among the first to begin a systematic study of Vietnam's culture.[5] In 1960, he translated and provided notes to Đại Việt sử lược (ancient Chinese: 大越史略), or Sketches of Vietnam's History, one of the country's most ancient surviving works. In 1973, he was the chief author of the two-edition Danh nhân Hà Nội (Hanoi's Famous Personalities) and in 1975, in collaboration with Vũ Tuân Sán he wrote Hà Nội Nghìn Xưa, or Thousand-year Hanoi. In 1976, he worked with Lê Văn Hảo and Dương Tất Từ to write Mùa xuân và phong tục Việt Nam (Vietnam or Spring and Vietnam's Customs). All were expressions of his desire to contribute all his knowledge to recording his country's history.

Notable Works


  1. Patricia M. Pelley -Postcolonial Vietnam: New Histories of the National Past - Page 50 2002 "who relied more on the work of Lenin — most notably Trần Quốc Vượng, Hà Văn Tấn, and Phan Huy Lê — published two pathbreaking studies, Primitive Communism and The History of Feudalism, from which they conspicuously omitted the .....proceeding instead directly from primitive communism to feudalism. Inspired by Lenin's assertions regarding the Slavic countries, historians at the university insisted that beginning with the Hùng kings and the legendary kingdom of Văn Lang... during the reign of An Dương Vương, who ruled the legendary kingdom of Âu Lạc, and through the early stages of the Chinese occupation (from 2879 B.C.E. to 43 C,E., in other words) Vietnamese society was based on primitive communism "
  2. Marie-Carine Lall, Edward Vickers - Education As a Political Tool in Asia - Page 149 2009 "Already since 1954, with a new generation of modern Vietnamese historians (Trần Quốc Vượng, Phan Huy Lê etc.), 'Vietnamese-ness' had been clearly considered as having no relation with Chinese influences. "
  4. Burns, Peter, 'Letter to the Editors - More Memories of Tran Quoc Vuong', Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 7, September - October 2005.
  5. Thai Press Report, 'VIETNAM: FAMED HISTORIAN DIES AT 71', 11 August 2005.
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