1. Urgency of the topic
Bac Giang is a land of Bac Giang County under the Ly - Tran regime of Le - Mac time, the upper
region of the thousand years of civilization Kinh Bac. Historically, Bac Giang has vital strategic position,
is seen as the land of "wattle hedge" in the north of Thang Long . This ancient land is being explored for a
long time and has a long cultural and historical tradition. On each village of Bac Giang still bold silhouette
of many temples and pagodas, temples, shrines, or the ancient halls of the clan. The ancient ruins were
built by the local residents of the village with the contribution of effort and money from the potential
organized villages, guilds, clans and individuals, such potential contributors were be gratitude and praised
by the villagers to make stele engraved souvenir for the future generations. That is why in the villages of
Bac Giang have many inscriptions left by our ancestors.
Epitaph is the specific heritage inscription materials with the roles of special significance for
understanding, studying the social life of every modern country. Problem understanding what the saved
epitaph saved is said to be the concern of the whole society, especially in the field of social science
research and humanities. Overall, Bac Giang epitaph is on the heritage epitaph of Vietnam, so that the
research of Bac Giang epitaph is a useful, practical and urgently important task contributing to the work of
exploiting, conserving and promoting good values, and precious cultural heritage of Vietnam. The
findings from Bac Giang epitaph also contribute to the construction and economic development, local
economic development of the county in the period of innovation, integration and development.
Bac Giang Epitaph (hereinafter to as BGE) is the cultural heritage created by the generation of
fathers, transmitting to the nowadays generations as well as tomorrow ones. Currently, the state is not
directly managed, epitaph/gravestone (hereinafter referred to as the epitaph) has been preserving by the
people of the village. The existence or non-existence of the epitaph depends entirely on the consciousness
of the people of each locality. Where the sense of community is enhanced, the epitaph is respectfully
preserved. Conversely, where the epitaph is being forgotten accidentally by the indifference of the local
people. In some villages in Bac Giang province, there is still situated on the roadside, on the bridge ponds,
ditches ... Some epitaphs have been accidentally destroyed by the harsh climate. So, the issue of
conservation, research, exploitation and promotion of cultural values has become urgent than ever.
With these sources of information and data available, we know that the BGE with number of
1452, of which 1278 were in scripted, and the copied, preserved in the Han Nom Research Institute
(hereinafter referred to as HNRI) and 1296 epitaph artifacts are stored in the villages of the province.
While some epitaphs were in scripted, collected, without the epitaph artifacts. In contrast, there are some
epitaphs in the field but no HNRI, 174 epitaph without copies. Frame dating are identified during 560
years (1387-1947) but diverse in type, includes some content is very broad, referring to many fields,
involving many different historical periods, so that the epitaph has been the subject by many social
science research in general, and for the specialized in Han Nom studies in particular . However, so far
there is no author to exploit any depth research into BGE as a specialized subject. Furthermore, due to
sources of the medium - modern time of the county, the village or the historic celebrities of Bac Giang are
rare, chiefly the epitaph scarce resource to be considered authentic, rich. Up to now, not interested author
make the in-depth and comprehensive research. Being a child of the motherland Bac Giang, and to be
specialized training in Han Nom, with many years of experience in local for the collection job for the
segment this material so I have chosen the theme of epitaph Research of BGE in Bacgiang province to
implement the doctoral thesis at the Institute of Social Sciences of Vietnam.
2. Basis of theory and research methods
2.1 Theoretical Foundations
The thesis is based on the views of the Party and State of Vietnam in the collection, preservation, research,
exploitation and promotion of good values of traditional culture in the cause of building of the advanced,
and deeply imbued ethnic identity Vietnam culture
The thesis applying the scientific knowledge on the research method of Han-Nom Literature as text study
with the basis of the deep methods such as Document studies, Epitaph studies and the Personal original
name studies and other multi- branches research methods (Archaeology, Agrology and cult urology...) to
handle the subject in each chapter of the thesis.
The author's thesis is to acquire, inherit knowledge and research achievements on the epitaph of many
previous authors being published, relating to the thesis to use, compare, analyze and assessment of the
reserves, the characteristics and content of BGE reflect.
2.2 Research Methodology
- Methods of document study, the method is used primarily to describe, define dating for the basis
to evaluate the characteristics of form, and content of the BGE;
- Statistical methods are used to conducted the quantitative, classification, identification of
distribution epitaph and the creation of tables, charts to indicate the general issues mentioned in the thesis
by the indicators and statistics. Next, compare and analyze synthesis so as to draw the main features on the
form, content of BGE;
- Field survey fieldwork methodology, which is applied when collecting documents in the local
sites having misgivings about the text, we will conduct field surveys for comparison with epitaph artifacts
- Inter- branch research methods, such as: Historical archaeology, linguistics, artology ,
ethnographic ... to research, compare, evaluate the value of the form, content of BGE .
3. Object and scope of use of the material
3.1 Study objects:
Study objects of the thesis are 1452 epitaph of BGE, including 1278 current copied epitaphs
stored in the bibliographic warehouse from HNRI, and 1296 artifact epitaphs at the ruins of Bac Giang
3.2 Scope of the material usage:
Bac Giang landmarks here is identified as provincial-level administrative site ( Bac Giang
province today) consists of 01 city and 9 districts, namely Bac Giang city and districts such as Hiep Hoa,
Lang Giang, Luc Nam, Luc Ngan, Son Dong, Tan Yen, Viet Yen, Yen Dung and Yen The. Therefore, the
scope of the thesis is a review of the general copied epitaphs of Bac Giang in HNRI with the use,
reference to epitaphs in the province when there on epitaph in the archive.
The thesis studies of the BGE include issues such as quantitative synthesis statistics of epitaph;
distribution situation, classification, characteristics, form characteristic - the content of the epitaph; to rate
the epitaph value in some respects, written translation some epitaphs representing content contained
content as indicating in the thesis.
4. New contributions of the thesis
- For the first time the documentary heritage BGE has been aggregated, statistical, quantitative
full on the basis of two sources: the field artifact epitaphs and stored epitaphs in the form of copies at
HNRI. The statistical and synthesis epitaph results have provided information and documents relating to
the planned plan, conservation plan, and promoting the heritage value BGE in the near future.
- All complete source BGE stored at HNRI was analysis, integrated assessment, classified by the
fellows according to the scientific criteria of Han Nom Literature Div. on the three routes: Time
(dynasties), space (district, city) kind of relics. For the field epitaph artifacts, they are statistics,
quantitative detailed to the communal units (wards and towns).
- Thesis traces deeply insight into the forms, document of BGE, which draws cultural values,
general and specific characteristics of the form as well as the issues related to the process of creating BGE.
- The thesis also researched deeply on the national identity of Vietnam to be appeared on the BGE
of the Le Trung Hung period (Century XVII, XVIII), about the contributions of the officials to the Bac
Giang village in the medieval time, in which the epitaph inscription reflected the contribution of the
Eunuch (eunuch) under the Le Trung Hung period to be considered as the unique documentary heritage in
Han Nom heritage northern origin.
- On the basis of the exploitation of the value of content, the thesis has gone insight into some
form of cultural activities, religions (Confucianism, Buddhism), traditional beliefs, which are the typical
cultural heritage of Bac Giang's past and present.
- The thesis also mentioned and provides more materials on the history of Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen
reflected in the epitaph on the historical and cultural monuments in Yen Tư western slopes within the
territory Bac Giang province.
- The Follows has selected, transcribed, translated, annotated BGE 30 groups representing the
content included in the Appendix to introduce to readers. These epitaphs are first published, they are also
be seen as a significant new contribution of the thesis.
5. The layout of the thesis
In addition to the Introduction, Conclusion, the list of articles of the author's thesis, list of
references and appendices, the contents of the thesis is divided into four chapters:
Chapter 1. Overview of the epitaph and collection, conservation, research states related to the thesis.
Chapter 2. Characteristics of the epitaph in Bac Giang province.
Chapter 3: Research on some historical contents reflected in BGE.
Chapter 4. Research on some contents of the traditional culture value reflected in BGE
OVERVIEW OF THE EPITAPH AND COLLECTION ,
CONSERVATION , RESEARCH STATE RELATED TO THE THESIS
This chapter, the thesis presents an overview of the origin of the epitaph and influence,
introduction of epitaph carving cultural from China into Vietnam; Vietnam epitaph research achievements
as well as the collection, conservation, study BGE. Based on the situation concerning our thesis, we
clarify a number of issues needed to study on BGE that never mentioned of the pervious studies .
1.1 Overview of the epitaph and the epitaph of Vietnam
Before 2012, the Han Nom research gender at home and abroad are temporarily accept the
introduction of the epitaph named Đai Tuy Cuu Chan quận Bao An đạo tràng chi bi văn dating to the 14th
year of Dai Nghiep (618) is the inscription of the earliest date in our country. But in 2012, Le Viet Nga Nguyen Pham Bang (Museum of Bac Ninh province) announced the stele named Xa li thap minh dating to
the Dai tư Nham tho nguyn nien [The Year of the first Nhan Tho (601) of Tuy Dynasty] . In 2013, Nguyen
Pham Bang announced of the findings about the doctorate stele in Dao Hoang Church, Thanh Hoai
hamlet, Thanh Khuong commune, Thuan Thanh district, Bac Ninh province under the dating of Kien
Hung II (314). Thus, up to the year of 2015, the doctorate stele in Dao Hoang pagoda is the earliest date
ever found in our country.
To the X century, Ngo, Dinh and Tien Le period (939 - 1009) we have discovered some stone
columns carved Buddhist script honor the Da la ni spiritual experience in the ancient capital of Hoa Lu,
Ninh Binh province.
have been developed in both form and content from the XIth century
(hereinafter referred to Century). The engraved Vietnam Han- Nom inscription said that, all country had
18 steles in the Ly Dynasty (1010-1225), 44 steles in the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400).
number of epitaphs in Ly - Tran Dynasties changed a lot, increased importation due to new discoveries in
XV century to the middle of the XX century, as the state as well as villages have built many
buildings serving religious activities, religious so the numbers of epitaphs increased more than the that of
the previous dynasties. This is the rich, diverse resource in both form and contents and make its more
attraction to the professionals and interested researcher, collector to serve society.
Research 1.2 Epitaph research situation in Vietnam
1.2.1 Projects on study, publishing of the Vietnam epitaph.
The follows have listed 18 studies on the epitaph have been published : Poetry and Literature of
Ly - Tran, Hanoi epitaph Anthology Volume I (1978), The Epitaph Anthology of Hatay (1993), The
Epitaph in Lang land (1993), The Epitaph in the Mac period (1996), The Confucius temple Epitaph in Bac
Ninh (2000), Vietnam Han Nom engraved (Volume I) from Northern to the Ly Dynasty (2002), the
General copied collection of Inscription of Vietnam (2010), The Confucius temple Quoc Tu Giam Hanoi
Epitaph (2002), Han Nom Vietnam engraved Inscription (Tran Dynasty 1226-1400), The Confucius
temple Quoc Tu Giam and 82 PhD steles (2002), Han Nom literature of Yen Phong district (2005),The
Epitaph in scripted Vietnamese doctors (2006), The Han Nom Heritage Con Son - Kiep Bac - Phuong
Son (2006), The Epitaph in the Ly Dynasty, The Buddha temple Epitaph of Ly Dynasty (2010), The
Civilization Documentation Thang Long - Hanoi (2010), The Thang Long - Hanoi Han Nom engraved
Documentation (2010), Research on Vinhphuc Epitaph (2013).
Studies, theory on the epitaph and the related to the epitaph, there number of works have been
published such as: Some topics about Han-Nom Study documents (1983), Research on Vietnam word huy
(taboo name) through the reigns (1997), History of the Mac dynasty through bibliographies and epitaph
(2001), The Kinh Bac Epitaph and the reflection of village life (2003), Inspection Survey the dating to the
copied epitaph (2007), Some issues on Epitaph Vietnam (2008), The Form of Han-Vietnam Letters
(2010), The Study on Epitaph and Epitaph Document Han Nom Vietnam (2013)
In addition to these works, basic treatise above, the epitaph is the object to be introduced in the
Journal of Han Nom Research Journal, conference proceedings Han Nom Study Announcement, The new
findings of Archaeology, Journal Archaeology, etc.
1.2.2 The thesis theme, research dissertation on the Vietnam epitaph
With the 12 PhD thesis have been successfully defended: The formation and development of Vietnam
epitaph and inscription position in the classical literature of Vietnam (1990); The Epitaph Vietnam the
historical sources in the middle and contemporary period (1991), The Epitaph under the Le Dynasty of
Kinh Bac and the village life reflection (1996) , The Epitaph under the Mac Dynasty and its
contribution historical research in Vietnam XVI century, Research on the learning promotion epitaph
Vietnam, Research on Haiphong Epitaph, Research on Nom Letters, Study on the Epitaph in Ninh Binh
province, Research on Han Nom Epitaph in Quang Nam province, Research on the Epitaphs post Than
Vietnam, Research on the epitaphs in Thua Thien Hue province.
04 Master thesis: The village temple steles in the Northern Area in XVII century, Research on
market epitaphs, The Studies of Nom Epitaph, Understanding the post Tay Son epitaphs etc.
Most researches on the stele were made in the late XX century and the early twenty-first century
are very general topics, scale, scope, the epitaph object research spread in all localities in the country. The
authors offer insights, clarifications of the inscription, the problems of texts, its excellent value content on
multiple fields: The historical cultural, economic, political, linguistic, religious beliefs and artistic form of
the epitaphs of Vietnam.
1.3 Situation of collection, conservation and research of BGE.
The quantity of BGE have been collected on two sources: the stele artifacts at the local and the
copies BGE stored in HNRI.
In total 229 communes (wards and towns) with 155 communes having epitaphs (accounting for
67.7%) and 74 communes without epitaph (nearly 32.3%). Most of the communes have epitaphs of the
delta, midland or low mountainous. The most epitaph concentrated in districts as Viet Yen, Hiep Hoa, Luc
Nam, Yen Dung and Bac Giang city. This is a land with a long cultural history, organizational structure
sustainable village, a system of religious buildings, religious and complete welfare projects , more
specifically it is the domain land rich of academic excellence tradition as well as great economic potential
... The other district such as Luc Ngan, Son Dong, Yen The with less epitaphs in numbers.
Epitaph of the Tran, Le Sow and Mac dynasties are in small numbers. While the Le Trung Hung
epitaph has the highest number (539/1452 (37.12%), following the epitaph of the Nguyen Dynasty
488/1452 (33.6%), the Tay Son epitaph 32/1452 (2.2 %). The epitaph without record dating 184/1452
(12.6%). The incomplete steles has scored only calendar year, account 31/1278 (2.1%). The epitaphs
without copies account 1174/1452 (12%).
Almost BGE are temple and pagoda epitaphs, the two buildings serving religious activities
serving the common belief of village communities in the province. Other assorted relics such as text only,
words only, dancer words, bridges, markets, temples and shrines ...the post God and post Buddhism are
surpass while historical and legend epitaphs...are very modest in number.
1.3.2 Situation of BGE collection, heritage and conservation
Epitaph is documentary heritage with the largest volume to be collected by E.F.E.O from the
beginning of the XXth century. Currently, 567 copied BGE left by E.F.E.O to be preserved at HNRI and
711 copies to bi added in the recent years ..
From 1988 to 2009, The Habac/Bac Giang Museum has collected nearly 300 units of epitaphs and steles.
From 2010 to date, the Monument Management Board of Bac Giang province has collected, print with a
total of more than 300 units and basically complete translation.
1.3.3 The research situation of BGE
The BGE have been introduced in book Bac Giang Address, vol. 3 "Han-Nom Heritage " (2003) and are
mentioned sporadically in studies such as Vietnam Han Nom engraved epitaphs, The epitaph of the Mac
Dynasty in Kinh Bac Land, and the reflection of village life, Vinh Nghiem Buddhism Ancestor, The
traditional Culture of Yen Dung district etc. and a number of research articles published in several
Sub-summary of Chapter 1:
BGE with great number and basically has been collected, print into copies and archived at HNRI,
very few have not been print and still scattered in the villages of the province. On the basis of two sources
stored in HNRI at that off in the field to be gathered by the Thesis, relatively complete statistics of about
1452 BGE units, of which: 1296 inscription on artifacts at 1278 villages in the province and in HNRI
archive. These epitaph volume is very rich resources for us to make the thesis.
The Content of BGE are very diversity, reflecting various aspects of social life in the Medieval
time and attracting interest of many researchers. To date, there have been many authors exploit BGE to
perform their scientific works, thesis, dissertations, monographs depth in each sector and has achieved
admirable goals and contributing new scientific knowledge to the next generation to inherit, exploitation
and promote the value and application to practical social life. However, no author have the heart to win
the overall research on specialized epitaph or a certain sector in BGE. The study was published as well as
thesis have been exploiting very small number in BGE content. Magazines, specialized conference
proceedings articles appear only sporadic introducing the new steles discovered and stopped at the level of
resources to introduce the works, no monograph on BGE.
At local level, the epitaph has received investment interest for the preservation of the local
cultural sector. The Follows himself also a certain contribution in the preservation, research and
introduction of BG. Being the son of the motherland Bac Giang, from childhood exposing to the epitaph,
as adult trained in Han Nom, and have been working more than twenty years in the local culture, attracting
thousands epitaph in the province, the Follows has long been fascinated by such particular source so that
when the Follows to be enrolled into the faculty of Institute of Han-Nom Studies of Institute of Social
Sciences - Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, the Follows selected the sector of epitaph local materials
as a doctoral thesis topic. These works aim forward to contribute for the specialized scientific of Han Nom
sector and conservation, promoting the value of cultural heritage of the motherland.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EPITAPH IN BAC GIANG PROVINCE
BGE is the documentary heritage formed from intrinsic needs of the medieval village. They were
the brainchild of the technology and the Confucianism, Buddhism intellectual property, made by the
people with finger flowers and skilled hand calligraphy and the stone workers. Each inscription will be
considered as a work of literature and art reflecting ideological, emotional, aesthetic level of those who
directly created these artifacts and the contemporary village community. So this chapter, we introduce the
geographical profile of Bac Giang administration from the era of independence and cultural traditions of
Bac Giang province, because that is the environment for the emergence and retention of epitaphs, on that
basis, we present some characteristics of art form, and text of BGE.
2.1 Administrative geography and cultural traditions.
2.1.1 Administrative geography
Bac Giang land has long been inextricably linked with the Kinh Bac culture. 1997, Bac Giang
province is re-established on the separation of Habac province into two ones, Bac Giang and Bac Ninh.
Bac Giang now has 10 districts, the city, namely: Bac Giang city, the districts consist of Hiep Hoa, Lang
Giang, Luc Nam, Luc Ngan, Son Dong, Tan Yen, Viet Yen, Yen Dung and Yen The.
2.1.2 Cultural tradition
There are 2237 historic cultural relics and landscapes. In the feudal time, there were 58 elite
students graduated from Baccalaureate to high school, University degree and higher, including in the
Confucian exam. etc. The studious tradition, martial tradition and devotees are the geography- cultural
factors favorable for the emergence of BGE.
2.2 Physical features, materials, authors composing the carved epitaphs
2.2.1 Epitaph physical features, materials
* On the body: The most common are flat epitaphs (1 face), the square 4 faces epitaphs, cedar
shape epitaphs (cedar tree), 6 face epitaphs, cylindrical epitaphs etc. Especially, in the northern part of
Bac Giang, many box epitaphs to be found in the tomb of Poinsettia Giap Hai's father and others wooden
* Regarding the quality, there are 3 types: Green stone steles (limestone), red rocks, sandstone
ones, but the most common are green stone ones.
2.2.2 About the authors who composed and engraved the epitaphs
* About the composed author: In 1452 BGE, there are 251 engraved epitaph having the composed
author name (17.2%). Participants compiled the epitaph with the highest number of academics, others are
intellectuals and local officials such as: Birth officers, birth supervisor, provincial chairman, district head,
the elders from communue and village chiefs, Confucius students, local scholars and the monks etc.
* About the calligraphy author: There are 266 steles identities of calligraphy author (18.3%).
Participants for the calligraphy are Director of birth, Confucius students, district head, scholars and the
monks etc. and the notoriety are local village elders ... and most are officers from cabinet of the districts.
* About the engraved epitaph authors: There are 55 engraved epitaphs having the name, address
of carver (3.7%). Reviews of the author, the rate of professionalism of state in Ngoc Thach Department
and Kinh Chu guild are prevails, the remains come from another guild.
2.3 The art for decorative epitaph and stele
BGE appeared in nearly six centuries so the processing techniques, decorative art is very rich, and
diverse, but the most typical are the epitaphs from Le Trung Hung period (XVII - XVIII centaury).
2.4 Documents and letters on the epitaphs
2.4.1. About documents of the epitaph
A survey on the monument found that 70% BGE intact. The survey also found that dozens of
steles to be engraved complementary. The redone phenomenon are not common. The punch and removal
content and chronology occur on some inscription of the Nguyen and Le Trung Hung Dynasty.
2.4.2 About letters of the epitaph:
The earliest taboo name was discovered on the epitaph of Tran dynasty in Nham Nguyet temple
(Lieu Nham hamlet, Tan Lieu commune, Yen Dung district). No such appearance to be found in Le
dynasty. The Mac, Le Trung Hung dynasties had made deeply the taboo name orders on the BGE . Bac
Giang has 03 Nome letter epitaphs and some interlined Nom letter to name a person, gift names, worship
atmosphere and locations.
Sub-summary of Chapter 2:
Bac Giang is a land of Kinh Bac culture region, a county renowned for the culture, studious,
martial history, the convergence of cultural elite of the nation, one of the cradles of civilization in the
northern delta, the land of favorable conditions for the birth and development of Han-Nom epitaphs. BGE
said to be as diverse form as Vietnam epitaphs, but at a certain angle, it has the characteristics of its own,
that is the appearance of round and bell shape. Besides stone steles, bronze bells, stone and copper plates,
and timber steles as seen in other provinces, Bac Giang has steles made from wood, box steles (stone
books), they are could not found in other localities.
There are 251 epitaphs noted the name who composed epitaph, 17.2% (251/1452) of the total
number of BGE. The epitaph writers team are very diverse, but the academics (poinsettias, Ph.D, Tham
Hoa, Hoang giap, assistance Dr. ) accounted for the highest number, followed by the Director of birth,
students, local officers, scholars and the monks etc. The number of inscriptions, epitaphs are great but the
composers so quite humble. As words handed from person to person "oration is wise, so the wild is
epitaph" reflects very exactly this situation. Perhaps, because of the writers too careful, cautiously, afraid
to scare the gossip, so they do not indicate their name on the epitaph. Only educated , knowledge people
profound enough confidence to address their name on the epitaphs. By statistic, authors who wrote words
on BGE are 266 people, accounting for 18.3% (266/1452), of which over 30 participants, most are
officials working in the office that graduated from Letter working patterns in the Cabinet of Public
Department . Rest, plenty of epitaphs to be wrote by Birth officers, birth supervisor, provincial chairman,
district head, the elders from commune and village chiefs, Confucius students, local scholars and the
monks etc. they were invited to write the letter. Kinh Bac/Bac Giang has rare stone carver guild , so the
majority of BGE done by specialized agencies of the court and the land of the East region guild, and
Thanh county guild. There are 55 epitaphs carved the name of the agency and the guilds, representing
3.8% (55/1452). In which craftsmen from Ngoc Thach and Kinh Chu guilds (Kinh Mon, Hai Duong) are
Like epitaph of Vietnam, decorative scheme on BGE very rich, reflecting the thoughts, feelings,
aesthetic style of society in each different historical periods. Many BGE have been invested in man power,
intelligence, the ingenuity of the stone carving artist, they are deserved to be hailed as the exemplary,
outstanding stone art sculptures .
Most of BGE have ben written in Han letters, some in Nom letters. The taboo name phenomenon
also appears in the BGE from Tran Dynasty (XIV century) until the end of the Nguyen Dynasty (1945),
but appearance more common in epitaph of the Le Trung Hung period. Most BGE are still kept fully
content, with clear addresses and fewer repairs, falsified or removal so that the inscriptions reflected in the
epitaph with high degree of conviction.
RESEARCH ON SOME HISTORICAL CONTENTS REFLECTED IN BGE
Bac Giang epitaphs reflect valuable information about the history of the motherland, the country
in many different fields, but due to regulations on the thesis capacity, so in this chapter, we present some
typical historical value reflected in BGE. They are: (1) Contributing to understand "the name of Vietnam"
and to identify a number of administration landmarks in the history; (2). Reflecting on the martial and
administration officers; (3). Reflecting the contribution of the eunuchs, director for the village. In
particular, content (2) is the main ones.
3.1 Epitaph contributed to understand "the name of Vietnam" and a number of
administration landmarks in the history.
3.1.1 The name Vietnam in bibliographies, and in medieval epitaphs
Bac Giang province has 04 epitaphs indicating the national identity of Vietnam and both carved in
the period of the seventeenth century. That í the epitaph name Tu tạo tien duong Dien Quang (Dien
Quang Pagoda restored Epitaph self built in market of Dien Quang Pagoda, Cam Bao hamlet, Xuan Cam
commune, Hiep Hoa district. The epitaph was composed by Nguyen Hoa, graduated Dr. in the year Mau
Thin (1628): “Việt Nam đại quốc/ Kinh Bac cuu cuong/ Thuan An dia thang/ Bac Ha hinh cuong/ Gia Lam
giai canh/ Hiệp Hoa danh hương/ Tinh quang tu chu/ Cam xuan long chuong…”;
The Phuc Dien self stele created in the temple Phuc Dien, Yen Vien hamlet, Van Ha commune,
Viet Yen district in the Khanh Yen third year (1651) also mentions the country of "Vietnam" right in the
main body text: Việt Nam tú khí, Kinh Bắc chân hình…”; Hien Khanh epitaph created in the Khanh Yen
third year 3 (1655), at the tomb of Double Gods (Chua doi), Thai Tho hamlet, Thai Son commune, Hiep
Hoa district also mentioned at the top of the text: “Đe nhat Viet Nam/Kha xung Que Trạo/Tu thuy trieu
tien/ Ky sơn cung hau/ Đia mach nhat linh/ Thien an quang tao/ My Ngo tuong quan/ Ta Trịnh cha hau…
Of the inscription above, in terms of context and semantics, the 2 words Vietnam that two authors
composed clearly positioned Vietnam is the name of the country.
3.1.2 Contributing to identify some administrative landmarks in the history
In particular, the case Trung Dong hamlet, located deep in the area of Van Trung commune, Viet
Yen district, around the villages of Quang Bieu, former Yen Dung district, far from Thuong Dong hamlet
(also owned by the old Dai Tao, Yen Phong district) Hoa Long commune , Yen Phong district, tens of
kilometers. Among the mystical epitaphs of late Hau Than epigraphy - Lap thach epigraphy made by Dr.
Mau Thin Vu Mien found that, Trung Dong belonging to Dai Tao, Yen Phong district. To the epitaph Vi
lap epigraphy , created in the 10th Thanh Thai (1898) said that Trung Dong hamlet of Dai Tao, Hoang
Mai commune, Yen Dung district, Lang Giang town instead of Yen Phong district,. Bac Ninh province.
Epitaph content helped us understand the folk legend about villagers Trung Dong (Viet Yen district, Bac
Giang province) and the village of Thuong Dong (Hoa Long commune, Yen Phong district, Bac Ninh
province) which had the same origin after the two villages united together to promiscuity Quan ho fork
song. Both villages have the same shrine to worship Ms. Princess the ancestor of Quan ho fork song.
3.2 The Epitaph reflects the spirit of the writing and martial officers
3.2.1 The writing and martial officers in Bac Giang history.
Bac Giang is the upper region of northern King Bac land, the region generated multiple writing
(God of writing) and martial officers, who contributed in building and protecting the country's territorial
land. The national history recorded all the milestones in the book Du Dia Chi, Nguyen Trai had viewed
many parts of Bac Giang and considered as a land with key positions in the country, or "wattle hedge" in
the north part of the capital Thang Long .
God of writing, inscribed in BGE were the academics as the first armor Nguyen Viet Chat,
poinsettia Giap Hai, Dr. Giap Le, Dr. Hoang Cong Phu, Dr. Than Khue, Dr. Tran Dang Tuyen, Dr. Than
Toan, Dr. Chu Danh The , Dr. Than Hnah, Dr. Trinh Ngo Dung, Dr. Nguyen Dinh Dinh Tuan. There were
hundreds of court martial are given the greater deprivation by the Royal. Through the reflection by the
history and epitaph, there many martial families and clans.
3.2.2 Monuments worship god and martial in Bac Giang
The cultural relic worship god, martial at Bac Giang province mainly distributed in Bac Giang
city, and districts as Hiep Hoa, Yen The, Viet Yen, Yen Dung, Tan Yen and Lang Giang. The
mountainous districts such as Son Dong, Yen The, Luc Nam, Luc Ngan with low numbers.
3.2 BGE contributing to understand the merits of god of literature, and martial.
The 231 gods of literature, and martial, eunuchs are reflected in 184 BGE, the historical
luminaries mainly in period XVI - XVIII centuries, in addition, 01 member in Tay Son period , 02
members in Nguyen Dynasty. Among the 231 were reflected in BGE, very few are recorded in the
history, so epitaph is the exact sources for the additional to the history of Bac Giang in medieval time.
The god officers indicated in BGE are the academics as poinsettia Giap Hai (1507 - 1586), from
Dinh Ke commune, Phuong Son dictrict (later renamed as Phuong Nhan), Lang Giang town. Dr. Hoang
Cong Phu from Yen Ninh, Mat Ninh, Yen Dung district (today Yen Ninh, Nenh township, Viet Yen) etc.
and a few other notables such as: Tham Hoa Hoang Sam, Dr. Nguyen Kinh, Dr. Nguyen Duy Nang, Dr.
Trinh Ngo Dung, Dr. Nguyen Dinh Tuan materials ... or other graduated bachelors.
The Epitaph on the gods of literature usually erected in the office, churches so that they are
meaningful and very good impact on the traditional "high respect on belief", to encourage learning for the
About gods of martial, based on the circumstances we divide into 3 categories : Gods-martial
came from the way of recommendation, election and hereditary; Gods-martial from eunuchs but now
specializing in army; Derived from eunuchs doing servant spirit in imperial palaces. The three components
mentioned above, in addition to positive contribution to the court and government bureaucracy they have
great merits for the village. Many cultural heritage are the religious structures, beliefs, community welfare
projects in Bac Giang villages exist to today thanks to their merit attention of such officers. 184 BGE
related to the god and martial oficers. Most gods- martial are reflected in BGE came from eunuchs and
eunuch ( most serving in the royal and the lord), they focused on army path and became famous gods
martial like Han Quan Cong Than Cong Tai, Khanh quan Cong Ha Cong Dung, Dinh Quan Cong Ngo
Cong My, Lan Quan cong Luong Dang Minh etc.
3.3 BGE reflected on eunuchs, eunuch.
There are about 161 BGEs reflected the 126 eunuchs, eunuch of the Le Trung Hung Dynasty (
XVI - XVIII century). The eunuch are the
contributors to the villages in Bac Giang in many
circumstances, such as construction, temple, bridge and road restoration and taxes ... Because they are
members enjoying the many interests from imperial, so they were very rich and had favorable conditions
to offer the materials, lands and money to build welfare projects and benefits to the community. BGE are
the official sources for the researchers to exploit, compile brochures about the local history cultural
The birth of hundreds of pagodas, temples, tomb stones of the massive scale of this architecture
associated with the merits of the eunuch. They are considered as unique cultural phenomenon in the North
areas. From Hoang Dinh Kingdom (1601 - 1619) to Canh Hung Kingdom (1740 - 1787) under the 11
kings and set/used 20 dates, most the dating appeared on the epitaph engraved the contributions of the
eunuch for the construction and renovation works of the village community.
The epitaph reflected the contribution of the eunuch in the construction and renovation of Buddhist
temples of surpassed significant amount.
Through BGS, it is found that the money contribution of the eunuch for the villages under Le
Trung Hung period is very huge. Besides merit for the construction, upgrading temples or markets, the
eunuchs also paid special care and help for the villages to build temples for worship. There are many
eunuchs had merit for 5 villages, one big house for each village. Even, a eunuch have helped people
money to buy more land, pond, and tools for the worship ceremony. In addition, there is the epitaph
indicating the bell creation, building temples and help people pay taxes ...
The merits of the eunuchs, eunuch to the villages is great. To learn about the practices for the
grant of perquisites, garden practices, land grant, survivorship rate, etc ...of the court order under the Le
Hong Duc reign 8th (1467) and the reign of Bao Thai the first (1720) found that, the practices to the
officers, especially those deprived of the high rank had very great compared with the income of the
common people. Therefore they have so much favorable to contribute to village to solve economic
Among them, the most important is the god-martial status, god-stage officer of the XVII - XVIII
century. They usually devoted money for restoration and renovation of temples, pagodas and village
public welfare projects. The martial minister, eunuchs, eunuch in Bac Giang under the Le Trung Hung
period often devoted
money for restoration and renovation of temples, pagodas and other village
buildings and other public welfare of the village, that is also adhered to the wishes of they themselves , but
the problem to response the birth, parents, grandparents, and sentimental factor concubines emotional and
spiritual work so that they stand out ceremony that handed down forever. In addition to the devotion of
money, farming fields, garden ponds, taxation etc, in the end of life, some officers also paid attention to
build shrine, the mausoleum for himself. Regarding this phenomenon, which can be interpreted that the
Easterners in general, and the people in Vietnam in particular, considering his death is only change
existing space. The living people have methods to exist in the life (positive realm ), and the dead were still
members of the family afterlife (negative realm) . Big and small things happening in the family, in the
positive realm, people seek the opinion of people afterlife or in the negative realm. The shrines built by
the god- martial is to create facilities for children and grandchildren in the positive realm to consult their
predecessors in the negative realm or afterlife.
Devotion amount, such as land, money given by martial officers for the village has a relatively
large value in comparison with the common contemporary people, that is to say they had economic
potential, and political, influence in the social. In addition, they also want to show their strength to the
villagers with the thinking " brocade on the village return" of the officers having peasant origin. Most
epitaphs related to the martial officer in Le Trung Hung period in Bac Giang are composed by high ranked
educated intellectuals having intimate relationship with martial officers. Surely, at their heart, the martial
officers want to prove to the world that although they are martial officers,
they have extensive
relationships with higher intellectual level than a purely contemporaries, or others which their talents as
well as understanding the value of their contributions to the villagers, and future generations as well.
Sub-summary of Chapter 3:
Chapter III, the thesis surveys materials for study on Vietnam national identity, reflected in the
bibliography, Han Nom caved inscriptions that have been published and more deeply studied 04 BGE
composed in XVII century, the Le Trung Hung recalling the Vietnam national identity. In 04, the phrase
"Vietnam" is shown quite clearly as a national identity, especially when the ancient grammar Han
applied, found that this function of the said phrase as a noun and always precedes the noun it denoted, this
means the name of the place, government, district and commune are the administrative units of the court
(national) have been identified.
Some administrative sites in Bac Giang province exist in the identification sill some different
features, refer to the current administrative sites, they were also mentioned in the thesis.
Content in this chapter focused on the issue of survey 185 epitaphs reflecting the spirit of the writer and
martial officers, eunuchs to research and provide information on their name, title, the historic celebrity
influence to the spiritual and cultural life in the village of Bac Giang province. In particular, the period of
two centuries (XVII and XVIII centuries) with 134 engraved inscription of the area over 100 martial
officers, eunuchs those who have typical contribution to villages in Bac Giang province. The merits of the
martial officers, eunuchs of Bac Giang for the country has been part of the record, and also contributed to
their remarkable for their homes in the villages are recognized in epitaph epigraphy, the valuable historical
documents, useful for the study of local history.
Based on the characterization of some epitaphs related to a number of martial officers of the Le
Trung Hung period in Bac Giang, we found that, more or less reflects the psychological and their spiritual
life. Also on such findings, we believe, this is one of the many establishments to help us understand better
the thought of the a part of martial officials and their attitude towards the spiritual life of the society. We
suppose that the contribution of the eunuchs, eunuch with Bac Giang village is very great, especially in the
field of preservation and promotion of cultural heritage values. With this approach, it will help us to
understand the epitaphs reflected about the martial officers, with more useful information and interesting.
RESEARCH ON SOME CONTENTS OF THE TRADITIONAL CULTURAL VALUES
REFLECTED IN BGE
Bac Giang is an ancient land, with diversity terrain (mountains, midlands, plain, urban), multiethnic, so that the community have many forms of religious activities and beliefs. There are three religions
prevalent in Bac Giang province, namely: Buddhism, Confucianism and Christianity. Up to now, no
epitaph on Christian to be discovered. Epitaph on religion or belief of ethnic minorities have very low
numbers and 02 new post-spirit epitaphs discovered by the influence of cultural of Kinh/Viet minorities.
Therefore, this chapter surveys, study some of the traditional cultural values of Kinh/Viet minorities
reflected in BGE.
4.1 Epitaph contributing for the study of Confucian culture in villages.
4.1.1 Epitaph reflects the Confucian cultural institutions
Under feudalism, especially under the reign of Le - Nguyen, Confucianism was the imperial and
highly intellectual class. Church of the Holy Place (Khong Thanh) and the fairy Confucian sages is the
place where activities of belonging cultural, local consulting association members. They are educated
people, who studied the Holy letters in place to monitor and guide for their professional. If the recipe is
not the way to reach them eunuchs in the homeland and became popular intellectuals in the villages. Some
steles documents, instruments in the villages has reflected clearly the living form of the local
intelligentsia. Bac Giang province now has only 22 cultural relics, documents to worship Confucius and
the first gentle steps. On the relics , ruins, there are 42 epitaphs inscribing activities of Confucianism. In
addition, in some temples, from the traditional family, clans with academic, studious tradition also kept
some epitaphs inscribed the person who passed the examinations in feudal Sinologist.
32 epitaphs mentioning the building, restore documents from the places of worship, cultural
show, where worship Confucianism and Confucian activities to be held. 09 epitaphs denoted list of people
who passed and scored in exam., only 01 epitaph indicating the building schools. Through the epitaph
found that: Most of the documents, instruments reflects only activities in Bac Giang Confucianism
appeared from XVII, XVIII centuries, few built in the XIX century.
4.1.2 Epitaphs recording the achieved Confucians
The country civil service examination history has been lasting 850 years , the land of Bac Giang
has 58 people passed university level , of which 2 Poinsettia, 1 bang nhan (PhD), 3 tham hoa ((PhD), 1
Ding nguyen tien si ((PhD), the remaining 51 are Hoang giáp and Dong tien si (bachelors). There are also
hundreds of people pass Huong cong, Bachelor ... The province has some families of academics and their
families, such as Than clan (Yen Ninh hamlet, Viet Yen district) with 04 passed university exam. The
Than clan in Dau village ( Bac Giang city) has 03 generations passed university exam; the Dao clan (Song
Khe, Bac Giang city) with 01 position Poinsettia, 02 Doctors. Even the village of Yen Ninh (Viet Yen
district) with the 10 doctors, Dr. Than Nhan Trung was one who pioneers of thé clan. Experienced
hundreds of years with ups and downs history in the hometown steles recording the incident was no longer
significant, but to some extend it has contributed to strengthening the pride of traditional hospitality
homeland. There are 09 epitaphs recorded Confucians, 05 epitaphs in Tho Ha village. Some village only
record university achievement (doctors) while other villages only recorded B.Sc., Director of birth etc.
Some village recorded lists of bachelors, baccalaureate, even people who passed the high school upward.
The enrollment of the person who passed examination on the epitaphs in the village is very
meaningful work, useful, and of the effect of encouraging the spirit of hospitality in the villagers. While
scientific published document recorded those who pass the exam (Association exam, Dinh exam etc.) and
others in Nguyen Dynasty (Huong exam), the rest of the mid-level science exam (Bachelor, Huong cong)
from Le Trung Hung upwards and baccalaureates etc. No high school exam in the feudalism to be
recorded. So epitaphs contributing material to learn about the famous people and historical local civil
service examination. At the same time, data on the epitaphs added more information on the people
background, life, merits of scientific luminaries celebrated in the feudal country.
4.2 Epitaphs reflected Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen in Bac Giang
4.2.1 Bac Giang Buddhist in the new integration period
Bac Giang is a land located within Kinh Bac cultural space, and influenced by Buddhism from an
early age. Although there is no specific documentation, specific bibliography about the time the Buddhism
officially introduced into Bac Giang, but by the last traces of left material in the local folklore, researchers
confirmed that Buddhism was introduced into Bac Giang from the period of Depended Northern. To the
time of the Li regime , Buddhism in Bac Giang developed quickly, some people have become masters of
Buddhism of the whole country. This is entirely consistent with the findings of the physical traces to be
found in the large temple, which is now only ruins in the northern mountain Yen Tu range such as Cao
pagoda (Kham Lang commune), Nhạn Thap pagoda (Tien Nha commune) Luc Nam district; Bach Lien
Pagoda (Phuong Son commune) Luc Ngan district etc.
4.2.2 Epitaphs reflected Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen in Bac Giang:
Epitaph with contents related to the construction and renovation of Buddhist shrine dating back as
early as the Tran dynasty is the stele discovered in Hang Tram pagoda (Nham Nguyet) in Tan Lieu
commune, Yen Dung district, newly discovered in year 2000. Epitaph was carved in Xuong phu 11th year
(1387). Epitaph was engraved while many events happened relating to the start-up, configuration and
revive the Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen in one Buddhist shrine in the mid and late XIV century. Because of
buried underground for centuries, so epitaphs were being eroded , writing letters blurred, difficult to
restore its content. But with the remaining letters, content epitaph said the brief information on of the
constructor, and restoration the Hang Tram pagoda association with the masters of Truc Lam Buddhist
Zen in the forest of the Nham Bien range in the late half the XIV century. Epitaph engraved on plaques in
the first half of XIV century, found in ancient stone tower of Son Thap pagoda (people in the region called
it as Hon Thap pagoda from Cam Ly commune, Luc Nam district) which read as follows: "Huyen co thien
thọ Phap Van Hoa thuong vi” (i.e.: The plaques of Buddhist monk Huyen Co Thien Tho Phap Van). In
Am Vai Pagoda (Am Ni) built during the Tran, in the temple garden there is ancient stone tower of Tran
period Lien Hoa Sputa (Precious Lien Hoa Tower). Within the tower , a stele which weathered but still
recover the full contents as: Truc Lam vien tich Ma ha bet thương Ty khuu Nhu Lien hoa then Bo tet can
vị” (That is: The Monk is Ma ha, after died was incarnated as Bodhisattva and returned to Truc Lam). The
epitaph Bac Giang Bai thôn Thieu Phuc tự of Le Quat also the materials reflected in the Truc Lam Yen
Tu Zen in the period of powerful revive period, also partly through epitaph, the Confucianism has crept
gradually and occupied the unique position of Buddhism in social life.
Kham Lang pagoda (Kham Lang commune, Luc Nam district) is an ancient universal place, was
erected during the Tran period, the mark of Truc Lam Tam nest. The pagoda also saved a stone altar, on
which carved letters in the gables in two lines of Han language with content as "In the Year of Nham Ti,
dating to the 5th Thuan Thien time (1432), Mr. Liu Cau , a officer in Kham lang commune with his wife
Do Xu merit ". On the pedestal of Tam the Phật Di Đà (past Buddha) engraved content: "On the 7th,
February of the year Hong Duc 25th (1494). Benefactor, Luu Thi Luan Tam handedly created the
religious statue. She got his nickname Thien Duyen offering 03 quans , ...; Mr Tam Thuan offering 01
quan; Mr. Chanh Niem with Mrs.... ; Mrs. Tu Tin , Mr, Ngu and Mrs, Huu Phuc offer 01quan; Mr.
Nguyen Tam and Mrs offered 05 money; (Mr.) Tran Xứng offered 01 shirt; Nguyen Thi offered 01 shirt;
Mrs. Nguyen Thi Doan offered 01 shirt. Mr. Phu Son in Chi Tac commune, Luc Ngan district offered 01
shirt; Mrs. Nguyen Thi Giam in Dong Lac commune offered money 5 circuits". Thus, though the epitaph
did not directly mentions the construction and development of Kham Lang pagoda, but with contributions
noted in the base of the stone pedestal showed that the temple was of great scale and received a lot of
contributions from monks and Buddhists and others. Two texts carved on stone artifacts in Kham Lang
Pagoda insufficient evidence to study Buddhist period of Bac Giang in the Le Dynasty, but it does provide
the information and tell us about Truc Lam Buddhist period still deeply affected in Bac Giang villages.
The strain: worship Buddha sputa village is still interested, restored.
Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is also has 8 epitaphs reflects on history, the process of restoration restored,
bowl, bell at ancestor Vinh Nghiem place, one of the ancient Buddhist places of the Truc Lam Yen Tu.
They are epitaph Chua Thanh Vinh Nghiem carved and erected in late of the Mac Dynasty, recorded the
Da quoc cong Mac Ngoc Lien and Princess Phuc Thanh merited for the pagoda restoration; restored
epitaphs in Vinh Nghiem self inscribed the restoration of some items in the pagoda such as religious
buildings, perfume burned pond, street, roads etc in the early years of XVII century. In 1932, after nearly
ten years, the renaissance and restoration of Vinh Nghiem Pagoda completed, Buddhist monk Thich
Thanh Hanh composed and carved on the stele Duc La , Vinh Nghiem commune to record the entire
history, restoration and renovation stages, the contributions of all people cross the country to Vinh
Nghiem pagoda in different periods of history. In particular, there is an important content of their
backgrounds including three Truc Lam Patriarch: Dieu ngu giac Hoang Tran Nhan Tong, Phap Loa ton gia
Dong Kien Cuong and Thien su Huyen Quang Ly Dao Tai.
Although the amount epitaph is not much, but the rest ones helped people learned the temples of
the Truc Lam Zen has been expanding, developing almost all the high mountains with beauty landscape in
the old Na Ngan ( Luc Ngan, Luc Nam and a part Yen Dung districts today). Although the epitaph is small
in member but that of the early Tran Dynasty in Bac Giang has contributed to people understand of Truc
Lam Buddhist Zen appearance in the yearly fourteenth century. Epitaph in Hang Tram and Vinh Nghiem
Pagoda have shown quite clearly the downfall of the Truc Lam Buddhist Zen at the early of the fifteenth
century and the powerful prosper during the interwar period and the second half of this century.
4.3 Epitaph reflects customary in villages.
4.3.1 Epitaph reflects the worship Tutelary (Thanh hoang).
Currently, in Bac Giang province and in archive of HNRI, there are 546 temple epitaphs, of which
much from post-Than epitaph, dead anniversary epitaphs, charter stele in the village and some epitaphs
recording the content related to the worship of tutelary. Epitaphs with contents related to the worship
tutelary saved in two basic forms, which is the epitaph engraved legends (known as relics, jade tree, god
stories), the epitaph engraved religious and the rules established tutelary and tutelary worship. There is
also a related epitaphs: epitaph recording the worship practices Hau than enjoy the same tutelary god
coordination, epitaph inscribed door singing practices at the temple door (i.e. worshiping tutelary singing).
Epitaph inscribed legends and the tutelary worship practices is often engraved on the rear plate Hau than
of the villages. The tutelary engraved on the epitaph are the gods, whose merits are very special and
grateful to the village, and to be elected as tutelary, such as: Khanh quan cong Ha Cong Dung who was
worshiped as tutelary in 3 house of old Yen Dung; Thuan quan cong Doan Truc La, the employer was
buried in the mausoleum Dinh Huong (Duc Thang commune, Hiep Hoa district) and worshiped as tutelary
by many village.
The engraved epitaphs denoted the legend merits of the tutelary with late dating, could be found
in epitaphs from Nguyen Dynasty (late XIX century to XX century). So far we have discovered and
collected 08 legend merit epitaphs to be worshiped at Bac Giang province, in which 05 epitaphs in Viet
Yen district, 02 epitaphs in Hiep Hoa district and 01 in the city of Bac Giang, only 03/08 epitaphs to be
kept at HNRI.
Thus, in terms of chronology, legend merit epitaphs in the 8th Tu Duc (1855) appeared very early.
It is also the evidence determined the birth of legendary genre to be identified by some researchers, only
appeared from the Tu Duc time (1848-1886), not before and the composer borrowed the names of people
born before to compile.
Although epitaphs engraved legend merits and the tutelary worship practices in Bac Giang are not many,
but the volume of ancient Han Nom data contributed to the deeper understanding of tutelary worship, a
culture unique tradition imbued with cultural identity in the Vietnam villages that still remain and develop
4.3.2 Epitaphs reflected custom of xuong ca (musician) in villages temple.
In the past, most of the village are held "musician", i.e. singing at the temple doors in the festivals or great
events , but only few villages engraved this provisions on the stele. To date, we found 22 BGE mentioned
this custom "musician". The provision only noted on the epitaphs in village temple, where the epitaphs
mainly in post Than. In the inscription, the musician is prescribed as seriously practices , and after that the
practice maintained with the curse "in the rural communes if someone does contravention or abandoned
the agreements, it is proposed the Allah punish".
Of the 22 epitaph mentions on musician practices, only 01 epitaph specified regulations on
exchange rules and practices singing ca tru, it's untitled epitaph (Recorded of changing rules of ca tru
singing) in Tho Ha temple carved in the Chinh Hoa 14th year (1693). And other 21 epitaphs mentioned
the custom "musician" not recorded kind of singing. Lac khoan (small letters written in epitaph) said the
epitaphs appeared in the XVII century to XVIII century, no epitaph inscribed "musician" custom in
Nguyen Dynasty. In traditional cultures, the villages of Bac Giang has many forms of folk art activities
under the guilds with the subjects like, Tuong, Cheo, ... but most important they do not record specific
kind of art, so we believe that the "musician" custom can have many kind of singings for each locality.
4.3.3 Epitaphs reflected ceremonies, village tradition
Concerning the content of living village, several epitaphs recording detail information, traditions, objects
for worship in the places like temples, pagodas etc.. Those are customs and practices handed down from
the oldest time and having great educational significance as well.
From the convention on the epitaphs, the religious activities and festivals in the country is reappeared, that
is the precious materials to learn traditional customs and practices in each county of Bac Giang at that
The provisions, conventions, items for worship in the worship place such as temples, pagodas,
shrines etc. are about old customs and practices handed down and have great educational significance. To
make things by the provisions are very expensive, and much impact on the economic life of the people. In
the current social circumstances, the state has allocated land to each household, no longer land for the
worship, no plant yields and some localities have phased out the convention off worship or maintain the
very selective ones.
4.4 Epitaph reflected the traditional business culture
10 BGE reflected cultural trade to be erected in the market, and shop. In which 08 market and
temple epitaphs; 01 market epitaph due to the manic public areas open to individuals and groups of
villages; 01 temple epitaph engraving the content of market and temple. These epitaphs are recorded
information concerning the open market, a market regulation time, market taxes in XVII, XVIII centuries.
Market epitaphs distributed 5 districts (Bac Giang city, Hiep Hoa district, Lang Giang district, Luc
Nam district, Yen The district), 05 epitaphs in Viet Yen district and Hiep Hoa district (02 epitaphs),
remaining in each district for 01 epitaph. Most of 7 markets is next to the wharf of the three great rivers.
The earliest market epitaph is the epitaph in Tho Ha pagoda Viet Yen district (1653), and the latest market
epitaph in market of Duong Quan, My Thai, Lang Giang town (now Duong Duc commune, Lang Giang
district), created in Long Duc year the second (1733).
There are 02 epitaphs recording on shops, it is market shop of Lan Khe hamlet ( Cha Lang hamlet,
Yen Son commune, Luc Nam district today) built in Vinh Thinh the 15th year (1719) and the market bar
epitaph Cho hamlet. Luong Phong hamlet, Hiep Hoa district, built in Vinh Thinh of the 12th year (1716).
Through epitaph we known that shops and markets always go site by site. If the market is simply built for
the place where people come to buy and sell. If market is built more careful with arrays of shops, i.e. the
house with a roof for the rain and sun, the market will attract more people. Market epitaphs often appear in
the villages "near town, near waterway", where the craft villages can buy and sell commodities easily and
with busy activities. Through market epitaphs, we can see the shape of North craftsmanship origin, and the
endemic local products.
Sub-summary of Chapter 4:
Chapter IV of the thesis mentioned some traditional cultural values reflected in BGS. That's four
issues related to the cultural activities, trading activities in the community in the medieval age as we
believe has the special characteristics of BGE material blocks than other localities.
With a total of 22 monuments (letter and text from the academic families) reflecting Confucian
cultural institutions in the province of Bac Giang, it shows that the predecessors paid much attention to
the education, and denote reverence, prefer education, and respected Confucianism.
On the 42 epitaphs, including 32 steles recording the construction, expansion, upgrading the holy
places of worship Confucius God, the sages and 01 first epitaph recoded the building of schools (private
school), the thesis has introduced content of some epitaph to help readers to visualize portion institutions
face, as well as cultural activities, Confucian cultural activities in Bac Giang under the feudal regime.
Through the contents of 09 epitaphs to recoded the people who passed exam, it is found that some
number of families, clans, local tradition of academic excellence, academic incentives meaningful, helpful
encouragement for today's generation and in the future and they are also mentioned thesis.
The land of west Yen Tu belonging to Bac Giang is located the whole pagoda system, the Tran
Dynasty (XIII, XIV century), it is considered as the satellite capital neighboring to Buddhist Truc Lam
Yen Tu. Cultural history, ideology, doctrine of Truc Lam Zen has been studying by the social scientists.
Although the number of temple epitaphs under the Tran period on the side of West Yen Tu Tran has been
exploiting by the thesis, and citing not much, but it is the material with a high degree of conviction can be
used as a basic document to learn about Zen professor, or the formation, depression, development of the
Yen Tu Zen in history.
Content BGS reflect the traditions of the villages are very rich, diverse but the group of epitaph
reflecting the tutelary worship, tradition "musician", rituals, practices are selected for the presentation in
the thesis. Tutelary worship still be maintained and preserved, but the custom of "musician", and system
of rituals, practices eroded so much. Unfortunately, the culture imbued with cultural identity Kinh/Viet in
Bac Giang homeland did not fully maintained.
"Musician" is singing in the form of central place of the temple, but each village has its forms, different
genres ... but group epitaph caving of "musician" did not inscribe in detail so it remains doubt, no
explanation about art genres (opera, cheo, tuong or ca tru) ro be sang at the door temple as to be customs
The epitaph group recorded the market, shop can be put on the content reflecting the economic
and trade, trade, but here, we have recognized the market epitaph as the commercial aspects in the
traditional culture, includes economic factors. The
epitaph content shows basically the old market
epitaph in old Bac Giang as Tam bao market (i.e. temple market), markets built bay temples or by the