's territory, from the Hùng Vương
era to the middle of the Third Chinese domination, and during the Fourth Chinese domination.
Giao Chỉ in the Văn Lang eraGiao Chỉ was the name of one bộ, an administrative level equivalent to a district, of the former nation Văn Lang
during the Hùng Vương
era. Its territory included present-day Hà Nội and the land on the right bank of the Hồng river.
The NanyueAfter annexing Âu Lạc (179 BC), the Nanyue
divided the Âu Lạc into two divisions: Giao Chỉ and Cửu Chân.
The Giao Chỉ district under the domination of the Han dynastyThe Han dynasty
destroyed the Nanyue
in 111 BC and annexed its territory, including Âu Lạc. Like the Nanyue, the Han divided Âu Lạc into 2 districts: Giao Chỉ and Cửu Chân. The head of the district was Chinese tàishǒu. The Giao Chỉ district (Giao Chỉ quận) was an administrative unit in the Giao Chỉ bộ, whose head was cìshǐ (the first one was Thạch Đái). The capital city of Giao Chỉ was firstly Mê Linh
, but later moved to Liên Lâu (a region now at Thuận Thành suburban district, Bắc Ninh province).
According to the book Hanshu, Dilizhi, the Giao Chỉ district contained 10 suburban districts (huyện): Liên Lâu, An Định, Câu Lậu, Mê Linh, Khúc Dương, Bắc Đái, Kê Từ, Tây Vu, Long Biên and Chu Diên. The historian Đào Duy Anh stated that Giao Chỉ's territory contained all the Tonkin
, excluding the regions upstream of the Đà River
and Mã River
. Interestingly, the southwestern area of Guangxi
was also a part of the former Giao Chỉ district. And the southwest area of present-day Ninh Bình
province was the border area of the Cửu Chân district (behind Giao Chỉ, its territory now belongs to Thanh Hóa
, Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh
). Afterwards the Han dynasty created another district named Nhật Nam
, located at the south of Cửu Chân (located from the Ngang Pass
to Quảng Nam).
Trade with countries to the west including the Roman EmpireJiaozhi and Rinan commanderies in what is now northern Vietnam became the main point of entry to China from countries to the west as far away as the Roman Empire, as recorded in the Hou Hanshu:
"In the ninth Yanxi year [166 CECommon EraCommon Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...
], during the reign of Emperor Huan, the king of Da Qin [the Roman Empire], Andun (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, r. 161-180), sent envoys from beyond the frontiers through Rinan. . . . During the reign of Emperor He [89-105 CE], they sent several envoys carrying tribute and offerings. Later, the Western Regions rebelled, and these relations were interrupted. Then, during the second and the fourth Yanxi years in the reign of Emperor Huan [159 and 161 CE], and frequently since, [these] foreigners have arrived [by sea] at the frontiers of Rinan [Commandery just south of Jiaozhi] to present offerings."
The Liangshu states:
"The merchants of this country [i.e. Da Qin or the Roman Empire] frequently visit Funan [in the MekongMekongThe Mekong is a river that runs through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is the world's 10th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. Its estimated length is , and it drains an area of , discharging of water annually....
delta], Rinan (AnnamAnnam (Chinese Province)Annam or Jiaozhi was the southernmost province of the Chinese Empire. It is now part of present-day Vietnam...
) and Jiaozhi [in the Red River deltaRed River DeltaThe Red River Delta is the flat plain formed by the Red River and its distributaries joining in the Thai Binh River in northern Vietnam. The delta measuring some 15,000 square km is well protected by a network of dikes. It is an agriculturally rich area and densely populated...
near modern HanoiHanoiHanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...
]; but few of the inhabitants of these southern frontier states have come to Da Qin. During the 5th year of the Huangwu period of the reign of Sun Quan [= CE 226] a merchant of Da Qin, whose name was Qin Lun came to Jiaozhi [Tonkin]; the prefect [taishou] of Jiaozhi, Wu Miao, sent him to Sun QuanSun QuanSun Quan , son of Sun Jian, formally Emperor Da of Wu, was the founder of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. He ruled from 222 to 229 as King of Wu and from 229 to 252 as Emperor of Wu....
[the Wu emperor], who asked him for a report on his native country and its people."
KattigaraJiaozhi is now commonly thought to have been the port known to the geographer Ptolemy
and the Romans as Kattigara or Cattigara, situated near modern Hanoi
. It seems to have been the main port of call for ships travelling to China from the West in the first few centuries CE, before being replaced by Guangdong
The first native cìshǐ of Giao ChỉDuring the rule of Han Ling Di (168-189), Lý Tiến was the first native of Giao Chỉ to be the region's cìshǐ. Lý Tiến then petitioned the Han emperor to allow natives of Giao Chỉ to be officers and mandarins in the Han court, but the emperor only accepted the ones who graduated with mậu tài or hiếu liêm degrees in the ancient Chinese examination, and they were only accredited to low positions in Giao Chỉ. Another native of Giao Chỉ named Lý Cầm tried his best to petition, and eventually the natives were allowed to take higher positions in other regions of the Han empire. For example, a Giao Chỉ native named Trương Trọng was a tàishǒu of Jīnchéng district in China.
Ma Yuan's bronze columnMa Yuan's bronze column was built by Ma Yuan after he had repressed the uprising of Hai Bà Trưng (40-43). Ma Yuan had made a most brutal assimilation of Yue people to Han dynasty, destroyed all the history & culture of Jiaozhi (Việt) people. He had destroyed Jiaozhi traditional bronze drums in order to build the bronze column in Nam Quan, next to the border of Jiaozhi and China. Six Han letters were carved on the column: Đồng trụ chiết, Giao Chỉ diệt (銅柱折 交趾滅), which means: "If this bronze column collapses, Giao Chỉ will be destroyed." Thus when passing the column, the people of Giao Chỉ always put some rocks beside the column to prevent it from collapsing. Over time, the number of rocks grew so large that they totally covered the column and now nobody can see it anymore. There is another theory that the people threw rocks at the column simply because they hated it so much, not because they didn't want it to collapse.
The Giao Chỉ district under the domination of the Eastern Wu dynasty
The Giao Chỉ district under the domination of the Sui and Tang dynastyThe Sui dynasty
divided Giao Chỉ district into 9 suburban districts: Tống Bình, Long Biên, Chu Diên, Long Bình, Bình Đạo, Giao Chỉ, Gia Ninh, Tân Xương và An Nhân. One Giao Chỉ suburban district belonged to the Giao Chỉ district.
However, after replacing the Sui, the Tang dynasty
changed Giao Chỉ district into a phủ named Giao Châu. Then in 679, the Giao Châu phủ was renamed An Nam đô hộ phủ (Annam Domination phủ). The An Nam phủ was divided into 12 châu (administrative divisions); one of the châu had the old name Giao Châu. The Giao Châu administrative division contained 8 suburban districts: Tống Bình, Long Biên, Chu Diên, Giao Chỉ, Bình Đạo, Vũ Bình, Nam Định, Thái Bình. The Giao Chỉ suburban district was created in 622 due to the separation of Tống Châu. Then, in the year 627, the Tang renamed Giao Chỉ to Nam Từ, and annexed the suburban districts Giao Chỉ, Hoài Đức and Hoằng Giáo to the Tống Bình one.
Giao Chỉ district under the domination of the Ming dynastyIn 1407, the Ming dynasty
invaded Đại Việt, destroyed the Hồ dynasty and began the Fourth Chinese domination
(1407–1427). The Ming restored the Giao Chỉ district. At this time, the district's area contained all the territory of Vietnam under the Hồ dynasty. The Giao Chỉ district was divided into 15 phủ and 5 independent châu (administrative divisions):
- 15 phủ: Giao Châu, Bắc Giang, Lạng Giang, Tam Giang, Kiến Bình (Kiến Hưng in Hồ dynasty), Tân Yên (Tân Hưng in the Hồ dynasty), Kiến Xương, Phụng Hóa (Thiên Trường in the Hồ dynasty), Thanh Hóa, Trấn Man (Long Hưng in the Hồ dynasty), Lạng Sơn, Tân Bình, Diễn Châu, Nghệ An, Thuận HóaThuận HóaThuận Hóa is a commune and village in Tuyên Hóa District, Quang Binh Province, in Vietnam....
- 5 independent châu: Thái Nguyên, Tuyên Hóa (Tuyên Quang in the Hồ dynasty), Gia Hưng, Quy Hóa, Quảng Oai.
Together with the 5 independent administrative divisions, there were other administrative divisions, which were under the phủ. There were 47 divisions in total.
In 1408, the independent administrative division Thái Nguyên, Tuyên Hóa was promoted to phủ, which increased the number of phủ to 17. Afterwards the phủ Diễn Châu was dismissed and its territory became an administrative division.
After the hero Lê Lợi defeated the Ming army and restored Đại Việt's independence, he dismissed all former administrative structure and divided the nation into 5 đạo. Thus, ever since that time, the name Giao Chỉ and Giao Châu have never been applied to official administrative units.
The name's meaningJiāozhǐ is also used for the ancient Vietnamese
. Jiāo (交) meaning mix, intersect, communicate, or combine. However, the meaning of Zhǐ has not been clarified yet.
Zhǐ in the books Sima Qian
's Shiji, Hanshu,... is written with the fù set (阯). However, in the Hou Hanshu, Cíyuán, and Cíhǎi, it is written with the zú set (趾).
The book Cíhǎi and the historian Nguyễn Văn Tố claim that both of the Zhǐ letters are correct. According to Cíhǎi, the zhǐ 趾 has four meanings:
- synonymous with "jiǎo" (leg)
- means "jiǎozhǐ" (toe)
- synonymous with "zōngjī", means "original", "vestige", "trace",...
- phonetic loan characters zhǐ have tǔ set (址), means base, basis, foundation (jīzhǐ, zhùzhǐ)
Thus Zhǐ is translated in several ways, as is Jiāozhǐ. Scholar Du You
wrote in the book Tongdian
: "Jiāozhǐ are the Southern People; the big toe points to the outside of the foot, so if the man stands up straight, the two big toes point to each other, so people call them Jiāozhǐ (Zhǐ means big toe).". This idea is accepted by many Chinese and Vietnamese scholars.
The book Cíyuán (volume Tý, page 141) offers another interpretation. It explains that "The meaning of the words Jiāozhǐ cannot be understood literally, but the ancient Greek
method of "opposite pillar" and "connecting pillar" to label humans on earth – where "opposite pillar" stood for the South side and its logical opposite the North side, whilst "connecting pillar" stood for the East side with the West side connected to it – could provide a suggested origin. If Jiāozhǐ was intended to characterise "opposite pillar" because this was what people of the Northern directions called the people of the Southern directions, then the feet of the North side "chân phía Bắc" and feet of the South side "chân phía Nam" must oppose each other, therefore rendering it impossible for the feet of a person to cross or intersect each other "không phải thực là chân người "giao" nhau"."
"Theo nghĩa cũ bảo hai ngón chân cái giao nhau là Giao Chỉ, nhưng xét đời cổ bên Hy Lạp, có tiếng "đối trụ", có tiếng "lân trụ" để gọi loài người trên thế giới. "Đối trụ" là phía Nam, phía Bắc đối nhau, "lân trụ" là phía Đông, phía Tây liền nhau. Sở dĩ có tên Giao Chỉ là hợp vào nghĩa "đối trụ", vì dân tộc phương Bắc gọi dân tộc phương Nam, cũng như một chân phía Bắc, một chân phía Nam đối nhau, không phải thực là chân người giao nhau."
Vietnamese historians and scholars Nguyễn Văn Siêu, Đặng Xuân Bảng, Trần Trọng Kim
, Đào Duy Anh, and others all agree with the second explanation.
In 1868 Dr. Thorel, in the exploring group of Doudart de Lagrée, commented that the left and right big toes pointing to each other is "a characteristic of Annam people". Many later French scholars made the same comment.
Nonetheless, the "Jiāozhǐ" phenomenon occurs not only in the people of Indochina
but also in the Malaysian
, Siam, Chinese
, Arabic people, Melanesian and Negroid as well, though the level varies from race to race. The phenomenon is very rare in the European people. It is not a pathological sign but can be considered as a "variation atavique", because the bones do not grow as straight as usual.