A Summoning Tablet is the common name for a group of unique items issued by the royalty during the Le Dynasty; there are different tablet classifications depending on the material used to make the Tablet: Kim bai (gold Tablet), Ngan bai (silver Tablet), Moc bai (wooden Tablet), Thach bai (stone Tablet). Each Tablet within a tablet classification has a different function: Tin bai (token Tablet) and Lenh bai (task assignment Tablet).

The Royal Court awarded different types of tablets to the members of the Court and citizens. The first type represents a medal to reward merit or honour. The Court granted these to princes, mandarins, soldiers and even foreigners who served the Court. The second type represents special "items" to distinguish the status and rank of different social classes. Valuable Tablets were used as travel documents, to enter and exit forbidden places, or as credentials from superior mandarins to assign tasks to subordinates.

Description: /var/folders/tv/l3v7p4d17pxdlnywmg24wygc0000gn/T/

Description: /var/folders/tv/l3v7p4d17pxdlnywmg24wygc0000gn/T/

The Le Dynasty weapon collection, discovered under Ngoc Khanh Lake, is a rare collection of the country's ancient weapons that still exist today. The collection of more than 300 iron artefacts, consisting of swords, spears, arrows, hooks, guns, and stone bullets, has confirmed that the ancient city of Thang Long had a large-scale military school, a school specialized in training military officials and soldiers in the Royal Court.The An Dong Entry Tablet is 6cm long and 3cm wide, made of ironwood, is black with an oval shape, and has ears, like a drum, on the top. One end of the Tablet has a hole punched in it, which is used to tie a strap, and both sides are engraved with a circular groove that softly curves to follow the shape of the Tablet. The front of the Tablet is engraved with the Chinese character "An" and the back with "Dong''. Two small letters are engraved on each side; on the right is the word "Kien", and on the left is "Vu".

Description: /var/folders/tv/l3v7p4d17pxdlnywmg24wygc0000gn/T/

The An Dong Entry Tablet displayed in the exhibition of the Giang Vo Military School and Le Dynasty weapon collection at Hanoi Museum

The genealogy book "The Le Dynasty bestows upon An Dong General Do Ba Cong, canonized “the benevolent deity who promotes literature, displays martial prowess, demonstrates loyalty, righteousness, bravery" written by the Doctorate Vu Huy Trat, Long Dien commune, Dai An, compiled in the 34th year of Canh Hung era (1773), wrote: In 1613, Lord Trinh appointed Do Ba Hop, styled-named Minh Thong, the position of An Dong general to suppress the Phung Lam rebellion at Hai Dong region. The book "Kham dinh Viet su thong cuong giam muc'' records: Quy Suu (1613) August in the month of autumn, sent Trinh Trang to inspect the Yen Quang region. At that time, the enemy party just quelled not long ago, so ordered Trang to visit this locality and gather to comfort the people. After that, Trang left the general under his command to stay and guard this locality, then Trang returned to the capital. This event proves that the army in Yen Quang region (Hai Dong) was known as the An Dong army. The general who conquered this region was given the title An Dong general. This An Dong wooden card allows us to confirm that the An Dong guards once came to practice at Giang Vo Military School in Dong Kinh (present-day Hanoi).

The material and content engraved on the card confirm that it is a token, the type of card used to distinguish the identity, rank, or branch logo of a military unit at that time.


Phạm Hải Âu