T is for Trieu Thi Trinh

Trieu Thi Trinh was born on October 2, 222 A.D. in the Vietnam Village of Son Trung. Ruled by the Eastern Wu Kingdom, one of China’s three; she was orphaned as a toddler, but raided by her brother. He and his wife abused her and treated her like a slave. At the age of twenty, she escaped. Living in the jungle she raised an army of one thousand men and women. She claimed an area of Vietnam after saving it from the Wu Kingdom. Three years later she had stopped over thirty attacks from the enemy.

Popular belief, and it may be true, is that she rode an elephant while wearing golden armor and a sword in each hand. When her brother reprimanded her, she is believed to have said:

 “I will not resign myself to the lot of women who bow their heads and become concubines. I wish to ride the tempest, tame the waves, kill the sharks. I have no desire to take abuse.”[1][2]

In 248 CE, Trieu lost against the Chinese. She may have committed suicide by jumping into a river. However, despite her death, she still motivated rebellion against the Chinese. Vietnamese revolutionaries’ for centuries said she appeared in their dreams conveying direction and help.

She is regarded as a national hero and has her own holiday. In Vietnam, many streets are named after this amazing woman.





  1. ^ vi:Nguyễn Khắc Viện (1913-1997), Vietnam, a long history, The Gioi Publishers, reprinted 2002, p. 22.
  2. ^ Helle Rydstrøm -Embodying Morality: Growing Up in Rural Northern Vietnam – Page 179 2003 “Among the Chinese, Trieu Thi Trinh was portrayed as a monster with three-meter long breasts and riding an elephant ..”

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