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Chu Văn An
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  • Chu Văn An (1292-1370) - talented and virtuous pedagogue and scholar in the Trần times - was reputed for straightforwardness and not being concerned with fame and advantages. His native village was in Thanh Đạm (Thanh Trì- Hà Nội). He graduated as doctor and came home to teach instead of becoming a mandarin. Many of his students make their way in the world (Phạm Sư Mạnh, Lê Quát). Chu Văn An taught the crown prince at Quốc Tử Giám, and submitted Thất Trảm Sớ (petition asking to behead seven sycophantic mandarins) to the king. Because the king's disapproval, he resigned and led a secluded life under the pen-name Tiều Ân (secluded woodcutter). His works were Quốc Ngữ Thi Tập (Anthology of national language), Tiều Ân Thi Tập (Anthology of a secluded woodcutter). There is a temple to his memory at the Temple of Literature in Hà Nội
  • CHU VĂN AN: LIFE AND TIMES. Chu Văn An died over six centuries ago, in the year 1370, but the example he set as a great patriot and teacher will remain engraved in the hearts of our people. Having won the degree of Thái Học Sinh (doctorate) in the official literary examinations, he refused to be appointed a mandarin official at the royal court and instead opened a school to train the country's scholars. Many of his more talented students would later go on to pursue successful careers. Two of his students, Phạm Sư Mạnh and Lê Quát, rose to the position of prime minister. In the reign of Trần Minh Tôn, Chu Văn An was invited to teach at Quốc Tử Giám, the National University in the capital city of Thăng Long (now Hà Nội), attended by the most talented scholars as well as the sons of high dignitaries, including the prince heir to the throne. He was the author of many books: Collections of poems in both the vernacular and classical Chinese, dissertations on Confucian classics, and a treaty on traditional medicine The vestiges of his life and career, carefully preserved by the people in spite of the ravages of war and the passage of time, testify to the great respect in which his memory is held. Thanh Liệt commune in Thanh Trì district south of Hà Nội is believed to be the birth place of his mother, Lê Thị Chiêm. In the communal house are kept a record of his life and a couplet praising his virtues and achievements. A shrine was also built in 1846, dedicated to him and to a remarkable man among his descendants, Doctor Chu Đinh Bang, who lived in the reign of Lê Thánh Tôn (15th century) In Tam Hiệp commune, Thanh Trì district is found Hùynh Cung Temple, built on the site of a famous school founded by Chu Văn An. In Văn Điển south of Hà Nội is a stone stele with an inscription honouring Chu Văn An, erected in 1803. But the most important national institutions related to his life and career are the Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu) and the National University (Quốc Tử Giám) in Hà Nội. Here the Trần kings erected an altar to honour him alongside those dedicated to Confucius and his 72 disciples. Also in Hà Nội, a tree-lined street and a secondary school, the most renowned in the country, are named after him. In Hải Hưng province are found vestiges related to the later years of his life. Here he lived as a recluse for ten years after unsuccessfully petitioning the king for the death sentence to seven corrupt high-ranking dignitaries. The commune where he spent those years is now named after him. It is located in Chí Linh district near a beautiful range of hills called Phượng Sơn (Phoenix Mount). His remains were buried there
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