Trung Trac

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  • Died: 43 CE

Trung Trac was a Vietnamese activist, who led a rebellion against Han Dynasty authority in Jiaozhi (J: Kôchi), an area of what is today Vietnam, then under Chinese control.

The rebellion, which she led alongside her sister Trung Nhi, began in 40 CE. It may have involved Trung Trac calling herself "king" or "monarch" (C: wang) as part of her opposition against Han authority. The Han governor of Jiaozhi at that time was named Su Ding. The Han Dynasty sent a general named Ma Yuan (V: Ma Vien) down to Jiaozhi in 43 CE, however; he ended the rebellion, killing both Trung sisters and sending their heads to the capital.

A later legend suggests that a pair of bronze pillars were then erected to mark the extent of Han territory. They were marked with an inscription saying that if the pillars were torn down (i.e. if locals asserted their autonomy from the Han), then all of Jiaozhi would be destroyed.


  • Liam Kelley, Beyond the Bronze Pillars, University of Hawaii Press (2005), 5-6.