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According to traditional legends, Viet Nam was formed when King Lac Long Quan (also known as the "Dragon Lord of Lac" or the "Dragon Lord of the Seas") married Princess Au Co (a Chinese immortal and descended from the High Mountains).

She bore him 100 eggs, out of which 100 sons were born.

This period is also considered to be the "golden era" of Viet Nam.

The nation was divided in half in 1600 after numerous civil wars.

Pronounced "Lee." According to tradition, the first Emperor Ly had a dream of a dragon rising out of the ground and ascending into heaven.

This inspired him to move the capital to where he dreamt the dragon first rising out from the ground, in the city of Thang Long, which was later renamed "Hanoi." This is also why Viet Nam is sometimes called the Land of the Rising Dragon.

However, the Nguyen rulers became increasingly suspicious of the French and ultimately became hostile toward French interests.

As you'll read in the next section, this would have very serious consequences.

General Ngo Quyen successfully drove out the Chinese rulers and established the first of the "Great Dynasties" of Viet Nam that managed to remain largely independent of all foreign powers for the next 944 years.

Like the origins of the Vietnamese people and culture, the history of the Vietnamese language is also a mixture of different parts and components.

The consensus among scholars is that Vietnamese is part of the Mon–Khmer branch of the Austroasiatic language family.

Under the leadership of Le Loi, a resistance movement was formed and successfully used guerrilla warfare tactics to again drive out the Chinese invaders.

This strategy involved using brief but frequent surprise attacks targeting the enemy's weakest points and avoiding direct combat against superior enemy forces -- a tactic that would be used successfully throughout Viet Nam's early and modern history.

The Nguyen lords also incorporated the remaining Champa and eastern Khmer empires into Viet Nam, as the nation reached its present size and shape by 1757 (except for the southernmost Soc Trang province).

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