Hai Ba Trung (39-43A.D.)
Two of the most popular Vietnamese legendary heroines are the Trung sisters who led the first national uprising against the Chinese government in the year 40 A.D. (they had been ruling VN since 111 B.C).
The legend goes that in the year 39 A.D. a Chinese governor assassinated the husband of Trung Trac. She was well educated, strong-minded and versed in the military arts. She called upon her sister, Trung Nhi, and together they organized an army with the help of the other lords around them to start the first major revolt.
This revolt led to the expulsion of the Chinese from Viet Nam. It secured the independence of Viet Nam for the first time in a century and a half. The Trung sisters were made Queens and established a new capital at Me-Linh in present day Vinh-Phu province.
However, this victory was only to be short lived and their troops were defeated in 43 A.D. Rather than accepting defeat, popular lore says that both Trung sisters chose the traditional Vietnamese way of maintaining honor – they committed suicide.
Throughout Vietnamese history, they became the source of inspiration to revolutionaries against foreign rule, as well as a source of pride for women who lived more restricted lives.
Today, there are statues and temples and shrines honoring them in Vinh-Phu province near the Red River.