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Vetyukov V.A. The Sword Hidden in the Depth of Waters (Military Tradition of Medieval Vietnam) [Меч, сокрытый в глубине вод (военная традиция средневекового Вьетнама)]. Saint Petersburg: “Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie”, 2005. 240p. ("Militaria Antiqua" series, VII).

Military tradition of old Vietnam is a very interesting topic which is still not sufficiently researched by scholars in Russia and other countries. This book is an attempt to answer the most important questions concerning the main components of Vietnamese medieval warfare (10-18 centuries AD). Materials on which the book is based were gathered during visits of the author to Vietnam. Vietnamese historians and archaeologists helped the author to find materials about army organization, excavations of medieval weapons, history of martial arts. Illustrations in the book are photos taken in Army museums in Hanoi and Hochimin city as well as in the museum of Vietnamese history in Hanoi. The book contains materials not yet studied by Western researchers.

The book is divided into three chapters. The first one is called «Water warriors — army in medieval Vietnam». The chapter is divided into several parts dealing with different aspects of army organization, recruiting and social position of warriors.

The second chapter “The sword hidden in the depth of waters” examines material aspects of Vietnamese medieval warfare, such as traditional weapons, armour, uniforms, banners, musical instruments, transports and fortification.

The third chapter of the book “The war which became a spiritual way” focuses on the military art. After transmission from China it was reinterpreted in Vietnam in particular local ways. It included strategy, tactics and so-called “martial arts” (skills in using weapons and hand-to-hand combat).

The book is intended for readers interested in Asian culture and history, military history, Vietnamese traditional weapons, warfare and martial arts.


Front matter, Summary


military history of Vietnam
Vietnamese traditional weapons
warfare and martial arts

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