CRCAO member - China Team

Philippe Papin

Professor, École Pratique des Hautes Études

Research thematics

  • Vietnam in the modern era (16th-18th centuries) The modern era, caught between two short centuries framed by Confucianism that have long fascinated historians, plays an important role in the history of Vietnam. This period saw the establishment of lordly rules that, stamped by the approval of the Emperor, developed their own political, military, religious and trade systems. While at the State level the institutions of power were overturned, ancient local practices, such as sacrifices, reappeared allowing rural society to benefit from the lack of surveillance to gain greater autonomy. Philippe Papin’s research has explored this period, especially in the North Vietnamese countryside.
  • Vietnam Epigraphy The study of the modern era has been greatly facilitated by the existence of a large epigraphic corpus. Whereas we can count fewer than 100 inscriptions before the 15th century, and at least 200 from the 16th century, there are several thousand for each subsequent century, with a surge toward the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century. Each village in the North erected stelae in their local pagodas and communal houses and in many cases, these still stand today. These documents that transcribe onto stone what was once written on paper that has long vanished, offer a glimpse of daily life through the lens of a particular language. Philippe Papin’s research, focused on individual offerings, or two thirds of the total body of inscriptions, stands at the crossroads between religious and economic history.

CRCAO research programmes