The Nguyễn dynasty or House of Nguyễn (Vietnamese: Nhà Nguyễn, 家阮; Hán-Nôm: 阮朝, Nguyễn triều) was the last imperial family of Vietnam. Their ancestral line can be traced back to the beginning of the Common Era. However, only by the mid-sixteenth century the most ambitious family branch, the Nguyễn Lords had risen to conquer, control and establish feudal rule over large territory.
Although the nation was given the name Việt Nam (越南) by imperial Chinese decree during Gia Long's reign, it was known as Đại Việt Nam (大越南) by nations other than Qing China. In 1839, under the rule of Emperor Minh Mạng's, Đại Việt Nam was shortened to Đại Nam (大南, which means "Great South"); the abbreviation Đại Việt (大越, which means "Great Viet") was forbidden, since it was the name used by several previous dynasties as well.