Koguryo Tomb Murals ICOMOS - Korea Cultural Properties
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Goguryeo at its height in 476.Capital Jolbon
(37 BCE 3 CE)Gungnae(3427)Pyongyang(427668)
Language(s) Goguryeo language(Part of Old Korean)
Religion Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Korean shamanism
- 3719 BCE Dongmyeong
- 391413 Gwanggaeto the Great
- 413491 Jangsu
- 590618 Yeongyang
Historical era Ancient
-Establishment 37 BCE
-Introduction of Buddhism 372
-Campaigns of Gwanggaeto the Great 391413
-Goguryeo-Sui Wars 598614
-Goguryeo-Tang Wars 645668
-Fall of Pyongyang 668 CE
- est. 3,500,000 (at the time of its fall at 668 CE)
Goguryeo or Kogury (Korean pronunciation:[kouj]) was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present daynorthern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province.Along with Baekje and Silla, Goguryeo was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Goguryeo was an activeparticipant in the power struggle for control of the Korean peninsula as well as associated with the foreign affairs ofneighboring polities in China and Japan.The Samguk Sagi, a 12th century CE Goryeo text, indicates that Goguryeo was founded in 37 BC by Jumong, aprince from Buyeo, although there is archaeological and textual evidence that suggests Goguryeo culture was inexistence since the 2nd century BCE around the fall of Gojoseon, an earlier kingdom that also occupied southernManchuria and northern Korea.Goguryeo was a major dynasty in Northeast Asia, until it was defeated by a Silla-Tang alliance in 668 CE. After itsdefeat, its territory was divided among the Unified Silla, Balhae, and Tang dynasty.Goguryeo changed its name into Goryeo (Kory) during the reign of King Jangsu, and such name was succeeded byGoryeo Dynasty (918-1392), from which the English word "Korea" stemmed.
Goguryeo tomb mural.
Hangul Hanja Revised Romanization Goguryeo
History of Manchuria
Not based on timeline
Han Dynasty | Xiongnu
Donghu | Wiman Joseon
Wuhuan | Sushen | Buyeo | Okjeo
Jin Dynasty (265420)
Mohe | Shiwei
Khitan | Kumo Xi
Jin Dynasty (1115-1234)
Far Eastern Republic
Republic of China
China (Northeast China)
Russia (Russian Far East)
Monarchs of KoreaGoguryeo
Dongmyeong 37-19 BCE Yuri 19 BCE-18 CE Daemusin 18-44 Minjung 44-48 Mobon 48-53 Taejo 53-146 Chadae 146-165 Sindae 165-179 Gogukcheon 179-197 Sansang 197-227 Dongcheon 227-248 Jungcheon 248-270 Seocheon 270-292 Bongsang 292-300 Micheon 300-331 Gogug-won 331-371 Sosurim 371-384 Gogug-yang 384-391 Gwanggaeto the Great 391-413 Jangsu 413-490 Munja 491-519 Anjang 519-531 An-won 531-545 Yang-won 545-559 Pyeong-won 559-590 Yeong-yang 590-618 Yeong-nyu 618-642 Bojang 642-668
Founding of Goguryeo (c. 37 BCE)
ProtoThree Kingdoms, c. 1 CE.
According to the 12th century Samguk Sagi and the 13th centurySamguk Yusa, a prince from the kingdom of Buyeo, namedJumong, fled after a power struggle with other princes of theBuyeo court and founded the Goguryeo state in 37 BCE in aregion called Jolbon Buyeo, usually thought to be located in themiddle Yalu and T'ung-chia river basin, overlapping the currentChina-North Korea border. Some scholars believe that Goguryeomay have been founded in the 2nd century BCE. In thegeographic monographs of the Han Shu, the word Goguryeo or" " was first mentioned in 113 BCE as a region under thejurisdiction of the Xuantu commandery. In the Old Book ofTang, it is recorded that Emperor Taizong of Tang refers toGoguryeo's history as being some 900 years old.
In 75 BCE, a group of Yemaek tribes (a proto-Goguryeo typepeople), which may have included Goguryeo, made an incursioninto China's Xuantu commandery west from the Amnok River
However, the weight of textual evidence from the Old and New Histories of Tang, the Samguk Sagi, the NihonShoki as well as other ancient sources would support a 37 BCE or "middle" 1st century BCE foundation date forGoguryeo. Archaeological evidence would support centralized groups of Yemaek tribes in the 2nd century BCE,but there is no direct evidence that would suggest these Yemaek groups were known as or would identify themselvesas Goguryeo. The first mention of Goguryeo as a group type associated with Yemaek tribes would be a reference inthe Han Shu that discusses a Goguryeo revolt in 12 CE, where they break away from Xuantu influence. Whetheror not this revolt was an attempt to restore a previously-held sovereignty (which would imply a somewhat olderfounding date for Goguryeo) or an establishment of a new, independent entity is unclear.
At its founding, the Goguryeo people are believed to be a blend of Buyeo and Yemaek people, as leadership fromBuyeo may have fled their kingdom and integrated with existing Yemaek chiefdoms. The San Guo Zhi, in thesection titled "Accounts of the Eastern Barbarians", states that Buyeo and the Yemaek people were ethnically relatedand spoke the same language.
Jumong and the foundation myth
The earliest mention of Jumong is in the 4th century CE. Stele of Great King Gwanggaeto. Jumong is often said tobe the Korean transcription of the hanja as (Jumong, ), (Chumo, ), or (Jungmo, ).The Stele states that Jumong was the first king and ancestor of Goguryeo and he was the son of the prince of Buyeoand daughter of the river deity Habaek. The Samguk Sagi and Samguk Yusa paints additional detail and namesJumong's mother as Yuhwa. Jumong's biological father was said to be a man named Hae Mosu who is described as a"strong man" and "a heavenly prince." The river god chased Yuhwa away to Ubal river (, ) dueto pregnancy, where she met and became the concubine of King Geumwa of Dongbuyeo.Jumong was known for his exceptional skill at archery. Eventually, Geumwa's sons became jealous of him, andJumong was forced to leave Dongbuyeo. The Stele and later Korean sources disagree as to which Buyeo Jumongcame from. The Stele says he came from Northern Buyeo and the Samguk Sagi and Samguk Yusa say he came fromEastern Buyeo. Jumong eventually made it to the Jolbon Buyeo confederacy, where he married So Seo-no, daughterof its ruler. He subsequently became king himself, founding Goguryeo with a small group of his followers from hisnative country.
A traditional account from the "Annals of Baekje" section in the Samguk Sagi, says that So Seo-no was the daughterof Yeon Ta-bal, a wealthy influential figure in Jolbon and married to Jumong. However, the same sourceofficially states that the king of Jolbon Buyeo gave his daughter to Jumong, who had escaped with his followersfrom Dongbuyeo, in marriage. She gave her husband, Jumong financial support in founding the new statelet,Goguryeo. After Yuri, son of Jumong and his first wife, Lady Ye, came from Dongbuyeo and succeeded Jumong,she left Goguryeo, taking her two sons Biryu and Onjo south to found their own kingdoms.
Jumong's given surname was "Hae" (), the name of the Buyeo rulers. According to the Samguk Yusa, Jumongchanged his surname to "Go" (), in conscious reflection of his divine parentage. Jumong is recorded to haveconquered the tribal states of Biryu (, ) in 36 BCE, Haeng-in (, ) in 33 BCE, andNorth Okjeo in 28 BCE.
Centralization and early expansion (mid 1st century CE)Goguryeo developed from a league of various Yemaek tribes to an early state and rapidly expanded its power fromtheir original basin of control in the Hun River drainage. The Goguryeo homeland, currently known as central andsouthern Manchuria and northern Korea, was, as it is now, very mountainous and lacking in arable land; this territorycould barely feed Goguryeo's own population and at times proved unable to do so. Goguryeo was known for beingfond of raiding their neighbors so they could expand their resource base and food stores. In the time of king Taejo ofGoguryeo in 53 CE, five local tribes were reorganized into five centrally ruled districts. Foreign relations and themilitary were controlled by the king. Aggressive military activities may have allowed Goguryeo to exact tribute fromtheir tribal neighbors and to even dominate them politically and economically.
Taejo conquered the Okjeo tribes of what is now northeastern Korea as well as the Eastern Ye and other tribes inSoutheastern Manchuria and Northern Korea. From the increase of resources and manpower that these subjugatedtribes gave him, Taejo led Goguryeo in attacking Han China's commanderies of Lelang, Xuantu, and Liaodong in theKorean and Liaodong peninsulas, becoming fully independent from the Han commanderies.
Generally, Taejo allowed the conquered tribes to retain their chieftains, but required them to report to governors whowere related to Goguryeo's royal line; tribes under Goguryeo's jurisdiction were expected to provide heavy tribute.Taejo and his successors channeled these increased resources to continuing Goguryeo's expansion to the north andwest. New laws regulated peasants and the aristocracy, as tribal leaders continued to be absorbed into the centralaristocracy. Royal succession changed from fraternal to patrilineal, stabilizing the royal