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The Historical Records Concerning the Origin of the Governing Class and royal family of the Early Shilla(新羅) in the Chinese Official History

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2008, (91), pp.1-47
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

ByoungGon Kim 1

1동국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Official Chinese historical documents differ from those of Korea concerning the origin of the governing class and royal family of the Early Shilla. In Korean history, Bakhyeokgeose(朴赫居世) is recorded as the founder of Shilla, and the governing class in the Early Shilla is described as the migrants from the Ancient Joseon Kingdom(古朝鮮). Conversely, the official Chinese records state that Early Shilla was ruled by a King of Mahan(馬韓), or that Shilla had a king from Baekje(百濟). The records also assert that Shilla consisted of a tribe from Mahan(馬韓)-Byeonhan(弁韓)-and the migrants from Koguryeo(高句麗), Jin(秦), and Naklang(樂浪). The records about the migrants from Jin and A-jan(我殘) in Samgukji(『三國志』)are likely based on the message of an aged person from Jinhan(辰韓). The article about the migrants from Koguryeo and a king from Baekje in Suiseo(『隋書』) is based on a preface and review of Dong i-jeon(東夷傳) of Samgukji. Lastly, the article about a tribal origin of Shilla's King was inference from Han-jeon(韓傳) of Samgukji. The distorted historical view of a governing class of the Tang(唐) Empire, which regarded the three Hans(三韓) in the same light as the Three Kingdoms, has affected the description of the history of Shilla. Shilla had an occasional diplomatic relationship with China from the reign of King Naemul(奈勿王), and maintained a steady relationship with the Sui and Tang Empires from the late 6th century. In the early 6th century, King Jinheung(眞興王) of Shilla ordered a history book made-Gooksa(『國史』)-which contained the traditional views of the Kingdom’s founder and tribal origins. This book, however, didn't affect the Chinese historical description. Due to a delay in the establishment of a diplomatic relationship between Shilla and China, the history of the Early Shilla wasn't recorded in the Chinese official history. Moreover, Since King Naemul was from Kims family, he didn't have any obligation or incentive to make a historical record about the founder Bakhyeokgeose and his Baks family. Ever since King Naemul ascended the throne, Kims family had monopolized a royal authority and formed the sole idea of their own lineage. Thus the early history of Shilla which was formed by Baks family couldn't be introduced to China by Kims family. On the other hand, before Shilla and China established a steady relationship, Chinese historians already had a description of Shilla's history on the basis of their traditional historical view. Moreover, the principle of Chinese hegemony of the Sui and Tang Empires affected the description of history of Shilla. As a result, Shilla's history in Chinese Official History differs from that of Korean history.

Citation status

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