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A Study on Donggungsiwigongja(東宮侍衛公子) in Early Koryŏ Dynasty

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2012, (107), pp.89-123
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Jaemyoung Kim 1

1원광대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Donggungsiwigongjas started to be picked at the 8th year of King Munjong(文宗) belonged to the palace of Crown Prince, but they were not officials who took care of its affairs. They were friends that got along well with the Crown Prince, studying and playing. For this reason, they were called Donggunghakwoo(東宮學友) or Chunbanghakwoo(春坊學友), and they also had several different names like Chunbanggongja(春坊公子), Chunbangsihak(春坊侍學), Sihakgongja(侍學公子). They were the group of twenty persons whose father were at the position of the fifth degree of official rank or grandfather at the third. Besides these Donggungsiwigongjas, there were Donggungsiwigeubsas(東宮侍衛給使) that consisted of ten persons,and their fathers and grandfathers had lower ranks than Donggungsiwigongjas’. Donggungsiwigongjas were the selected ones that were a little older than the Crown Prince; He was generally installed to the Crown Prince at the age of seven or eight. They were selected with establishment of the Crown Prince’s office which generally had been made before the installation of the Crown Prince. They were picked by the recommendation, not by examination. And when there caused a vacancy, it was filled up afterwards. Jwachunbang(左春坊) which was a part of the Crown Prince’s office and at the same time had roles of chamberlain and counsellor took on managing them. As they were not officials, they didn’t receive an economic benefit in return, such as Gwajŏn(科田) or salary(祿俸). Donggungsiwigongja system was the result of King Munjong’s strong intention that he wanted to succeed his oldest son to the throne; As he had experienced of coming to the throne clearing away his nephews, he worried about the happening of such a same situation. Through the medium of this system, King Munjong intended to ensure the Crown Prince’s stable succession to the throne by reinforcing political ties between Crown Prince and noble officials. Noble officials also agreed to put this system in operation, because they thought their sons could rise in the world rapidly on the basis of relationship with Crown Prince who was going to hold the power in the future. In short,Donggungsiwigongja was another product that the king and noble officials made to share their political benefit with one accord.

Citation status

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