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Studying the Weapon System of the 6~7th Silla through Samguksagi

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2015, (117), pp.39-83
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Song, Youngdae 1

1

Accredited

ABSTRACT

For years, the weapons of Three Kingdom's period have been studied with archaeological specimens. Even though the 6~7th was the most active time in Three Kingdom's period, excavated weapon data rarely exists. To study the weapon system, we must refer to the literature record. In particular, Samguksagi could be the main reference data. There were diverse weapons used in the 6~7th. These weapons could be separated such as siege engines and castle defence weapons. Individual weapons were divided into polearms, short weapons, shooting weapons and protective equipment. Silla also used polearms such as dagger axes, halberd, lances, spears, pikes and battle hooks in Samguksagi. In addition, this study supposes that hastas and scythes were used in that period by archaeological data. Some of lances were used for cavalry rush attack: Pikes, battle hooks and scythes were footman's weapon for against cavalry. Short weapons were divided into swords, knifes, battle axes, broadaxes. This study assumes that the swords in Samguksagi included knifes. Battle axes had two functions which were treated as tools and weapons. Broadaxe was a symbol of authority. Protective equipments have armors and shields. Silla verbalized crack units to armor warriors or armor soldiers. Furthermore, Silla had bards and armor horses. Through this fact, we can assume heavy armored cavalries. Shields are not verified in the record, but this study showed that they were frequently used at actual warfare. Bows and crossbows, sling were frequently used in the ancient war. Silla constructed weapon system based on these weapons, and Silla conducted conquest war. Silla was constituted Saseoldang to treat specialized to siege weapon. For instance ballista, assault ladders, battering rams and catapults. This study assumes that Saseoldang conducts manufacturing and educating rather than exclusively responsible siege warfare. In the 7th century, Silla developed newest weapons, such as Cheonbono and Manno. It was driving force in the unification war of Three kingdoms and Silla-Tang war that Silla's vigorous weapon development and weapon system construction.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.