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Compensation Scheme for Patriots and War Veterans in the 10th~11th century Koryo Dynasty

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2015, (119), pp.160-199
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

LEE Miji 1

1국사편찬위원회

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper tried to look into the basic factors of the compensation scheme for patriots and war veterans in the earlier half of the Koryo dynasty through the individual examples of honoring and rewarding. The dynasty did not need yet to set up a system on compensation for war veterans in the very early stage of its establishment; so that rewards were given as occasion arises. It was not until the earlier half of the 11th century when the Koryo dynasty had gone through wars with the Khitan Liao dynasty that the primary rewarding system had been prepared. The Ministry of Military Affairs (兵部), in the early stage of the system, conducted the primary process of reward. Then, at some point, the function was somehow transferred to the Military Commissioners of the Border Region (兩界兵馬使). The Military Commissioners took primary charge in recommending the candidates for reward; they screened the candidates based upon their merits and also reviewed the positive candidates’ achievements. After the Chief Military Commission (都兵馬使) supervised the Military Commissioners reports the reward was finalized by the king’s permission. It is not easy to say how long it would have taken until the rewarding ceremony took place after the king’s final decision. The fastest case took only eighteen days from screening to ceremony; however, in some cases, it took more than two or three years to acknowledge and reward the soldiers’ merits. The rewarding ceremony generally took place in the royal court. It must have been a very special honor for the object of reward since he was granted an audience with the king; also, I think the ceremony being held in the presence of the king contributed in reinforcing the loyalty of the object of reward. Additional prize for the military merits falls into two categories: an in-kind - such as grain, land, fabric, silver (rarely gold) goods - payment, and an appointment to an official title. This paper assumes that the fundamental compensation system for patriots and war veterans of the Koryo dynasty, as investigated as above, was organized no later than the king Munjong’s reign in the 11th century.

Citation status

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

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.