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Recruiting Methods and Selecting Conditions of Military Officers in the Early Goryo

Jounghoon Lee 1

1서울과학기술대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper is to review the recruiting methods and the selecting conditions of military officers in the early Goryeo, which was the typical ones of their recruitment. During the Goryeo Dynasty, military officers were divided into officers who commanded the central army and those who commanded local forces. The central military officers were selected through protected appointment(Eumseo), recruitment from Capital Soldiers(Gyeonggun) and Palace Army(Geumgun), and appointment made by merit. The local military officers were either recruited from Hyangri(local officials) or appointed among the local soldiers who made merit. Protected appointment was conducted for those from the military officer family. The recruitment from Capital Soldiers and Palace Army was conducted in case of vacancy in military officers for Capital Soldiers and Palace Army. Appointment by merit was conducted for the people or soldiers who caught thieves and for ordinary people, artisans and their descendants who had been prohibited from entering the government posts. And the recruitment from Hyang-ri was conducted within the Hyangris. Military officers conducted diverse military affairs, such as training soldiers and participating in combat. Therefore, they absolutely needed physical conditions and martial arts to train the soldiers and fight the enemy. In order to become military officers in the early Goryeo period, they could be selected only if they had physical conditions suitable for military officials such as great height, appearance, bravery, strength, and agility. Therefore, even those from protected appointment who had no restrictions on entering the government posts could become the military officers only after passing the archery or horse riding exam, and Hyangris were appointed as military officers after testing whether to have the talent at archery or to serve as military officers. On the other hand, ordinary people, artisans and their descendants who had been restricted in entering the government posts, the ordinary people who had to bear the public burdens, and the central and local soldiers could be appointed as the military officers only by merit, especially military merits. Thus, in the early Goryeo period, military officers could be appointed only after they were verified to have competence as military leaders during the selection process.

Citation status

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