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The Implementation and Settlement of the Gungju Installation System in Middle Goryeo

Shin Hye Yeong 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper discussed Goryeo’s Gungju installation system. The system was first implemented during the reign of King Injong and settled down since King Uijong. The academic world was early to understand Gungju as a “title following an installation or presented by the king” in Goryeo, but there have been no studies on the reality of the Gungju installation system. Trying to fill this gap in previous studies, this study investigated when and why the Gungju installation system was implemented and further institutionalized. In Goryeo, the Gungju title first appeared in the first year(1010) of King Hyeonjong’s reign. There were no direct grounds to verify that the Gungju installation system was implemented in the first half of Goryeo. In Hubijeon, which contains the first record of Gungju installation in the fourth year(1126) of King Injong’s reign, a tendency of predicates used to introduce the Gungju title appears from ‘稱·號’字 to ‘冊·封’字 during the reign of King Injong. In addition to these records, the study also reviewed the seven remaining Hubi Chaekmuns comprehensively and found that the Gungju installation system was first implemented during the reign of King Injong. In Goryeo, the implementation of the Gungju installation system seems to have derived from the unique political situation of those days. As it is well-known, Lee Ja-gyeom exercised powerful authority as King Injong’s maternal grandfather during the early days of his reign. Lee ensured the consecutive Nabi of his daughters to maintain his power, but the public opinion was negative. He thus had his daughter installed as Yeondeok Gungju based on the status of Yeondeokgung to emphasize that she was the legitimate Hubi of the King and further establish her as the king’s legitimate wife. The Gungju installation system settled down as a system in Goryeo’s society since King Uijong. All the Hubis from King Uijong to King Wonjong were installed as Gungju. Even Lady Wang, who was Jeongsinbuju of King Chungryeol, was installed as Jeonghwa Gungju during the initial days of his enthronement. The Gungju installation system was first implemented in the early 12th century and existed only in the 12th and 13th century as a Hubi installation system. This period witnessed the appearance of a military regime politically and the occurrence of drifting people, natural disasters, and infectious diseases socially and economically. Under the influence of this atmosphere of the times, changes happened including the gradual reduction of objects to receive a Hubi Gungwon and the postponement of its bestowal. As a result, Hubis eligible for a Gungwon were restricted to queens of the highest status. During this period, therefore, Gungju changed into a title connoting the practical status of a Hubi further than the previous periods. This enabled the continuous implementation of the Gungju installation system.

Citation status

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