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The Study on some implications of the occupation for the Nine Fortresses in the Northeastern region during the period of Goryeo Dynasty

KyeongJin Yoon 1

1경상대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Examined in this study are some issues related to the Goryeo dynasty’s establishment of the so-called Nine Fortresses in the Northeastern region of Korean peninsula. The first issue is why King Yejong personally visited Seogyeong (西京, the Western Capital) to hold the celebration of the launch of the military campaign in this region. It was to weigh on the notion that the campaign was to reclaim the ancient territory of Goguryeo, and also to take advantage of all the Balhae(渤海) refugees ,who had earlier settled down in the Northern region of the Korean peninsula, as part of the campaign force. All the troops rallied in the Seogyeong area went over to the Dongbuk-myeon region(東北面), and subdued the Jurchen tribes there through subsequent attacks. The second one is the question of what was the original objective of the campaign, and what was the main strategy. Initially, the goal of the campaign was to block Byeonghang(甁項) point of the Ipan-ryeong (mountain pass), which was serving as a passage route for the Jurchens and their incursions into the Goryeo territory. So one wing of the Goryeo troops moved Northward on foot, while boats landed on the coast of Gilju(吉州) and delivered another wing of soldiers to head Southward. As a result, the Goryeo troops were able to expand the frontier line to the originally planned Ipan-ryeong(mountain pass) to the Gilju region. The third one is the review of the existence of cases in which some fortresses were possibly lost during the operation should be clarified with more concrete evidences. There is a discrepancy between the original nine fortresses that were newly built and those which were eventually dismantled or given up. This suggests that there were actually some other (previously unaccounted) fortresses which were either newly created or abolished (or even lost) during those two periods. According to Jurchen records, Goryeo did lose some fortresses, and it seems such occurrences took place in the Gabsan area, which Goryeo reached after securing Yeongju(英州). Also, there is a case in which Goryeo actually protected a fortress yet documented differently in records (as lost). In this article, some earlier mis-readings of certain epitaphs’ contents are also rectified and reinterpreted.

Citation status

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