55 Facts About Goguryeo


Goguryeo called Goryeo, was a Korean kingdom located in the northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula and the southern and central parts of Northeast China.

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At its peak of power, Goguryeo controlled most of the Korean peninsula, large parts of Manchuria and parts of eastern Mongolia and Inner Mongolia.

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Samguk sagi, a 12th-century text from Goryeo, indicates that Goguryeo was founded in 37 BC by Jumong, a prince from Buyeo, who was enthroned as Dongmyeong.

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Goguryeo was one of the great powers in East Asia, until its defeat by a Silla–Tang alliance in 668 after prolonged exhaustion and internal strife caused by the death of Yeon Gaesomun.

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Name Goryeo, a shortened form of Goguryeo, was adopted as the official name in the 5th century, and is the origin of the English name "Korea".

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The early Goguryeo tribes were under the administration of Xuantu Commandery, and were perceived as dependable clients or allies by the Han.

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Goguryeo leaders were conferred Han rank and status, the most prominent being the Marquis of Goguryeo, which carried a relatively independent authority within Xuantu.

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The first mention of Goguryeo as a group label associated with Yemaek tribes is a reference in the Han Shu that discusses a Goguryeo revolt in 12 AD, during which they broke away from the influence of the Chinese at Xuantu.

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Later on, Goguryeo gradually annexed all the Four Commanderies of Han during its expansion.

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Goguryeo subsequently became king himself, founding Goguryeo with a small group of his followers from his native country.

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Goguryeo's gave her husband, Jumong, financial support in founding the new statelet, Goguryeo.

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Goguryeo developed from a league of various Yemaek tribes to an early state and rapidly expanded its power from their original basin of control in the Hun River drainage.

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Early expansion might be best explained by ecology; Goguryeo controlled territory in what is currently central and southern Manchuria and northern Korea, which are both very mountainous and lacking in arable land.

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Pressure from Liaodong forced Goguryeo to move their capital in the Hun River valley to the Yalu River valley near Hwando.

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In 238, Goguryeo entered into a formal alliance with Wei to destroy the Liaodong commandery.

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When Liaodong was finally conquered by Wei, cooperation between Wei and Goguryeo fell apart and Goguryeo attacked the western edges of Liaodong, which incited a Wei counterattack in 244.

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In only 70 years, Goguryeo rebuilt its capital Hwando and again began to raid the Liaodong, Lelang and Xuantu commandaries.

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Goguryeo met major setbacks and defeats during the reign of Gogukwon in the 4th century.

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Goguryeo used its military to protect and exploit semi-nomadic peoples, who served as vassals, foot soldiers, or slaves, such as the Okjeo people in the northeast end of the Korean peninsula, and the Mohe people in Manchuria, who would later become the Jurchens.

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Goguryeo experienced a golden age under Gwanggaeto the Great and his son Jangsu.

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Goguryeo instituted the era name of Yeongnak or Eternal Rejoicing, affirming that Goguryeo was on equal standing with the dynasties in the Chinese mainland.

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Goguryeo invaded the Khitans, and then attacked the Didouyu, located in eastern Mongolia, with his Rouran allies.

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Goguryeo defeated Baekje and Silla and gained large amounts of territory from both.

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In 598, Goguryeo made a preemptive attack on Liaoxi, leading Emperor Wen to launch a counterattack by land and sea that ended in disaster for Sui.

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However, Goguryeo was able to defeat the Sui navy, thus when the Sui's nine division armies finally reached Pyongyang, they didn't have the supplies for a lengthy siege.

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At the Battle of Salsu, Goguryeo soldiers released water from a dam, which split the Sui army and cut off their escape route.

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Dade then reported back to the emperor, Taizong of Tang answered: “Goguryeo used to be the ancient land of Four Commanderies of Han, it is not hard to recapture Liaodong area, but Shangdong is still under recovery, it is not necessary to tire my people.

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Goguryeo proceeded to enthrone Yeongnyu's nephew, Go Jang, as King Bojang while wielding de facto control of Goguryeo himself as the generalissimo, Yeon Gaesomun took an increasingly provocative stance against Silla Korea and Tang China.

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Soon, Goguryeo formed an alliance with Baekje and invaded Silla, Daeya-song and around 40 border fortresses were conquered by the Goguryeo-Baekje alliance.

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In 645, Emperor Taizong, who had a personal ambition to defeat Goguryeo and was determined to succeed where Emperor Yang had failed, personally led an attack on Goguryeo.

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However, Emperor Gaozong, too, was unable to defeat Goguryeo led by Yeon Gaesomun; one of Yeon Gaesomun's most notable victories came in 662 at the Battle of Sasu, where he annihilated the Tang forces and killed the invading general Pang Xiaotai and all 13 of his sons.

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Goguryeo was initially succeeded as Dae Mangniji, the highest position newly made under the ruling period of Yeon Gaesomun, by his oldest son Yeon Namsaeng.

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However, there was much resistance to Tang rule, and in 669, following Emperor Gaozong's order, a part of the Goguryeo people were forced to move to the region between the Yangtze River and the Huai River, as well as the regions south of the Qinling Mountains and west of Chang'an, only leaving old and weak inhabitants in the original land.

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However, Bojang continued to foment rebellions against Tang in an attempt to revive Goguryeo, organizing Goguryeo refugees and allying with the Mohe tribes.

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Goguryeo was eventually exiled to Sichuan in 681, and died the following year.

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Later Goguryeo originated in the northern regions, including Songak, which were the strongholds of Goguryeo refugees.

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In 918, Wang Geon overthrew Gung Ye and established Goryeo, as the successor of Goguryeo, and laid claim to Manchuria as Goryeo's rightful legacy.

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Goguryeo has been described as an empire by Korean scholars.

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Goguryeo often enlisted semi-nomadic vassals, such as the Mohe people, as foot soldiers.

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Every man in Goguryeo was required to serve in the military, or could avoid conscription by paying extra grain tax.

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Goguryeo units were divided according to major weapons: spearmen, axemen, archers composed of those on foot and horseback, and heavy cavalry that included armored and heavy spear divisions.

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Goguryeo implemented a strategy of active defense based on cities.

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Goguryeo employed military intelligence and special tactics as an important part of the strategy.

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Goguryeo was good at disinformation, such as sending only stone spearheads as tribute to the Chinese court when they were in the Iron Age.

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Militaristic nature of Goguryeo frequently drew them into conflicts with the dynasties of China.

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Goguryeo has received tribute from other Korean kingdoms and neighboring tribal states, and frequently mobilized Malgal people in their military.

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Baekje and Goguryeo maintained their regional rivalry throughout their history, although they eventually formed an alliance in their wars against Silla and Tang.

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Culture of Goguryeo was shaped by its climate, religion, and the tense society that people dealt with due to the numerous wars Goguryeo waged.

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Inhabitants of Goguryeo wore a predecessor of the modern hanbok, just as the other cultures of the three kingdoms.

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Goguryeo people worshipped ancestors and considered them to be supernatural.

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The government recognized and encouraged the teachings of Buddhism and many monasteries and shrines were created during Goguryeo's rule, making Goguryeo the first kingdom in the region to adopt Buddhism.

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Goguryeo art, preserved largely in tomb paintings, is noted for the vigour and fine detail of its imagery.

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Cultural legacies of Goguryeo are found in modern Korean culture, for example: Korean fortress, ssireum, taekkyeon, Korean dance, ondol and the hanbok.

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Goguryeo is referred to as Goryeo after 520 AD in Chinese and Japanese historical and diplomatic sources.

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Goguryeo was viewed as a Korean kingdom in premodern China, but in modern times, there is a dispute between China and Korea over whether Goguryeo can be considered part of Chinese history or it is Korean history.

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