52 Facts About Goryeo


Goryeo achieved what has been called a "true national unification" by Korean historians as it not only unified the Later Three Kingdoms but incorporated much of the ruling class of the northern kingdom of Balhae, who had origins in Goguryeo of the earlier Three Kingdoms of Korea.

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The name "Korea" is derived from the name of Goryeo, spelled Koryo, which was first used in the early 5th century by Goguryeo.

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Goryeo was a period of great achievements in Korean art and culture.

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Name "Goryeo", which is the source of the name "Korea", was originally used by Goguryeo of the Three Kingdoms of Korea beginning in the early 5th century.

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In 918, Goryeo was founded as the successor to Goguryeo and inherited its name.

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Goryeo used the names Samhan and Haedong, meaning "East of the Sea".

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Goryeo regarded itself as the successor to Goguryeo and laid claim to Manchuria as its rightful legacy.

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Goryeo peacefully annexed Later Silla in 935 and militarily conquered Later Baekje in 936, successfully reunifying the Korean Peninsula.

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Goryeo proceeded to incorporating a major portion of the Balhae people whose links to Goguryeo were shared with Goryeo, accepting most of their royalty and nobility in their fold.

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Meanwhile, of the three capitals of Goryeo, two were Kaesong and Pyeongyang which were initially populated by Goguryeoic settlers from the Paeseo Region and Balhae.

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Nonetheless, Goryeo proceeded to peacefully absorbing the ruling class of both countries and incorporated them under its bureaucracy; conducting political marriages and distributing positions according to their previous status in their respective countries.

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In contrast to Silla's bone-rank system, these open-up policies implemented by Wang Geon enabled Goryeo to enjoy a larger pool of highly skilled bureaucrats and technicians with the addition of those coming from Silla and Baekje; later on instilling a single agenda in terms of identity amongst its people.

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In conclusion, Goryeo entered a nominal tributary relationship with Liao, severing relations with Song, and Liao conceded the land east of the Yalu River to Goryeo.

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In 994, Goryeo proposed to Song a joint military attack on Liao, but was declined; previously, in 985, when Song had proposed a joint military attack on Liao, Goryeo had declined.

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Meanwhile, Goryeo tried to establish relations with Song but was ignored, as Song had agreed to the Chanyuan Treaty in 1005.

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Goryeo won the first battle against Liao, led by Yang Gyu, but lost the second battle, led by Gang Jo: the Goryeo army suffered heavy casualties and was dispersed, and many commanders were captured or killed, including Gang Jo himself.

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Goryeo then sent Ha Gong-jin and Go Yeong-gi to sue for peace, with a promise that he would pay homage in person to the Liao emperor, and the Khitans, who were sustaining attacks by the regrouped Korean army and disrupted supply lines, accepted and began their withdrawal.

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In 1020, Goryeo sent tribute and Liao accepted, thus resuming nominal tributary relations.

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Goryeo'sngzong did not demand that Hyeonjong pay homage in person or cede the Six Garrison Settlements.

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Goryeo's golden age lasted about 100 years into the early 12th century and was a period of commercial, intellectual, and artistic achievement.

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Goryeo prolifically published and imported books, and by the late 11th century, exported books to China; the Song dynasty transcribed thousands of Korean books.

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At the peak of its power, Goryeo contested with the rising Wanyan tribes of which Goryeo considered them as barbaric vassals descending from the Mohe people that served their Goguryeo ancestors, in the state of total war over former territories of Goguryeo and Balhae.

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From that point on, Goryeo became a semi-autonomous "son-in-law nation" of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty through royal intermarriage and blood ties.

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In 1231, Mongols under Ogedei Khan invaded Goryeo following the aftermath of joint Goryeo-Mongol forces against the Khitans in 1219.

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Goryeo resisted for about 30 years but finally sued for peace in 1259.

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Goryeo was never conquered by the Mongols, but exhausted after decades of fighting, Goryeo sent Crown Prince Wonjong to the Yuan capital to swear allegiance to the Mongols; Kublai Khan accepted, and married one of his daughters to the Korean crown prince.

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The kings of Goryeo held an important status like other important families of Mardin, the Uyghurs and Mongols .

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Goryeo dynasty survived under the Yuan until King Gongmin began to push the Mongolian garrisons of the Yuan back in the 1350s.

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Goryeo was forced to spend many years at the Yuan court, being sent there in 1341 as a virtual prisoner before becoming king.

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Goryeo's first act was to remove all pro-Mongol aristocrats and military officers from their positions.

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The Goryeo army retook these provinces partly thanks to defection from Yi Jachun, a minor Korean official in service of Mongols in Ssangseong, and his son Yi Seonggye.

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Goryeo fell to General Yi Seong-gye, a son of Yi Ja-chun, who put to death the last three Goryeo kings, usurped the throne and established in 1392 the Joseon dynasty.

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Goryeo positioned itself at the center of its own "world" called "Haedong".

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Rulers of Goryeo donned imperial yellow clothing, made sacrifices to Heaven, and invested sons as kings.

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Goryeo used the Three Departments and Six Ministries imperial system of the Tang dynasty and had its own "microtributary system" that included Jurchen tribes outside its borders.

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The military of Goryeo was organized into 5 armies, like an empire, as opposed to 3, like a kingdom.

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In 1270, Goryeo capitulated to the Mongols and became a semi-autonomous "son-in-law state" of the Yuan dynasty, bringing an end to its imperial system.

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The Yuan dynasty demoted the imperial titles of Goryeo and added "chung", meaning "loyalty", to the temple names of Goryeo kings, beginning with Chungnyeol.

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Goryeo then requested a shipment of cannon, gunpowder, and gunpowder ingredients from Ming, granted the following year.

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Goryeo affiliated itself with the successive short-lived Five Dynasties beginning with the Shatuo Later Tang dynasty in 933, and Taejo was acknowledged as the legitimate successor to Dongmyeong of Goguryeo.

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Later, Goryeo entered nominal tributary relations with the Khitan Liao dynasty then the Jurchen Jin dynasty while maintaining trade and unofficial relations with the Song dynasty.

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Five Dynasties, Song dynasty, and Jin dynasty pretended that Goryeo was a tributary vassal.

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Goryeo was not a vassal to these powers and successfully stood up to Liao and Jin through clever diplomacy and minimal appeasement.

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Goryeo later traveled to China, and upon his return, actively promulgated the Cheontae teachings, which became recognized as another Seon school.

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Goryeo eventually accomplished this mission with the founding of the Seonggwangsa monastery at Mt.

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General trend of Buddhism in the latter half of the Goryeo was a decline due to corruption, and the rise of strong anti-Buddhist political and philosophical sentiment.

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Significant historical event of the Goryeo period is the production of the first woodblock edition of the Tripitaka, called the Tripitaka Koreana.

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Goryeo founded Gukjagam, the highest educational institution of the Goryeo dynasty.

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Goryeo's clan produced many high officials and respected Confucian scholars over the centuries.

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In contrast to the Three Kingdoms era practice of writing hyangga poetry in hyangchal, an early writing form of writing in the Korean language using Chinese characters, the Goryeo aristocracy emphasized writing in Classical Chinese.

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Ceramics of Goryeo are considered by some to be the finest small-scale works of ceramics in Korean history.

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However, the Goryeo potters took the glaze in a different direction than their Chinese forebears; instead of relying solely on underglaze incised designs, they eventually developed the sanggam technique of inlaying black and white which created bold contrast with the glaze.

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