A Brief History Of Korea by Mark Peterson

By Mark Peterson

A historical past of Korea from the origins of its humans in prehistoric instances to the commercial and political state of affairs in North and South Korea initially of the twenty first century. The publication presents a close assessment of the cultural and ancient impacts that experience formed Korean society.

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Allegedly written by Kim Taemun in the early eighth century, it speaks of the personalities alive at the time of the unification under Silla. The oldest existing history of Korea, the Samguk Sagi of 1145, written by Kim Pusik centuries after Silla unification, mentions both Kim Taemun and the document. The original document is not available, reportedly because some of the account is not favorable to Japan. One such event was a record about the gift of a princess given by the Japanese king to the Silla king, but the Silla king in turn bestowed the gift on one of his advisers, a degradation of the Japanese princess and an insult to the Japanese.

Most of the king’s court was not in favor of Buddhism, however, preferring instead the traditional religion of shamanism. Ichadon approached the king with an idea. He would write a decree naming Buddhism the state religion, and he would use the king’s seal to make the decree official. He knew that the court would accuse him of forging the document and call for his execution. Ichadon would willingly submit to the accusation, he said, but before being executed he would make a prediction: Upon his death the sky would cloud over and rain flower petals rather than drops of water; the earth would shake; his severed head, rather than falling to the ground, would fly off to South Mountain; and milk, not blood, would spurt from his neck.

Yet growing Koguryo strength frightened Silla and pushed it into an alliance with Paekche that endured from 434 to 554. In spite of the Paekche-Silla alliance, Koguryo then captured the Han River valley. In the end the newcomer and last kingdom to develop—the one that had requested aid from Koguryo and then an alliance with Paekche—became powerful enough to capture the Han River basin in 551. Silla now had an avenue to the Yellow Sea and access to China. This strategic advantage proved 30 From Early Settlements to the Silla Unification of Korea decisive because in the long run it was Silla’s contact with Tang China that made the difference in its fortunes.

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