Infobox Former Country
native_name = 고구려(高句麗)
conventional_long_name = Goguryeo
common_name = Goguryeo|
continent = moved from Category:Asia to East Asia
region = East Asia
country = Manchuria, Northern Korea
era = Ancient
status =
status_text =
empire =
government_type = Monarchy|
year_start = 37 BC
year_end = 668|
event_start = Establishment
date_start = 37 BC
event_end = Fall of Pyongyang
date_end = September 21 668|
event1 = Introduction of Buddhism
date_event1 = 372
event2 = Campaigns of Gwanggaeto the Great
date_event2 = 391 - 413
event3 = Goguryeo-Sui Wars
date_event3 = 598 - 614
event4 = Goguryeo-Tang Wars
date_event4 = 645 - 668|
event_pre =
date_pre = |

p1 = Buyeo kingdom
flag_p1 = Blank.pngs1 = Balhae
flag_s1 = Blank.pngs2 = Unified Silla
flag_s2 = Blank.png|

flag_type = |

symbol =
symbol_type = |

image_map_caption = |
capital = Jolbon
(37 BC–3 AD)


latd =|
national_motto =
national_anthem =
common_languages = Goguryeo (Old Korean)
religion = Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Korean shamanism
currency = |
title_leader = King
leader1 = King Dongmyeong
year_leader1 = 37 BCE - 19 BCE
leader2 = King Gwanggaeto the Great
year_leader2 = 391 - 413
leader3 = King Jangsu
year_leader3 = 413 - 491
leader4 = King Yeongyang
year_leader4 = 590 - 618|

stat_year1 =
stat_area1 =
stat_pop1 = 3,500,000 (668)
footnotes =

Goguryeo or Koguryo was an ancient Korean kingdom located in the northern and central parts of the Korean peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province.

Along with Baekje and Silla, Goguryeo was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Goguryeo was an active participant in the power struggle for control of the Korean peninsula as well as associated with the foreign affairs of peer polities in China and Japan.

The Samguk Sagi, a 12th century CE Goryeo text, indicates that Goguryeo was founded in 37 BCE by Jumong, a prince from Buyeo, although there is archaeological and textual evidence that suggests Goguryeo culture was in existence since the 2nd century BCE around the fall of Gojoseon, an earlier kingdom that also occupied southern Manchuria and northern Korea. Goguryeo was a major regional power of East Asia until it was defeated by a Silla-Tang alliance in 668 CE. After its defeat, its territory was divided between the Tang Dynasty, Unified Silla and Balhae.


Infobox East Asian
title = Goguryeo
tablewidth = 280

caption = Goguryeo tomb mural.
hangul = 고구려
hanja = 高句麗
rr = Goguryeo
mr = Koguryŏ
tradchi = 高句麗
simpchi = 高句丽
pinyin = Gāogōulì
cyrillic = Когурё (IPA2|kogurʲo)

Founding of Goguryeo (c. 37 BCE)

According to the "Samguk Sagi" and the "Samguk Yusa",a prince from the kingdom of Buyeo, named Jumong, fled after a power struggle with other princes of the Buyeo court ['Mark E. Byington, "A History of the Puyo State, its History and Legacy" 2003 PhD dissertation for the department of East Asian History, Harvard University, p. 234'] and founded the Goguryeo state in 37 BCE in a region called Jolbon Buyeo, usually thought to be located in the middle Yalu and T'ung-chia river basin, overlapping the current China-North Korea border. Some scholars believe that Goguryeo may have been founded in the 2nd century BCE. ['Daniel Kane, postdoctoral student, Korean History Department, University of Hawaii, personal web site http://www2.hawaii.edu/~dkane/Puyo.htm] In the geographic monographs of the "Han Shu", the word Goguryeo or "高句麗" was first mentioned in 113 BCE as a region under the jurisdiction of the Xuantu commandery. ['Christopher I. Beckwith, "Koguryo, The Language Of Japan's Continental Relatives", 2004 Brill Academic Publishers, page 33'] In the "Old Book of Tang", it is recorded that Emperor Taizong of Tang refers to Goguryeo's history as being some 900 years old. In 75 BCE, a group of Yemaek tribes (a proto-Goguryeo type people), which may have included Goguryeo, made an incursion into China's Xuantu commandery west from the Amnok River valley. ['Mark E. Byington, "A History of the Puyo State, it's History and Legacy", p. 194']

However, the weight of textual evidence from the Old and New Histories of Tang, the Samguk Sagi, the Nihon Shoki as well as other ancient sources would support a 37 BCE or "middle" 1st century BCE foundation date for Goguryeo. [See, e.g., "Samguk Sagi", vol. 13. [http://www.khaan.net/history/samkooksagi/sagi1317.htm] ] Archaeological evidence would support centralized groups of Yemaek tribes in the 2nd century BCE, but there is no direct evidence that would suggest these Yemaek groups were known as or would identify themselves as Goguryeo. The first mention of Goguryeo as a group type associated with Yemaek tribes would be a reference in the "Han Shu" that discusses a Goguryo revolt in 12 CE, where they break away from Xuantu influence ['Mark E. Byington, "A History of the Puyo State, it's History and Legacy", p. 233'] . It was also during this time that the Goguryeo ruler began calling himself the title of "wang", (王) or King.Fact|date=December 2007

At its founding, the Goguryeo people are believed to be a blend of Buyeo and Yemaek people, as leadership from Buyeo may have fled their kingdom and integrated with existing Yemaek chiefdoms [Rhee, Song nai (1992) Secondary State Formation: The Case of Koguryo State. In "Pacific Northeast Asia in Prehistory: Hunter-fisher-gatherers, Farmers, and Sociopolitical Elites", edited by C. Melvin Aikens and Song Nai Rhee, pp. 191-196. WSU Press, Pullman ISBN 0-87422-092-0.] . The San Guo Zhi, in the section titled "Accounts of the Eastern Barbarians", states that Buyeo and the Yemaek people were ethnically related and spoke the same language [De Bary, Theodore and Peter H. Lee, "Sources of Korean Tradition", p. 7-11 ] .

Jumong and the foundation myth

The earliest mention of Jumong is in the 4th century C.E. Stele of Great King Gwanggaeto. Jumong is often said to be the Korean transcription of the hanja 朱蒙 (Jumong, 주몽), 鄒牟(Chumo, 추모), or 仲牟 (Jungmo, 중모); however, there is no real proof--Korean scholars maintain that Jumong is really from the Goguryeo language.

The Stele states that Jumong was the first king and ancestor of Goguryeo and he was the son of the king of Buyeo and a daughter of the river deity Habaek [De Bary, Theodore and Peter H. Lee, Editors, "Sources of Korean Tradition", p. 24-25 ] . The Samguk Sagi and Samguk Yusa paints additional detail and names Jumong's mother as Yuhwa. Jumong's biological father was said to be a man named Hae Mosu who is described as a "strong man" and "a heavenly prince." [ Ilyon, "Samguk Yusa", Yonsei University Press, p. 45] . The Samguk Sagi states that Hae Mosu was a sky deity, who had seduced Yuhwa. After the murder attempts of Daeso, the crown prince of Buyeo, Jumong fled Buyeo [ Ilyon, "Samguk Yusa", p. 46] . The Stele and later Korean sources disagree as to which Buyeo Jumong came from. The Stele says he came from North Buyeo and the Samguk Sagi and Samguk Yusa say he came from East Buyeo. Jumong eventually made it to the Jolbon Buyeo confederacy, where he married the daughter of its ruler. He subsequently became king himself, founding Goguryeo with a small group of his followers from his native country.

Jumong's given surname was Hae (解), the name of the Buyeo rulers. According to the Samguk Yusa, Jumong changed his surname to Ko (高), in conscious reflection of his divine parentage [ Ilyon, "Samguk Yusa", p. 46-47] . Jumong is recorded to have conquered the tribal states of Biryu (비류국, 沸流國) in 36 BCE, Haeng-in (행인국, 荇人國) in 33 BCE, and North Okjeo in 28 BCE. [Harv|MyGoguryeo|Unknown year]

Centralization and early expansion (mid 1st century CE)

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 Han river drainage. The Goguryeo homeland was said to be mountainous and lacked arable land and could barely feed its own population. Goguryeo was known for being fond of raiding their neighbors so they could expand their resource base. In the time of King Taejo of Goguryeo in 53 CE, five local tribes were reorganized into five centrally ruled districts of the kingdom. Foreign relations and the military were controlled by the king. Aggressive military activities may have allowed Goguryeo to exact tribute from their tribal neighbors and to even dominate them politically and economically ['Gina L. Barnes', "State Formation in Korea", 2001 Curzon Press, page 22'] .

King Taejo conquered the Okjeo tribes of Northeast Korea as well as the Eastern Ye and other tribes in Southeastern Manchuria and Northern Korea. From the increase of resources and manpower that these subjugated tribes gave him, Goguryo attacked Han China's commanderies of Lelang, Xuantu, and Liaodong in the Korean and Liaodong peninsulas, becoming fully independent from the Han commanderies ['Ki-Baik Lee', "A New History of Korea", 1984 Harvard University Press, page 24'] .

Generally, Taejo allowed the conquered tribes to retain their chieftains, but report to governors who were related to Goguryeo's royal line and were expected to provide heavy tribute. Taejo and his successors channeled these increased resources to continuing its expansion to the northwest. New laws regulated peasants and the aristocracy, as tribal leaders continued to be absorbed into the central aristocracy. Royal succession changed from fraternal to patrilineal, strengthening the royal court ['Ki-Baik Lee', "A New History of Korea", 1984 Harvard University Press, page 36'] .

The expanding Goguryeo kingdom entered into direct military contact with the Liaodong commandery. Pressure from Liadong forced Goguryeo to move their capital in the Hun River valley to the Yalu River valley near Mt. Wandu. ['Gina L. Barnes', "State Formation in Korea", 2001 Curzon Press, page 22-23']

Goguryeo-Wei War (244 CE)

The chaos following the fall of the Han Dynasty, the former Han commanderies had broken free of control and were ruled by various independent warlords. Surrounded by these commanderies, who were governed by aggressive warlords, Goguryeo moved to improve relations with the newly created Wei Dynasty of China and sent tribute in 220 CE. In 238 CE, Goguryeo entered into a formal alliance with the Wei to destroy the Liaodong commandery. 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. On this occasion, Wei reached and destroyed the Goguryeo capital at Mt. Wandu. It is said that the king Dongcheon of Goguryeo, with his army destroyed, fled alone and sought refuge with the Okjeo tribes in the east. ['Gina L. Barnes', "State Formation in Korea", 2001 Curzon Press, page 23']

Revival and further expansion (300 to 390 CE)

The Wei armies thought they had destroyed Goguryeo and soon left the area. However, in only 70 years, Goguryeo rebuilt their capital at Mt. Wandu and again began to raid Liaodong, Lelang and Xuantu commandaries. As Goguryeo extended its reach into the Liaodong peninsula, the last Chinese commandery at Lelang was conquered and absorbed by Micheon of Goguryeo in 313, bringing the northern part of the Korean peninsula into the fold ['Ki-Baik Lee', "A New History of Korea", 1984 Harvard University Press, page 20 ] . From that point on, until the 7th century C.E., territorial control of the peninsula would be contested primarily by the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

The expansion met temporary setbacks when in 342, Former Yan, a Chinese Sixteen Kingdoms state of Xianbei ethnicity, (some Goguryeo royal family members were seized by Former Yan, and one of them, Gao Yun, briefly ruled Former Yan's successor state Northern Yan from 407 to 409) attacked Goguryeo’s capital, then at Mt. Wandu, and in 371, King Geunchogo of Baekje sacked Goguryeo’s largest city, Pyongyang, and killed King Gogukwon of Goguryeo in battle. [Harv|MyGoguryeo|Unknown year]

Turning to domestic stability and the unification of various conquered tribes, Sosurim of Goguryeo proclaimed new laws, embraced Buddhism as the national religion in 372, and established a national educational institute called the Taehak (태학, 太學). ['Ki-Baik Lee', "A New History of Korea", 1984 Harvard University Press, page 38] . Due to the defeats that Goguryeo had suffered under Former Yan and Baekje, Sosurim had also instituted military reforms. ['William E. Henthorn', "A History of Korea", 1971 Macmillan Publishing Co., page 34 ] .

Zenith of Goguryeo's Power (391 to 531 CE)

King Gwanggaeto the Great (R. 391 - 412 CE) was a highly energetic monarch that is remembered for his rapid military expansion of the kingdom. [ 'William E. Henthorn', "A History of Korea", 1971 Macmillan Publishing Co., page 34 ]

Gwanggaeto's exploits have been recorded on a huge memorial stele located near present day Jilin in southern Manchuria, that was erected by his son, King Jangsu. Gwanggaetto is said to have conquered 64 walled cities and 1,400 villages from one campaign against Buyeo alone, destroyed Later Yan and annexed Buyeo and Mohe tribes to the north, subjugated Baekje, contributed to the dissolution of the Gaya confederacy, and turned Silla into a protectorate in wars against Gaya, Baekje and Wa (Japan). In doing so, he brought about a loose unification of Korea that lasted about 50 years. By the end of his reign, Goguryeo had achieved undisputed control of southern Manchuria, and the northern and central regions of the Korean Peninsula. [ De Bary, Theodore and Peter H. Lee, "Sources of Korean Tradition", p. 25-26 ]

During this period, Goguryeo territory included three fourths of the Korean peninsula, including today's Seoul, and much of southern Manchuria and the southeastern end of Russian maritime province. Gwanggaeto instituted the reign name of "Yeongnak", thus signifying an equality with the major Chinese dynasties. [ 'Ki-Baik Lee', "A New History of Korea", 1984 Harvard University Press, page 36 ]

King Jangsu, ascending to the throne in 413, moved the capital to Pyongyang in 427, which is evidence to the intensifying rivalries between it and the other two peninsular kingdoms of Baekje and Silla to its south. Jangsu, like his father, continued Goguryeo's territorial expansion into Manchuria and reached the Eastern Songhua River, which marked Goguryeo's farthest reach to the north.

In the late 5th century, it absorbed Buyeo and several Mohe and Khitan tribes, competed with Northern Wei in the north, and continued its strong influence over Silla.

Internal strife (531 to 551 CE)

Goguryeo reached its zenith in the 6th century. After this, it began a steady decline. King Anjang was assassinated, and succeeded by his brother King Anwon, during whose reign aristocratic factionalism increased. A political schism deepened as two factions advocated different princes for succession, until the eight-year-old Yang-won was finally crowned. But the power struggle was never resolved definitively, as renegade magistrates with private armies appointed de facto rulers of their areas of control.

Taking advantage of Goguryeo's internal struggle, a nomadic group called the Tuchueh attacked Goguryeo's northern castles in the 550s and conquered some of Goguryeo's northern lands. Weakening Goguryeo even more, as civil war continued among feudal lords over royal succession, Baekje and Silla allied to attack Goguryeo from the south in 551.

Conflicts of the late 6th and 7th centuries CE

In the late 6th and early 7th centuries, Goguryeo was often in conflict with the Sui and Tang Dynasties of China. Its relations with Baekje and Silla were complex and alternated between alliances and enmity. A neighbor in the northeast were the Eastern Göktürk, a khanate in northwestern China and near Mongolia, was an ally with Goguryeo and trading was done between the two states.Fact|date=May 2007

Goguryeo's loss of the Han River Valley

In 551 CE, Baekje and Silla entered into an alliance to attack Goguryeo and conquer the Han River valley, an important strategic area close to the center of the peninsula and a very rich agricultural region. After Baekje exhausted themselves with a series of costly assaults on Goguryeo fortifications, Silla troops, arriving on the pretense of offering assistance, attacked and took possession of the entire Han River valley in 553. Incensed by this betrayal, Baekje's King Seong in the following year launched a retaliatory strike against Silla's western border but was captured and killed.

The war, along the middle of the Korean peninsula, had very important consequences. It effectively made Baekje the weakest player on the Korean peninsula and gave Silla an important resource and population rich area as a base for expansion. Conversely, it denied Goguryeo the use of the area, which weakened the kingdom. It also gave Silla direct access to the Yellow Sea, opening up trade and diplomatic access to the Chinese dynasties and accelerating Silla's process of sinification. Thus, Silla could rely less on Goguryeo for elements of civilization and could get culture and technology directly from China. This increasing tilt of Silla to China would result in an alliance that would prove disastrous for Goguryeo in the late 7th century.

Goguryeo-Sui Wars

Goguryeo's expansion conflicted with the Sui Dynasty and increased tensions. Goguryeo military offensives in the Liaoxi region provoked the Sui and resulted in the first of the Goguryeo-Sui Wars in 598. In this campaign, as with those that followed in 612, 613, and 614, Sui was unsuccessful in overrunning Goguryeo, but did gain minor concessions and promises of submission that were never fulfilled. The 613 and 614 campaigns were aborted after launch -- the 613 campaign was terminated when the Sui general Yang Xuangan rebelled against Emperor Yang of Sui, while the 614 campaign was terminated after Goguryeo offered surrender and returned Husi Zheng (斛斯政), a defecting Sui general who had fled to Goguryeo, Emperor Yang later had Husi executed. Emperor Yang planned another attack on Goguryeo in 615, but due to Sui's deteroriating internal state he was never able to launch it. Sui was weakened due to rebellions against Emperor Yang's rule. They could not attack further because the soldiers in the Sui heartland would not send logistical support.

One of Sui's most disastrous campaigns to itself was in 612, in which Sui, according to the History of the Sui Dynasty, mobilized 30 Division armies, about 1,133,800 combat troops. Pinned along Goguryeo's line of fortifications on the Liao river, a detachment of 9 Division armies, about 305,000 troops, bypassed the main defensive lines and headed towards the Goguryeo capital of Pyongyang to link up with Sui naval forces which contained reinforcements and supplies. However, Goguryeo was able to defeat the Sui navy, thus when the Sui's 9 Division armies finally reached Pyongyang, they didn't have the supplies for a lengthy siege. Sui troops retreated but General Eulji Mundeok led the Goguryeo troops to victory by luring them into an ambush outside of Pyongyang. At the Battle of Salsu River, Goguryeo soldiers released water from a dam, which split the Sui army and cut off their escape route. Of the original 305,000 soldiers, only 2,700 escaped to Sui China.

The wars depleted the national treasury of the Sui Dynasty and after revolts and political strife, the Sui Dynasty disintegrated in 618. However the wars also exhausted Goguryeo's strength and its power declined.

Goguryeo-Tang War and Tang-Silla alliance

Goguryeo was attacked by Tang Taizong. The campaign was unsuccessful for the Chinese, failing to capture strategic points in numerous attacks. [Harv|MyGoguryeo|Unknown year]

The Tang forged an alliance with Goguryeo's rival Silla after defeating Goguryeo's western ally, the Göktürks. This, combined with Goguryeo's increasing political instability following the 642 murder of King Yeongnyu at the hands of the military general Yeon Gaesomun, increased tensions between Tang and Goguryeo, as Yeon took an increasingly provocative stance against Tang.

In 645, Tang Taizong launched another attack against Goguryeo. Goguryeo was able to repel the attack at Ansi Fortress. the central figure of the repulse was Yeon Gaesomun and Yang Manchun. In the end, Tang Taizong was not able to capture Ansi, and the Tang army withdrew after suffering large losses during the siege of Ansi and running out of food supplies. After Tang Taizong's death in 649, Tang armies were again sent to conquer Goguryeo in 661 and 662, but while Yeon Gaesomun was alive, Tang was not able to conquer Goguryeo, although the Tang attacks inflicted substantial losses. ["Zizhi Tongjian", vols. 198, 199, 200, 201] ["Samguk Sagi", vol. 22. [http://www.khaan.net/history/samkooksagi/sagi2122.htm] ]


Goguryeo's ally in the southwest, Baekje, fell to the Silla-Tang alliance in 660; the victorious allies continued their assault on Goguryeo for the next eight years. Meanwhile, in 666 (though dates vary from 664-666), Yeon Gaesomun died and civil war ensued among his three sons. [Harv|Byington|2004b]

Following the defection of Yeon Namsaeng, the son of Yeon Gaesomun and the surrender of numerous cities in northern Goguryeo, the Tang army bypassed the Liaodong region and captured Pyongyang, the capital of Goguryeo, while Yeon Jeong-to, the Younger brother of Yeon Gaesomun, surrendered his forces to the Silla general Kim Yushin, who was advancing from the south. In November 668 Bojang, the last king of Goguryeo, Surrendered to Tang Gaozong.

Silla-Tang eventually vanquished the weary kingdom, which had been suffering from a series of famines and internal strife. Goguryeo finally fell in 668. [Harv|Byington|2004b] Goguryeo's last king Bojang was captured and taken into exile by the Tang forces.

Silla thus unified most of the Korean peninsula in 668, but the kingdom's reliance on China's Tang Dynasty had its price. Tang set up the Protectorate General to Pacify the East, or Andong protectorate, governed by Xue Rengui, but faced increasing problems ruling the former inhabitants of Goguryeo, as well as Silla's resistance to Tang's remaining presence on the Korean Peninsula. Silla had to forcibly resist the imposition of Chinese rule over the entire peninsula, but their own strength did not extend beyond the Taedong River.

In 677, Tang crowned Bojang "King of Joseon" and put him in charge of the Liaodong commandery of the Protectorate General to Pacify the East. However, King Bojang continued to ferment rebellions against Tang in an attempt to revive Goguryeo, organizing Goguryeo refugees and allying with the Mohe tribes. He was eventually exiled to Szechuan in 681, and died the following year.

Revival movements

After the fall of Goguryeo in 668, many Goguryeo people rebelled against the Tang and Silla by starting Goguryeo revival movements. Among these were Geom Mojam, Dae Jung-sang, and several famous generals. The Tang Dynasty tried but failed to establish several commanderies to rule over the area.

The Protectorate General to Pacify the East was installed by the Tang government to rule and keep control over the former territories of the fallen Goguryeo. It was first put under the control of Tang General Xue Rengui, but was later replaced by King Bojang due the negative responses of the Goguryeo people. Bojang was sent into exile for assisting Goguryeo revival movements, but was succeeded by his descendants. Go Jang's descendants declared independence from the Tang during the time at which An Shi Rebellion and Yi Jeonggi's establishing of the Je state occurred. The Protectorate General to Pacify the East was renamed "Lesser Goguryeo" until its eventual absorption into Balhae under the reign of King Seon of Balhae.

Geom Mojam and Anseung rose briefly at Hanseong, but failed, when Anseung surrendered to Silla. Go Anseung ordered the assassination of Geom Mojam, and defected to Silla, where he was given a small amount of land to rule over. There, Anseung established the Kingdom of Bodeok. Bodeok was eventually demolished by King Sinmun, and Anseung was given the Silla Royal surname "Kim."

Dae Jung-sang and his son Dae Joyeong, both former Goguryeo generals, regained most of Goguryeo's northern land after its downfall in 668, established the kingdom Great Jin, which was renamed to Balhae after the death of Dae Jung-sang. To the south of Balhae, Silla controlled the Korean peninsula south of the Taedong River, and Manchuria(present-day northeastern China) was conquered by Balhae. Balhae considered itself the successor state to Goguryeo.

In the early 10th century, Gung-ye, a rebel general, established Taebong, later renamed to Hu-Goguryeo ("Later Goguryeo"), which briefly rose in rebellion against Silla. Taebong also considered itself to be a successor of Goguryeo, as did Goryeo, the state that replaced Silla to rule the unified Korean peninsula.


The military of Goguryeo has been known to be powerful, especially during the rule of King Gwanggaeto the Great. However, few records remain regarding the military of Goguryeo. A Tang treatise of 668 records a total of 675,000 displaced personnel and 176 military garrisons after the surrender of King Bojang.

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

Goguryeo had a significant amount of cavalry and mounted archers, and infantry were known to have horned helmets. They also had spikes attached to the bottom soles of their boots.

Military Equipment

The main projectile weapons used in Goguryeo was the bow. The bows were modified to be more composite and increase throwing ability on par with crossbows. To a lesser extent, stone-throwing machines and crossbows were also used. Polearms, used against the cavalry and in open order, were mostly spears. Two types of swords were used by Goguryeo warriors. The first was a shorter double-edged variant mostly used for throwing. The other was longer single-edged varint. The helmets were similar to helmets used by Central Asian peoples, decorated with wings, leathers and horsetails. The shield was the main protection, which covered most of the soldier's body. These calvalry were called "Gaemamusa" (개마무사, 鎧馬武士) and were similar to tanks in the age of the three kingdoms.


The most common form of the Goguryeo fortress was one made in the shape of the moon, located between a river and its tributary. Ditches and ground walls between the shores formed an extra defense line. The walls were made from huge stone blocks fixed with clay, and even Chinese artillery had difficulty to break through them. Walls were surrounded by a ditch to prevent an underground attack, and equipped with guard towers. All fortresses had sources of water and enough equipment for a protracted siege. If rivers and mountains were absent, extra defense lines were added.

For more information on fortification, see Cheolli Jangseong (천리장성).

Military Organization

Two hunts per year, led by the king himself, maneuvers exercises, hunt-maneuvers and parades were conducted to give the Goguryeo soldier a high level of individual training.

There were five armies in the capital, mostly cavalry that were personally led by the king, numbering approximately 12,500. Military units varied in number from 21,000 to 36,000 soldiers, were located in the provinces, and were led by the governors. Military colonies near the boundaries consisted mostly of soldiers and peasants. There were also private armies held by aristocrats. This system allowed Goguryeo to maintain and utilize an army of 50,000 without added expense, and 300,000 through large mobilization in special cases.

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. Other groups like the catapult units, wall-climbers, and storm units were part of the special units and were added to the common. The advantage of this functional division is highly specialized combat units, while the disadvantage is that it was impossible for one unit to make complex, tactical actions.

Military Strategy

The military formation had the general and his staff with guards in the middle of the army. The archers were defended by axemen. In front of the general were the main infantry forces, and on the flanks were rows of heavy cavalry ready to counterattack in case of a flank attack by the enemy. In the very front and rear was the light cavalry, used for intelligence, pursuit, and for weakening the enemy's strike. Around the main troops were small groups of heavy cavalrymen and infantry. Each unit was prepared to defend the other by providing mutual support.

Goguryeo implemented a strategy of active defense based on cities. Besides the walled cities and fortified camps, this "active defense" system used small units of light cavalry to continuously harass the enemy, de-blockade units and strong reserves, consisting of the best soldiers, to strike hard at the end.

Goguryeo also employed military intelligence and special tactics as an important part of the strategy. Goguryeo was good at disinformation, such as sending only stone spearheads as tribute to the Chinese court when they were in the Iron Age. Goguryeo had developed its system of espionage. One of the most famous spies, "Baekseok", mentioned in the "Samguk yusa", was able to infiltrate the Hwarangs of Silla.


The culture of Goguryeo was shaped by its climate, religion, and the tense society that people dealt with due to the numerous wars Goguryeo waged. Not much is known about Goguryeo culture, as many records have been lost.


The inhabitants of Goguryeo wore a predecessor of the modern hanbok, just as the other cultures of the three kingdoms. There are murals and artifacts that depict dancers wearing elaborate white dresses.

Festivals and pastimes

Common pastimes among Goguryeo people were drinking, singing, or dancing. Games such as wrestling attracted curious spectators.

Every October, the Dongmaeng Festival was held. The Dongmaeng Festival was practiced to worship the gods. The ceremonies were followed by huge celebratory feasts, games, and other activities. Often, the king performed rites to his ancestors.

Hunting was a male activity and also served as an appropriate means to train young men for the military. Hunting parties rode on horses and hunted deer and other game with bows-and-arrows. Archery contests also occurred. Horse riding was popular and Goguryeo developed strong military skills, as the cavalry was strong.


Goguryeo people worshipped ancestors and considered them to be supernatural. [ [http://www.mygoguryeo.net/history01.htm The Pride History of Korea] ] Jumong, the founder of Goguryeo, was worshipped and respected among the people. At the annual Dongmaeng Festival, a religious rite was performed for Jumong, ancestors, and gods.

Mythical beasts and animals were also considered to be sacred in Goguryeo. The phoenix and dragon were both worshipped upon, while the Samjogo or Karisae, the three-legged crow that represented the sun, was considered the most powerful of the three. Paintings of mythical beasts exist in Goguryeo king tombs today.

They also believed in the 'sashin', who were 4 mythical animals. Chung-lyong(blue dragon)guarded the east, baek-ho(white tiger)guarded the west, ju-jak(red pheonix(bird))guarded the south, and hyun-moo(black turtle(sometimes with snakes for a tail))guarded the north.

Buddhism was first introduced to Goguryeo in 372 [Harv|ScienceView|Unknown year.] 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. However, Buddhism was much more popular in Silla and Baekje, which Goguryeo passed Buddhism to. [Harv|ScienceView|Unknown year]

Cultural impact

Goguryeo art, preserved largely in tomb paintings, is noted for the vigour of its imagery. Finely detailed art can be seen in Goguryeo tombs and other murals. Many of the art pieces has an original style of painting.

Cultural legacies of Goguryeo may be found in modern Korean culture, for example, ondol, Goguryeo's floor heating system, and hanbokHarv|Brown|2006|p=18.


Remains of walled towns, fortresses, palaces, tombs, and artifacts have been found in North Korea and Manchuria, including ancient paintings in a Goguryeo tomb complex in Pyongyang. Some ruins are also still visible in present-day China, for example at Wǔ Nǚ Shān, suspected to be the site of Jolbon fortress, near Huanren in Liaoning province on the present border with North Korea. Ji'an is also home to a large collection of Goguryeo era tombs, including what Chinese scholars consider to be the tombs of kings Gwanggaeto and his son Jangsu, as well as perhaps the best-known Goguryeo artifact, the Gwanggaeto Stele, which is one of the primary sources for pre-fifth century Goguryeo history.

World Heritage Site

UNESCO added Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom in present-day China and Complex of Goguryeo Tombs in present-day North Korea and to the World Heritage Sites in 2004.


The modern English name "Korea" derives from the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), which itself took one of the various names which Goguryeo had used in diplomatic language with its neighbours. Goguryeo is also referred to as Goryeo after 520 AD in Chinese and Japanese historical and diplomatic sources.Fact|date=November 2007


The American linguist Christopher Beckwith has also noted similarities in certain vocabulary with Old Japanese Harv|Beckwith|August 2003. Some linguists propose the so-called "Buyeo languages" family that includes the languages of Buyeo, Goguryeo, Baekje, and Old Japanese. Chinese records suggest that the languages of Goguryeo, Buyeo, East Okjeo, and Gojoseon were similar, while Goguryeo language differed significantly from that of Malgal (Mohe)Fact|date=May 2007.

Along with many other kingdoms in east Asia, Goguryeo used Chinese characters and wrote in Classical Chinese. The Goguryeo language is unknown except for a small number of words, which mostly suggests that it was similar to the language of Silla and influenced by the Tungusic languages.Fact|date=June 2007 Supporters of the Altaic language family often classify the Goguryeo language as a member of that language family. Most Korean linguists believe that the Goguryeo language was closest to the Altaic languages out of the Three Kingdoms that followed Gojoseon.

Striking similarities between Baekje and Goguryeo can also be found, which is consistent with the legends that describe Baekje being founded by the sons of Goguryeo's founder. The Goguryeo names for government posts are mostly similar to those of Baekje and Silla. Fact|date=June 2007

Some words of Goguryeo origin can be found in the old Korean language (early 10th-late 14th centuries) but most were replaced by Silla-originated ones before long.

Modern politics

Goguryeo has been conventionally viewed as one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and is described as Korean by most non-Chinese sources. (Harvnb|Britannica|Unknown Year, Harvnb|Encarta|2007, Harvnb|CIA World Factbook|2007, and Harvnb|Columbia Encyclopedia|2005)

Chinese characterization of Goguryeo as a regional power of China in modern times has spawned heated disputes with both North Korea and South Korea, whose citizens view the ancient kingdom with pride. China claims Goguryeo to be a regional kingdom of China rather than a Korean kingdom.

China views Goguryeo as a part of the regional history of China rather than of being solely or uniquely Korean.Fact|date=June 2007 Chinese historian Sun Jinji in 1986 suggested that Goguryeo is separate from the history of the Three Kingdoms in the Korean Peninsula. He argued that “the people of Buyeo and Goguryeo had the same lineage as the Chinese in the Northeast region, while the Korean people were a part of the Silla lineage.”(Harvnb|Sun|1986, Harvnb|Yonson|2006) This view has since been supported by many other prominent Chinese historians.Fact|date=June 2007 However, Chinese scholars are not all of one voice on this issue. There are also many Chinese historians who acknowledge Goguryeo history as being shared by both Korea and China within “a framework of the dual elements of a single history” (一史两用论, "yishi liangyong lun").Harv|Sun|2004a. More recently, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) generated new controversy through its Northeast Project study of China's three Northeast provinces. The Chinese argument for Goguryeo’s historical heritage in the Northeast Project is based on two main points: the first is that the Goguryeo state grew out of the Han Chinese commandary of Xuantu; and also the Chinese consider Goguryeo and Balhae to be founded by the Mohe (Malgal) peoples, a purported ancestor of modern day Manchus, who ruled China's Qing Dynasty. (Harvnb|Sun|2004b, Harvnb|Yonson|2006) The conclusions of the CASS study have created tensions in China-South Korea relations.

A Korean state established in what is now China, Goguryeo's territories comprised of land in both Manchuria and the Korean peninsula. Goguryeo's second capital was located at Pyongyang, North Korea. Before the capital city was moved, Goguryeo territory comprised what is today North Korea and parts of Manchuria. Goguryeo is a country founded by Buyeo people, one of the major ancestors of Korean people. Both Goguryeo and Baekje are successor nations of Buyeo. After the fall of the Goguryeo kingdom, approximately 30,000 out of 700,000 Goguryeo households were assimilated to China. The Balhae received most of the Goguryeo population. Its founder was a Goguryeo noble. When the Khitans invaded Balhae, the majority of Goguryeo population fled back to Gorguyeo. In addition, the Goguryeo kingdom lasted about 700 years where it was Imperial China's tributary during some of its existence. Many Korean dynasties and kingdoms, like Sila, Gorguyeo etc., had tributary relationships with Chinese Dynasties during some time of their existence. Many of the customs (Ssireum, Taekwondo, ondol, dancing etc.) depicted in the murals are present in some form in Korean culture today. and the name "Korea" has its roots from the name "Goryeo", which in turn took its name from "Goguryeo". Goryeo is the more correct term for the Goguryeo dynasty as Goguryeo is mainly referred to Goryeo in most Chinese and Japanese historic texts after the reign of King Jangsu of Goguryeo. Goguryeo is also stated as Goryeo on the Gwanggaeto Stele The dynasty Goryeo was founded on the basis that it was the descendant dynasty of Goguryeo, therefore adopting the name of Goguryeo. The view that Goguryeo is Chinese contradicts with Chinese history records of the past Chinese dynasties and the world academia of history.

In his email to Korean studies mailing list, Mark Byington, when completing a postdoctoral program at the Korea Institute, an autonomous non-departmental entity [cite web
url = http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~korea/about.html
title = About the Korea Institute
publisher = Korea Institute
accessdate = 2007-05-28
] located at Harvard University, has suggested China's official position to be "flimsy", historically speaking, though notes it "accords with current practice in the PRC" in describing "a very vaguely defined greater Chinese nation of the remote past", and that their position is "one that must exist in order to fall into line with current Chinese views of the Chinese past" Harv|Byington|2004aDubious|Email message not ruled as reliable source in wikipedia|date=March 2008.

See also

* History of Korea
* Military history of Korea
* List of Korea-related topics
* Cheolli Jangseong




*citation|last=US Library of Congress|first=Unknown Author|year=-0000|title=South Korea:The Three Kingdom Periods|year=Unknown Year|url= http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+kr0014) |publisher=Unknown Publisher

*citation|last=Metropolitan Museum|first=Unknown Author|year=Unknown Year|title=Korea, 1-500AD|year=Unknown Year|url= http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/05/eak/ht05eak.htm Korea, 1-500 A.D) |publisher=Unknown Publisher

*citation|last=Yonson|first=Ahn|title= Korea China Textbook War. What's It All About?|year=2006|url= http://hnn.us/articles/21617.html|publisher=History News Network

*citation|last=Ramzy|first=Austin|year=Unknown Year|title=Rewriting History|url= http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,501040823-682338,00.html|publisher=Time Magazine

*citation|last=Klingner|first=Bruce|year=2004|title=China Shock for South Korea|url= http://www.atimes.com/atimes/korea/FI11Dg03.html|publisher=Asia Time

*citation|last=Shin|first=Hyoung-Sik|year=2003|title=History of Koguryo|url= http://dprk-cn.com/en/history/koguryo/|publisher=Ewha Womans University Press, South Korea

*citation|last=Lee|first=Wha|year=Unknown Year|title=Forgotten Glory of Koguryo|url= http://www.kimsoft.com/KOREA/kogu.htm|publisher=Kimsoft.com

*citation|last=Brown|first=John|title=China, Japan, Korea. Culture and Custom|year=2006|url=http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN1419648934&id=3r-3YH3t45cC&pg=RA1-PA81&lpg=RA1-PA81&ots=HkePGwTvGa&dq=goguryeo+hanbok&sig=ON0Cf8QIGlCaAdfa179I-WYK1j4#PPP1,M1|publisher=BookSurge Publishing|id=ISBN 1419648934

*citation|last=Beckwith| first = Christopher I. | title =Ancient Koguryo, Old Koguryo, and the Relationship of Japanese to Korean |year=August 2003| booktitle= 13th Japanese/Korean Linguistics Conference |location = Michigan State University |url =http://www.msu.edu/~jk13/Abs.Beckwith.pdf | format = PDF | accessdate = 2006-03-12 [Note: The work "Sasse, Werner. 1976. Das Glossar Kogury o˙-pang o˙n im Kyerim-yusa" cited in this article actually is "Werner Sasse, Das Glossar Koryo-pangon im Kyerim-yusa" :-)]
*citation|last=Britannica|first=Unknown Author|title=Koguryo|year=Unknown Year|url= http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article-9369333|publisher=Britannica Encyclopedia

*citation|last=Encarta|first=Unknown Author|title=Koguryo|year=2007|publisher=MSN|url = http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/refpages/search.aspx?q=koguryo | format = HTML | accessdate = 2007-03-12

*citation|last=Columbia Encyclopedia|first=Unknown Author|title=Korea|publisher=Bartleby.com |year=2005| url = http://www.bartleby.com/65/ko/Korea.html | accessdate = 2007-03-12

*citation|last=CIA World Factbook|title = Korea, South| publisher =CIA | year=2007| url = https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ks.html| accessdate = 2007-04-27

*citation|last=Sun|first=Jinji|title =Dongbei minzu yuanliu (The Ethnic Origin of the Northeast)| publisher =Heilongjiang Renmin Chubanshe| year=2004a

*citation|last=Sun|first=Jinji|title =Zhongguo Gaogoulishi yanjiu kaifang fanrong de liunian (Six Years of Opening and Prosperity of Koguryo History Research)| publisher =Heilongjiang Renmin Chubanshe| year=1986

*citation|last=Sun|first=Jinji|title =Renmin jiaoyu chubanshe lishixi (History Department of People’s Education Press), Zhongguo lishi (Chinese History) II| publisher =Heilongjiang Renmin Chubanshe| year=2004b

*citation|last=MyGoguryeo|first=Unknown|title =The Pride History of Korea| publisher =MyGoguryeo.net (WWW)| url=http://www.mygoguryeo.net/history01.htm|year=Unknown Year

*citation|last=Byington|first=Mark|title =Koguryo Part of China?| publisher =Koreanstudies mailing list (WWW)| url=http://koreaweb.ws/pipermail/koreanstudies_koreaweb.ws/2004-January/004054.html|year=2004a

*citation|last=Byington|first=Mark|title =The War of Words Between South Korea and China Over An Ancient Kingdom: Why Both Sides Are Misguided|publisher =History News Network (WWW)| url=http://koreaweb.ws/pipermail/koreanstudies_koreaweb.ws/2004-January/004054.html|year=2004b

*citation|last=ScienceView|first=Unknown Author|title =Cultural Development of the Three Kingdoms |publisher =ScienceView (WWW)| url=http://scienceview.berkeley.edu/VI/handbooks_history.html|year=Unknown Year

* Rhee, Song nai (1992) Secondary State Formation: The Case of Koguryo State. In "Pacific Northeast Asia in Prehistory: Hunter-fisher-gatherers, Farmers, and Sociopolitical Elites", edited by C. Melvin Aikens and Song Nai Rhee, pp. 191–196. WSU Press, Pullman ISBN 0-87422-092-0.

*Asmolov, V. Konstantin. (1992). The System of Military Activity of Koguryo, "Korea Journal", v. 32.2, 103–116, 1992.

External links

* [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9045880/Koguryo Encyclopaedia Britannica]
* [http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/refpages/search.aspx?q=koguryo Encarta]
* [http://www.bartleby.com/65/ko/Korea.html Columbia Encyclopedia]
* [http://www.koguryo.org/ Information about the ancient kingdom]
* [http://www.mygoguryeo.com Goguryeo of Korea]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Goguryeo — Error: no se encontró ningún enlace válido al final de la línea 5 Hangul: 고구려 Hanja: 高句麗 Romanización revisada: Goguryeo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Goguryeo — Chinesische Bezeichnung Traditionell: 高句麗 Vereinfacht: 高句丽 Pinyin: Gāogōulí Wade Giles: Kao kou li Koreanische Bezeichnung koreanisches Alphabet: 고구려 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Goguryeo art — is the art of Goguryeo, an ancient kingdom (37 BC ndash; 668) which occupied large areas of present day China and Korea. Its distinct style is marked by flowing lines and vivid colors. The prime examples of this style are tomb murals excavated in …   Wikipedia

  • Goguryeo controversies — The Goguryeo controversies refers to the disputes between China and Korea on the history of Goguryeo, an ancient kingdom located mostly in the present day Northeast China and North Korea. In 2004 this dispute threatened to lead to diplomatic… …   Wikipedia

  • Goguryeo–Sui Wars — Infobox Military Conflict conflict= Goguryeo Sui Wars partof=the Goguryeo China wars caption= date= 598 – 614 place= Manchuria, Northern Korean Peninsula, Yellow Sea casus= territory= result= Goguryeo victory. combatant1=Goguryeo combatant2=Sui… …   Wikipedia

  • Goguryeo-Dynastie — Koreanische Schreibweise Hangeul: 고구려 Hanja: 高句麗 Revidiert: Goguryeo McCune R.: Koguryŏ Goguryeo(고구려,高句麗 37 v. 668 n.) war eines der Drei Reiche von Korea, das vermutlich vom 1. Jahrhundert v. Chr. bis 668 n. Chr. ex …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Goguryeo–Tang Wars — The Goguryeo Tang Wars occurred in the 7th century between Korean Goguryeo and an allied Chinese Tang Dynasty and Silla. Exhausted from numerous attacks by China, Goguryeo finally succumbed to a two front attack by Tang and Silla. Silla… …   Wikipedia

  • Goguryeo revival movements — The Goguryeo revival movements were started in 668, upon the fall of Pyeongyang Fortress to the Silla Tang alliance. After 668, several different revival movements were initiated throughout the former territories of Goguryeo and some even in Tang …   Wikipedia

  • Goguryeo language — The Goguryeo language was spoken in the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo (37 BC – AD 668), one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. The language is also known as Koguryo, Koguryoic, and Koguryoan. It is unknown except for a small number of words, which… …   Wikipedia

  • Goguryeo–Yamato War — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Goguryeo Yamato War partof= caption=Gwanggaeto Stele date = 391 404 place=Korean Peninsula casus= hegemony of the Korean peninsula territory= result= Goguryeo victory combatant1=Goguryeo Silla combatant2=Yamato… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”