Nulji of Silla

Nulji (reigned 417–458) was the nineteenth ruler (maripgan) of Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was the son of King Naemul and Lady Boban, who was the daughter of King Michu.

Nulji of Silla
눌지 마립간
Revised RomanizationNulji Maripgan
McCune–ReischauerNulchi Maripkan

Nulji married the daughter of King Silseong of Silla, who nonetheless exiled Nulji's younger brothers as hostages to Goguryeo of northern Korea and as diplomats and influencial architects to Wa of Japan. Silseong also plotted to have Nulji killed, but with Goguryeo aid, Nulji was able to kill Silseong in 417, after which he ascended to the throne.

According to one story, in 418 Nulji sent a loyal retainer named Bak Je-Sang to rescue his brothers from Goguryeo and Wa. He was successful in retrieving the brother who was held in Goguryeo, but he was captured while trying to rescue the one held by Wa. Refusing to serve the Wa king, he died under torture. The story of Bak's loyalty has endured as a popular Korean morality tale.

After these difficult events, Nulji worked to free Silla from Goguryeo domination. He set up diplomatic relations with Goguryeo on an equal footing in 424, and established a military alliance with Baekje in 433 to help counter the Goguryeo threat. called Beakje-Silla alliance(Hangul: 나제동맹; Hanja: 羅濟同盟)[1]

Nulji's reign saw the continuation of a long process of centralization in Silla, marked his father's change of his title to "maripgan" (마립간, 麻立干), which is believed to represent a higher level of authority than the previous title "isageum" (이사금, 尼師今). Under Nulji's rule, patrilineal succession was officially established (Yang, 1999, p. 16). After his death in 458, he was succeeded by his son Jabi, rather than by his brother.


  • Grandfather: Kim Mal-gu (김말구), half–brother of King Michu.
  • Grandmother: Queen Hyulye ( 휴례부인 김씨), of the Kim clan
  • Father: King Naemul
  • Mother: Lady Boban, the daughter of King Michu
  • Wife:
    • Queen Aro, of the Kim clan (아로부인 김씨), daughter of King Silseong
    • Princess Chisul, of the Kim clan (후궁 : 치술공주 김씨), daughter of King Silseong of Silla
      • Daughter: Princess Hwang (황아공주)

See alsoEdit


  • Sung Chul Yang; Sŏng-chʻŏl Yang (1999). The North and South Korean political systems: a comparative analysis. Weatherhill, Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-56591-105-5.
  1. ^ 三國史記(Samguk sagi) 百濟本紀 毗有王 > 秋七月, 遣使入新羅, 請和 : An alliance is formed at the suggestion of Biyu of Baekje.
Nulji of Silla
 Died: 458
Regnal titles
Preceded by Ruler of Silla
Succeeded by