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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
Hangul
눌지마립간
Hanja
訥祇麻立干
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 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. (Hangul: 나제동맹; Hanja: 羅濟同盟)

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.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • 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.
Nulji of Silla
 Died: 458
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Silseong
Ruler of Silla
417–458
Succeeded by
Jabi