Sansang of Goguryeo

King Sansang of Goguryeo (died 227, r. 196–227[1] ) was the 10th ruler of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was the third son of the eighth king Sindae and the younger brother of the ninth king Gogukcheon, who died without an heir.[2]

Sansang of Goguryeo
Revised RomanizationSansang-wang
Birth name
Revised RomanizationGo Yeon-u or I-imo
McCune–ReischauerKo Yŏnu or Iimo


  • Father: King Sindae (신대왕, 新大王)
  • Consort and their respective issue(s):
  1. Queen, of the U clan (왕후 우씨, 王后 于氏); daughter of U So (우소, 于素) – No issue.
  2. Unnamed woman from Jutong village (주통촌)[3]
    1. Prince Uwigeo (우위거, 憂位居)

Background and rise to the throneEdit

Upon Gogukcheon's death, his queen Lady U supported Sansang's claim and had him placed on the throne. She then became Sansang's queen.[4] This indicates that the custom of Levirate marriage was still practiced in Goguryeo,[5] but also demonstrated Lady U's power in court.[6]

Balgi, older brother to Sansang, led a rebel force attacking the capital, gaining military support of Chinese faction.[2] Sansang had his younger brother Gyesu repel the attack, and Balgi committed suicide.[7]

Sansang Goguryeo was later attacked by Han Dynasty China and forced to submit to the Han Dynasty. In 209, the capital was moved to Jian by warlord Gongsun Kang of the Han Dynasty. In 217, he granted refuge to a thousand families from the Liaodong region.[2][5][8]


In the eleventh lunar month of 208, the king chased a sacrificial boar to the village of Jutongchon, where he met a young woman and spent the day with her. The queen heard of this and sent royal forces, failing to kill her owing to her assertion that she conceived.[7] The woman gave birth to a son and became a royal concubine.[9] The son was made crown prince in 213 and later became King Dongcheon.[10]

Sansang died during 227, the 31st year of his reign, and was buried in Sansang-neung.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Yi, Ki-baek (1984). A new history of Korea. Harvard University Press. p. 13. ISBN 067461576X. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  2. ^ a b c "Kings and Queens of Korea". KBS Radio. KBS. 2015-03-09.
  3. ^ Called as Little Queen (소후, 小后) or Queen Lady (후녀, 后女) and described to had a beautiful face in Samguk Sagi. In 208, the king secretly went to her house at night, consented not to throw it away if she became pregnant and then committed adultery with her. However, Queen Wu who heard this became jealous and secretly sent soldiers to kill this pregnant lady. Sansang then went to her house and confirmed that she was pregnant his child, even gave her a great gift.
  4. ^ Pae-yong Yi, 《Women in Korean History 한국 역사 속의 여성들》, Ewha Womans University Press, 2008. ISBN 8973007726, pp.122-123
  5. ^ a b Lee, Peter H; Ch'oe, Yongho; Kang, Hugh G.H. (2013). Introduction to Asian civilizations: Sources of Korean Tradition: Volume One: From Early Times Through the Sixteenth Century. Columbia University Press. pp. 30–32. ISBN 9780231515313. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  6. ^ Snodgrass, Mary Ellen (2015). World Clothing and Fashion: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Social Influence. Routledge. ISBN 978-1317451662. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  7. ^ a b Encyclopedia of Korean Folk Literature: Encyclopedia of Korean Folklore and Traditional Culture Vol.3. Seoul: Encyclopedia of Korean Folk Literature: Encyclopedia of Korean Folklore and Traditional Culture. 2014. pp. 150–151. ISBN 9788928900848. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  8. ^ Horesh, Niv; Kavalski, Emillian; Kim, Hyunjin (2014). Asian Thought on China's Changing International Relations. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 175. ISBN 9781137299338. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  9. ^ "산상왕" (in Korean). Doopedia. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  10. ^ Cho, Hyunseol. "King Sansang(山上王)". Encyclopedia of Korean Folk Culture. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
Sansang of Goguryeo
 Died: 227
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Goguryeo
Succeeded by