Yuri of Goguryeo

King Yuri (38 BCE – 18 CE, r. 19 BCE – 18 CE)[1] was the second ruler of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was the eldest son of the kingdom's founder Chumo the Holy. As with many other early Korean rulers, the events of his life are known largely from the Samguk Sagi.

Yuri of Goguryeo
Hangul
Hanja
Revised RomanizationYuri-wang or Yurimyeong-wang
McCune–ReischauerYuri-wang or Yurimyŏng-wang
Birth name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised RomanizationHae Yuri or Yuryu or Nuri
McCune–ReischauerHae Yuri or Yuryu or Nuri

ReignEdit

Yuri is described as a powerful and militarily successful king. He conquered a Xianbei tribe in 9 BCE with the help of Bu Bun-no.[2] In 3 BCE, Yuri moved the capital from Jolbon to Gungnae. The Han dynasty was overthrown by Wang Mang, who established the Xin dynasty. In 12 CE Wang Mang sent a messenger to Goguryeo to ask for troops to assist in the conquest of the Xiongnu. Yuri rejected the request and instead attacked Xin.[3]

He had six sons and among them were Haemyeong and Muhyul. Haemyeong was proclaimed the crown prince of Goguryeo after the death of Dojeol, who was King Yuri's eldest son. But Yuri found Haemyeong to be too reckless and disobedient. Yuri replaced him with the younger son Muhyul in 14 CE. , Muhyul was Yuri's son with the daughter of Songyang. Muhyul ruled later as King Daemusin of Goguryeo.

A poem Yuri was said to have written for his favoured concubine Chihui has survived. It is titled the Hwangjoga (Hanja: 黃鳥歌 "Song of the Yellow Bird").

SuccessionEdit

King Yuri died in 18 CE, after ruling for 37 years. He was succeeded by his youngest remaining son, Muhyul, who became King Daemusin.

FamilyEdit

  • Father: King Dongmyeong (동명성왕, 東明聖王)
    • Grandmother: Lady Ha Yuhwa (하유화, 河柳花)
  • Mother: Lady Ye (예씨 부인, 禮氏 夫人)
  • Consorts and their respective issue(s):
  1. Queen, of the Song clan (왕후 송씨, 王后 松氏); daughter of Song Yang, Marquis Damul (송양 다물후, 松讓 多勿侯).
    1. Prince Dojeol (도절, 都切; d. 1 AD)
    2. Prince Haemyeong (해명, 解明; 12 BC – 9 AD)
    3. Prince Muhyul (무휼, 無恤; 4–44 AD)
    4. Prince Yeojin (여진, 如津; d. 18 AD)[4]
    5. Prince Saekju (색주, 色朱; d. 48 AD)
    6. Prince Jaesa (재사, 再思)
    7. Prince Yeoyul (여율, 如栗)[5]
  2. Lady Hwahui (화희, 禾姬)
  3. Lady Chihui (치희, 雉姬)

Theories regarding King YuriEdit

Usurpation theoryEdit

In recent studies, some historians have made a series of observations regarding Goguryeo's establishment that led them to think of Yuri may not have been the son of Go Jumong, but a usurper.

The observations that led to this conclusion were Jumong's early death, the difference in surnames, Yuri's harsh behavior toward some of Jumong's most prized subjects, and the differences in the styles of rule. Jumong died at the age of 40, which is quite early compared to that of some of his successors and predecessors. Very few of the rulers of that time period died before the age of 40. The difference in surnames may signify dynastic change from the Go family to the Hae family.

Another startling point to consider is the fact that most of Jumong's most trusted subjects were exiled or resigned. An example is Hyeob-bo, who was among Jumong's first three followers. According to the first Goguryeo volume of the Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms (Samguk Sagi), Hyeob-bu disagreed with the way King Yuri continually left the palace to go on hunting trips and strongly urged the King to be more attentive to matters of the kingdom.

However, Yuri grew annoyed and forced Hyub-bo(陜父) to resign from his office. However, this claim may be proven counteracted with the fact that not all of Jumong's subjects were removed. General Bu Bun-no(扶芬奴) and Oi served Goguryeo through most of King Yuri's reign and played active roles in the kingdom. Goguryeo under Yuri did not display the strict expansionist policy that existed under Jumong. A final observation is the mentioning of a broken sword in the legend.

Some historians have inferred that Yuri finding a piece of Jumong's broken sword and using it as a claim signifies the collapse of Jumong's regime, and Yuri's rise to the throne. Overall, the fact that Jumong died five months after the arrival of Yuri caused the suspicion of these select historians. However, this is merely a theory and no assumptions can be made.

A theory regarding Go and Hae surnamesEdit

A theory and reason for the changes of surnames in the royal family is that, since king Yuri of Goguryeo as young man grew up without his father and outside of the Go royal family, possibly had another surname than the Go surname. When Yuri as an adult returned to the royal Go -household (with the surname Hae) and became a king, he did not change his surname, for there was no urgent need for that. His surname Hae is believed to have originated from Hae Mosu, who was possibly the father of King Dongmyeongseong. For that reason the surname of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th monarchs of Goguryeo remained Hae. Those monarchs were either the sons of Yuri or had a father who was a predecessor king. So therefore the surname Hae remained as the royal surname of Goguryeo monarchy for a period of time.

But when the 6th monarch of Goguryeo, Taejodae of Goguryeo, ascended the throne after a power struggle for the throne, (between him and the descendants of the above mentioned Hea monarchs), he changed the royal Surname back to Go. The reason for that was possibly his lack of a father who was predecessor king, and his need to strengthen his claim to the throne. Whiteout the surname Go, Taejodae's claim to the throne would have been very weak compared to the living royal sons of the Hae monarchs.

Popular cultureEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Korean dynasties". www.sizes.com. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  2. ^ Samguk sagi,Book 13, "十一年,夏四月,王謂群臣曰:「鮮卑恃險,不我和親,利則出抄,不利則入守,為國之患。若有人能折此者,我將重賞之。」扶芬奴進曰:「鮮卑險固之國,人勇而愚,難以力鬪,易以謀屈。」王曰:「然則為之奈何?」答曰:「宜使人反間入彼,僞說:『我國小而兵弱,怯而難動。』則鮮卑必易我,不為之備。臣俟其隙,率精兵從間路,依山林以望其城。王使以羸兵出其城南,彼必空城而遠追之。臣以精兵走入其城,王親率勇騎挾擊之,則可克矣。」王從之。鮮卑果開門出兵追之。扶芬奴將兵走入其城,鮮卑望之,大驚還奔。扶芬奴當關拒戰,斬殺甚多。王擧旗鳴鼓而前,鮮卑首尾受敵,計窮力屈,降為屬國。王念扶芬奴功,賞以食邑,辭曰:「此王之德也。臣何功焉。」遂不受,王乃賜黃金三十斤、良馬一十匹。"
  3. ^ 《三国史记》:“三十三年 春正月 立王子无恤为太子 委以军国之事 秋八月 王命乌伊・摩离 领兵二万 西伐梁貊 灭其国 进兵袭取汉高句丽县”
  4. ^ He drowned in the summer of 18 AD and upon hearing this, his father was said to be very sad and will reward the man who found his body with 10 pieces of gold and 10 gyeong [99,170m²] of land.
  5. ^ In the Books of the Three Kingdoms of China, Yeoyul was recorded as King Taejo's father, but based on Samguk Sagi or Samguk Yusa, King Taejo's father was Jaesa, Yeoyul's 6th older brother and Yeoyul was Taejo's youngest uncle.
Yuri of Goguryeo
Born: 38 BC Died: 18
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Goguryeo
19 BC – 18
Succeeded by