Mishil

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Lady Mishil of Silla (미실, 美室; c. 546/548 - c. 612) is an historical figure in the Korean dynasty of Silla.

According to the Hwarang Segi, an ancient historical record of the Hwarang (or flower boys) of the Silla kingdom in ancient Korea, Mishil was the daughter of Lord Mijinbu and Lady Myodo, sister of Queen Mother Sado (consort of King Jinheung). Her paternal grandmother was Princess Samyeop, daughter of King Beopheung. Due to her lineage, Mishil gained the qualification of being a jingol (眞骨 진골, a noble within the bone rank system). She is a disputed figure among historians, as she is not mentioned in two surviving ancient histories: the Samguk Sagi, the oldest extant chronicle of ancient Korean history, and the Samguk Yusa, a collection of legends, folktales, and historical accounts relating to the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

She rose to power as a result of her relationships with a number of prominent rulers, kings of Silla, and various Pungwoljus (senior Hwarangs). She was the wife of Lord Sejong (the 6th Pungwolju), the lover of General Seolwon (the 7th Pungwolju), and the older sister of Lord Misaeng (the 10th Pungwolju). In addition, she was concubine to three successive kings of Silla: King Jinheung, King Jinji, and King Jinpyeong. Legend states that she was also in love with Crown Prince Dongryeon. Her sons became the 11th and 16th Pungwoljus, Bojong (through Seolwon) and Hajong (through Sejong) respectively.

Lady Mishil demonstrated her tremendous power and influence when she persuaded several noblemen to remove King Jinji. Her claim was that King Jinji had stolen the throne from King Jinheung's true chosen successor, Prince Baek-Jeong (later King Jinpyeong), the son of Jinheung's eldest son, Dongryeon. Jinji's removal resulted in the installation of her nephew, Jinpyeong of Silla, to the throne. Ironically, Jinji's own grandson, Kim Chunchu, would later succeed to the throne as King Muyeol.

In popular culture[edit]

In the 2009 hit drama series Queen Seondeok, Go Hyun-jung portrayed Lady Mishil as a ruthless, yet charismatic political mastermind. She was depicted as one of the most influential people in the Kingdom of Silla, functioning as Keeper of the Royal Seal (璽主 새주, Seju), Beholder and Controller of The Military, and a "Wonhwa" (Female Leader/Patroness of the Hwarang Corps).

Genealogy[edit]

Ancestors[edit]

Family[edit]

  • For the lineage from Mishil's parents upwards, refer to the ancestry chart above
  • Younger Brother: Misaeng Rang (美生郞 미생랑), 10th Pungwolju
  • Husbands and Lovers, and their Respective Issue:
  1. Lord Sejong[1] (世宗公 세종공, ?-588),[2][3] 6th Pungwolju (561-568, 572)
    1. Lord Hajong (夏宗公 하종공, 564-?), 1st son, 11th Pungwolju (588-591)
    2. Lord Okjong (玉宗公 옥종공), 2nd son by Lord Sejong
  2. Lord Sadaham (斯多含公 사다함공, 546-561), 5th Pungwolju (562-564) - No issue.
  3. Seolwon Rang (薛原郞 설원랑, 549-606), 7th Pungwolju (572-579)
    1. Lord Bojong (寶宗公 보종공, 580-621), Only son, 16th Pungwolju (616-621)
  4. King Jinheung (眞興王 진흥왕), 24th King of Silla
    1. Prince Sujong (壽宗殿君 수종전군), Only son
    2. Princess Banya (般若公主 반야공주), 1st daughter
    3. Princess Nanya (蘭若公主 난야공주), 2nd daughter
  5. Crown Prince Dongryun (銅輪太子 동륜태자, ?-572), son of King Jinheung
    1. Princess Aesong (艾松公主 애송공주), Only daughter
  6. King Jinji (眞智王 진지왕), 25th King of Silla - No issue.
  7. King Jinpyeong (眞平王 진평왕), 26th King of Silla
    1. Princess Bohwa (寶華公主 보화공주), Only daughter

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ His other name is Noribu (弩里夫 노리부); variations including Nojong (奴宗 노종), Nobu (奴夫 노부), Naebu (內夫 내부), and Naeryebu (內禮夫 내례부)
  2. ^ The official husband of Mishil.
  3. ^ One of the sons of Empress Dowager Jiso (지소태후).