Go of Balhae

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Go of Balhae
Hangul 고왕
Hanja 高王
Revised Romanization Go wang
McCune–Reischauer Ko wang
Birth name
Hangul 대조영
Hanja 大祚榮
Revised Romanization Dae Jo-yeong
McCune–Reischauer Tae Choyŏng
Monarchs of Korea
  1. Go 698-719
  2. Mu 719–737
  3. Mun 737–793
  4. Dae Won-ui 793
  5. Seong 793-794
  6. Gang 794–809
  7. Jeong 809-812
  8. Hui 812–817
  9. Gan 817–818
  10. Seon 818–830
  11. Dae Ijin 830–857
  12. Dae Geonhwang 857–871
  13. Dae Hyeonseok 871–894
  14. Dae Wihae 894–906
  15. Dae Inseon 906–926

Dae Jo-yeong (died 719), also known in Korea as King Go (Hangul: 고왕, Hanja: 高王), established the state of Balhae, reigning from 699 to 719.[1]

Background and Early life[edit]

Dae Jo-yeong was the first son of general Dae Jung-sang (Hangul: 대중상, Hanja: 大仲象) or Qiqi Zhongxiang (Chinese: 乞乞仲象 pinyin: Qǐqǐ Zhòngxiàng) of Goguryeo, and was born in Goguryeo.

After the fall of Goguryeo to the Silla-Tang armies, Dae Jung-sang remained in a part of Goguryeo which had not been attacked during the 3rd Goguryeo-Tang war. Afterward, Dae Jung-sang was opposed to the Tang. In the confusion of the Khitan uprising led by Li Jinzhong against the Tang (Zhou) in May 696, Dae Jung-sang led at least 8,000 Goguryeo remnant peoples, the Sumo Mohe people,[2] to Dongmo mountain, and the Baishan Mohe leader Geolsa Biu (Hangul: 걸사비우, Hanja: 乞四比羽 pinyin: Qǐsì bǐyǔ), made an alliance and sought independence.

Establishing Balhae[edit]

The Tang killed Geolsa Biu, and Dae Jung-sang also died. Dae Jo-yeong integrated the armies of Goguryeo people and some Malgal tribes[3] and resisted Tang's attack. His overwhelming victory over the Tang at the Battle of Cheonmun-ryeong (Hangul: 천문령, Hanja: 天門嶺) enabled him to expand his father's empire. He claimed himself the King of Jin in 698, and established "Jin state" (Hangul: 진국, Hanja: 辰國), which means the "East".[4] He established his capital at Dongmo Mountain in the south of today's Jilin province, and built Dongmo mountain fortress, which was to become Jin's capital.[5]

He attempted to expand his influence in international politics involving the Tang, the Göktürks, the Khitan, Silla[6] and some independent Mohe tribes. At first he dispatched an envoy to the Göktürks, allying against Tang. Then he reconciled himself with the Tang when Emperor Zhongzong was restored to the throne.[6]

In 712, he renamed his empire Balhae. In 713 he was given the titular title of "Prefecture King of Balhae" by Emperor Xuanzong.[4] After a period of rest within the empire, King Go made it clear that Silla was not to be dealt with peacefully because they had allied with Tang to destroy Goguryeo, the predecessor of Balhae. This aggressive stance towards Silla was continued on by his son and successor King Mu of Balhae.

Death and Succession[edit]

Dae Jo-yeong died in 719,[7] and his son Dae Muye assumed the throne.[8] Dae Jo-yeong was given the posthumous name "King Go."


Dae Jo-yeong had at least two wives. His only known sons through his first wife were Dae Muye, and Dae Munye. The sons through his other wife or wives were Dae Chwi-jin, Dae Ho-bang, and Dae Nang-a. The only concrete fact regarding Dae Jo-yeong's sons was that Dae Muye was the firstborn and oldest among them. He had younger brother, Dae Ya-Bal.


After the fall of Balhae, the last prince led all of the Balhae aristocracy into the fellow successor state of Goguryeo, Goryeo. Dae Jo-yeong's descendants include modern-day Koreans who bear the surname "Tae" (태).

In South Korea, a television drama on KBS1 was launched since September 2006 in his honor. Roughly 30% (based on 2007 survey) of the Korean viewers enjoyed this programme.

Republic of Korea Navy[edit]

ROK navy warship, Dae Jo Yeong in San Diego, USA.

Dae Jo-yeong built a vast army and a powerful navy just as the Taewangs of Goguryeo had done.

The third Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin class destroyer commissioned by the Republic of Korea Navy is named Dae Jo-yeong.[9] KDX-II class destroyers are named after significant figures in Korean history such as admiral Yi Sun-sin.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Korean culture and Information Service, "Things Newcomers Need to Know to Live in Korea", 2012. p.16
  2. ^ UNESCO Korean Committee, "Korean History:Discovery of its Characteristics and Developments", VOl.5, Hollym, 2004. ISBN 1565911776 p.134
  3. ^ Lee Injae, Owen Miller, Park Jinhoon, Yi Hyun-hae, 《Korean History in Maps》, Cambridge University Press, 2014. ISBN 1107098467 p.54
  4. ^ a b Kichan Bae, "Korea at the crossroads:the history and future of East Asia", Happyreading, 2007. ISBN 8989571464 p.83
  5. ^ South Korean Culture&Education Ministry, "나의 조국:재외국민용", 1981. p.102
  6. ^ a b Patricia Ebrey, Anne Walthall, "Pre-Modern East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History", Vol.I:to 1800, Cengage Learning, 2013. ISBN 1133606512 p.111
  7. ^ Hahoe Hongbowon, "Korea Policy Review", Korean Overseas Information Service, 2006.
  8. ^ UNESCO Korean Committee, "Korean History:Discovery of its Characteristics and Developments", VOl.5, Hollym, 2004. ISBN 1565911776 p.158
  9. ^ "Korea celebrates ties with Oman" Times of Oman, 2014-10-29

External links[edit]

Go of Balhae
Died: 719
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Dae Jung-sang
as Duke of Jin
King of Jin
Succeeded by
as King of Balhae
Preceded by
as King of Jin
King of Balhae
Succeeded by
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Dae Jung-sang
King of Korea
Goguryeo claimant
Reason for succession failure:
North–South States Period
Succeeded by