Jangsu of Goguryeo

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King Jangsu
King of Goguryeo
Reign 413-491 (78 years)
Predecessor Gwanggaeto the Great
Successor Munjamyeong of Goguryeo
Born 394
Died 491 (aged 96–97)
Issue Crown Prince Juda
Father Gwanggaeto the Great
Jangsu of Goguryeo
Hangul 장수태왕
Hanja 長壽太王
Revised Romanization Jangsu-taewang
McCune–Reischauer Changsu-taewang
Birth name
Hangul 거련 or
Hanja 巨連 or
Revised Romanization Georyeon or Yeon
McCune–Reischauer Kǒryǒn or Yǒn

Jangsu of Goguryeo (394–491, r. 413–491)[1] was the 20th monarch of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was born in 394 as the eldest son of Gwanggaeto the Great. He became the crown prince in 408, and upon his father's death in 413, became the ruler at the age of 19.[2]

Jangsu reigned during the golden age of Goguryeo,[3][4] when it was a powerful empire and one of the great powers in East Asia.[5][6][7][8] He continued to build upon his father's territorial expansion through conquest,[9] but was also known for his diplomatic abilities.[10][11][12] Like his father, Gwanggaeto the Great, Jangsu also achieved a loose unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.[13] In addition, Jangsu's long reign saw the perfecting of Goguryeo's political, economic and other institutional arrangements.[14] He is also noted for building the Gwanggaeto Stele, dedicated to his father. Jangsu's posthumous name means "Long Life", based on his longstanding reign of 79 years until the age of 98,[14] the longest reign in East Asian history.[15]

During his reign, Jangsu changed the official name of Goguryeo (Koguryŏ) to the shortened Goryeo (Koryŏ), from which the name Korea comes from.

The "Tomb of the General" in Ji'an, China, former capital of Goguryeo. Chinese scholars posit this to be the tomb of King Jangsu and his consort, though many Korean scholars argue Jangsu's tomb is in Pyongyang, where Jangsu had moved the capital in 427 (July 2010).
Monarchs of Korea
Goguryeo
  1. King Chumo 37-19 BCE
  2. King Yuri 19 BCE-18 CE
  3. King Daemusin 18-44
  4. King Minjung 44-48
  5. King Mobon 48-53
  6. King Taejodae 53-146
  7. King Chadae 146-165
  8. King Sindae 165-179
  9. King Gogukcheon 179-197
  10. King Sansang 197-227
  11. King Dongcheon 227-248
  12. King Jungcheon 248-270
  13. King Seocheon 270-292
  14. King Bongsang 292-300
  15. King Micheon 300-331
  16. King Gogug-won 331-371
  17. King Sosurim 371-384
  18. King Gogug-yang 384-391
  19. King Gwanggaeto 391-413
  20. King Jangsu 413-490
  21. King Munja 491-519
  22. King Anjang 519-531
  23. King An-won 531-545
  24. King Yang-won 545-559
  25. King Pyeong-won 559-590
  26. King Yeong-yang 590-618
  27. King Yeong-nyu 618-642
  28. King Bojang 642-668

Early reign[edit]

During his early reign, Jangsu dedicated much of his efforts toward stabilizing an empire that had experienced great and sudden growth as a direct result of his father's conquests. Jangsu built a magnificent tomb for his father, Gwanggaeto the Great, and along with it an imposing 6 meter tall tombstone engraved with his father's accomplishments (now known as the Gwanggaeto Stele).[16]

In 427, he transferred the Goguryeo capital from Gungnae Fortress (present-day Ji'an on the China-North Korea border) to Pyongyang,[17][18] a more suitable region to grow into a burgeoning metropolitan capital,[19] which led Goguryeo to achieve a high level of cultural and economic prosperity.[20]

Relations with Chinese dynasties and nomadic states[edit]

When Gwanggaeto the Great ruled Goguryeo, the Chinese mainland was dominated by five non-Han Chinese peoples and divided into multiple states. During Gwanggaeto's time, Goguryeo invaded Later Yan and conquered Liaoning,[21] but when Jangsu came to the throne, the chaos in northern China was coming to an end.[18] The unification of northern China by Northern Wei became a crucial point for both Goguryeo and the southern dynasties of China.[22] However, Jangsu was able to use the political situation in China by manipulating the northern and southern Chinese states to his advantage.[10][12]

After the fall of Later Yan, Han Chinese drove the Xianbei Murong clan northward and established Northern Yan in its place.[23][22] However, Northern Yan's existence was threatened by the powerful Xianbei Tuoba clan of Northern Wei to the west, compelling Northern Yan to make an alliance with Goguryeo, its neighbor to the east. Hence, Jangsu turned his military ambitions southward toward the Korean peninsula.[23]

The southern Chinese dynasty of Liu Song, which was feuding with Northern Wei,[2] encouraged both Northern Yan and Goguryeo to oppose Northern Wei. However, Liu Song's plan did not work out, as Goguryeo imprisoned the emperor of Northern Yan in 438. The Liu Song court was outraged and warned Jangsu that the death of the Northern Yan ruler would lead to war. However, Jangsu ignored the threat and executed him, bringing the short-lived Northern Yan dynasty to an end. Liu Song troops then attacked Goguryeo but were easily defeated. Peace resumed in the following year when Jangsu sent 800 horses as a gift to the Liu Song emperor, to aid him in his ongoing war against Northern Wei, allowing Goguryeo to concentrate its forces against Baekje and Silla to the south while Liu Song and Northern Wei were occupied against each other to the west.[24] Jangsu again encouraged Liu Song to invade Northern Wei in 459 when he sent loads of crossbows and provided gold and silver. The Northern Wei government was upset by Jangsu's actions but had to keep peace with Goguryeo to continue its war against Liu Song and the Rouran Khaganate.

Jangsu also maintained contact with Northern Wei, and the two empires established a formal relationship in 435. This relationship proved to be useful when Goguryeo waged war against Baekje, which had secretly sought a military alliance with Northern Wei against Goguryeo,[14] because Northern Wei did not interfere in the matters of the Korean countries.

In 479, Jangsu established friendly relations with the Rouran Khaganate with a view to keeping Northern Wei under control.[25] After securing peace with the Rourans, Jangsu invaded the Khitans, a branch of the Xianbei confederacy at the time,[26][27] and then attacked the Didouyu with his Rouran allies.[28]

After the Khitans surrendered to Goguryeo, Jangsu sent gifts to both Northern Wei and Southern Qi, which took over the southern half of China after overthrowing Liu Song in 479.[25] Both Qi and Wei tried to tighten Goguryeo's relationship with them. Wei emperors treated Goguryeo delegates as equal to Chinese delegates. Under the reign of Emperor Xiaowen alone, 41 emissaries were sent,[29] but the frequency started to drop since Jangsu continued to keep hospitality with Qi. This decrease in exchanged delegates outraged Emperor Xiaowen, and at last he gave an order to capture Goguryeo delegates before they could reach the Qi capital. However, Jangsu paid no mind, and continued to send delegates to Qi. Northern Wei could not block Goguryeo, which indicated the success of Jangsu's diplomatic strategy: maximizing the situation and manipulating the power struggles between rival Chinese states to Goguryeo's advantage.[10][11]

Goguryeo and the northern states maintained peace and did not have further conflicts until the Goguryeo–Sui War in 598.[24]

Relations with Korean kingdoms[edit]

Goguryeo at its zenith c. 476.

Confronted with harsh attacks from Goguryeo into the southern region of the Korean peninsula, Baekje and Silla found their survival through marriage alliances, beginning in 433. The alliance between Baekje and Silla lasted more than a century and was the primary reason why Goguryeo was unable to conquer the entire peninsula.[30]

Gaya found itself in a precarious situation due to its geographical disadvantage of being sandwiched by Baekje and Silla, and ultimately could not develop into an advanced nation.[31]

In 472, Gaero, the ruler of Baekje, sent a letter to the emperor of Northern Wei, stating that he was having trouble interacting with him due to frequent Goguryeo intervention, thus calling for military action against Goguryeo. However, Baekje failed to get its emissary back and was unable to receive the military support of Northern Wei.[32][33] In response, Jangsu secretly planned to attack Baekje, which despite its losses against Gwanggaeto the Great, still held a significant power base in the Korean peninsula. In order to disarm Baekje, he sent a Buddhist monk named Dorim,[2] who went to Gaero's court with the secret objective of corrupting the country. Gaero began to favor Dorim, playing baduk with him every day, and Dorim was able to talk Gaero into spending large sums of money on construction projects, weakening the national treasury.[34]

In 475, Jangsu launched a full-scale invasion from both land and sea against the now politically unstable kingdom of Baekje. Dorim was successful in gaining information about Baekje,[34] and consequently Gaero was not at all prepared for the assault formulated by Jangsu. With momentum now in his favor, Jangsu then proceeded toward the capital and easily captured the city of Wiryeseong and slew Gaero.[35][36] Soon after, Jangsu burned the capital to the ground, along with several other cities that he conquered from Baekje. Henceforth, Baekje had no choice but to move its capital to mountainous Ungjin (present-day Gongju), 80 miles to the south, which provided a natural protection for the devastated kingdom.[2][33] The war gave Goguryeo more or less total control of the Han River valley, the region essential to commercial and military power in the Korean peninsula.[16] Baekje had been a dominant power on the peninsula for hundreds of years thanks to its control of the region, but after losing the region to Goguryeo, Baekje also lost control of the peninsula.

After successfully concluding his campaign in Baekje, Jangsu then turned his attention toward the second peninsular kingdom of Silla.[2] Silla had been a vassal state of Goguryeo since Gwanggaeto defeated the Baekje and Wa troops invading Silla in 400.[37] To secure the allegiance of his de facto protectorate, Jangsu demanded the younger brother of King Nulji of Silla to become a political hostage.[38] King Nulji broke off relations with Goguryeo in 454. Jangsu invaded Silla in 468, expanding his domain into parts of Gangwon Province, and again in 489, capturing 7 walled cities and expanding his domain into parts of North Gyeongsang Province.[39] With his victory over Silla, Jangsu erected a stone monument in present-day Chungju, praising the accomplishments of his father and himself.[40] This monument remains at the same site, holding historical importance as the only surviving Goguryeo stele in the Korean peninsula.[41]

Death and legacy[edit]

King Jangsu died in 491, at the age of 97. His temple name means "Long Life" in hanja. During his reign, Goguryeo was at its golden age,[3][4] stretching from Inner Mongolia to the current North Chungcheong Province of South Korea, south of the Han River basin.

Modern Depictions[edit]

Age of Empires: World Domination, a mobile game produced in collaboration with series owner Microsoft,[42] includes Jangsu as a selectable hero of the Korean civilization.[43]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Corfield, Justin (2014). Historical Dictionary of Pyongyang. Anthem Press. p. XV. ISBN 9781783083411. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "King Jangsu". KBS Radio. KBS. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Cohen, Warren I. East Asia at the Center: Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the World. Columbia University Press. p. 50. ISBN 9780231502511. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
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  5. ^ Roberts, John Morris; Westad, Odd Arne. The History of the World. Oxford University Press. p. 443. ISBN 9780199936762. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  6. ^ Gardner, Hall. Averting Global War: Regional Challenges, Overextension, and Options for American Strategy. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 158–159. ISBN 9780230608733. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  7. ^ Laet, Sigfried J. de. History of Humanity: From the seventh to the sixteenth century. UNESCO. p. 1133. ISBN 9789231028137. Retrieved 10 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Walker, Hugh Dyson. East Asia: A New History. AuthorHouse. pp. 6–7. ISBN 9781477265178. Retrieved 19 November 2016. 
  9. ^ Bae, Kichan (2007). Korea at the crossroads : the history and future of East Asia (1st ed.). Seoul: Happyreading. p. 87. ISBN 9788989571469. 
  10. ^ a b c Lee, Ki-Baik (1984). A New History of Korea. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 38. ISBN 067461576X.  "He held China in check by employing a diplomatic strategy of maintaining ties with both the Northern and Southern Dynasties, thus enabling him to manipulate these two contending forces to Koguryŏ's advantage."
  11. ^ a b Kim, Jinwung. A History of Korea: From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict. Indiana University Press. p. 36. ISBN 0253000785. Retrieved 15 July 2016.  "China's split into the Northern and Southern dynasties afforded him an opportunity to diplomatically maneuver these two bitterly contending forces to Koguryŏ's advantage."
  12. ^ a b Cohen, Warren I. East Asia at the Center: Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the World. Columbia University Press. p. 50. ISBN 9780231502511. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  13. ^ Kim, Jinwung (2012). A History of Korea: From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. pp. 35–36. ISBN 0253000785. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c Lee, Ki-Baik (1984). A New History of Korea. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 38–40. ISBN 067461576X. 
  15. ^ Walker, Hugh Dyson. East Asia: A New History. AuthorHouse. p. 137. ISBN 9781477265161. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  16. ^ a b Lee, Injae; Miller, Owen; Park, Jinhoon; Yi, Hyun-hae (2014). Korean History in Maps. Cambridge University Press. pp. 30, 49. ISBN 9781107098466. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  17. ^ ICOMOS; Kim, Lena (2010). Koguryo Tomb Murals: World Cultural Heritage. Giljabi Media. p. 99. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  18. ^ a b Jeon, Hotae (2007). Koguryŏ = Koguryo, the origin of Korean power & pride. Seoul: Northeast Asia History Foundation. pp. 25–27. ISBN 9788991448834. 
  19. ^ Lee, Ki-Baik (1984). A New History of Korea. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 38–40. ISBN 067461576X.  "This move from a region of narrow mountain valleys to a broad riverine plain indicates that the capital could no longer remain primarily a military encampment but had to be developed into a metropolitan center for the nation's political, economic, and social life."
  20. ^ Kim, Jinwung. A History of Korea: From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict. Indiana University Press. p. 36. ISBN 0253000785. Retrieved 15 July 2016.  "Because Pyongyang was located in the vast, fertile Taedong River basin and had been the center of advanced culture of Old Chosŏn and Nangnang, this move led Koguryŏ to attain a high level of economic and cultural prosperity."
  21. ^ Walthall, Anne; Ebrey, Patricia Buckley (2014). East Asia : a cultural, social, and political history. (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth. p. 103. ISBN 9781133606475. 
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  26. ^ Kim, Hyun Jin (2013). The Huns, Rome and the birth of Europe (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 61. ISBN 9781107009066. Retrieved 2 February 2016.  The Khitans, although descended from the Xianbei and presumably inheriting their martial and political traditions, were for a long time a weak people who were subjected successively to the Rouran, Koguryo, Sui-Tang China and then most importantly the Gokturk.
  27. ^ Jeon, Ho-Tae (2007). The Dreams of the living and hopes of the dead : Goguryeo tomb murals. Seoul, Korea: Seoul National University Press. p. 9. ISBN 9788952107299. 
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  32. ^ Kim, Bushik (1145). Samguk Sagi. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
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  36. ^ Korean Historical Research Association. (2005). A history of Korea. London: Saffron Books. p. 43. ISBN 9781872843872. 
  37. ^ Walthall, Anne; Ebrey, Patricia (2013). Pre-modern East Asia : a cultural, social, and political history. (3rd ed.). Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth. p. 103. ISBN 9781133606512. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  38. ^ Il-yeon (1281). Samguk Yusa (三國遺事 卷第). Retrieved 2 February 2016.  至訥祗王即位三年己未, 句麗長壽王遣使來朝云, “寡君聞大王之弟寳海秀智才藝, 願與相親特遣小臣懇請.” 王門之幸甚因此和通命, 其弟寳海道於句麗, 以内臣金武校勘 271謁為輔而送之. 長壽王又留而不送.
  39. ^ "장수왕". 민족문화대백과사전. Academy of Korean Studies. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  40. ^ "Chungju Goguryeobi Monument (중원/충주 고구려비)". Visit Korea. Korea Tourism Organization. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  41. ^ "Goguryeo stele found in northern China". Korea Herald. Yonhop. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  42. ^ "Age of Empires: World Domination Launched for Android and iOS". NDTV Gadgets360.com. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  43. ^ "Age of Empires: World Domination". KLabGames. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
Jangsu of Goguryeo
Born: 394 Died: 491
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Gwanggaeto the Great
King of Goguryeo
413–491
Succeeded by
Munjamyeong