Micheon of Goguryeo

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Micheon of Goguryeo
Hangul 미천왕 or 호양왕
Hanja 美川王, 好壤王
Revised Romanization Micheon-wang or Hoyang-wang
McCune–Reischauer Mich'ŏn-wang
Birth name
Hangul 고을불 or 을불리 or 우불
Hanja 高乙弗 or 乙弗利 or 憂弗
Revised Romanization Go Eul-bul or Eulbulli or U-bul
McCune–Reischauer Ko Ŭlbul or Ŭlbulli or Ubul
Monarchs of Korea
  1. Chumo 37–19 BCE
  2. Yuri 19 BCE–18 CE
  3. Daemusin 18–44
  4. Minjung 44–48
  5. Mobon 48–53
  6. Taejodae 53–146
  7. Chadae 146–165
  8. Sindae 165–179
  9. Gogukcheon 179–197
  10. Sansang 197–227
  11. Dongcheon 227–248
  12. Jungcheon 248–270
  13. Seocheon 270–292
  14. Bongsang 292–300
  15. Micheon 300–331
  16. Gogukwon 331–371
  17. Sosurim 371–384
  18. Gogukyang 384–391
  19. Gwanggaeto the Great 391–413
  20. Jangsu 413–490
  21. Munja 491–519
  22. Anjang 519–531
  23. Anwon 531–545
  24. Yangwon 545–559
  25. Pyeongwon 559–590
  26. Yeongyang 590–618
  27. Yeongnyu 618–642
  28. Bojang 642–668

King Micheon of Goguryeo (died 331, r. 300–331)[1] was the 15th ruler of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

Background and Rise to the throne[edit]

He was the grandson of the 13th king Seocheon, and the son of the gochuga Go Dol-go, who was killed by his brother, the 14th king Bongsang.[2]

Korean historical records say that Micheon fled and hid as a servant in a miserable life such as throwing stones into a pond throughout the night to keep his master from being awakened. It is said a year later he left that house to become salt peddler but failed to gain huge asset.[3][4] Meanwhile, King Bongsang became increasingly unpopular, and court officials, led by Prime Minister Chang Jo-Ri, carried out a coup that overthrew King Bongsang, and placed King Micheon on the throne.[2]


Micheon continuously developed the Goguryeo army into a very powerful force. During the disintegration of China's Jin Dynasty,[5] he expanded Goguryeo's borders into the Liaodong Peninsula and the other Chinese commanderies.[6] Since the commanderies were nuisances to be eliminated for Goguryeo’s stability, the first military campaign in 302 headed against the Xuantu Commandery,[7] with conquering Daedong River basins of current Pyeongyang.[8] Consolidating cut-off between commanderies and Chinese mainland, Goguryeo also annexed the Lelang commandery in 313[1] and Daifang commandery in 314 after attacked Seoanpyeong (西安平; near modern Dandong) in Liaodong.[9] The series of subjugation around northern Korean peninsular and Manchuria held its significance given that 400-year presence of Chinese forces was completely cleared out of Korean peninsular.[6][10]

In his reign, Goguryeo was faced with growing Xianbei influence in the west, particularly Murong Bu (慕容部) incursions into Liaodong. Micheon allied with other Xianbei tribes against the Murong Bu, but their attack was unsuccessful. In 319, the Goguryeo general Yeo Noja (여노자, 如奴子) was taken captive by the Murong Bu. Throughout this period, Goguryeo and the Murongbu attacked each other's positions in Liaodong, but neither failed to secure regional hegemony.[5] [6] Since both sides were at stake, Micheon sent its ambassador to Zhou posterior in 330 with a view to making a diversion against Murong Bu from east side.[11]

Death and aftermath[edit]

Micheon died and was buried in 331 at Micheon-won, literally the "garden with beautiful stream".[6] Twelve years later, in the reign of King Gogugwon, his remains were dug up by the Former Yan invaders, and held for ransom.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shin, Hyungshik (2006). A brief history of Korea (2 ed.). Seoul: Ewha Womans University Press. p. 25. ISBN 9788973006199. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "King Bongsang". KBS Radio. KBS. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "King Micheon (1)". KBS Radio. KBS. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Jin, Gwan (2008). 고구려 시대 의 불교 수용사 연구 (in Korean). Seoul: Kyŏngsŏwŏn. p. 164. ISBN 9788992062787. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Northeast History Foundation (2007). "Journal of Northeast Asian History". Journal of Northeast Asian History. 4 (1-2): 95–96. 
  6. ^ a b c d "King Micheon(2)". KBS Radio. KBS. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  7. ^ 고구려의 정치와 사회. Seoul: Northeast Asia History Foundation. 2007. p. 11. ISBN 9788961870153. 
  8. ^ Yu, Chai-Shin (2012). The new history of Korean civilization. Bloomington, In: IUniverse. p. 26. ISBN 9781462055593. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  9. ^ Kim, Bushik. Samguk Sagi(三國史記 卷第十七 髙句麗本紀 第五). Retrieved 1 February 2016.  十二年, 秋八月, 遣将襲取遼東西安平.
  10. ^ "Three Kingdoms and other States". Korea.net. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  11. ^ Kim, Bushik (1145). Samguk Sagi (三國史記 卷第十七 髙句麗本紀 第五). Retrieved 1 February 2016. 三十一年, 遣使後趙石勒, 致其楛矢.
Micheon of Goguryeo
Died: 331
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Goguryeo
Succeeded by