Shinshi (Hangeul: 신시, Hanja: 神市) or Baedal (Hangul: 배달국, Hanja: 倍達國) is a legendary ancient Korean nation that preceded Gojoseon in Hwandangogi. Shinshi literally means "City of God(s)/Spirit(s)" (i.e. a place where people live together in a protected area) or "Market/Fair of God(s)/Spirit(s)" (i.e. a place where people come together and exchange their goods).
Hwanung, with a group of 3,000 followers came down to a sacred tree on Baekdu Mountain, and Hwanung ruled the people of Earth in 360 different matters. He named the place Shinshi, meaning the City of Spirits.
the Gyuwon Sahwa says that Shinshi (Hangul: 신시씨, Hanja: 神市氏) was a person. Shinshi was the ruler of a state preceding Gojoseon. He taught the manners, culture and civilisation. In addition, he ordered the people to engage in farming and exchange their necessities. It is said he was preceded by Chiwoo and Goshi in turn, for a period of about 11,000 years, before Dangun Wanggeom founded Gojoseon.
After Dangun established Gojoseon, the 6 tribes opened the Shinshi, a kind of feast during which they saluted the sky and sang together in the forest every 10 years. They also opened Joshi (朝市), the morning market and Haeshi(海市), the market facing the sea.
The founding of Shinshi State is described in somewhat different ways according to the records.(see #Description of Shinshi in Historical Records). Hwandan Gogi says that Shinshi state had been founded at the area of Baekdu Mountain and Amur River for giving a maximum service of benefit to the people. The capital city was called Shinshi. The legend says that Hwanin (환인,桓因) gave three presents of Cheonbuin to Hwanung (환웅,桓雄), and three thousand people had descended from heaven with Hwanwoong to the area of birch trees. Shinshi state was also known as Guri, and its borders were said to have reached the Shandong Peninsula in modern-day China. The greatest and most renowned of the Shishi state's Emperors was Jaoji Hwanung of Baedal, known better as Emperor Chiu, who was described as a brilliant military leader and strategist. It was during the time of Emperor Chiu that the empire reached its greatest extent. The Shinshi state most likely disintegrated due to internal struggles, and probably fell to neighboring nations.
There were three imperial families in the Shinshi state: Sinsi, Gosi and Chiwoo. These three families alternately provided the emperor for the Shinshi state. The descendants of these three families were thereafter divided into nine tribes, the so-called Kuhwan (Ku means "nine" in Sino-Korean). Kuhwan refers to the nine tribes from Hwanguk, a legendary nation of Korea. The term Kuhwan is cognate with other names such as Kuryeo (구려,九黎), Kuyi (구이,九夷) and Koryeo (고려,高黎 or 高麗). Eventually, the words Kuryeo and Koryeo became the origin of the name "Korea". There were three representatives of Shinshi state, named Poongbaek, Woosa and Woonsa. The Shinshi state assigned Five Ministers: Wooga managed agriculture, Maga managed the life of people, Guga managed penalties, Jeoga managed disease, Yangga managed good and evil. These names of the Five Ministers denote animal names, and were used as designations for Ministers in both Gojoseon and Buyeo.
Shinshi state was succeeded by Gojoseon. Someone assumes that another major legacy of the Shinshi state is the Goguryo. As mentioned earlier, Shinshi was also called Guri, and the word "Goguryeo" can be broken down into Go-Guri, meaning Go(high), Guri. Thus, Goguryoe means "the Higher Guri nation." In addition, Goguryeo is also interpreted as the nation of Guri or Guryeo governed by the family of "Go" because "Go" is the family name of Goguryeo. Indeed, It is written in Samguk Sagi that Goguryeo recovered most of the lost territories previously lost.
As Chiwoo became emperor, the nation of Shennong was ruled by Yoomang (楡罔), who was a descendant of Shennong. At that time, the nation of Shennong had started gaining in power due to demographic expansion, which lead Chiwoo to declare war upon the Shennong in order to limit their influence. The emperor Chiwoo built up an army lead by nine generals and 81 adjunt generals in Tangnok(涿鹿), and defeated the troops of Yoomang at Kuhon(九渾).
Chiwoo started ruling the land of Shennong, but soon had to repel several attacks by emperor Xuanyuan[why?]. It is said that Chiwoo and Huangdi engaged in more than 70 wars across ten years, without Chiwoo ever yielding to the enemy.
Like any other empire in history, the Shinshi state fell as well. The steady decay of the archaic empire began after its golden age under its 14th ruler, Jaoji Hwanung of Baedal. Not much is known about how the empire fell or what the cause was, but Korean historians have inferred that corruption and border conflicts with neighboring barbaric tribes caused the fall. Emperor Geobuldan, the 18th and final ruler of the Shinshi state, ruled for a mere 48 years while a majority of his predecessors were recorded to have ruled for at least over fifty years at the least. Historians have also inferred that the last emperor of Shinshi state was a weak puppet monarch, much like other final rulers of a dynasty. Shinshi state is thought to have followed the same cycle of rise, height and fall. The last emperor to rule over Shinshi state in its time of imperial glory was Emperor Chukdali of Baedalguk, the 16th ruler of Shinshi state.