Sosurim of Goguryeo

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Sosurim of Goguryeo
Hangul 소수림왕,소해주류왕 해미류왕
Hanja 小獸林王, 小解朱留王, 解味留王
Revised Romanization Sosurim-wang, Sohaejuryu-wang, Haemiryu-wang
McCune–Reischauer Sosurim-wang, Sohaejuryu-wang, Haemiryu-wang
Birth name
Hangul 고구부
Hanja 高丘夫
Revised Romanization Go Gubu
McCune–Reischauer Ko Kubu
Monarchs of Korea
  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

King Sosurim of Goguryeo (died 384) (r. 371–384)[1] was the 17th ruler of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was the son of King Gogugwon.[2]

Background and Rise to the throne[edit]

Born as Go Gu-Bu, King Sosurim was the first son and successor of King Gogugwon. He assisted his father in leading the country and strengthening royal authority, which had been severely weakened due to humiliation brought upon by the Later Yan, who dug up the grave of King Micheon.[2] Prince Gu-Bu was made crown prince in 355.


He became king in 371 when his father King Gogugwon was killed by the Baekje King Geunchogo's assault on Pyongyang Castle.[3]

Sosurim is considered to have strengthened the centralization of authority in Goguryeo, by establishing state religious institutions to transcend tribal factionalism. The development of centralized government system was largely attributed to reconciliation policy of Sosurim with its southern opponent, Baekje.[4] In 372, he received Buddhism through travelling monks of Former Qin and built temples to house them.[5] It is said the king of Former Qin during Sixteen Kingdoms period sent Monk Sundo with images and scriptures of Buddha[6] and; Monk Ado, native Goguryeo returned two years later. Under full-pledged support of royal family, it is said the first temple, Heungguk monastery of Korean kingdoms was supposedly constructed around the capital.[7] Though there are several evidences that Buddhism was established before the year of 372 such as mid-4th century marsoleum styles under the Buddhist influence,[7] it is well accepted that Sosurim consolidated Buddhist footprints not only on Korean people’s spiritual world but also in terms of bureaucracy systems and ideology.[8]

The year 372 held its critical importance in Korean history not only for Buddhism but also for Confucianism[6] and Daoism. Sosurim also established the Confucian institutions of Taehak (태학, 太學) to educate the children of the nobility.[6] In 373, he promulgated a code of laws called (율령, 律令) which stimulated the institutionalized law systems[1] including penal codes and codified regional customs.[8]

In 374, 375, and 376, he attacked the Korean kingdom of Baekje to the south, and in 378 was attacked by the Khitan from the north.[9] He died in 384 and was buried in Sosurim, which was probably a forest around its second capital, Gungnae.[10]


Most of King Sosurim's reign and life was spent trying to keep Goguryeo under control and also strengthening royal authority.[6] Although he was not able to avenge the death of his father and previous Goguryeo ruler, King Gogugwon, he did play a major role in setting up the foundations that made the great conquests of his nephew and later ruler of Goguryeo, King Gwanggaeto the Great achieve reckless subjugations.[1][4]

Depiction in arts and media[edit]

His name is featured in The Legend, episode 2, as the brother of the woman who is in labour, Lord Yon Ga Ryuh's wife.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Hall, John Whitney (1993). The Cambridge history of Japan (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge u.a.: Cambridge Univ. Press. p. 361. ISBN 9780521223522. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "King Gogukwon". KBS Radio. KBS. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  3. ^ Yoon, Nae-hyun; Lee, Hyun-hee; Park, Sung-soo (2005). New history of Korea. Paju: Jimoondang. p. 150. ISBN 9788988095850. 
  4. ^ a b Middleton, John (2015). World Monarchies and Dynasties. Routledge. p. 505. ISBN 9781317451587. 
  5. ^ Grayson, James H. (2013). Korea - A Religious History. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. p. 25. ISBN 9781136869259. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d Kang, Jae-eun (2006). The land of scholars : two thousand years of Korean Confucianism (1st American ed.). Paramus (N.J.): Homa & Sekey books. pp. 37–38. ISBN 9781931907309. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Reat, Noble Ross (1994). Buddhism : a history. Fremont, Calif.: Jain Pub. pp. 167–169. ISBN 9780875730028. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Britannica Editors. "Koguryeo". Britannica Online. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  9. ^ Palais, James B.; Ebrey, Patricia Buckley; Walthall, Anne (2006). Pre-modern East Asia: to 1800 : a cultural, social, and political history. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 123. ISBN 9780618133864. 
  10. ^ Kim, Hoon (2015-07-09). "Of tombs and posthumous names". Korea Joongang Daily. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
Sosurim of Goguryeo
Died: 384
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Goguryeo
Succeeded by