Korea’s Ancient Koguryŏ Kingdom

A Socio-Political History

Originating from a series of papers written by Prof. Noh Tae-don over two decades of research, Korea’s Ancient Koguryŏ Kingdom: A Socio-Political History concentrates on the political and social aspects of what was the largest of the Proto-Korean nation-states (37 BCE to 668 CE) that finally succumbed to subversion and invasion thirteen centuries ago. Its legendary origins are dealt with from the standpoint of their long-term political implications, as are its social institutions such as levirate marriage.

Explored in detail are the convoluted diplomatic, military, and commercial relations with various Chinese dynasties as well as Japan, and the shifting powers in Manchuria, Mongolia, and Central Asia. In addition, perhaps for the first time anywhere, the Koguryŏ national and provincial administrative structures are described as they evolved over the seven centuries of the nation’s existence. Exhaustive documentation is provided throughout.

As a landmark study of the Koguryŏ kingdom, this work will be of considerable value to students of Northeast Asian history in general and of Korean history in particular.

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Noh Taedon, Ph.D. (1999), Seoul National University, is from Ch’angnyŏng in the South Korean province of Kyŏngnam. A professor in the Department of Korean History at Seoul National University, he has also been a graduate fellow at the Harvard-Yenching Institute and presiding officer of the Society for Korean Ancient History, of which he currently is a member of the Board of Advisors. Among his published works are Theories and Issues in Ancient Korean History (2009), History of the Samguk Unification Wars (2008), and Tan’gun and the History of Kojosŏn (2000), as well as numerous articles in scholastic journals over the past thirty years.

John Huston is originally from Indiana in the United States but now lives in Australia. He first arrived in Korea in 1970, and his interest in that country’s history dates from that time. In 1973 he graduated from Seoul National University’s Department of Chinese Language & Literature. He has taught Chinese and Korean translation at RMIT University in Melbourne. In recent years he has translated a number of other important historical works under the auspices of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea. Among them are The Royal Palaces of Korea—Six Centuries of Dynastic Grandeur, Koguryŏ—The Dawning of a Kingdom and The Life of Joseon Kings.
Scholars and students of ancient East Asian history in general and of ancient Korean history in particular; university libraries, specialized institutes, post-graduate students and researchers.
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