Gongmin of Goryeo

Last updated
King Gongmin of Goryeo
高麗恭愍王
고려 공민왕
hwajangsa bongan gongminwang eojin yurigeonpan cwalyeong.jpg
King of Goryeo
Reign1351–1374
Predecessor King Chungjeong of Goryeo
Successor King U of Goryeo
Born23 May 1330
Died27 October 1374 (1374-10-28) (aged 44)
Burial
Consort Queen Indeok
Queen Sunjeong
Issue King U of Goryeo
Posthumous name
인문의무용지명열경효대왕
仁文義武勇智明烈敬孝大王
House House of Wang
Father King Chungsuk of Goryeo
Mother Queen Gongwon
Religion Buddhism
Gongmin of Goryeo
King Kongmin of Koryo.jpg
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised Romanization Gongmin wang
McCune–Reischauer Kongmin wang
Pen name
Hangul
or
Hanja
or
Revised Romanization Ijae or Ikdang
McCune–Reischauer Ijae or Iktang
Birth name
Hangul
, earlier
Hanja
, earlier
Revised Romanization Wang Jeon, earlier Wang Gi
McCune–Reischauer Wang Chŏn, earlier Wang Ki
Sino-Korean Mongolian name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised Romanization Baegancheopmoga
McCune–Reischauer Paegan Ch'ŏpmoga

King Gongmin of Goryeo (23 May 1330 – 27 October 1374) ruled Goryeo Korea from 1351 to 1374. He was the second son of King Chungsuk. In addition to his various Korean names, he bore the Mongolian name Bayan Temür (伯顔帖木兒).

Contents

Biography

Early life

Goryeo had been a semi-autonomous vassal state under the overlordship of the Mongol Yuan dynasty since the Mongol invasions of Korea in the 13th century. Starting with King Chungnyeol, prospective rulers of Korea married Mongolian princesses and were customarily sent to the Yuan Court, in effect, as hostages. As per this custom, King Gongmin spent many years in the Yuan court, being sent there in 1341, before ascending the Korean throne. He married a Mongolian princess who became Queen Noguk. The Yuan dynasty began to crumble during the mid-14th century, and was eventually conquered and replaced by the Ming dynasty in 1368.

Reign

With the disintegration of Yuan, which had influenced the Korean peninsula since the Mongol invasion of Korea of 1238, King Gongmin began efforts to reform Goryeo government. His first act was to remove all pro-Mongol aristocrats and military officers from their positions. These deposed people formed a dissident faction which plotted an unsuccessful coup against the king. High official Jo Il-shin even tried to take over the government, but this rebellion was put down by general Choi Young.

During the Mongol invasions of Korea, between the 1250s and the 1270s, the Mongols had annexed the northern provinces of Korea and incorporated them into their empire as Ssangseong (쌍성총관부, 雙城總管府) and Dongnyeong Prefectures (동녕부, 東寧府). In 1356, the Goryeo army retook these provinces partly thanks to the defection of Yi Ja-chun, a minor Korean official in the service of the Mongols in Ssangseong, and his son, Yi Seong-gye. In addition, Generals Yi Seong-gye and Ji Yongsu led a campaign into Liaoyang.

Another issue was the question of land holdings. The land-grant system had broken down, and Mongol-favoured officials, along with a handful of landed gentry, owned the vast majority of agricultural land, which was worked by tenant farmers and bondsmen. However, King Gongmin's attempt at land reform was met with opposition and subterfuge from those officials who were supposed to implement his reforms, as they were landowners themselves.

The Wokou were also a problem encountered during King Gongmin's reign. The Wokou had been troubling the peninsula for some time and had become well-organized military marauders raiding deep into the country, rather than the "hit-and-run" bandits they started as. Generals Choi Young and Yi Seong-gye were called upon by King Gongmin to combat them.

Additionally, King Gongmin grappled with the Red Turban troops, who invaded Goryeo twice during his reign (first in 1359 and again in 1361). In 1361, the Red Turban troops occupied Kaesong for a short period of time. After Kaesong was recaptured by Generals Choe Yeong, Yi Seong-gye, Jeong Seun, and Yi Bang-sil, few Red Turban troops managed to escape with their lives.

During the reign of King Gongmin, a Goryeo diplomat, Mun Ik-jeom, stationed in China managed to smuggle cotton seeds into Goryeo, introducing them to the Korean peninsula for the first time.

Although the relationship between Queen Noguk and the king was very close, they failed to conceive an heir for many years. Despite suggestions of taking a second wife, King Gongmin ignored these requests. The king was also known to have entered into pederastic relationships with several court catamites, or chajewi, and the names of five of these are recorded as: Hong Yun, Han An, Kwon Chin, Hong Kwan, and No Son. [1] Queen Noguk became pregnant but died from complications with childbirth in 1365. [2] Her death led to King Gongmin's depression and mental instability. King Gongmin became indifferent to politics and entrusted the great tasks of state to Pyeonjo, a Buddhist monk who was born as the son of a princess and a slave. Judging him as clever, King Gongmin renamed Pyeonjo as Shin Don. Having the full confidence of King Gongmin, Shin Don tried to reform the society of Goryeo. In 1365, King Gongmin gave Pyeonjo the nickname "Cheonghan Geosa" and the noble title of Jinpyeonghu (Chinpyŏng Marquess). After six years, Shin Don lost his position, and King Gongmin had him executed in 1371. During his visits, the king had grown close to one of Shin Don's servants, Banya, whom he had a son named Monino with in 1365. After Shin Don's death, the boy was proclaimed heir apparent and it was claimed that his mother was a deceased palace maid. [3]

Goryeo's entrenched bureaucracy never forgave King Gongmin for his reform efforts. They interpreted his policy of cutting all ties with the Yuan and establishing relations with Ming China as a direct threat to their status and feared that further attempts at reform might yet be made. Kaesong's deposed pro-Mongol faction battled to protect its position and hoped to renew ties with the Mongols who had helped them gain and hold their wealth in the first place.

Death

Some time before his death, King Gongmin found out that one of his concubines had an affair with a young man named Hong Ryun (홍륜), which led to King Gongmin's anger. Before King Gongmin could kill him, Hong Ryun and Choe Man-saeng (최만생) killed the King in his sleep in 1374.

After his death, a high official Yi In-im assumed the helm of the government and enthroned eleven-year-old, King U.

As an artist

King Gongmin was well known for his artistic skills, and he is referred to as one of the best artists of the Goryeo period. He was also well known for his calligraphy works.

Example of his works are:

Family

  1. Queen Indeok of the Borjigin clan (? – 8 March 1365) (인덕왕후) [5] [6] [7]
  2. Queen Sunjeong of the Goksan Han clan (? – 1376) (순정왕후 한씨)
  3. Royal Consort Hye-Bi of the Gyeongju Lee clan (? – 3 February 1408) (혜비 이씨) [8] [9] [10] [11]
  4. Royal Consort Ik-Bi of the Kaesong Wang clan (익비 왕씨) [12] [13]
  5. Royal Consort Shin-Bi of the Paju Yeom clan (신비 염씨) [10] [14] [15]
  6. Royal Consort Jeong-Bi of the Jukju Ahn clan (? – 1428) (정비 안씨) [16] [10] [17] [18] [19]
  7. Ban-Ya (시비 반야)
    1. King U of Goryeo (25 July 1365 – 31 December 1389) (고려 우왕)

See also

Related Research Articles

Goryeo Korean dynasty

Goryeo was a Korean kingdom founded in 918, during a time of national division called the Later Three Kingdoms period, that unified and ruled the Korean Peninsula until 1392. Goryeo achieved what has been called a "true national unification" by Korean historians as it not only unified the Later Three Kingdoms but also incorporated much of the ruling class of the northern kingdom of Balhae, who had origins in Goguryeo of the earlier Three Kingdoms of Korea. The name "Korea" is derived from the name of Goryeo, also spelled Koryŏ, which was first used in the early 5th century by Goguryeo.

Yi Ja-chun or Lee Jachun was a minor military officer of the Yuan Dynasty and the father of Yi Seong-gye, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty. He was given the temple name Hwanjo by Taejong.

Taejo of Joseon The first king of Joseon Dynasty in Korean history

Taejo of Joseon, born Yi Seong-gye was the founder and the first king of the Joseon dynasty of Korea. After ascension to the throne, he changed his name to Yi Dan. He reigned from 1392 to 1398, and was the main figure in the overthrowing of the Goryeo Dynasty.

Choi Young, also romanized as Choe Yeong, was a Korean general born in Hongseong or Cheorwon during the Goryeo period. He became a national hero after he put down the Jo Il-shin (조일신) rebellion. He also participated in the Red Turban Rebellions and later allied with the Ming dynasty to overthrow the Mongol Yuan dynasty. In his final years, General Choe was betrayed and executed by his former subordinate Yi Seong-gye, who founded the Joseon dynasty of Korea, bringing an end to the Goryeo period.

Borjigin Imperial clan of Genghis Khan and his successors

A Borjigin is a member of the Mongol sub-clan, which started with Bodonchar Munkhag of the Kiyat clan. Yesugei's descendants were thus said to be Kiyat-Borjigin. The senior Borjigids provided ruling princes for Mongolia and Inner Mongolia until the 20th century. The clan formed the ruling class among the Mongols and some other peoples of Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Today, the Borjigid are found in most of Mongolia, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang, and additionally genetic research has shown that descent from Genghis Khan is common throughout Central Asia and other regions.

Gojong of Goryeo, sometimes spelled Ko-tjong, was the twenty-third ruler of Goryeo in present-day Korea from 1213–1259. Gojong's reign was marked by prolonged conflict with the Mongol Empire, which sought to conquer Goryeo, ending only to settle peace in 1259. During his reign actual power rested with the Choe family of military dictators.

King Chungnyeol of Goryeo was the 25th ruler of the medieval Korean kingdom of Goryeo from 1274 to 1308. He was the son of Wonjong, his predecessor on the throne. Chungnyeol was king during the Mongol Invasions of Japan, aiding in the offensives.

King Chungsuk of Goryeo was king of the Goryeo (Korea), from 1313 to 1330 and again from 1332 to 1339.

U of Goryeo 우, often written Woo, but pronounced "Oo" ruled Goryeo (Korea) from 1374 until 1388.

King Chungjeong of Goryeo was the 30th ruler of the Goryeo dynasty of Korea and was enthroned by imperial edict at the age of 12.

Wonjong of Goryeo was the 24th ruler of the Goryeo dynasty of Korea from 1260 to 1274.

King Chungmok of Goryeo was the 29th king of the Goryeo dynasty of Korea.

King Chunghye of Goryeo was the 28th king of the Goryeo dynasty of Korea.

King Chungseon of Goryeo was the 26th king of the Goryeo dynasty of Korea. He is sometimes known by his Mongolian name, Iǰirbuqa. Adept at calligraphy and painting, rather than politics, he generally preferred the life of the Yuan capital Beijing to that of the Goryeo capital Kaesong. He was the eldest son of King Chungryeol; his mother was a Yuan royal, Queen Jangmok, a daughter of Khublai Khan also known by her Mongolian name/title Qutlugh-kelmysh.

Queen Noguk

Queen Noguk of the Borjigin clan, also known by her posthumous name Queen Indeok, was an ethnic Mongol princess and queen of Goryeo by marriage to King Gongmin. Her Mongolian name was Budashiri.

Queen Gongwon, also known by her posthumous name Queen Mother Myeongdeok, was queen consort to king Chungsuk of Goryeo and the mother to two successive kings, Chunghye and Gongmin. She was from the Namyang Hong clan.

Yasokjin, also known by her posthumous title Consort Ui, was a Mongol consort of King Chungseon and the mother of King Chungsuk of the Goryeo dynasty.

Grand Princess Joguk of the Borjigin clan (1308–1325) was a consort of Chungsuk of Goryeo.

Foundation of the Kingdom is a 1983 South Korean historical television series. It aired on KBS1 from January 2, 1983 to December 18, 1983. The series revolves around the fall of Goryeo and the foundation of Joseon.

Royal Consort Sun-bi of the Yangcheon Heo clan was the wife of King Chungseon of Goryeo.

References

Notes

  1. Kim, Young‐Gwan; Hahn, Sook-Ja (2006). "Homosexuality in ancient and modern Korea". Culture, Health & Sexuality. 8 (1): 59–65. doi:10.1080/13691050500159720. PMID   16500825. S2CID   35985239.
  2. Weatherford, Jack (2010). The secret history of the Mongol queens : how the daughters of Genghis Khan rescued his empire (1st ed.). New York: Crown Publishers. p. 127. ISBN   9780307407153. OCLC   354817523.
  3. Goryeosa , vol. 133. Biographies, vol. 46.
  4. Second daughter of Hong Gyu (홍규, 1242–1316). Younger sister of Lady Sunhwa, Consort Won (순화원비, ? – August 13, 1306), one of King Chungseon (Chungsuk's predecessor)'s concucbines.
  5. Daughter of Bayr Temür (孛羅帖木兒), only son of Borjigin Amüge (孛兒只斤阿木哥, ?-1324), eldest son of Borjigin Darmabala (孛兒只斤答剌麻八剌, 1264–1292), second son of Borjigin Činkim ((孛兒只斤真金, 1243-January 05, 1286), second son of Kublai Khan).
  6. Niece of Princess Joguk (조국장공주, 1308-October 20, 1325), only daughter of Borjigin Amüge (孛兒只斤阿木哥); King Chungsuk's second Yuan bride after the first, Princess Bukguk (복국장공주), Esen Temür (也先帖木兒)'s daughter and Kublai's granddaughter, died in 1319.
  7. Married King Gongmin in 1349, after an earlier Yuan bride, Princess Seungeui (승의공주) was promptly returned.
  8. Daughter of Lee Je-hyeon (이제현) & Lady Suchonguk of the Park clan (수춘국부인 박씨).
  9. Married King Gongmin in April 24, 1359.
  10. 1 2 3 Three of the royal consorts were placed under suspicion of having intimate relations with two of King Gongmin's pederastic bodyguards Han Ahn (한안) & Hong Ryun (홍륜), and were later kicked out of the palace.
  11. Also known by her title "Lady Hyehwa" (혜화궁주), posthumously granted (along with Consort Shin) by King Taejong of Joseon on her death during the 8th year of King Taejong of Joseon's rule.
  12. Originally from the Gaeseong Wang clan (개성 왕씨)
  13. Adoptive daughter of Wang Ui (왕의, dates unknown), Prince Deokpung (덕풍군) (Wang Ki (왕기, 1021–1069) Prince Jeongggan (정간왕)'s son; King Hyeonjong & Queen Wonhye's second son).
  14. Eldest daughter of Yeom Je-shin (염제신, October 30, 1304-March 18, 1382), whose portrait was done by King Gongmin himself.
  15. Posthumously restored to her title in September 22, 1374 (23rd year of King Gongmin).
  16. Also known as Royal Dowager Queen Jeongsuk (정숙왕대비) on her stepsons King U & King Chang's rule.
  17. Daughter of Ahn Geuk-in (안극인), Prince Jeukseong (죽성군).
  18. Aunt of Consort Hyeon (현비, dates unknown), one of King U's concubines; daughter of Ahn Seuk-ro (안숙로), her younger brother.
  19. Also known by her title "Lady Uihwa" (의화궁주), posthumously granted by Sejong on her death (10th year of Sejong's rule).
Gongmin of Goryeo
Born: 23 May 1330 Died: 27 October 1374
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King Chungjeong
King of Goryeo
1351–1374
Succeeded by
King U