|History of Korea|
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This is a timeline of the history of Korea. Some dates prior to the 5th century are speculative or approximate. For era names see Era names in Korean history.
The history of Asia can be seen as the collective history of several distinct peripheral coastal regions such as East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East linked by the interior mass of the Eurasian steppe. See History of the Middle East and History of the Indian Subcontinent for further details on those regions.
Korea is a peninsular region in East Asia. Since 1945, it has been divided at or near the 38th parallel, now known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone, with South Korea comprising its southern half and North Korea comprising its northern half. The region consists of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island, and a number of minor islands near the peninsula. The peninsula is bordered by China (Manchuria) to the north and Russia to the northeast, across the Amnok and Duman rivers. It is separated from Japan to the southeast by the Korea Strait.
The Lower Paleolithic era on the Korean Peninsula and in Manchuria began roughly half a million years ago. The earliest known Korean pottery dates to around 8000 BC, and the Neolithic period began after 6000 BC, followed by the Bronze Age by 2000 BC, and the Iron Age around 700 BC.
Korea's provinces have been the primary administrative division of Korea since the mid Goryeo (Koryo) dynasty in the early 11th century, and were preceded by provincial-level divisions dating back to Unified Silla and Balhae during the Northern and Southern States period, in the 7th century.
Goguryeo also later known as Goryeo, was a Korean kingdom located in the northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula and the southern and central parts of modern day Northeast China. At its peak of power, Goguryeo controlled most of the Korean Peninsula, large parts of Manchuria and parts of eastern Mongolia and Inner Mongolia as well as Russia.
There are various names of Korea in use today that are all derived from those of ancient Koreanic kingdoms and dynasties. The choice of name often depends on the language, whether the user is referring to either or both modern Korean countries, and even the user's political views on the Korean conflict.
The Three Kingdoms of Korea or Samhan competed for hegemony over the Korean Peninsula during the ancient period of Korean history. During the Three Kingdoms period (Korean: 삼국시대), many states and statelets consolidated until, after Buyeo was annexed in 494 and Gaya was annexed in 562, only three remained on the Korean Peninsula: Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla. The "Korean Three Kingdoms" contributed to what would become Korea; and the Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla peoples became the Korean people.
The Later Three Kingdoms period of ancient Korea saw a partial revival of the old three kingdoms which had dominated the peninsula from the 1st century BC to the 7th century AD. After the Unified Silla kingdom had ruled Korea alone from 668 AD, it slowly began to decline and the power vacuum this created led to several rebellious states rising up and taking on the old historical names of Korea's ancient kingdoms. A messy period of alliances and in-fighting followed, but one state would once again establish a dominant position – Goryeo, itself named in homage to the earlier northern Goguryeo kingdom – and form a unified Korean state and a dynasty which would last almost 500 years.
Samhan, or Three Han, is the collective name of the Byeonhan, Jinhan, and Mahan confederacies that emerged in the first century BC during the Proto–Three Kingdoms of Korea, or Samhan, period. Located in the central and southern regions of the Korean Peninsula, the Samhan confederacies eventually merged and developed into the Baekje, Gaya, and Silla kingdoms. The name "Samhan" also refers to the Three Kingdoms of Korea.
Korean arts include traditions in calligraphy, music, painting and pottery, often marked by the use of natural forms, surface decoration and bold colors or sounds.
Korean architecture refers to an architectural style that developed over centuries in Korea. Throughout the history of Korea, various kingdoms and royal dynasties have developed a unique style of architecture with influences from Buddhism and Korean Confucianism.
Korea's military history spans thousands of years, beginning with the ancient nation of Gojoseon and continuing into the present day with the countries of North Korea and South Korea, and is notable for its many successful triumphs over invaders. Throughout its history, Korea has boasted numerous exceptional leaders who gained outstanding victories against numerically superior enemies. Famed leaders credited with defending Korea against foreign invasions include: Eulji Mundeok of Goguryeo, who defeated Sui China during the Goguryeo–Sui War; Yeon Gaesomun of Goguryeo, who defeated Emperor Taizong of Tang China during the Goguryeo–Tang War; Gang Gam-chan of Goryeo, who defeated the Khitan Empire during the Goryeo-Khitan War; Choe Yeong and Yi Seong-gye of Goryeo, who defeated the Red Turbans during the Red Turban Invasions; and Yi Sun-shin of Joseon, who defeated the Japanese at sea during the Imjin War. Other notable leaders include: Gwanggaeto the Great of Goguryeo, who created a great empire in Northeast Asia through conquest, and subjugated the other Korean kingdoms of Baekje, Silla and Gaya to bring about a brief unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea; Geunchogo of Baekje, who captured Pyongyang and established overseas territories to control much of the Korean peninsula and dominate the seas; Munmu and Kim Yu-sin of Silla, who united the Three Kingdoms of Korea and defeated Tang China to gain complete control of the Korean peninsula; Dae Jo-yeong, who created Balhae from Goguryeo's ashes and reconquered Goguryeo lands lost during the Goguryeo-Tang War; Jang Bogo of Later Silla, who created a maritime empire and commanded a powerful fleet; Wang Geon, who united the Later Three Kingdoms of Korea and established Goryeo as the successor to Goguryeo; and Yun Gwan of Goryeo, who defeated the Jurchens and constructed nine fortresses in Manchuria.
For over 15 centuries, the relationship between Japan and Korea was characterized by cultural exchanges, economic trade, political contact and military confrontations, all of which underlie their relations even today. During the ancient era, exchanges of cultures and ideas between Japan and mainland Asia were common through migration via the Korean Peninsula, and diplomatic contact and trade between the two.
The Northern and Southern States period is the period in Korean history when Unified Silla and Balhae coexisted in the south and north of the peninsula, respectively.
Korea has had a number of capitals. Korea is a peninsula in East Asia, currently the peninsula is divided into two countries: North Korea's capital is Pyongyang, and South Korea's capital is Seoul.
The Goguryeo controversies are disputes between China and Korea on the history of Goguryeo, an ancient kingdom located in present-day Northeast China and the Korean Peninsula. At the heart of the Goguryeo controversy is which part of history the kingdom belongs to. Korean scholars have the viewpoint that Goguryeo is part of Korean history alone.
The Goguryeo–Tang War occurred from 645 to 668 and was fought between Goguryeo and the Tang dynasty. During the course of the war, the two sides allied with various other states. Goguryeo successfully repulsed the invading Tang armies during the first Tang invasions of 645–648. After conquering Baekje in 660, Tang and Silla armies invaded Goguryeo from the north and south in 661, but were forced to withdraw in 662. In 666, Yeon Gaesomun died and Goguryeo became plagued by violent dissension, numerous defections, and widespread demoralization. The Tang–Silla alliance mounted a fresh invasion in the following year, aided by the defector Yeon Namsaeng. In late 668, exhausted from numerous military attacks and suffering from internal political chaos, Goguryeo and the remnants of Baekje army succumbed to the numerically superior armies of the Tang dynasty and Silla.
The history of Sino-Korean relations dates back to prehistoric times.
Imperial titles were used in various historical Korean states before the 14th century and at the turn of the 20th century: Early Korean states used "great king", "greatest king", and "holy king"; later Korean states used "emperor". Korean monarchs who used imperial titles had political and religious authority over a realm or domain. The Chinese concept of tianxia, pronounced "cheonha" in Korean, was variously adopted and adapted to Korean views of the world from period to period.