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Shared Ideas Of Descent

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Chapter Summary

A narrative of origin explains and justifies the present situation by linking it explicitly to a situation in the past which was beyond criticism. With regard to the Koryŏ dynasty, tracing back the history to the states of Shilla, Paekche or Koguryŏ would be self-evident. The purpose of most myths of descent and origin stories lies for an important part in the satisfying of the need to know ones own origins and in the legitimation of rulers and social structures. In order to achieve this, it is imperative not to lose the rapport with the intended consumer of the story. An analysis of Koryŏs origin stories, then, will facilitate an understanding of Koryŏs identity-related issues.

Keywords: descent; Koryŏ Dynasty; myths



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