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Tracing Legitimation

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Chapter Summary

Few debates on Koryŏ history have been as heated as the debate on the tracing of the dynastys legitimation. This theme is directly related to the identity of the dynasty and to contemporary issues that are thought to be related to it. It has been asserted that Koryŏ identified with Koguryŏ, with Shilla, or with both, depending on the period under consideration. Due to Shin Chaehos enormous influence, Koryŏ identity has been reduced to a choice between Shilla and Koguryŏ successionism, which in itself has also been reduced to two dichotomous foreign relations policies: sinophile or independence-minded. This chapter ventures outside of the parameters set by Shin and proposes a deceptively simple solution to this discussion.

Keywords: Koryŏ dynasty; Shin Chaeho; tracing of legitimation



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