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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book, which has developed from a much larger attempt looking into the issues of the formation of a transregional or national community on the Korean peninsula in the early to middle Koryŏ dynasty (9181170). The consequences of taking a dichotomizing approach to Koryŏ history are twofold. Firstly, a picture is painted of Koryŏ history that is not always in keeping with what the sources contain; this must be rectified to the extent that the sources allow this. Secondly, this regrettable tendency toward dichotomization has obscured the daily reality of life and thought for early Koryŏ literati; this reality was not in proper trim the way an orderly mind would wish it to see, but it was geared to providing the best possible way for them to deal with socio-political surroundings and the events that took place in them.

Keywords: Koryŏ dynasty; pluralist society



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