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Thursday, 8 May 2014

Silla Superiority Complex, Part VII: Royal Tomb of King Gyeongsun, Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province


Gyeongsun of Silla (Hangul/Hanja: 경순왕;敬順王; c. 897 - 13 May 978) (r. 927–935) was the 56th and final ruler of the Korean kingdom of Silla. A sixth-generation descendant of King Munseong, he was the son of Hyojong by Princess Gyea, who was the daughter of King Heongang. His wife was Lady Jukbang (죽방부인) Park, his eldest son crown prince Ma-ui, and youngest son Beomgong.

Gyeongsun was placed on the throne by the Hubaekje king Gyeon Hwon after the Hubaekje forces sacked Gyeongju in 927. The kingdom was already in an extremely weakened state, so Gyeongsun reigned over a tiny remnant of the former Silla territory until finally abdicating in favour of King Taejo Wanggeon of Goryeo in 935. 

His abdication completed King Taejo Wanggeon's unification of Korea under Goryeo Dynasty. He remarried Taejo's daughter Princess Nangrang (낙랑공주) and was appointed sasim-gwan (사심관, inspector-general) of Gyeongju, becoming the first of Goryeo's sasim-gwan system. He lived out the remainder of his life near the Goryeo capital (modern-day Kaesong).

King Gyeongsun died in 978 and his tomb lies in Jangnam-myeon, Yeoncheon County, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. He was the only king who buried outside the Sillan Capital of Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang Province. According to Samguk Sagi, Gyeongsun's son, Prince Ma-Ui objected to his father's submission to Goryeo and became a hermit in Mount Kumgang.