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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Silla Superiority Complex, Part XXXV: Royal Tomb of King Huigang, Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang - Strife of the Gyeongju Kim Royal Household Members and a sensible bit of Silla Dynasty's Declination


King Huigang of Silla (Hanja: 희강왕/僖康王; Committed Suicide: 838; Reigned: 836–838) , whose born as Kim Je-ryung (김제륭/金悌隆) was the 43rd ruler of the Korean kingdom of Silla. He was the grandson of King Wonseong and the son of ichan Kim Heon-jeong (Posthumous King Ikseong the Great [익성대왕/翌成大王]). He married Lady Munmok, who was the daughter of daeachan Kim Chung-gong.

After the death of King Heungdeok in 836, Huigang and his uncle (Heungdeok's younger cousin) Kim Gyun-jeong struggled for power. After Kim Myeong (later King Minae of Silla) killed Kim Gyun-jeong, Huigang rose to the throne and made Kim Myeong his Sangdaedeung (True bone). However the following year, Kim Myeong rebelled against him. King Huigang killed himself, and was buried on the foot of Mount Sosan in Gyeongju. Samguk Sagi (History of the Three Kingdoms) records that King Huigang’s body is buried on Mt. Sosan, but it is uncertain which mountain Mt. Sosan is now.

The Royal Tomb of King Huigang in Mangseong-ri 34-beonji, Naenam-myeon, Gyeongju City, Northern Gyeongsang Province is located in the middle of a low hillock, and its bottom surface is slightly inclined from north to south. It is a burial mound tumulus with soil, with a girth of 14 m and a height of 2.8 m. It has a tombstone. It is slightly larger than ordinary graves but has no special features.

In King Yeongjo’s reign in the Joseon Dynasty, Hwagye Yoo Ui-geon (화계 유의건/花溪 柳宜健) from Gyeongju claimed in his anthology entitled Hwagyejip (화계집/花溪集 - Sir Hwagye's Compilation of Works), it was problematic that 17 royal tombs had been additionally designated since 1730. This is one of these controversial tombs.