Kyungjong was the first son of Emperor Gwangjong and Empress Dae Mok. His name was Joo. He became the Crown Prince at the age of 11 in 965.
In 960, Emperor Gwangjong started his "bloody politics" with his advisor Kwon Shin, in which he killed hundreds of aristocrats to strengthen the imperial authority. Some aristocrats tried to rebel and enthrone their choice of imperial family, which all ended in failures. Prince Heung Hwa, the son of Emperor Hyejong(Gwangjong's brother), and Prince Kyung Choon, the son of Emperor Jeongjong(also Gwangjong's brother) died in the failed rebellions. Some people accused Wang Joo(Kyungjong) of treason.
Fortunately, Wang Joo was able to survive as he was the only son left for Gwangjong after his younger brother died.
On May of 975, Wang Joo became the emperor at the age of 21 after his father passed away. His temple name was Kyungjong.
Kyungjong freed everyone exiled and imprisoned by his father and gave their jobs back. He then destroyed all the prisons made by his father and burned every documents about the accused.
Kyungjong appointed Wang Seon, an aristocrat who received the imperial family name Wang, as the Prime Minister to show that "bloody politics" is over. Wang Seon's relative Wang Dong was killed during the "bloody politics."
By this time, only 40 of the founding contributors to Koryo dynasty survived. Hundreds of aristocrats lost their spots in the government.
The informing of the treasons were usually done by slaves of the aristocrats or low-ranking government officials. Wang Seon wanted to get revenge, so he asked permission to create an Avenge Law, which would allow Wang Seon to avenge everyone killed during "bloody politics."
Kyungjong allowed the creation of this law to appease the aristocrats and start a "harmonious politics." However, the Avenge Law led to another "bloody politics." A rivalry was formed between the aristocrats and the officials who took the newly established civil exams during Gwangjong's rule.
The Avenge Law was carried out for a year. Wang Seon killed Prince Hyo Sung and Prince Won Nyung, the sons of 1st emperor Wang Guhn, for being involved in "bloody politics."
The deaths of his uncles led Kyungjong to abolish the Avenge Law and exile Wang Seon. He then apoointed Soon Jil as Minister of the Left and Shin Jil as Minister of the Right to prevent the concentration of power on one man.
Next, Kyungjong reformed land laws so that aristocrats would not be able to have much land as they want. Lands would now be distributed according to one's rank and one's contribution to the nation.
On 977, he strengthened the relationship with the Song dynasty of China. On 979, he accepted over 10,000 immigrants from the destroyed Balhae.
On 980, Kyungjong appointed Choi Jimong, who was exiled after getting drunk and upsetting Gwangjong, as the Minister of Internal Affairs. Choi Jimong quickly rose to power and accused Wang Seung of treason. Wang Seung was either a part of imperial family or an aristocrat who received the imperial name. Kyungjong rewarded Choi Jimong with new government uniform and golden belt. Choi Jimong also accused Wang Kyu of treason in order to help Emperor Jeongjong's ascension to throne earlier.
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Wow many many thanks Truth this is fantastic stuff .
Many people were killed after Wang Seung was accused of treason. Kyungjong's harmounious politics ended in failure. His rule was no different from his father's bloody politics. Kyungjong's efforts for peace were useless, so he got tired of politics. He spent his days drinking, sleeping with concubines, and playing Baduk(Go in Japanese) until he died at the age of 27 in July, 981. Kyngjong chose his cousin Prince Kaeryung(Wang Chi) as his successor. He had 5 wives.
1st wife: Empress Hun Sook was the daughter of King Kyung Soon(Kim Bu), the last king of Shilla dynasty. Kyungjong's marriage with her gave a lot of power to Shilla royal family members and Shilla aristocrats.
2nd wife: Empress Hun Ui was the daughter of King Moon Won(Wang Jeong) and Queen Moon Hye. King Moon Won was Gwangjong's brother. Koryo claimed itself to be an empire and Emperor Gwangjong appointed his brother as a king. Queen Moon Hye was Gwangjong's sister from a different mother. Koryo imperial family supported intermarriages to preserve the imperial blood like most of the Korean dynasties before Confucian Joseon.
3rd wife : Empress Hun Ae was the daughter of Daejong and Seon Ui, who were both half-brother and half-sister of Gwangjong. They were both elevated to status of emperor and empress during Sungjong's rule. Hun Ae's sister Empress Hun Jeong was married to Kyungjong as well.
On 997, Empress Hun Ae began ruling Koryo as a regent, when her son Emperor Mokjong ascended to throne at the age of 18. She also called herself Empress Cheonchu.
As a regent, Empress Cheonchu committed adultery with Kim Chi Yang and gave birth to a son. She wanted to make this son to succeed Mokjong's throne. However, all government officials wanted Prince Dae Ryang, the son of Ahnjong(also a brother of Emperor Gwangjong, elevated to emperor status by Hyunjong) and Empress Hun Jeong, to succeed Mokjong. Prince Dae Ryang became a monk and stayed in Shin Hyul Temple due to the pressure from Cheonchu. She sent assassins to Prince Dae Ryang and tried to poison him numerous times, but they all ended in failures.
On 1009, Kang Jo killed Kim Chi Yang and his son and exiled Cheonchu to Hwangju. Kang Jo then killed Emperor Mokjong and enthroned Prince Dae Ryang, who became known as Emperor Hyunjong.
4th wife : Empress Hun Jeong was the sister of Emperess Hun Ae(Cheonchu). She did not have any child with Emperor Kyungjong. She left the palace after Kyungjong died and committed adultery with Wang Wook(Ahnjong, the half-brother of Emperor Gwangjong) in 991(10 years after Kyungjong's death).
When Emperor Sungjong(Kyungjong's successor) found about her pregnancy, he exiled Wang Wook. On July of 992, Empress Hun Jeong gave birth to Emperor Hyunjong and died of labor pains.
5th wife : Lady Dae Myung. Nothing is known about her except her maiden name Yu.
Great stuff and it really shows what this drama could have been .
Notice all the inbreeding was played down even though the Wangs thought it essential for a pure bloodline .
Interesting about Hun Jeong i thought she hanged herself after the scandal and giving birth and Wang Wook became a monk ,but this is why your translations are important Truth because we read all kinds of dubious stuff in English .
Yeah, thanks truth--much appreciated. I had read in a history book that Gang Jo wasn't exactly the selfless, virtuous character the series made him out to be. But it's interesting to see that coming out of the original material as well. And lots of other good stuff there about other IE characters, too.
This absoluely IS some good stuff. My thanks to you again, Truth.
Thanks to DYC, Mikey, and ajk. Here's the next part.
Annals of Emperor Sungjong(960-997. R.981-997)
Sungjong was the second son of Daejong and Seon Ui, who were both half-brother and half-sister of Gwangjong. They were both elevated to status of emperor and empress during Sungjong's rule. Kyungjong's wives Hun Ae(Cheonchu) and Hun Jeong were his sisters. His name was Chi. He became the emperor at the age of 22.
Sungjong was raised by his grandmother Empress Dowager Shin Jeong, because his mother died early. He banned all Buddhist festivals and ceremonies as soon as ascended to throne and instituted Confucianism to Koryo. However, Confuciansim failed to become an official religion(unlike Joseon where Confucianism was the official religion).
Sungjong enslaved all ex-slaves freed by his uncle Gwangjong.
On June of 982, Choi Seung Ro's 28 Points of Current Affairs was chosen as the main system for Sungjong's Confucian rule. On 983, Sungjong appointed Choi Seung Ro as Prime Minister and adopted the Tang dynasty's Three Departments and Six Ministries System(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Departments_and_Six_Ministries).
On 995, Sungjong set up a 10 Provinces and 12 States system. The 10 provinces were Gwanae, Joong Won, Hanam, Kangnam, Youngnam, Sannnam, Young Dong, Hae Yang, Sak Bang, and Pae Seo. The 10 provinces had 12 states inside them, which were Yangju, Gwangju, Choongju, Cheongju, Gongju, Haeju, Jinju, Sangju, Jeonju, Naju, Seungju, and Hwangju. Each states were then divided into counties, cities, and towns. Sungjong promoted education by sending Confucian scholars and medicine professors to teach throughout the country.
Sungjong's passion for education is apparent on his imperial message in 989, in which he said "I intend to rule this nation by expanding education. In order to that, I need to send the most knowledgeable teachers throughout the nation. Civil service exams will be held each year to find the talented scholars. Those scholars should work tirelessly to help my lacking political skills. Unfortunately, there are as many prospects as hairs of a cow, but the number of successful people are as few as a horn of giraffe. I worry about this problem night and day, alseep and awake."
Sungjong also promoted filial duty. On his imperial message in December of 989, he said "Taizong of Tang(Li Shimin) banned butchering livestock and ordered Buddhist temples to pray for 5 days during the anniversary month of his parents' death. However, I could not pay back the infinite favor of my parents as they passed away when I was very young. I shall learn from Taizong and realize my desire. From now on, Buddhist temples will pray for 5 days during the anniversary week of Emperor Taejo(Wang Guhn) and my father Daejong's death and 3 days for my mother Seon Ui. I forbid butchering livestock and eating meat during those days."
Sungjong was a Confucian man, but his message shows that Buddhism was still the religion for non-aristocrats.
However, Confucianism was very important for aristocrats. Aristocrats could no longer hold high-ranking positions without taking the civil service exam, which required the studying of Confucian literatures.
During this time, the Khitans began to threaten Koryo. The Khitans insisted that they had the rights to Goguryeo's old territories, because they conquered Balhae(which claimed to be the New Goguryeo) and Koryo is the New Shilla. Koryo insisted that they have nothing do with Shilla and that they are the New Goguryeo. On October of 993, the Khitans invaded under the command of Xiao Xunning.
Sungjong appointed Park Yang Yu as High Commander, Seo Hee as Middle Commander, and Choi Ryang as Low Commander to fight off the Khitans. The three set up a camp in Seo Gyung(Pyongyang). When Bongsan, a town near the border, was conquered by Khitans, Seo Hee advanced north to re-conquer Bongsan. Seo Hee negotiated with Xiao Xunning to win six Khitan states without fighting.
On April of 991, Han Un Gong brought Tripitaka from Song China.
On October of 997, Sungjong became very ill and died at the age of 38. Sungjong chose his nephew Wang Song, the son of Kyungjong and Cheonchu, as his successor.
Wang Yoong proposed freeing all prisoners to achieve Sungjong's full recovery, but Sungjong turned down his idea by saying "Life of a person depends on the heavens, so how can I save my life by freeing the sinful ones against the heavens' will? If I free prisoners before death, how can my successor show his grace?"(insisting that his successor should be the one freeing prisoners)
Yi Jae Hyun, the author of the original History of Koryo(primary source), states that "Sungjong built shirines for ancestors and spent huge budget on raising talented scholars. He ordered the mayors to care for their peasants and created a beautiful custom of filial piety by rewarding filial sons. He chose his sucessor before getting old, which shows his vision for the affairs of the nation. He did not free any prisoners before death, which shows his great insight on the logic of life and death. Is Sungjong not easily someone who should be involved in politics? Oh, here was the benevolent ruler!"
Sungjong's tomb is located in southern suburbs of Kaesung(Koryo's capital in today's North Korea).
1st wife : Empress Moondeok was the third daughter of Emperor Gwangjong and Empress Daemok. She was Kyungjong's sister. Sungjong's marriage with Gwangjong's daughter enabled him to become an emperor. Moondeok did not have any child with Sungjong, but she gave birth to a daughter during her marriage with her ex-husband Wang Kyu(Sungjong's cousin). This daughter married Emperor Mokjong and became known as Empress Seonjeong. Moondeok was buried in the same tomb as Sungjong.
2nd wife : Empress Moon Hwa was the daughter of Kim Won Soong, an aristocrat from Seonju. Many Shilla aristocrats including Kim Won Soong gained power during Sungjong's rule. Moon Hwa and Sungjong gave birth to Empress Wonjeong, the wife of Emperor Hyunjong. Hyunjong appointed Kim Won Soong as the prime minister and Marquess of Hwa Ui. Moon Hwa became an Empress Dowager during Hyunjong's rule. The whereabouts of her tomb is unknown.
3rd wife : Lady Yeon Chang. Her maiden name was Choi. Sungjong and her daughter Empress Won Hwa also married Hyunjong.
Sungjong was very devoted to Confucianism. Filial duty was the most important part of Confucianism. On his imperial message in September of 990, he said "A person needs to know the fundamentals to rule a country. Filial piety is the best way to learn the fundamentals. Filial piety is the doctrine of everything and the principle agent of good. The emperors of Han dynasty of China rewarded filial sons." Sungjong then rewarded filial sons of Koryo and sent social service workers to aid the starved senior citizens and children. He also aided single fathers and orphans.
In his next imperial message, Sungjong said "Ah! An emperor is the head of all people and all people are the right-hand men of an emperor. Peasants doing pious things means fortune for the emperor and peasants doing evil things means anxiety for the emperor. Even the ignorant peasants in rural towns are devoted to filial piety, so how can government officials get lazy on honoring ancestors? A filial son for the family will certainly be able to become a faithful subject for the nation one day. All government officials and peasants must bear my message in mind."
Classic of Changes, Classic of History, Rites of Zhou, Book of Rites, Classic of Filial Piety, and the Analects were taught in Gukjagam, the highest educational institution in Koryo.
Regional schools taught the same subjects as Gukjagam as well as medical science, geography, laws, and mathematics. Every subjects taught in schools were tested in civil service exams.
In order to prevent hired government officials from stop studying, Sungjong ordered central government officials to write 3 regular poems and 1 poem in the style of Classic of Poetry per month. Regional government officials were required to turn in 30 regular poems and 1 poem in the style of Classic of Poetry per year.
Choi Seung Ro was born in Kyungju, the capitcal city of Shilla, on 927. He has been an intelligent writer ever since he was little. Emperor Taejo(Wang Guhn) complimented him when he was only 12. Taejo put him in national school and awarded him with a saddle and 20 sacks of rice.
He passed the civil service exam during Gwangjong's rule. On 982, Choi Seung Ro wrote a letter of appeal to Sungjong, which consisted of evaluations on the first 5 emperors and the 28 Points of Current Affairs.
Choi Seung Ro thought that Sungjong should learn generosity from Taejo, family affection from Hyejong, will to keep the throne from Jeongjong, fairness from Gwangjong, and wise decision from Kyungjong.
Only 22 of the 28 Points of Current Affairs are known today. 1. Urges the defense of the Northwest region 2. Ban Buddhist festivals 3. Reduce the numbers of palace guards 4. Emperor should not award people for unimportant reasons. 5. Reduce the number of diplomats to China 6. Ban the usury of the Buddhist temples 7. Importance of regional governments 8. Getting rid of Buddhist monks from palace 9. People should dress according to their ranks 10. Prohibit the monks from staying in houses of government officials 11. We should learn manners from Chinese Confucianism, but we must wear traditional Koryo clothes. 12. Reduce the construction labors of the islanders 13. Ban the use of shamanist dolls 14. Emperor should respect his subjects 15. Reduce the number of palace slaves 16. Ban the building of Buddhist temples without permission 17. House sizes according to ranks 18. Ban the use of gold and silver in Budda statues 19. Give government jobs to descendants of a meritorious subject 20. Balance of Confucianism and Buddhism 21. Reduce the numbers of sexual intercourse 22. Make sure that slaves don't mock people of higher ranks
Sungjong disallowed Choi Seung Ro from retiring in 988. In 989, Choi Seung Ro died at the age of 63. Sungjong gave 1000 hemp clothes, 300 sacks of flour, 500 sacks of rice, 100 frankincenses, and 200 sacks of tea as condolence goods to his family.