I never learned Korean history before, and I’m also not a citizen of Korea. But due to great impression left after watching this great historical drama, i cannot help but wiki-ing on the history of Silla and the character presented in this drama. I also notice (from blog statistic) that a lots of people searching on the history perspective of this drama after I wrote a few entries regarding this drama. So, I decided to write this again, but please note that all I wrote here was based on info available in wikipedia.
Source of historical record
There’s a few historical record which I believed to be the reference of this drama and other historical infomation, please click the link below for more infomation:
- Samguk Sagi (History of the Three Kingdoms) – contains record of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla; Chronological tables; Monographs and Biographies. The compilation was ordered by Goryeo’s King Injong (r. 1122-1146) and undertaken by the government official and historian Kim Busik (???) and his team.
- Samguk Yusa, or Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms, – collection of legends, folktales, and historical accounts relating to the Three Kingdoms of Korea (Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla), as well as to other periods and states before, during, and after the Three Kingdoms period.
- Hwarang segi (lit. Annals of Hwarang or Generations of the Hwarang) – a historical record of the Hwarang (lit. flower boys) of the Silla kingdom in ancient Korea. It is said to have been written by Silla historian Kim Daemun ??? (fl. 704) in the reign of Seongdeok the Great (r. 702~737). This manuscript contains biography of Sadaham, Sejong, Seolwonrang, Munno, Miseng, Hajong, Yongchun, Kim Yusin & others.
Queen Seon Duk in history (634 – 647)
- Was known as Princess Deokman, the first female ruler of Silla.
- The second oldest of King Jinpyeong‘s three daughters. Her sister ~ Princess Cheonmyeong & Princess Seonhwa
- Rules from 634 until 647, and was immediately succeeded by her cousin Jindeok, who ruled until 654.
- She built the “Star-Gazing Tower,” or Cheomseongdae, considered the first observatory in the Far East. The tower still stands in the old Silla capital of Gyeongju, South Korea.
- Samguk Yusa recorded that she marry to Galmunwang Eum a year after she was crowned as Queen. On the other hand, in Hwarang Segi, it recorded that her husband was Kim Yong-chun (Princess Cheonmyeong’s husband, 13th Pungwolju); Heumban & Eulje.
- She died on January 8, after Bidam uprising.
- Her throne succeed by her cousin, Queen Jindeok, the second female ruler of Silla.
Bidam in history (?-647)
Source: Korean wiki
- He was a Sangdaedeung (highest post of government) during the end of Queen Seon Duk reign.
- His birth details and achievement was not much known, but it is believe that he come from noble family
- He revolt with motto “Women’s rulers can not rule the country” (??????)
- Legend says that during the uprising, a star ‘drop’. Bidam use it to anchorage his follower saying that the sign of the end of Queen reign. On the other hand, Kim Yushin then discuss with the Queen, then they decide to fly a burning kite as a sign that ‘the star is back to its place’.
- Jumong stated that about 10 days after Bidam uprising, he and 30 of his men were executed [Queen Seon Duk die on 8 January, Bidam executed on 17 January after Queen Jindeok was throne]
Mishil in history (540? – 600?)
- Historical figure of Silla, but her existence is controversial because she is not mention in both Samguk Sagi and Samguk Yusa. However, she is a very important figure in the transcription of Hwarang Segi.
- She became powerful due to her relations with Kings and Poongweoljoos. She was the wife of Sejong, 6th Pungweolju, and was the major royal harem of 3 kings(Jinheung of Silla, Jinji of Silla, Jinpyeong of Silla). Also, she was in love with Prince Dongryun, eldest son of Jinheung, and Seolwon, 7th Pungweolju.
- Her power was proved when she persuaded Jingol nobles to expel King Jinji from his throne.
- And her two sons (Hajong, Bojong) also became 11th, 16th Pungweolju respectively.
Kim Yushin in history (595-673)
- Became a Hwarang warrior at just 15 and was an accomplished swordsman and a Gukseon (??, ??; Hwarang leader) by the time he was 18 years old. By the age of 34 he had been given total command of the Silla armed forces.
- He led the unification of the Korean peninsula by Silla under the reign of King Muyeol of Silla and King Munmu of Silla.
- He is said to have been the great-grandchild of King Guhae of Geumgwan Gaya, the last ruler of the Geumgwan Gaya state. This would have given him a very high position in the Silla bone rank system, which governed the political and military status that a person could attain.
- Kim lived to the age of 78 and is considered to be one of the most famous generals and masters of Korean swords in Korean history.
|Kim Yushin statue in Namsan Park, Seoul, South Korea|
|Tomb of General Kim Yushin in Gyeongju|
Kim Alcheon in history (636 – 654)
- He was member of Silla royal family.
- He became Hwarang at his young age and was famous general at that time.
- Alcheon (along with Kim Yushin) supported Princess Deokman in politics and supported her in succeeding the throne after the death of her father, Jinpyeong of Silla. When Princess Deokman became Queen Seondeok of Silla, Alcheon became Chief Of Royal Palace Guard and also Seondeok’s personal bodyguard.
- Later Alcheon was promote to Sangdaedeung in Queen Jiendeok reign who succeeded the throne after the death of Seondeok. He served as Sangdeadung during the reign of Queen Seon Duk, Queen Jindeok and King Muyeol.
- Since there are no more seonggol after the death of Queen Jindeok, people in government wanted Kim Alcheon (a.k.a. So Alcheon), who was then Sangdaedeung of Silla to succeed the throne. However, Kim Yusin supported Kim Choonchu, and Kim Alcheon refused the throne and supported Kim Choonchu. As a result, Kim Choonchu succeeded the throne.
I will may add other character info later on. Feel free to correct me if any of this info presented wrongly. For those who follow the drama, this can be the basis on knowing which plot on the drama was based on history. But throughout my reading, i found much of the plot similar to what actually had recorded in history.