Korean Studies, vol. 28 (2004)


An Introduction to the Samguk Sagi, p. 1
Edward J. Shultz

Korea’s oldest extant historical source is the Samguk sagi, which was compiled by Kim Pusik (1075–1151) and others during Injong’s reign (1122–1146) in the Koryo kingdom. This history and its compilers have been at the center of controversy as critics have challenged the work’s accuracy and its omissions. Despite its failings, this history is a reaffirmation of Koryo’s identity, which had been seriously challenged by events of the early twelfth century and is an excellent expression of that society’s values and historical understanding.

The Emergence and Expansion of Silla from an Archaeological Perspective, p. 14
Gina L. Barnes

In this article, the author examines the available archaeological record for evidence illuminating the origin and development of the Silla state, which historians traditionally claimed to have been a major force on the Korean peninsula as early as the first century B.C.E. Archaeological research in the Kyongju basin, the home of the Silla state, suggests, however, that Silla developed as a state in the late fourth and early fifth centuries C.E. Further archaeological research in the area will no doubt increase understanding of Silla’s development.

The Indigenous Religions of Silla: Their Diversity and Durability, p. 49
Kidong Lee

This article examines the indigenous religions of the Silla dynasty. According to the Silla annals of the Samguk sagi, religion was significant in all walks of life in Korea’s premodern societies and formed a basis for state rule. Although Buddhism was recognized as Silla’s central religious belief from the early sixth century, other religions and convictions existed in Silla society. Introduced and discussed here are shamanism, Taoist thought, belief in spirits of springs and dragons, progenitor myths, state sacrifice rituals, and portent ideology.

Silla Economy and Society, p. 75
Chong Sun Kim

This article uses the Samguk sagi, one of premodern Korea’s most valuable historical resources, as a basis for an examination of the economy and society of the Silla dynasty. It begins by offering the historiographical limitations of the document, followed by a discussion of the significance of the policy of nongjajongbon (agriculture-is-the-basis-of-the-government) on Sillan society and economy. Other scholarly writings on the Samguk sagi and Silla are also considered.

A Study of Koguryo Relations Recorded in the Silla Annals of the Samguk Sagi, p. 105
Tae-Don Noh

This article arranges the records regarding Koguryo in the Silla annals of the Samguk sagi and reexamines aspects of the debate on Silla-Koguryo relations. Since the records of Koguryo found in the Silla annals are of a military and diplomatic nature, an examination of those records is primarily concerned with the power relations and territorial changes between the two countries. This article emphasizes a general understanding of the progressive relationship between Silla and Koguryo and employs a comparative analysis of historical texts.


Young-Key Kim-Renaud, editor, Creative Women of Korea: The Fifteenth through the Twentieth Centuries, p. 129
Reviewed by Michael J. Pettid

Donald N. Clark, Living Dangerously in Korea: The Western Experience 1900–1950, p. 131
Reviewed by Daniel C. Kane

Diane E. Davis, Discipline and Development: Middle Classes and Prosperity in East Asia and Latin America, p. 134
Reviewed by Erik Mobrand

Richard A. Mobley, Flash Point North Korea: The Pueblo and EC-121 Crises, p. 136
Reviewed by James I. Matray