Yuri of Goguryeo

Yuri of Goguryeo

Infobox Korean name
hangul=유리왕 "or" 유리명왕
hanja=瑠璃王 "or" 瑠璃明王
rr=Yuri-wang "or" Yurimyeong-wang "or" Yuria
mr=Yuri-wang "or" Yurimyŏng-wang
hangulborn=해유리 "or" 유류 "or" 누리
hanjaborn=解類利 "or" 儒留 "or" 累利
rrborn=Hae Yuri "or" Yuryu "or" Nuri
mrborn=Hae Yuri "or" Yuryu "or" Nuri
King Yuri (? - 18 CE, r. 19 BCE - 18 CE) was the second ruler of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was the eldest son of the kingdom's founder King Dongmyeongseong. As with many other early Korean rulers, the events of his life are known largely from the "Samguk Sagi".


Yuri was the son of Jumong, the founder of Goguryeo.Yuri was raised where his father grew up by his mother. Yuri's mother, Lady Ye (Soya), and Yuri went to Goguryeo in 19 BCE, to go see his father.

King Jumong proclaimed Yuri to be the Crown Prince of Goguryeo. Onjo and Biryu (the sons of Soseono) became insecure. Soseono took her sons and traveled south to found the kingdom of Baekje, and the latter died at Michuhol. Yuri became King upon Jumong's death later.


Yuri is described as a powerful and militarily successful king. He conquered a Xiongnu tribe in 9 BCE. In 3 BCE, Yuri moved the capital from Jolbon Fortress to Gungnae Fortress.

Goguryeo's neighbor, the Han dynasty of China, was overthrown by Wang Mang, who established the Xin Dynasty. Wang Mang sent a messenger to Goguryeo to ask for troops to assist in a conquest of the Xiongnu during 12 CE, the 31st year of his reign. Yuri rejected the request and instead attacked Xin.

He had five sons and among them were Hae-Myung, and Muhyul. Hae-Myung was proclaimed the crown prince of Goguryeo after the death of Dojul, who was King Yuri's eldest son, but Yuri found him to be too reckless and disobedient. Yuri replaced him with the younger son Muhyul in 14 CE, his son with the daughter of Songyang. Muhyul ruled later as King Daemusin of Goguryeo.

A poem Yuri is said to have written for his favored concubine Chihui has survived to this day. It is titled "Hwangjoga" (황조가/黃鳥歌), meaning "Song of the Yellow Bird."


King Yuri died in 18 CE, after ruling for 37 years. He was succeeded by his oldest remaining son, Muhyul, who became King Daemusin.

Theories regarding King Yuri

Son of Jumong Theory

The traditional view of Yuri places him as the son of Jumong and Lady Ye. A traditional explanation to the different surnames of father and son is, Jumong's original surname was "Hae", but he changed it to "Go" when he established Goguryeo. Jumong's changing of his surname is mentioned in Samguk Sagi and Samguk Yusa.

Usurpation theory

In recent studies, some historians have made a series of observations regarding Goguryeo's establishment that led them to think of the possibility that Hae Yuri may not have been the son of Go Jumong, but an usurper. The observations that led to this conclusion were Jumong's early death, the difference in surnames, Yuri's harsh behavior toward some of Jumong's most prized subjects, and the differences in the styles of rule. Jumong died at the age of 40, which is quite early compared to that of some of his successors and predecessors. Also, the capital of Goguryeo is changed during the reign of Yuri. This could have been caused by constant rebellion by supporters of Jumong. Also, Goguryeo under Yuri does not display the strict expansionist policy that it displayed during the reign of Jumong. A final observation is the mentioning of a broken sword in the legend. Some historians have inferred that Yuri finding a piece of Jumong's broken sword and using it as a claim signifies the collapse of Jumong's regime, and Yuri's rise to the throne. Overall, the fact that Jumong died five months after the arrival of Yuri caused the suspicion of these select historians. However, this is merely a theory and no assumptions can be made.Fact|date2007|date=December 2007

ee also

*List of Korea-related topics
*History of Korea
*Three Kingdoms of Korea
*List of Korean monarchs

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