Silla

Silla

신라 (新羅)
57 BC – 935 AD
Royal seal of Silla
Royal seal
Pre-Later Silla at its height in 576
Pre-Later Silla at its height in 576
CapitalGyeongju (Geumseong, then Seorabeol)
Common languagesSillan language
(Koreanic)
Religion
Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shamanism (Sindo)
GovernmentMonarchy
King 
• 57 BCE – 4
Hyeokgeose (first)
• 540–576
Jinheung
• 654–661
Muyeol
• 661–681
Munmu
• 681–692
Sinmun
• 927–935
Gyeongsun (last)
History 
• Establishment
57 BC
• Introduction of Buddhism
530
• Campaigns of King Jinheung
551–585
668–935
• Handover to the Goryeo
935 AD
Population
• 7th century[1]
894,680
• 8th century[1]
2,000,000
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Jinhan confederacy
Gojoseon
Goryeo
Today part ofSouth Korea
North Korea
Silla
Hunminjeongeum
Hanja
Revised RomanizationSilla
McCune–ReischauerSilla

Silla (57 BC[note 1] – 935 AD) (Korean신라; Hanja新羅; RRSilla Korean pronunciation: [ɕil.la]) was a kingdom located in southern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula. Silla, along with Baekje and Goguryeo, formed the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

Founded by Hyeokgeose of Silla, of the Park family, the Korean[2] dynasty was ruled by the Gyeongju Gim (Kim) (김, 金) clan for 586 years, the Miryang Bak (Park) (박, 朴) clan for 232 years and the Wolseong Seok (석, 昔) clan for 172 years. It began as a chiefdom in the Samhan confederacies, once allied with Sui China and then Tang China, until it eventually conquered the other two kingdoms, Baekje in 660 and Goguryeo in 668. Thereafter, Later Silla occupied most of the Korean Peninsula, while the northern part re-emerged as Balhae, a successor-state of Goguryeo. After nearly 1,000 years of rule, Silla fragmented into the brief Later Three Kingdoms of Silla, Later Baekje, and Taebong, handing over power to Goryeo in 935.[3]

Name

Until its founding as a full-fledged kingdom, Silla was recorded using several hanja combinations to phonetically approximate its native Korean name. Among those used, there include 斯盧 (사로, Saro), 斯羅 (사라, Sara), 徐那(伐) (서나[벌], Seona[beol]), 徐耶(伐) (서야[벌], Seoya[beol]), 徐羅(伐) (서라[벌], Seora[beol]), and 徐伐 (서벌, Seobeol).

In 504, Jijeung of Silla standardized the characters into 新羅(신라), which in Modern Korean is pronounced "Shilla".

One etymological hypothesis suggests that the name Seorabeol might have been the origin of the word Seoul, meaning "capital city", and also the name of the present capital of South Korea, which was previously known as Hansung (漢城) or Hanyang (漢陽). The name of the Silla capital may have changed into its Late Middle Korean form Syeobeul (셔블), meaning "royal capital city," which might have changed to Syeoul (셔울) soon after, and finally resulted in Seoul (서울) in the Modern Korean language.

The name of either Silla or its capital Seorabeol was widely used throughout Northeast Asia as the ethnonym for the people of Silla, appearing as Shiragi in Japanese and as Solgo or Solho in the language of the medieval Jurchens and their later descendants, the Manchus, respectively. In the modern Mongolian language, Korea and Koreans are still known as Солонгос (Solongos), which seems to be an alteration of Silla influenced by the Mongolian word for "rainbow" (солонго solongo).

Silla was also referred to as Gyerim (鷄林, 계림), literally "chicken forest," a name that has its origins in the forest near the Silla capital. Legend has it that the state's founder was born in the same forest, hatched from the egg of a cockatrice (Kor. gyeryong, 雞龍, 계룡, literally "chicken-dragon").