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Monument of King Jinheung

by Herodopedia taeshik.kim 2019. 11. 4.
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진흥왕의 꿈

그 꿈은 무엇이었을까?

북한산 여러 봉우리 중에서도 유독 한강과 서해를 조망하는 저 비봉碑峰 꼭대기로 진흥왕은 왜 기어올랐을까?


북한산 신라 진흥왕 순수비 北漢山新羅眞興王巡狩碑 

As one of the several markers set up to commemorate the visits of King Jinheung (r. 540-576) of Silla to the border areas of his newly expanded territory, this stone monument was originally located on one of the tallest Bukhansan peaks now called Bibong to commemorate Silla’s territorial expansion to the area around Han River, but was moved to the precincts of Gyeongbokgung Palace for its safe preservation and, finally, to its current location in the National Museum of Korea. 

The monument originally featured a hewn rectangular stone set up on a double-tier pedestal, which was in turn placed on natural rock. The monument lost some of its upper part; the remaining body, 1.54 meters tall and 0.69 meter wide, contains an inscription of Chinese characters in regular script arranged in 12 lines each of which consists of 32 characters. The inscription provides a background on the king’s visit to the site and the erection of the monument and contains ample praise of the king’s territorial expansion.

No one knows exactly when the monument was set up since its abraded surface renders the engraving of the date of the royal visit indecipherable. Historians believe, however, that it was built sometime around 561 or 568 when the Changnyeong Monument (National Treasure No. 33) and the Hwangchoryeong Monument were erected, respectively. 

It was in 1816 through Kim Jeong-hui (better known by his pen-name Chusa 1786-1856), a great calligrapher and epigraphist, that the Bukhansan Monument became known as Silla heritage, and it was related to King Jinheung’s border inspection held in the 6th century. The inscription on the monument is considered a valuable source of knowledge on the history of Korea’s three kingdoms.

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