Korean monarchy existed in
Korea until the end of the Japanese
occupation. However, in Korea, nobles still continue to hold their
2 Ruler and princely styles
2.1 Original titles
3 Aristocracy before Joseon
4 Noble families in Korea
5 See also
7 External links
Benedictines and other monastical orders did during Europe's
Dark Ages, the Buddhist monks became the purveyors and guardians of
Korea's literary traditions while documenting Korea's written history
and legacies from the
Silla period to the end of the
Korean Buddhist monks also developed and used the first movable metal
type printing presses in history—some 500 years before
Gutenberg—to print ancient Buddhist texts. Buddhist
monks also engaged in record keeping, food storage and distribution,
as well as the ability to exercise power by influencing the Goryeo
Ruler and princely styles
The monarchs of
Goguryeo adopted the title of "Taewang", which placed
them on the same level as the Chinese emperors. The literal
translation of the title is the Supreme King. The early monarchs of
Silla have used the title of "Geoseogan", "Chachaung", "Isageum", and
finally "Maripgan" until 503. This follows from an earlier tradition
when Korean kings were styled either Han or Kan, which are cognates of
the Turkic khan. Marip originally meant the highest, and gan meant
rulers. In addition,
Baekje used the title of "Eoraha", "Ha" meaning
"rulers" and "Eora" meaning "the largest".
Goguryeo adopted the title, "Taewang" (태왕; 太王), meaning
"Grandest of all Kings".
Goryeo monarchs adopted the
title(s) Je (제; 帝), or emperor. However, unlike the Goguryeo, the
Imperial titles were not used in diplomatic campaigns with the
prominent Chinese Dynasties of that time.
Goryeo dropped its Imperial
title after the Mongolian takeover. The title was revived for less
than two decades during the
Korean Empire that came after Joseon.
Wang (Hangul: 왕; Hanja: 王), or king, was a Chinese royal style
used in many states rising from the dissolution of Gojoseon, Buyeo,
Silla and Balhae, Goryeo. In late
Joseon Dynasty (until 1897) the rulers of
Korea were still
known as "kings", as evident in the title of King Sejong the Great.
However, they were referred to by their temple names.
Gun (군; 君) is translated as "prince". The Royal Prince born of the
Principal Royal consort (Queen) was designated Daegun, translated as
the Grand Prince of the Blood. The princes born of concubine was given
the title gun (often distinguished as wangja-gun), translated as the
Prince of the Blood. The father of the king who himself has never
reigned was given the special title of Daewongun (The Grand Prince of
the Blood in the Court).
Those who has distinguished himself in the service of the court were
also given the princely title as well. Buwongun (The Grand Prince of
the Court), were the title of the father of the Queen, or those who
have reached the rank of the Chief State Counsellor. Gun was the title
of the meritorious subjects who reached the rank of the State
Counsellor. These princes created for service had a prefix attached to
the princely title, a town that a subject is affiliated to. Though
designed as a titular appointment as a Lord of the area, the title was
The title gun can also refer to the dethroned rulers of Chosŏn
dynasty as well. There were three dethroned kings to be called "Gun"
Joseon Dynasty (one restored to the dignity of king posthumously).
Korean Empire (1897–1910), the Prince of the Blood was
given the title of Chinwang. While the literal translation is the
Imperial King of the Blood, a more appropriate title is the Imperial
Prince of the Blood. Only four chinwang were appointed.
Aristocracy before Joseon
In Silla, the nobility was categorized by the Bone rank system.
Royal families split into two classes: sacred bone, which meant
eligibility for the royal succession, and true bone, until the former
Non-royal nobles split into three classes: the 6th head rank, the 5th
head rank and the 4th head rank. the 6th was the highest.
At the time of Goryeo,
Korean nobility was divided into 6 classes.
Duke of a state
Duke of a county
Marquis of a town
Count of a town
Viscount of a town
Baron of a town
Also the title Taeja (hangul: 태자, hanja: 太子) was given to sons
of emperor not like other east Asian countries. In other countries,
this title meant crown prince. It was similar to Chinwang (hangul:
친왕, hanja: 親王) of the Korean Empire.
Noble families in Korea
Some clans whose social rank throughout Korean history could be
considered equivalent to nobility are as follows (this is merely a
sample and nowhere near the total list of families who attained and/or
retained such social rank over the duration of Korea's lengthy
history; families on this list are often also recognizable via their
status during the
Joseon era as yangban families)
List of Noble families in Korea:
See also: Category:Korean clans.
Rulers of Korea
List of Korea-related topics
Posterity of Heaven
Bone rank system
House of Yi
^ 이도학, 백제사 (History of Paekje), 2005,
^ 도수희, 백제왕칭어에 대하여: 어라하 , 건길지 ,
구드래 , 구다라를 중심으로 (Concerning the title of
Baekje's rulers: Ŏraha, Kŏgilji, Kudŭrae and Kudara),
한국언어문학, 11, 244-247 (1973)
^ 도수희, 백제어 연구 II (Study of Pakeje Language II,
^ 도수희, 백제어 연구 III (Study of Paekje Language III)
^ 도수희, 존칭의 비(卑)칭화에 대하여 (Concerning
honorific titles and humble names), 한국현대언어학회
Almanach de Bruxelles (now a paying site)
Titles of the
Nobility by nation
(*) : state where monarchy still exists
South Africa (Zulu)