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Kim Il-gwon

Retracing the Ancient Korean Sky and Its Myths

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Art.Nr./ISBN: 9781565914834m

Verlag: Hollym

Jahr: 2016

Einband: Softcover

Seitenzahl: 248

Sprache: English

Medientyp: Book

 

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 The author builds on his expertise in Eastern classics and religions in addition to his initial training as a hard scientist to unmask the cosmology and associated myths of ancient Korea as captured by the tomb murals of the Koguryŏ kingdom. This volume is the digest of decades of his pioneering work in Korean archeoastronomy and publications on the subject. The author has taken great care to make the content understandable to the general readership, advocating the inclusion of additional material that could be of interest for the more curious reader, many of which are original (technical) illustrations showing the Western and Eastern constellations at a glance.

As its title faithfully reflects, what anchors this book is the proud culture of the ancient Korean kingdom Koguryŏ. The opening chapter sets the backdrop (Western and Eastern astronomy in general) that serves to underscore the uniqueness and innovative nature of Koguryŏ astronomy and related artifacts. That overview is followed by a thorough discussion of one iconic example—the tomb mural of Tŏkhŭng-ri (408 A.D.)—that showcases Koguryŏ cosmology and mythology in all their richness and glory. The next chapter takes the readers on a journey through other murals of the period, and provides a “big picture” view of the Koguryŏ cosmological system. The book concludes with an epilogue describing how the Koguryŏ model survived (or only barely managed to do so) in subsequent eras, followed by very generous appendices that serve as helpful summaries as well as supplements in the form of charts and illustrations put together by the author.

 

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