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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Public Administration and the Laws of Silla from the 3rd–5th Centuries

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2017, v.57 no.3, pp.31-55
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2017.57.3.31

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Abstract

In the early Silla period from the Saro state until the isageum era, vassals would administer state affairs under the direct orders of the rulers of small states and report the results to them. The vassals had no definite missions or roles, with the ruler entrusting tasks to any vassal as the occasion demanded and at his own discretion. The arbitrary directives and administration by the ruler and vassal groups were subject to regulations under the laws of the small states. As the jurisdiction of laws was confined to the state involved, the ruler of Saro was limited in his control and administrative policies vis-à-vis the small states of the Jinhan Confederacy, even after Saro became the leading state of that confederacy. During the rule of the maripgan (great chief), the decisions made at collective deliberation (gongnon 共論) sessions were announced in the form of royal instructions, which in turn were implemented as ordinances. Bureaucrats in charge of certain tasks emerged, and the public office administering financial and logistical affairs was established during this period. Administrative ordinances (gyoryeongbeop 敎令法) were the legal basis of the state administration during the reign of the maripgan. As administrative system gradually settled at the central and local provinces, the administrative ordinances began to be enforced at the six central polities and local villages, affecting the residents in the provincial areas.

keywords
Silla Saro state public administration vassals laws legal codes of small states instructions ordinances penal and administrative codes

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