According to the Samguk sagi (History of the Three Kingdoms), exchanges between the kingdoms of Koguryŏ and Silla commenced with military engagements in the middle of the third century. The broader interregional circumstances of the time, evidenced by both historical and archaeological data, make such an early encounter between these two polities highly unlikely. In this paper I examine data from historical and archaeological contexts to identify contradictions in accounts of the mid-third-century circumstances of the Korean peninsula, demonstrating the anomalous nature of the early depictions of Koguryŏ-Silla relations found in the Samguk sagi. Further, I will discuss how the issue at hand points to a much more pervasive problem with the early chronology of the Silla records in the Samguk sagi, demanding a considerable degree of caution for scholars who use that resource for the study of the history of the Korean peninsula. Lastly, I will discuss briefly how current trends in Korean academia (involving forces that are not limited to the academic realm) pose a challenge for an open and critical evaluation of the chronology of the Samguk sagi.


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pp. 115-132
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