Three Kingdoms Overview

This site can be viewed in one of two different ways, if not both: A) To provide a interesting and entertaining way to learn about Korean history by using Korean dramas as a starting point and/or B) To provide additional knowledge and context in order to enhance the viewing experience when watching a historical Korean drama also known as sagueks 사극. Everything found in this site ties back to at least one sageuks of this time period.

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What is the Three Kingdom’s Period?

The Three Kingdoms in circa 375 AD.  courtesy of

The Three Kingdoms in circa 375 AD. courtesy of

The specific years of what is referred to as “Three Kingdoms Period” (한국의 삼국 시대) took place from circa 57 BC to 668 AD when Korea was divided into three different kingdoms, Silla (신라)Goguryeo (고구려)Baekje (백제).  During this time period, there was a fourth kingdom in the south, Gaya (가야) that also flourished. The full geographic scope was from present day Manchuria to the southern tip of the Korean peninsula.


Super Concise Overview of the Three Kingdoms

Here is the one paragraph version of how it came to be.  Click on the various links for more information on a particular topic. 

Korea had been around for thousands of years. The first kingdom was known as GoJoseon 고조선 which was founded in 2333 BC by Dangun 당근. eventually fell to the Han (China) in 108 BC, after which the people of GoJoseon split off into various tribes and mini kingdoms throughout present day Manchuria and the Korean peninsula. The area of GoJoseon, became overrun by the Han who set up military commanderies to keep the people of GoJoseon at bay. Fast forward to 57 BC, when the Kingdom of Silla (aka: Shilla) was founded by Bak HyeokGuhSeh (Bak Hyeokgeose) 박혁거세. However the Three Kingdom party didn’t really get started until 37 BC with the founding of Goguryeo, by Jumong, who managed to bring together some of the dispersed tribes of GoJoseon and recapture some of the lost territory by driving out the Han. It was topped off in 18 AD with the founding of Baekje by Jumong’s wife, Soseono and her sons.

So now with this quick overview, you can see why Jumong is a considered the starting point of historical Korean dramas. Note: Based on the dramas that have been made in recent date (i.e. within the past 10 or so years). Of course this can change with any new dramas set before the founding of Goguryeo (ie, the founding of Silla).  

List of Korean Dramas that take place during the Three Kingdoms Period:

  • Jumong – 주몽
  • The Kingdom of the Wind-바람의 나라
  • Ja Myung Go 자명고 / Princess Ja Myung Go 왕녀 자명고
  • Kim Soo Ro 김수로
  • King Geunchogo (aka: Geunchogo Wang)  근초고왕 (近肖古王)
  • The Legend 태왕사신기
  • King Gwanggaeto the Great (Gwanggaeto Dae Wang)광개토태왕 (廣開土太王)
  • The King’s Daughter, Soo Beak Hyang제왕의 딸, 수백향
  • Ballad of Seo Dong 서동요
  • Queen Seon Duk 선덕여왕 (善德女王)
  • Gye Baek 계백
  • The Great King’s Dream (aka: The King’s Dream) 대왕의 꿈
  • The Great Hero (aka:Yeon Gaesomun) 연개소문
  • Sword and Flower 칼과꽃
  • Dae Jo Yeong 대조영 (大祚榮)
  • The Emperor of the Sea (aka: Hae Shin) 해신 (海神)

For a closer look at each of the Three Kingdoms: