Skip to comments.1,500-Year-Old Love Story Between a Persian Prince and a Korean Princess that Could Rewrite History
Posted on 06/26/2018 9:10:31 AM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege
More than a thousand years before the first European explorer reached Koreas shores, the Persian Empire was writing love stories about Korean princesses.
Recently, historians took a second look an old Persian epic written around 500 AD and realized that, at the center of the tale, was the unusual story of a Persian prince marrying a Korean princess.
Its an incredible discovery. Up until recently, we werent sure that the Persians of that time even knew Korea existed. This new revelation shows Persia didnt just make contact with Korea these countries were intimately connected.
The story is called the Kushnameh, and, in itself, its hardly a new discovery. Its one of the most popular stories to come out of the Persian Empire, one thats been told and retold countless times in the 1,500 years since it was written.
Korea comes into play when the story starts to focus on a young, noble prince of Persia named Abtin. For his whole life, Abtin has been forced to live in the woods, hiding from the evil Kus the Tusked. He has only one thing to keep him safe: a magic book that tells him his future. Its almost like breaking the fourth wall Abtin has a copy of the book were reading, and hes not above flipping ahead a few pages to see how it all ends. In fact, thats just what he does. He reads the next chapter and finds out that hes supposed to go to the Silla kingdom of Korea, and after briefly getting confused and going to China he winds up being welcomed with open arms by the king of Silla.
From here, the story is just page after page of lavish descriptions of how beautiful Korea is...
(Excerpt) Read more at ancient-origins.net ...
Thanks for this!
The word for "person" in Japanese is "jin", pronounced jean. I wonder if at the time it meant "the people". Also, the sounds for j and dj is fluid between regions of Japan.
I have Orlando Furioso in my library; read it university in the 70’s. Looks like I have to reread it again. Thanks for the reference.
You are so welcome. I hope you enjoy this beautiful story based on a true occurrence.
I remember that from the version of the Arabian Nights that I read when I was a kid--even though Aladdin is an Arabic name, he was Chinese.
Korea and China were not always cohesive countries. The rough territory of the modern countries varied quite a bit before Genghis Khan (~1200 AD). Many principalities and city states existed, and powerful Kingdoms rose and fell. Silla (Shilla) had united the Korean peninsula in 668, until 935. They were ascendant during a period when Northern China was relatively weak, roughly around the time of this story.
The “Chin” that they referenced, might just imply the general physical characteristics of the people of that area (racially mongoloid, with eye folds), visually distinct from the Caucasian Persians.
Some people traveled thousands of miles, even in the Old Stone Age. There was a period of development with wide ranging trade ties in the Eastern Mediterranean, which included trade goods from what is now China, which experienced a widespread collapse around 1177 BC.
Koreans share ethnic characteristics with Mongolians (like the “Blue spot” near the base of the spine (also shared by other populations which emigrated from what is modern Mongolia, like Turks and Innuit), as well as some linguistic and cultural traits.
The Steppe horse culture of herdsmen living in round tents, which we associate with Mongolians, historically extended into the common, contiguous environment of the Tibetan highland plains, which basically border the Indus River Valley civilizations (modern Pakistan). That ancient Indus River Valley civilization was historically the Eastern edge of the Persian culture.
During the Sasanian era of this story (which in popular memory, might be “the time before the Arab/Muslim conquest” - the good old days of Persian culture), the Persian Empire extended throughout the Indus River plains, high up into the Himalayas. The Government likely maintained formal diplomatic relations, conducted trade, and sought intelligence from the other side of the mountains.
It did not require many cultural hops to make the journey to Korea. It might take a year on horseback, but it was comparable to a journey from the Eastern to the Western edge of the Persian Empire itself.
What a great read. Thanks to all who shared their knowledge.
Well, the Turks did originate around Mongolia and the steppes, just west of Korea, many centuries ago.
Morgana La Fey was not the Lady of the Lake. She was Merlin’s nemesis, and, by extension, Arthur’s.
King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king.
Dennis: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
Arthur: Be quiet!
Dennis: You can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just ‘cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
Arthur: Shut up!
Dennis: I mean, if I went around saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away!
The Persian Prince watched the Mr. Taxi video.
Quibble -- Orlando Furiouso is not the Song of Roland, it is an entertaining, very broad, gentle lampoon of the Song of Roland.
Fascinating, but this page is not a great source in my experience. They are fairly expert in making hokum seem like legitimate history.
Thanks TXnMA. Caution though, this part's BS:
More than a thousand years before the first European explorer reached Koreas shores...
Distance was not a problem....... Stephen Lekson
Source is Iran. What do you expect...? '-)
> Morgana La Fey was not the Lady of the Lake. She was Merlins nemesis, and, by extension, Arthurs.
In the Song of Roland, Morgana Le Fe (Morgan the Fairy() was Merlin’s lover and also the Lady of the Lake. Arthur was not mentioned as an active character in the story. Have you read the Song of Roland? Roland was a Paladin (Knight) in the service of Charlemagne during the time Charlemagne was driving the Moors out of Europe.
I base my statement on Malory's accounting of the legend, "Le Morte d'Arthur," in which Morgana is reputedly the half-sister of Arthur and his arch-enemy. She does at one time have possession of Excalibur, but she does not give it to Arthur.
The Lady of the Lake, on the other hand, is Arthur's protector, a mysterious water spirit sometimes called "Vivien," who gives him not only Excalibur, but its scabbard, which has the power to protect him from mortal harm. Morgana steals the scabbard and throws it into the lake, thus rendering Arthur liable to injury, which he receives in battle with Mordred.
Though sometimes confused, Morgana and Vivien are not the same person.
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