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Mongol Princess Brides and their Political Power in the Koryŏ Court during the 13th to 14th Centuries Open Access


Other title
Mongol Yuan
Koryo Korea
marriage alliance
princess brides
Yuan China
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Wong, King Kwong
Supervisor and department
Jay, Jennifer
Examining committee member and department
Jay, Jennifer (History and Classics)
Haagsma, Margriet (History and Classics)
Dunch, Ryan (History and Classics)
Fried, Daniel (East Asian Studies)
Department of History and Classics
Date accepted
Graduation date
2016-06:Fall 2016
Master of Arts
Degree level
Marriage alliance, or heqin 和親, was used as a diplomatic policy as early as in the Western Han dynasty (206 BCE-9 CE). Except for a few who possessed a great personality, princess brides showed little political authority and influence in their marital home, a foreign court. In appearance, the marriage relationship between the Yuan (1271-1368) and the Koryŏ (918-1392) courts was just another heqin policy executed by the dominating party, the Yuan dynasty. On the contrary, all the Mongol princess brides held great power in Korean politics. At times, their political power could rival that of the Koryŏ kings. In this thesis, I argue that the source of the Mongol princess brides’ political power and authority came externally from their natal family, the Yuan court, and from the retainers they brought with them to Korea. In Chapter 1, I examine the Mongol princesses and their political power and authority in Koryŏ. Chapter 2 explores the political backing from their natal families as I examine the Mongol princess brides’ family background and well-maintained ties to the Yuan court. The last chapter analyzes the Mongol princesses’ retainers and demonstrates how they served as the extension of their political influence in Koryŏ politics.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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