Inflow at Ssangyongmun Gate During the Goryeo Dynasty and Its Identity

고려시대 쌍룡문경(雙龍紋鏡) 유입(流入)과 독자성(獨自性)

Choi, Juyeon

  • Received : 2019.03.25
  • Accepted : 2019.05.07
  • Published : 2019.06.30


The dragon is an imaginary animal that appears in the legends and myths of the Orient and the West. While dragons have mostly been portrayed as aggressive and as bad omens in the West, in the Orient, as they symbolize the emperor or have an auspicious meaning, dragons signify a positive meaning. In addition, as the dragon symbolizes the emperor and its type has been diversified considering it as a divine object that controls water, people have tried to express it as a figure. The records related to dragons in the Goryeo dynasty appeared with diverse topics in 'History of Goryeo' and are generally contents related to founding myths, rituals for rain, and Shinii (神異), etc. The founding myth emphasizes the legality of the Goryeo dynasty through the dragon, and this influenced the formation of the dragon's descendants. In addition, the ability to control water, which is a characteristic of the dragon, was symbolized as an earth dragon related to the rainmaking ritual, i.e., wishing for rain during times of drought. Since the dragon was the symbol of the royal family, the use of the dragon by common people was strictly restricted. Furthermore, the association of a bronze dragon mirror with the royal family is hard to be excluded. The type and quantity of bronze double dragon mirrors discovered to have existed during the Goryeo dynasty is great, and the production and the distribution of bronze mirrors with double dragons seem to have been more active compared to other bronze mirrors, as bronze mirrors with double dragons produced during Goryeo and bronze mirrors originating in China were mixed. Therefore, in this article, the characteristics of diverse bronze mirrors from the 10th century to the 14th century in China were examined. It seems that the master craftsmen who produced bronze mirrors with double dragons during the Goryeo dynasty were influenced by Chinese composition patterns when making the mirrors. Because there were many cases where a bronze mirror's country of origin could not easily be determined, in order to identify the differences between bronze double dragon mirrors produced during the Goryeo dynasty and bronze mirrors produced in China, meticulous analysis was required. Thus, to ascertain that Goryeo mirrors were not imitations of bronze mirrors with double dragons originating in China but produced independently, the mirrors were examined using the bronze double dragon mirror type classification system existing in our country. Bronze mirrors with double dragons are classified into three types: Type I, which has the style of the Yao dynasty, includes the greatest proportion; however, despite there being only a small quantity for comparison, Types II and III were selected for the analysis of the bronze mirrors with double dragons made in Goryeo because they have unique composition patterns. As mentioned above, distinguishing bronze mirrors made during Goryeo from bronze mirrors made in China is challenging because Goryeo bronze mirrors were made under the influence of China. Among them, since the manufacturing place of the bronze mirrors with double dragons found at the nine-story stone pagoda in Woljeongsa Temple in Pyeongchang is questionable and the composition pattern of the bronze mirror is hard to find on bronze mirrors with double dragons made in China, the manufacturing place of those bronze mirrors were examined. These bronze mirrors with double dragons were considered as bronze mirrors with double dragons made during the Goryeo dynasty adopting the Yao dynasty style composition pattern as aspects of the composition pattern belonged to Type I, and the detailed combination of patterns is hard to find in mirrors produced in China.


dragon;double dragon pattern;Goryeo;identity;Woljeongsa Temple