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  • Син Гёнджун (1712–1781) и его «Описание гор» (Сангёнпхё). Первая корейская протонаучная классификация гор Корейского полуострова

Article

Син Гёнджун (1712–1781) и его «Описание гор» (Сангёнпхё). Первая корейская протонаучная классификация гор Корейского полуострова

The 17–18th centuries in Korea are characterized by the sharp increase in the number of works devoted to geography and history. The reason was the emergence of new knowledge about the world, coming to the Korean peninsula through regular contacts with the Manchu empire of Qing. It is worth mentioning that the nature of these works was diametrically opposed: on the one hand, in the higher aristocratic Confucian circles, the mythical “All Under Heavens Map”s called cheonhado, appealing to ancient history, were popular; on the other hand, a group of sirhak scholars who fought for the “real knowledge”, tried to find a compromise between the new methods of studying space and the traditional sinocentric worldview.

This article focuses on one of the geographical writings of the second half of the 18th century the “Description of the Mountains” (Sangyeongpyo) of the court official-censor Shin Gyeongjun 申景濬 (1712-1781). This work is the first proto-scientific attempt to classify all the Korean mountains according to their location and size. The work continues the study of the so-called “The Great Paektu Trunk" of the Baektu-taegan, or the Great Trunk, started earlier by the scholars of the second half of the 18th century. – Yi Chung-hwan 李重煥 (1690-1756?) and Yi Ik 李瀷 (1681-1763).

The article is aimed to reconstruct the biography of Shin Gyeongjun – and for the first time in Russian Korean Studies the research is based on the royal chronicles “Joseon Wangjo Sillok” 朝鮮王朝實錄; and to analyze the content of the “Description of the Mountains” – this is also done for the first time in Russian Korean Studies.

According to Shin Gyeongjun, the Korean mountain range system should be correctly explained through the fifteen different mountain ranges. He believed it is possible to distinguish one “huge trunk” daegan (大幹), one “main trunk” jeonggan (正幹) and thirteen “main veins” jeongmaek (正脈). Shin Gyeongjun was the first state council who presented the whole description of the Korean mountain ranges, and thus he influenced the development of Korean geography and cartography.