Kingdom of ancient Korea that in AD 668 consolidated other polities on the Korean peninsula under the Unified Silla dynasty (668–935). Traditionally believed to have been founded by Hyokkose in 57 BC, Silla emerged as a full-fledged kingdom in the 6th century. In the reign of King Chinhung (540–576), a unique military corps, the hwarang (see Hwarangdo), was organized; allied with Tang-dynasty China, it defeated the Korean state of Paekche in 660 and Koguryo in 668, then expelled the Tang forces to create a unified and independent Korean state. It adopted a Chinese bureaucratic structure, but its aristocracy was never replaced by a bureaucratic class based on merit. Silla art before unification shows a tendency toward abstraction; postunification art reflects Tang naturalism.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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