What Was Korea Called in Ancient Times?

Korea is a country that has been in existence for thousands of years. It has a rich history and culture that is admired all over the world.

However, many people are curious about what Korea was called in ancient times. In this article, we will explore the various names that Korea was known by in ancient times.

The Early Names of Korea

Korea was known by several names in ancient times. In the 7th century BCE, it was known as Gojoseon.

According to legend, Gojoseon was founded by Dangun Wanggeom, who was said to have descended from heaven. The kingdom of Gojoseon lasted until the 3rd century BCE when it was conquered by the Han dynasty of China.

The Three Kingdoms Period

After the fall of Gojoseon, Korea was divided into three kingdoms: Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla. These kingdoms lasted from the 1st century BCE to the 7th century CE and were known as the Three Kingdoms Period.

Goguryeo occupied most of northern Korea as well as parts of China and Russia. Baekje was located in southwestern Korea and had close ties with Japan. Silla occupied southeastern Korea and had trade relations with China.

The Unified Silla Period

In 668 CE, Silla conquered Baekje and Goguryeo and unified Korea under its rule. This period is known as the Unified Silla Period (668-935 CE). During this time, Korea made great strides in art, culture, and technology.

The Goryeo Dynasty

In 918 CE, a general named Wang Geon founded the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392 CE) after overthrowing the last king of Silla. The Goryeo dynasty saw Korea flourish in various fields such as literature, art, and science.

The Joseon Dynasty

In 1392 CE, the Goryeo dynasty was overthrown by a general named Yi Seong-gye who founded the Joseon dynasty (1392-1897 CE). The Joseon dynasty saw Korea become a major power in East Asia and it is during this time that many of Korea’s most famous cultural artifacts were produced.


Korea has had many names throughout its long history. From Gojoseon to the Joseon dynasty, each period has left its mark on Korean culture and society. Understanding the history of Korea is essential to appreciate its rich cultural heritage and to understand its place in the world today.