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Lelang commandery

Lelang (樂浪郡 le4 lang4 jun4) was one of the Chinese commanderies which was kept in the Korean Peninsula over 400 years.

History In 108 B.C. Emperor Wu[?] of the Han Dynasty conquered Chaoxian, ruled by Youqu (右渠), a grandson of Man[?]. The Emperor set up Lelang, Lintun[?], Xuantu[?] and Zhenfan[?] commanderies in the Korean Peninsula. Lelang was located in northwestern Korea and consisted of 11 prefectures. Its capital was put near P'yongyang.

After Emperor Wu's death, Zhenfan and Lintun was abolished and Xuantu was moved to Liaodong[?]. The prefectures of the abolished commanderies were incoporated into Lelang. Lelang after the consolidation is sometimes called "Greater Lelang commandery". Since Lelang became too large for a commandery, the Defender of Southern Territories (南部都尉) was set up to rule the seven prefectures which formerly belonged to Zhenfan. Before that, the Defender of Eastern Territories (東部都尉) were put to rule former Lintun's seven prefectures.

Massive Chinese immigrations, mainly from Yan[?] (Hebei) and Qi (Shandong), continued without cessation, implanting Chinese cultures in the peninsula. The Yan people came from Beijing via Liaodong and the Qi people came across the Yellow Sea. Among them, the Wang clan, whose ancestor is said to have fled there from Qi in the 2nd century B.C., became powerful. It is presumed that most of Lelang Chinese spoke the Yan dialect.

While the Han Dynasty was took over by Wang Mang[?] and China fell into chaos, Wang Tiao (王調) started a rebellion and broke away from China. In 30 A.D. the rebellion was crushed by Wang Zun (王遵), whom Emperor Guangwudi[?] appointed as Governor of Lelang. Lelang came under the direct control of China again. However, the shortages of human resources caused by the turmoil resulted in the abolishment of eastern seven prefectures. The administration was left to the Hui (濊) natives whose chieves were conferred marquisate.



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