N. V. Kyuner (1877-1955): ‘Korea in the Second Half of the 18th Century.’ The Unpublished Typescript

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УДК 930.2

DOI 10.28995/2073-0101-2018-1-24-37

Nataliya A. Chesnokova

Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russian Federation

N. V. Kyuner (1877-1955): ‘Korea in the Second Half of the 18th Century.’ The Unpublished Typescript


Nikolai Vasilievich Kyuner (1877-1955) was a Russian Orientalist. Having graduated with merit from the St. Petersburg State University, he was sent to the Far East and spent there two years. Having returned, he was appointed head of the department of historical and geographical sciences at the Eastern Institute (Vladivostok) in 1904. Kyuner was one of the first Orientalists to teach courses in history, geography, and ethnography. His works number over 400. The article studies a typescript of his unpublished study ‘Korea in the second half of the 18th century’ now stored in the Archive of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg). Little known to Russian Koreanists, it nevertheless retains its scientific significance as one of the earliest attempts to study the history of the ‘golden age’ of Korea. The date of the typescript is not known, though analysis of the citations places its completion between 1931 and 1940. The article is to introduce the typescript into scientific use and to verify some facts and terms. N. V. Kuyner’s typescript consists of 8 sections: (1) ‘Introduction. Sources review’; (2) ‘General characteristics of the social development stage of Korea in the second half of the 18th century’; (3) ‘Great impoverishment of the country’; (4) ‘Peasantry’; (5) ‘Cities’; (6) ‘Popular revolts’; (7) ‘Military bureaucratic regime’; (8) ‘The Great Collection of Laws’ (a legal code). There are excerpts from foreign and national publications of the 19th - early 20th century, and there’s also some valuable information on Korean legal codes and encyclopedias of the 18th century, which have not yet been translated into any European languages. The typescript addresses socio-economic situation in Korea in the 18th century; struggles of the court cliques of the 16th-18th centuries and their role in inner and foreign policies of the country; social structure of the society and problems of the peasantry; role of trade in the development of the Middle Korean society; legal proceedings and legislation, etc. One of the first among Russian Koreanistics, N. V. Kyuner examined causes of sasaek (Korean ‘parties’) formation and the following events, linking together unstable situation in the country, national isolation, and execution of Crown Prince Sado (1735-1762).

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Historical source, N. V. Kyuner, Korea, Korean history in the 18th century, Korean Studies in Russia, unpublished research, Korean economics in the 18th century, Korean state structure in the 18th century


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CHESNOKOVA, N. A. Pamyati N.V.Kyunera (1877-1955). “Ocherk Korei” (1912) – k stoletiu so dnya publikatsii i v svyazi s perevodom na koreiskiyi yazyk [In memory of N.V. Kuehner (1877-1955). ‘An Outline of Korea’ (1912) in the face of its 100th publication anniversary and of its translation into Korean. In Russ.] IN: Vestnik Tsentra koreiskogo yazyka i kul'tury [Proceedings of the Center for Korean Language and Culture], issue 16, St. Petersburg, 2014, pp. 7-27.

About author

Chesnokova Nataliya Alekseevna, Russian State University for the Humanities, Institute of Oriental and Classical Studies, senior lecturer, PhD student, Moscow, Russian Federation, +7-916-759-91-17, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Submitted 14.08.2017, published:

Chesnokova N. A. N. V. Kyuner (1877-1955): “Koreya vo vtoroi polovine XVIII veka”. Neopublikovannaya mashinopis' [N. V. Kuehner (1877-1955): ‘Korea in the second half of the 18th century.’ The unpublished typescript. In Russ.]. IN: Vestnik arhivista / Herald of an Archivist, 2018, no. 1, pp. 24-37. doi 10.28995/2073-0101-2018-1-24-37

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