In the annals of history, Koguryo stands out not only as a powerful state but also as a symbol of progress, particularly in the science, astronomy and medicine. From 277 BC to AD 668, this advanced and civilized nation made significant strides in various fields, showcasing an unparalleled commitment to knowledge, innovation, and societal well-being.
Koguryo, deeply rooted in agriculture, demonstrated an early interest in understanding and predicting the forces of nature. Old documents reveal meticulous records of abnormal climatic phenomena, setting the stage for systematic astronomical observations. The nation’s astronomers recorded solar and lunar eclipses, comets, falling stars, and even sunspots, positioning Koguryo as a frontrunner in astronomical knowledge. A great example of this is the Chonsangryolchabunyajido, a stone-carved astronomical chart that, even in 1395, boasted hundreds of constellations and 1,467 stars, projecting the celestial sphere onto a plain surface with remarkable precision.
Koguryo’s mathematical prowess reached impressive heights, evident in the creation of an astronomical chart that closely mirrors contemporary ones. The sophisticated understanding of dynamic principles found practical application in the construction of stone gates, exemplified by the Tomb of King Kogugwon. These gates, though weighty, could be effortlessly manipulated with a simple push, showcasing advanced masonry techniques based on dynamic knowledge.
The medical practices of Koguryo reflected a high level of knowledge and skill. Acupuncture and moxibustion, along with herbal treatments, formed the core of their medical approach. Acupuncture, in particular, had reached an advanced stage where practitioners could discern the hollowness of a hair with a needle. Neighboring nations admired Koguryo’s medical expertise, recognizing it as capable of saving even the gravely ill. Compiled medical books, such as Rosabang, grounded in rich clinical experience, furthered the dissemination of Koguryo’s medical knowledge, with renowned practitioners traveling to neighboring lands, contributing significantly to the development of medical science in the East.