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‘통일신라’라는 시대구분은 신라인들의 ‘일통삼한’ 의식에서 비롯된 것으로 일 반적으로 이해되고 있지만, 실제로는 근대에 들어와 발명된 것이다. 오늘날 통용되고 있는 신라통일론은 백제, 고구려의 멸망에서 기점을 잡는 전통시대의 일통삼한론 또는 신라정통 론이 아니라, 나당전쟁을 거쳐 당세력을 축출한 676년을 핵심적 기점으로 삼는 2단계 통일 론에 입각해있다. 이러한 인식은 하야시(林泰輔)의 『朝鮮史』(1892)에서 처음으로 등장하며, 이를 번역하여 갑오~광무개혁기 때 국사교과서 편찬에 활용했던 김택영, 현채 등을 통해 조선에 수용되었다. 하야시가 애초 나․당의 대립을 강조하는 2단계 통일론을 구상한 것은 당시 청으로부터 조선의 독립을 추구했던 일본의 아시아연대주의와 밀접히 연결되어 있다. 갑오~광무개혁정 권은 이러한 하야시의 조선사체계를 ‘국사’로서 수용하여, 청으로부터 독립한 근대 조선의 ‘국민’을 창출하려고 했다. 특히 현채는 『조선사』를 그대로 번역하지 않고, 하야시가 강조한 ‘임나일본부설’을 배제하였다는 점에서, 청만이 아니라 일본까지도 조선민족의 타자로 의식 하는 ‘국사’의 확립을 지향하고 있었다. 현채의 시각은 이후 부여-고구려족을 주체로 한 민족사를 주창한 신채호의 「독사신론」 (1908)에서 크게 비판받지만, 이조차도 현채의 책이 그만큼 당시의 지식인들에게 큰 영향력 을 발휘하고 있었음을 반증한다. 더욱이 세키노 다다시(關野貞) 이래 제국 일본이라는 타자 를 통해 통일신라의 문화가 세계적 문화로 극찬되고, 곧이어 석굴암의 발견, 금관총, 서봉총 의 발굴이 이어지면서 조선의 지식인들에게 ‘통일신라’는 조선문화의 근원이며, 민족의 자 부심으로 자리 잡게 된다. 그 결과 황의돈의 『대동청사』(1909)와 안확의 『조선문명사』(1923) 는 남북국시대를 설정하고 있지만, 발해보다 오히려 신라의 통일을 강조하였다. 1920~30년대를 거치면서 조선의 지식인들에게 통일신라의 이미지는 민족의 형성과 민족 문화의 연원으로서 확고히 자리매김 되어갔다. 문일평이 ‘朝鮮心’의 근원으로 표상한 통일 신라론이나, 해방 후 손진태가 신라 통일을 민족의 결정기로 이해한 것도 그 당연한 결과였 다. 일제시대에 부여-고구려족 주체설과 남북국시대론이 제기되었음에도 불구하고 신라통일 론이 의연히 강화되어간 것은 민족사를 ‘발전적’으로 설명해야만 하는 ‘국사’의 본질적 속성 과 관련되어 있다. 따라서 ‘통일신라론’의 발명과 확립은 민족이라는 배타적 역사단위와 그 발전을 키워드로 삼는 한국 근대역사학의 성립과정이었다고 말할 수 있다.


While the periodization of ‘the Unified Silla Period(統一新羅)’ in korean history has been regarded as the product which was derived from the recognition of ‘the unification of Samhan(一統三韓)’ by Silla people, but in fact it was invented in the modern age. The so-called ‘theory of the unification by Silla(統一新羅論)’ which has believed as a common view in Korean academia is not ‘theory of the unification of Samhan’ of traditional period which means the fall of Gogurye and Paekche and unification of three kingdoms, but based on ‘theory of two stage unification’ which regards the year A.D. 676 as the key starting point of the unification of three kingdoms. A.D. 676 was the year that Silla expelled Tang invaders from korean peninsula thorough the War between Silla and Tang(羅唐戰爭). Hayasi(林泰輔) initially insisted the ‘theory of two stage unification’ at his book 『Choseunsa(朝鮮史)』 in 1892, and it was accepted by Kim Taek-Young(金澤榮) and Hyun Chae(玄采) who translated the book into Korean and used it for the compilation of Korean history textbooks at the period of Gabo Reform in 1894(甲午改革). The reason that Hayasi insisted the ‘theory of two stage unification’ was to emphasize the importance of War between Silla and Tang and it was also related to Japan's ‘asian solidarity mind’ which pursued Choseun's independence from Ching(淸) Dynasty. The Gabo Reform government accepted the system of Choseun history by Hayasi as ‘national history’ and tried to make Choseun's ‘people’ who was independent from Ching. Especially, Hyun Chae didn't translate the full text of 『Choseunsa(朝鮮史)』 directly and deleted the ‘theory of Imnailbonbu(任那日本府); the Japanese entity that allegedly ruled the Korean peninsula in the ancient times).’ Through the deletion, he focused on the establishment of ‘national history’ which recognized Japan as a stranger as well as China. Hyun Chae was strongly criticized in 『Doksasinron(讀史新論)』 written by Sin Chae-Ho(申采浩) in 1908. Sin Chae-Ho argued national history which regarded Buyeo(夫餘) and Gogurye(高句麗) as the main stream of history. But this showed that Hyun Chae had a great influence on the intellectual class. In fact, 『Daedongcheongsa(大東靑史)』 written by Hwang Ui-Don(黃義敦) in 1909 and 『Choseunmunmyengsa(朝鮮文明史)』 written by An Hwak(安廓) in 1923 emphasized the unification by Silla rather than the history of Balhae(渤海), even though the two books were dealing with theory of Nambukguk period(南北國時代論). The Unified Silla's image has been set up as the origin of national history and national culture with the intellectuals of Choseun since 1920~1930. After the restoration of independence(1945), the insistence of Son Jin-Tae(孫晉泰) which understood the unification by Silla as the formative period of nation was most reasonable result. Although the theory of Buyeo(부여) and Gogurye as the main stream of history or the theory of Nambukguk period was insisted in Japanese colonial period, the reason that the theory of the unification by Silla has been enforced was related to the ‘nature of history’ which should explain the national history developmentally.


While the periodization of ‘the Unified Silla Period(統一新羅)’ in korean history has been regarded as the product which was derived from the recognition of ‘the unification of Samhan(一統三韓)’ by Silla people, but in fact it was invented in the modern age. The so-called ‘theory of the unification by Silla(統一新羅論)’ which has believed as a common view in Korean academia is not ‘theory of the unification of Samhan’ of traditional period which means the fall of Gogurye and Paekche and unification of three kingdoms, but based on ‘theory of two stage unification’ which regards the year A.D. 676 as the key starting point of the unification of three kingdoms. A.D. 676 was the year that Silla expelled Tang invaders from korean peninsula thorough the War between Silla and Tang(羅唐戰爭). Hayasi(林泰輔) initially insisted the ‘theory of two stage unification’ at his book 『Choseunsa(朝鮮史)』 in 1892, and it was accepted by Kim Taek-Young(金澤榮) and Hyun Chae(玄采) who translated the book into Korean and used it for the compilation of Korean history textbooks at the period of Gabo Reform in 1894(甲午改革). The reason that Hayasi insisted the ‘theory of two stage unification’ was to emphasize the importance of War between Silla and Tang and it was also related to Japan's ‘asian solidarity mind’ which pursued Choseun's independence from Ching(淸) Dynasty. The Gabo Reform government accepted the system of Choseun history by Hayasi as ‘national history’ and tried to make Choseun's ‘people’ who was independent from Ching. Especially, Hyun Chae didn't translate the full text of 『Choseunsa(朝鮮史)』 directly and deleted the ‘theory of Imnailbonbu(任那日本府); the Japanese entity that allegedly ruled the Korean peninsula in the ancient times).’ Through the deletion, he focused on the establishment of ‘national history’ which recognized Japan as a stranger as well as China. Hyun Chae was strongly criticized in 『Doksasinron(讀史新論)』 written by Sin Chae-Ho(申采浩) in 1908. Sin Chae-Ho argued national history which regarded Buyeo(夫餘) and Gogurye(高句麗) as the main stream of history. But this showed that Hyun Chae had a great influence on the intellectual class. In fact, 『Daedongcheongsa(大東靑史)』 written by Hwang Ui-Don(黃義敦) in 1909 and 『Choseunmunmyengsa(朝鮮文明史)』 written by An Hwak(安廓) in 1923 emphasized the unification by Silla rather than the history of Balhae(渤海), even though the two books were dealing with theory of Nambukguk period(南北國時代論). The Unified Silla's image has been set up as the origin of national history and national culture with the intellectuals of Choseun since 1920~1930. After the restoration of independence(1945), the insistence of Son Jin-Tae(孫晉泰) which understood the unification by Silla as the formative period of nation was most reasonable result. Although the theory of Buyeo(부여) and Gogurye as the main stream of history or the theory of Nambukguk period was insisted in Japanese colonial period, the reason that the theory of the unification by Silla has been enforced was related to the ‘nature of history’ which should explain the national history developmentally.