Stele for Great Master Wollang
Unified Silla Period
life in society - commemoration - monument
- Accession Number
Path to History
This stele records the life of Master Wollang (816-883) of the late Unified Silla Period, who became a Buddhist monk (Bhikkhu) in 845 by receiving the Buddhist commandments, and then went on a pilgrimage to China (Tang Dynasty). Upon his return to Korea, he was invited to Wolgwangsa Temple (月光寺) in Jecheon, Chuncheongbuk-do. This stele was erected at Wolgwangsa Temple in 890 (4th year of Queen Jinseong), seven years after his death. King Heongang ordered Kim Yeong (金潁) to write the inscription, and a monk named Sunmong (淳夢) then transcribed Kim’s inscription in the regular script of the Chinese calligrapher Ouyang Xun (歐陽詢, 557-641). The body of the stele rests on top of a turtle-shaped pedestal, and is topped with an ornamental capstone in the form of a dragon-serpent. This is a representative example of a stele from the golden era of stele production, with a style and structure that was very popular during the Unified Silla Period and Goryeo Dynasty.