This study evaluates the authenticity of the Hwarang segi (The Generations of the Hwarang) manuscripts by placing them within the larger context of Pak Ch’anghwa’s other fictional writings on Silla. It also provides greater detail on Pak’s life, his scholarly interests, and his concerns about the lack of early literature preserving unalloyed the legends from Korea’s antiquity. Pak’s other manuscripts on Silla provide background on several terms and seminal ideas that were developed in the Hwarang segi. Because they show an evolution in the way Pak conceived of the hwarang and early Silla society, they cannot be ignored or set apart from the Hwarang segi manuscripts. In particular, this essay examines the origins and philosophy of the hwarang, the importance of matrilineal status, and the scholarship on the hyangga found in the Hwarang segi manuscripts. Scholars cannot ignore the other manuscripts and accept only the Hwarang segi as authentic. Rather, they provide strong evidence that Pak composed the Hwarang segi as historical fiction.

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