The hwarang was a state-sponsored organisation for the education of elite young males in the ancient kingdom of Silla, Korea. Variously translated as the 'Flower Boys,' 'Flowering Youth,' or 'Elite Youth' (and sometimes, too, the rather misleading 'Knights'), the hwarang pledged loyalty to the state, their family, and each other. The boys often met in places of great natural beauty, especially sacred mountains and rivers, where they sang and danced with their faces painted and wore jewelled shoes. The organisation aimed at preparing young males for their future role in society and the majority of the state's most important politicians and administrators were educated in the hwarang.

More about: Hwarang


  • 57 BCE - 918 CE
    The Silla Kingdom rules in Korea, first as one of the Three Kingdoms and then alone from 668 CE.