Muryeong of Baekje

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Muryeong of Baekje
Hangul 무령왕, 무녕왕, 무영왕
Hanja 武寧王
Revised Romanization Muryeong-wang, Munyeong-wang, Muyeong-wang
McCune–Reischauer Muryǒng-wang, Munyǒng-wang, Muyǒng-wang
Birth name
Hangul 사마, 여융
Hanja 斯摩, 餘隆
Revised Romanization Sama, Yeoyung
McCune–Reischauer Sama, Yŏyung
Monarchs of Korea
Baekje
  1. Onjo 18 BCE–29 CE
  2. Daru 29–77
  3. Giru 77–128
  4. Gaeru 128–166
  5. Chogo 166–214
  6. Gusu 214–234
  7. Saban 234
  8. Goi 234–286
  9. Chaekgye 286–298
  10. Bunseo 298–304
  11. Biryu 304–344
  12. Gye 344–346
  13. Geunchogo 346–375
  14. Geungusu 375–384
  15. Chimnyu 384–385
  16. Jinsa 385–392
  17. Asin 392–405
  18. Jeonji 405–420
  19. Guisin 420–427
  20. Biyu 427–455
  21. Gaero 455–475
  22. Munju 475–477
  23. Samgeun 477–479
  24. Dongseong 479–501
  25. Muryeong 501–523
  26. Seong 523–554
  27. Wideok 554–598
  28. Hye 598–599
  29. Beop 599–600
  30. Mu 600–641
  31. Uija 641–660

Muryeong of Baekje (462–523, r. 501–23) was the 25th king of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. During his reign, Baekje remained allied with Silla against Goguryeo, and expanded its relationships with China and Japan.

Background[edit]

The Tomb of King Muryeong calls him King Sama (斯麻), and records his birth year as 462.

The Samguk Sagi calls him King Muryeong, with the personal name (휘) of Sama (斯摩). He is described as the second son of the 24th king Dongseong. He became king when Dongseong was assassinated by the court official Baekga. The following year, he crushed a planned rebellion by Baekga.

Other records[edit]

China's Liang shu gives his surname as Yeo and personal name as Yung, and states that he restored Baekje into a strong nation.

Japan's Nihonshoki gives his birth year as 461, and describes him as the son of Gonji, the younger brother of the 21st king Gaero, making him the stepbrother of Dongseong. It is said Gonji escaped the invading Goguryeo forces with King Muryeong's mother to Japan, and she went into labor as their ship was passing by a small Japanese island. He was called Semakishi (嶋君) and King Shima (斯麻王) in Japanese records because he was born in an island.

Some scholars claim Muryeong ruled the Yamato region under the name of King Bu before he moved to Baekje to be a king of kings(大王).[1]

Reign[edit]

Muryeong's crown in his tomb

In 501, he sent an army to attack Goguryeo's Sugok-seong. In 503, he repelled an attack by the Mohe. In 507, he successfully countered another attack by Goguryeo and Mohe forces. In 512, Goguryeo conquered two castles, but Muryeong personally led 3,000 men to destroy the Goguryeo army. In 523, he ordered the building of a fortified wall to defend the northern border.

According to both historical and archeological sources, contact and trade between China and Baekje increased during Muryeong's reign. In 512, according to the Liang shu, Muryeong sent Baekje's first mission to the newly established court of the Chinese Liang Dynasty. A second mission was sent in 521, announcing various victories over Goguryeo. In reply, the Liang emperor bestowed various titles on him, including "Great General Tranquilizing the East(寧東大將軍)" and "King of Baekje". These titles were also found engraved on a tablet in King Muryeong's tomb.

In 503, he sent a bronze mirror, and in 513 and 516, Confucian scholars to Japan.

Legacy[edit]

In 1971, King Muryeong's tomb was excavated in Songsan-ri, Gongju, South Korea, where he was buried with his queen.

In 2001, Japan's emperor Akihito told reporters "I, on my part, feel a certain kinship with Korea, given the fact that it is recorded in the Chronicles of Japan that the mother of Emperor Kammu was of the line of King Muryong of Baekje." It was the first time that a Japanese emperor publicly acknowledged Korean blood in the imperial line.[2] According to the Shoku Nihongi, Emperor Kammu's mother, Takano no Niigasa is a descendant of Prince Junda, son of Muryeong, who died in Japan in 513 (Nihon Shoki Chapter 17).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ So Jin Cheol, 백제 무령왕의 세계 (The world of the king Muryeong) p. 124, ISBN 978-89-6246-010-0
  2. ^ Guardian.co.uk

Further reading[edit]

  • Kim, Won-Yong. “The Tomb of King Muryong of the Paekche Dynasty.” Asian Pacific Quarterly of Cultural and Social Affairs (Seoul) 3:3 (Winter 1971): 34-46.
  • Paik, Seung-gil. "Excavation of the Tomb of Paekche King Muryong." Korea Journal 11:8 (August 1971): 48-51.

External links[edit]