Yeongyang of Goguryeo

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Yeongyang of Goguryeo
Hangul 영양왕 or 평양왕
Hanja 嬰陽王 or 平陽王
Revised Romanization Yeong-yang-wang or Pyeong-yang-wang
McCune–Reischauer Yŏng-yang-wang or P'yǒng-yang-wang
Birth name
Hangul or 대원
Hanja or 大元
Revised Romanization Won or Daewon
McCune–Reischauer Wǒn or Taewǒn
Monarchs of Korea
Goguryeo
  1. King Chumo 37-19 BCE
  2. King Yuri 19 BCE-18 CE
  3. King Daemusin 18-44
  4. King Minjung 44-48
  5. King Mobon 48-53
  6. King Taejodae 53-146
  7. King Chadae 146-165
  8. King Sindae 165-179
  9. King Gogukcheon 179-197
  10. King Sansang 197-227
  11. King Dongcheon 227-248
  12. King Jungcheon 248-270
  13. King Seocheon 270-292
  14. King Bongsang 292-300
  15. King Micheon 300-331
  16. King Gogug-won 331-371
  17. King Sosurim 371-384
  18. King Gogug-yang 384-391
  19. King Gwanggaeto 391-413
  20. King Jangsu 413-490
  21. King Munja 491-519
  22. King Anjang 519-531
  23. King An-won 531-545
  24. King Yang-won 545-559
  25. King Pyeong-won 559-590
  26. King Yeong-yang 590-618
  27. King Yeong-nyu 618-642
  28. King Bojang 642-668

King Yeongyang of Goguryeo (died 618) (r. 590–618) was the 26th king of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was the eldest son of King Pyeongwon (r. 559–590).

Reign[edit]

He is noted for repelling a series of invasions by the Chinese Sui Dynasty between 598 to 614, known as the Goguryeo-Sui Wars. He fended off four Sui campaigns by Emperors Wendi and Yangdi, including the great assault of 612, during which more than a million troops invaded Goguryeo territory.

The Samguk Sagi relates that Yeongyang was of unsurpassed charisma and had a magnanimous character, and "made it his undertaking to relieve the sufferings of the world and bring peace to the people" (Samguk Sagi, "Annals of Goguryeo", vol. 19). He was named Crown Prince by his father in 566, and he assumed the throne when the king died in 590.

King Yeongyang's reign took place in the context of heightened rivalry among the Korean Three Kingdoms of Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla, as well as the unification of China by the Sui and China's growing ambitions. Initially Yeongyang enjoyed cordial relations with Sui, receiving from the Sui emperor Wendi his enfeoffment as king of Goguryeo and attendant "offices and ranks" by tradition granted by Chinese dynasties to tribute monarchs. At the same time, Yeongyang strengthened relations with the Khitan and Mohe tribes to the north, in the preparations for war against China begun by his father.

In 598 however the Sui emperor Wendi grew incensed by a Goguryeo armed incursion into the Liaodong peninsula, a region claimed by Sui. It was largely this affront, combined with Sui's own geopolitical ambitions to reestablish the hegemony enjoyed by the Han Dynasty, that induced Wendi to launch a 300,000-men invasion of Goguryeo in 598. The 598 Sui invasion was foiled by disease and the weather (a severe storm wreaked havoc on the would-be invasion fleet).

In 607 Emperor Yangdi discovered that Goguryeo was in contact with Yami Qaghan (603-609), khan of the Eastern Turks, another ostensible vassal state to the Sui. This convinced Yangdi to launch a campaign of 1,133,800 troops by land and sea against the recalitrant Goguryeo in 612. This too Goguryeo was able to defeat, most notably in the battle of Salsu led by the General Eulji Mundeok.

In 613, and again in 614, Yangdi issued orders for additional unsuccessful campaigns against Goguryeo. When Yeongyang failed to appear at the Sui court in formal submission another invasion was planned, offset only by domestic turmoil and the subsequent fall of the Sui in 618.

That same year saw the death of Yeongyang, and he was succeeded by his half-brother Go Geon-mu.

In the meanwhile, Goguryeo attacked the southern Korean kingdoms Baekje and Silla in a failed bid to reclaim the Seoul region. Silla, under attack by both Goguryeo and former ally Baekje, reached out to the Sui Dynasty. Silla would later ally with Sui's successor, the Tang Dynasty, to unite much of the Korean peninsula in 668.

Yeongyang ordered the compilation of a new history text Sinjip (신집, 新集), although no copies survive today.

See also[edit]