Beopheung of Silla

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Beopheung of Silla
Hangul 법흥왕
Hanja 法興王
Revised Romanization Beopheung wang
McCune–Reischauer Pŏphŭng wang
Monarchs of Korea
Silla
(Pre-unification)
  1. Hyeokgeose 57 BCE – 4 CE
  2. Namhae 4–24
  3. Yuri 24–57
  4. Talhae 57–80
  5. Pasa 80–112
  6. Jima 112–134
  7. Ilseong 134–154
  8. Adalla 154–184
  9. Beolhyu 184–196
  10. Naehae 196–230
  11. Jobun 230–247
  12. Cheomhae 247–261
  13. Michu 262–284
  14. Yurye 284–298
  15. Girim 298–310
  16. Heulhae 310–356
  17. Naemul 356–402
  18. Silseong 402–417
  19. Nulji 417–458
  20. Jabi 458–479
  21. Soji 479–500
  22. Jijeung 500–514
  23. Beopheung 514–540
  24. Jinheung 540–576
  25. Jinji 576–579
  26. Jinpyeong 579–632
  27. Seondeok 632–647
  28. Jindeok 647–654
  29. Muyeol 654–661

King Beopheung (r. 514–540 AD) was the 23rd monarch of Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was preceded by King Jijeung (r. 500–514) and succeeded by King Jinheung.

By the time of his reign, Buddhism had become fairly common in Silla, as it had been introduced much earlier by Goguryeo monks during King Nulji's reign. One of King Beopheung's ministers, a man named Ichadon, was a Buddhist convert who had even shaved his head and took the tonsure. He constantly implored the king to adopt Buddhism as the state religion, and in fact King Beopheung himself had become fond of Buddha's teachings. However, the other ministers of Silla were greatly opposed to this, and expressed such defiance to the king. Beopheung, having been persuaded by his ministers, was at a crossroads, and encountered great reluctance to change. At this time, Ichadon suggested his own martyrdom and pleaded with the king to execute him in public for the cause of Buddhism. This the king refused to do, and so Ichadon deliberately insulted the ministers of the kingdom, thus provoking the anger of the king. In the end, Ichadon was executed in public, but before his head was cut off, he stated that the blood spilled from his body would not be red but milky white. According to the Samguk Yusa, his predictions proved correct, and Ichadon's milky blood horrified the ministers of the kingdom. As a result of Ichadon's matyrdom, King Beopheung finally chose Buddhism as the state religion. However, true Buddhist freedom in Shilla would not begin until the reign of King Jinheung.

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References[edit]

Beopheung of Silla
Died: 540
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Jijeung
King of Silla
514–540
Succeeded by
Jinheung
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Jijeung
— TITULAR —
King of Korea
514–540
Reason for succession failure:
Three Kingdoms of Korea
Succeeded by
Jinheung