Taewang, meaning "Grandest of all Kings", was a title of imperial rank used by the rulers of Goguryeo, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. The earliest known use of the title was during the reign of Gwanggaeto the Great. The linguistic decomposition can be compared to the titles of the Emperors of India; Maharajah "Highest of all Kings", and the Emperors of Persia; Xsayathiya "King of all Kings".
The "Taewang" title was equivalent to "emperor", and granted the monarchs of Goguryeo equal power and status with Chinese emperors. It was also used by some Silla rulers, including Beopheung and Jinheung, to declare their independence from the influence of Goguryeo.
- Gwanggaeto Stele - 還至十七世孫, 國岡上廣開土境平安好太王
- Gwanggaeto Stele - 太王 恩澤△于皇天
- "Goguryeo's Worldview and Three Kingdoms". Korea Now. Korea Herald. 33: 32. 1 January 2004. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
They called their king "taewang" ("the greatest king"). Taewang was a title equivalent to "emperor" and referred to the ruler of the entire world of Goguryeo. In short, the practice of calling their king "taewang" was based on Goguryeo's independent worldview.
- Roh Tae-don, 《Studies of the History of Goguryeo》, Sakyejul, 1999, p.358~359.
- Commemorating Monuments of King Jinheung in Bukhansan - 眞興王巡狩碑興太王及衆臣等巡狩管境之時記