Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
King Wideok of Baekje
|King Wideok of Baekje|
King Wideok of Baekje (525-598) was the eldest son of King Seong and the 27th king of the Baekje kingdom of ancient Korea. He ruled from the death of his father in 554 until his own death. He was also involved in the battle of Gwan Mountain Fortress , in which his father and many others died fighting the Silla army. That disastrous campaign led to the aristocracy of Baekje taking some power away from the kings.
Continuing the legacy of his father, King Wideok sent various Buddhist missions to Yamato period Japan. He also maintained friendly relations with the Chinese dynasties of Chen, Northern Qi and Sui. Although ties had been largely broken following the cataclysmic events of the 550s, he sent missions to the Chen court in 567, 577, 584, and 586 (it fell to Sui shortly thereafter. 567 was also the year that he sent Baekje's first mission to Northern Qi; this may have been facilitated by an improved relationship with Goguryeo. In 570, the Northern Qi granted him titles including "Duke of Daifang commandery," and he sent another tribute mission in 572. After Northern Qi was conquered by Northern Zhou in 577, Baekje also sent a congratulatory mission including musicians to the Zhou court. The following year a second and final embassy was sent to Northern Zhou, which was conquered by Sui in 581.
Wideok sent an immediate congratulatory mission to the Sui court in 581, and another in 582. In 589 Sui conquered Chen and united China. In the same year, a Sui warship happened to run aground on Jeju Island, which was ruled by the Baekje dependency of Tamna. King Wideok provided the crew with an official escort (bearing tribute and congratulations) to the Chinese court. In 598 he sent an embassy offering to assist in the Sui expedition against Goguryeo that year. The expedition, however, had already been completed. King Yeongyang of Goguryeo launched punitive attacks on Baekje's northern border when he learned of this.
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