21 May, 2011


'' General Gyebaek’s last battle marked the tragic end of Baekje, and 1,300 years after his death, he still remains a symbol of Baekje Dynasty......not much record remains on Gyebaek. Even in ‘Samguk Sagi: History of the Three Kingdoms’ and ‘Samguk Yusa: Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms,’ which records the history of the Three Kingdoms, Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla, there is no record of Gyebaek’s year or place of birth nor any information on his lineage. In ‘Daedong Jiji’ written by Kim Jeong-ho in 1865, it is recorded that Gyebaek’s name is Seung and has the same last name as Baekje. This led to the inference that his last name is Buyeo, the last name of the Baekje royal family. In ‘Buyeoji,’ published in 1928, it is written that Palchoongmyeon is named after the 8 loyal subjects of Baekje, including Gyebaek. From this, historians inferred that Gyebaek was born in today’s Buyeo County. 
Several stories that describe the extraordinary aspects of Gyebaek have also been passed down. One story tells that when Gyebaek’s mother fainted while giving birth to him, a tiger took the baby and suckled him. According to another story, every time Gyebaek climbed Cheondung mountain (천둥산) in Buyeo, pine trees fell like reeds, and when he stepped on rocks while training, marks were left on the rocks. Gyebaek, who was talented with martial arts since childhood later becomes an unforgettable name for his last battle in Hwangsanbeol.
The allied forces of Silla and Tang Dynasty set July 10, 660 as the date to take Baekje’s capital, Sabi. The Tang troops, which came to about 130,000 men, landed on the river mouth of Geum River and headed towards the capital. The Silla army of 50,000 men led by Kim Yu-shin approached Hwangsanbeol, today’s Nonsan, South Chungcheong province, but were held back by Gyebaek’s army of 5,000 men who were determined to die on battlefield. On July 9, when the Silla troops arrived at Hwangsanbeol, the Baekje forces which were divided into 3 camps received them and won victory in 4 battles.
However, when two young hwarang Bangul (반굴) and Gwanchang (관창) died in battle, the Silla forces were able to raise their morale and launched a full-scale attack against Baekje. The entire Baekje army died in battle in Hwangsanbeol, allowing the Silla troops to unite with the Tang army and capture Sabi. This leads to the collapse of Baekje Dynasty, which had lasted for 678 years. 
........even after 1,300 years. Gyebaek’s loyalty to the country and courageous fight against the enemy makes us think about the meaning of nation to an individual and how a man should live his life.''

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