17 Feb Happy (Death)Day to Queen Seondeok of Silla
Queen Seondeok of Silla
595 CE – Feb 17, 647
Born: Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea
Known for: being the first female sovereign of Silla
Despite the high probability that Seondeok was born of a prominent family, there are not many reliable records surrounding her birth. That why we’re choosing to celebrate her today on her recorded death day, February 17th.
Seondeok was queen of Silla, one of the three Kingdoms of Korea from 632-647 and is still a beloved figure in Korean culture. There was drama surrounding her sex after being chosen as the ruler, but two subsequent female leaders followed her. The two things that she is known most strongly for is her love of astronomy (one of the towers she had built still stands!) and the increasing influence of Buddhism.
We had limited trouble finding resources on her that were wide ranging – Wikipedia-esque – but we hit a wall quickly in finding resources in English. Our hope is that your interest is piqued as ours was and you can maybe help us find some more English-language resources on this fascinating woman. There was even a television show about her on Korean TV that looks gorgeous, but we cannot find a subtitled version. If you know of one, help us out!