Circa 2nd century BC, the Yemaek people from Manchuria
established the Buyeo (aka Puyo) Kingdom. In 86 BC, Dongbuyeo (Eastern Buyeo) became a
separate kingdom (86 BC - 410 AD). Tradition holds that Jumong
fled from Dongbuyeo to found the Goguryeo Kingdom at Jolbon in 37 BC. He later became known as King
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In 242 AD, Goguryeo troops under King Dongcheon raided territory of the Chinese kingdom of
Wei (aka Chao Wei) at Xi'anping (modern
Dandong). This precipitated a series of invasions between
244 and 245 AD. General Guanqiu Jian led 10,000 soldiers against King Dongcheon, who led 20,000 cavalry
and infantry from his capital at Hwando. Despite having
superior numbers, Guanqiu Jian triumphed in the Battle of Liangkou (modern
Xinbin County). Wei forces then destroyed the
mountain fortress of Hwando in 244 AD. They resettled thousands of people to Wei territory and
greatly weakened Goguryeo.
ZENITH OF POWER:
Goguryeo rebuilt Hwando and within 70 years renewed incursions into Lelang, Liaodong and Xuantu areas.
King Daeso of Dongbuyeo attacked King Yuri of Goguryeo. Yuri's son, Daemusin, became king and
retaliated by killing Daeso and conquering Dongbuyeo. In 372 AD, King Sosurim converted to
Buddhism and made it the state religion.
King Gwanggaeto (391-412 AD) brought Goguryeo to its
zenith. By 404 AD, he reportedly seized 64 walled cities, 1,400 villages and the entire Liaodong Peninsula.
He absorbed the Buyeo Kingdom and seized much of the Baekje Kingdom. Gwanggaeto also forced the early
kingdom of Silla into protectorate status. His triumphs
were carved on a memorial stele.
During the 6th and 7th centuries AD, Goguryeo often fought with the Chinese dynasties of
Sui and Tang.
In 551 AD, Baekje and Silla allied to attack Goguryeo. Baekje unsuccessfully attacked first, while Silla
troops arrived to seize the Han River valley in 553 AD. King Seong
of Baekje was incensed and retaliated against Silla. Silla troops captured him in battle and executed him.
Silla allied with Emperor Taizong against Goguryeo in 646 AD.
Taizong personally led an army that captured many fortresses on the Lioning Peninsula. However, the general
commanding Goguryeo forces at Ansi (modern Anshan) stymied further progress and Taizong withdrew. After
Taizong's death, Chinese forces returned in 661 and 662 AD but general Yeon Gaesomun
successfully stopped them. In 660 AD, the Baekje Kingdom (allied with Goguryeo) fell to the Silla-Tang alliance.
Following Yeon's death and a crisis within Goguryeo, Tang troops crossed the
Liao River in 667 AD. Joint Silla and Chinese captured Pyongyang
and ended Goguryeo rule. Angry that the Tang refused to share Goguryeo's territory, Silla fomented opposition
that resulted in the Silla-Tang Wars (670-676 AD).