(Taken from "Uppity Women of Medieval Times" by Vicki Leon)
The seventh century was a tumultuous time in history especially in Korea - Full of battles, fights and blood - but there was a bright shining star that was equal to the task of ruling a great country wisely. Back then Korea was made up of several kingdoms and the kingdom of Silla was blessed with a woman of remarkable talents Queen Sonduk.
Legend has it that at the age of seven, her intelligence was revealed when her father, the King received a gift of peony seeds with an accompanying painting of a peony from China - little princess Sonduck said"Too bad the flower doesn't smell pretty". When her father asked how she know that, she said "If the flower smelled pretty there would be butterflies and bees around the flower in the painting". Her Dad was so impressed that he made her his heir to the kingdom of Silla.
Queen Sonduk ruled her kingdom for 14 years managing to keep it running smoothly and also encouraging intellectual pursuits and broadening the exchange of ideas with neighboring countries. In fact Sonduk built the first observatory in the Far East, known today as the Tower of the Moon and Stars. The tower still stands in Kyongju, South Korea, the capital city of the ancient kingdom of Silla.