List of Chinese monarchs

The Chinese monarchs were the rulers of China during its Ancient and Imperial periods.[a] The earliest rulers in traditional Chinese historiography are of mythological origin, and followed by the Xia dynasty of highly uncertain and contested historicity. During the subsequent Shang (c. 1600–1046 BCE) and Zhou (1046–256 BCE) dynasties, rulers were referred to as Wang , meaning king.[4] China was fully united for the first time by Qin Shi Huang (r.259–210 BCE), who established the first Imperial dynasty, adopting the title Huangdi (皇帝), meaning Emperor, which remained in use until the Imperial system's fall in 1912.[4]

illustration of Qin Shi Huang
Imagined portrait of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of a unified China. Depiction from the Qing dynasty

At no point during Ancient or Imperial China was there a formalized means to confer legitimate succession between rulers.[5] From the Zhou dynasty onwards, monarchs justified their reigns by claiming the Mandate of Heaven (天命; Tianming).[6][b] The mandate held that a ruler and their successors had permission from the heavens to rule as long as they did so effectively.[6] It also declared a ruler the Son of Heaven (天子; Tianzi), giving them the right to rule "all under heaven" (天下; Tianxia).[10] Given the Mandate's subjective nature, rulers also utilized a variety of methods to retain support and justify their accession.[6] This ranged from military enforcement, political patronage, establishing peace and solidity, institutional reform, and historical revisionism to legitimize the dissolution previous dynasties and their own succession.[11] For most of Imperial China, the wuxing (五行; "Five Elements") philosophical scheme was also central to justify dynastic succession.[12]

Most Chinese monarchs had many names. They were given a personal name (名字; Mingzi) at birth, but later referred to by a posthumous name (謚號; Shihao)—which memorialized their accomplishments or character—due to a cultural naming taboo.[13] Most emperors of the Imperial period also received a temple name (廟號; Miaohao), used to venerate them in ancestor worship.[14] From the rule of Emperor Wu of Han (r.141–87 BCE) onwards,[c] emperors also adopted one or several era names (年號; Nianhao), or "reign mottos",[17] to divide their rule by important events or accomplishments.[18] Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1912) rulers are referred to solely by their era names, of which they only had one.[19]

Apart from ethnic Han rulers, China was also ruled by various non-Han monarchs, including Jurchen, Khitan, Manchu, Mongol and Tangut and many others.[20] To justify their reign, non-Han rulers sometimes aligned themselves with the Confucian sages or the Chakravarti of Chinese Buddhism.[5] There are numerous lengthy periods where many competing kingdoms claimed the throne, many of whose legitimacy is still debated by scholars.[20]

Ancient China

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Mythological rulers

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In traditional Chinese historiography, various models of mythological founding rulers exist.[21] The relevancy of these figures to the earliest Chinese people is unknown, since most accounts of them were written from the Warring States period (c. 475–221 BCE) onwards.[22] The sinologist Kwang-chih Chang has generalized the typical stages: "the first period was populated by gods, the second by demigods/culture hero, and the third by the legendary kings."[23] The primordial god Pangu is given by many texts as the earliest figure and is credited with forming the world by separating heaven and earth.[24] Other gods include Nüwa, who repaired heaven; Hou Yi, a mythical archer; and Gonggong, a serpent-like water deity.[25]

Demigod and hero rulers from hero myths—the largest group Chinese myths—are attributed the invention of specific items, practices or traditions.[26] Among the more important of them are Fuxi, the inventor of hunting; Suiren, who invented fire; and Shennong, who invented both agriculture and medicine.[27] The subsequent legendary kings began with the Yellow Emperor (黃帝), known as Huangdi, a major culture hero of Chinese civilization whose reign was considered exemplary.[27] Succeeding rulers include some combination of Shaohao, Zhuanxu, Emperor Ku, Emperor Yao and Emperor Shun.[28] Since the late Warring States onwards, early Chinese monarchs have traditionally been ground into the concept of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors;[28] however, the chosen figures of this grouping varies considerably between sources.[27] Generally, most accounts include at least Fuxi and Shennong among the Three Sovereigns as well as the Yellow Emperor, Yao and Shun among the Five Emperors.[28]

Xia dynasty

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The Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors period was followed by the Xia dynasty in traditional historiography.[29] Founded by Yu the Great, both the dynasty and its rulers are of highly uncertain and controversial historicity.[29][30]

  (#) – Uncertain legitimacy
Xia dynasty (夏朝)
Name Speculative reign length[d] Traditional succession Capital[31] Purported life details
ZTW Trad[32]
Yu
45 7 Chosen by the mythical Emperor Shun Ji Awarded the throne after his institution of flood control. He is often known as "Yu the Great" and his passing of the throne to his son marked the beginning of China's hereditary succession[33]
Qi
10 8 Son of Yu Xiayi Prevented a rebellion led by his son Wuguan[34]
(Tai) Kang
29 28 Son of Qi Zhenxun Traditionally considered an ineffective king, either due to tyranny or incompetence. May have been briefly dethroned by the mythical hero Han Zhuo and later murdered by Han's son Ao[35]
(Zhong) Kang (#)
13 13 Son of Qi Zhenxun May not have ruled as his existence is sometimes absent from Xia king lists[36]
Xiang
28 28 Son of (Zhong) Kang Shang, then Zhenxun Killed by a son of Han Zhuo[37]
Interregnum, ruled by Han Zhuo
(Shao) Kang
21 21 Son of Xiang Yuan Restored the dynasty after killing Han Zhuo and his sons[38]
Zhu
17 16 Son of (Shao) Kang Yuan, then Laoqiu Little is known of his reign[39]
Huai
26 25 Son of Zhu Little is known of his reign; may have ruled up to 40 years[40]
Mang
18 17 Son of Huai Little is known of his reign[40]
Xie
16 15 Son of Mang Little is known of his reign[41]
(Bu) Jiang
59 58 Son of Xie Little is known of his reign; campaigned against the northwestern Jiuyuan [zh] peoples[40]
Jiong
21 20 Son of Xie Little is known of his reign[40]
Jin
21 20 Son of Jiong Xihe Little is known of his reign[40]
Kong Jia
孔甲
31 30 Son of (Bu) Jiang Xihe His reign inaugurated the Xia's gradual decline[40]
Gao
11 10 Son of Kong Jia Little is known of his reign[40]
Fa
11 20? Son of Gao May have only reigned 7 years. His reign saw the earliest recorded earthquake, identified with the Mount Tai earthquake.[40]
Jie
52 52 Son of Fa Zhenxun, then Henan Traditionally considered a cruel and oppressive ruler. Fled the empire after losing the Battle of Mingtiao to the state of Shang[42]

Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BCE)

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Unlike the Xia, the Shang dynasty's historicity is firmly established, due to written records on divination objects known as Oracle bones. The oldest such oracle bones date to the Late Shang (c. 1250—1046 BCE), during the reign of Wu Ding (1250–1192), putting the exact details of earlier rulers into doubt.[43][44]

  (#) – Uncertain legitimacy
Shang dynasty (商朝; c. 1600–1046/c. 1570—1045 BCE)
Posthumous name[45] Personal name[45] Tentative reign (BCE)[e] Traditional succession[46][47] Residence[48] Purported life details
XSZ Project[49][50] CHAC[51]

Early Shang

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Tang

Da Yi
大乙
Zi Lu
子履
fl.c. 1600 fl.c. 1570[52] Defeated the purportedly tyrannous Jie of Xia at the Battle of Mingtiao and established the Shang dynasty Bo, then Shangyi Traditionally considered a noble and virtuous ruler[53]
Da Ding (#)
大丁
Tai Ding (#)
太丁
unknown Son of Tang Uncertain whether he was ever enthroned; may have died before succeeding his father[54][53]
Wai Bing
外丙
Zi Sheng
子勝
Son of Tang Bo [53]
Zhong Ren (#)
中壬
Zi Yong
子庸
Son of Tang Bo Not listed in the oracle bones inscriptions[53]
Tai Jia
太甲
Zi Zhi
子至
Son of Da Ding Bo Traditionally considered an autocratic and cruel ruler[53]
Wo Ding (#)
沃丁
Qiang Ding
羌丁
Zi Xuan
子絢
Son of Tai Jia Bo His name is not found in oracle bone inscriptions, making his certainty as a ruler less secure.[54][53]
Tai Geng
太庚
Da Geng
大庚
Zi Bian
子辯
Son of Tai Jia Bo [55]
Xiao Jia
小甲
Zi Gao
子高
Son of Tai Geng Bo [55]
Yong Ji
雍己
Zi Zhou
子伷
Son of Tai Geng Bo May have reigned after Tai Wu[55]
Tai Wu
太戊
Da Wu
大戊
Zi Mi
子密
Son of Tai Geng Bo Said to have had a particularly long reign; one source records 75 years. The astronomer Wuxian was active under him[55]
Zhong Ding
仲丁
Zi Zhung
子莊
Son of Tai Wu Ao May have succeeded Yong Ji[55]
Wai Ren
外壬
Zi Fā
子發
Son of Tai Wu Ao [55]
He Dan Jia
河亶甲
Zi Zheng
子整
Son of Tai Wu Xiang Moved the capital to Xiang () and engaged in military campaigns[55]
Zu Yi
祖己
Zi Teng
子滕
Son of Zhong Ding Geng The dynasty flourished particularly during his reign[55]
Zu Xin
祖辛
Zi Dan
子旦
Son of Zu Yi Bi [55]
Wo Jia
沃甲
Qiang Jia
羌甲
Zi Yu
子踰
Son of Zu Yi Bi [55]
Zu Ding
祖丁
Zi Xin
子新
Son of Zu Xin Bi [55]
Nan Geng
南庚
Zi Geng
子更
Son of Wo Jia Bi, then Yan Moved the capital from Bi () to Yan ()[55]
Yang Jia
陽甲
Zi He
子和
Son of Zu Ding Yan His reign marked the decline of the Shang[56]
Pan Geng
盤庚
Zi Xun
子旬
1300–1251
(48–49 years)
Son of Zu Ding Yan, then Yin Traditionally said to have moved the dynasty's capital from Yan () to Yin ()[57] Led a prosperous reign[56]
Xiao Xin
小辛
Zi Song
子颂
Son of Zu Ding Yin His reign saw the continuation of the Shang's decline[56]
Xiao Yi
小乙
Zi Lian
子敛
Son of Zu Ding Yin [56]

Late Shang

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Wu Ding
武丁
Zi Zhao
子昭
1250–1192
(57–58 years)
?–1189 Son of Xiao Yi Yin A powerful king with a lengthy reign. Made his wife Fu Hao the a military general and is purportedly defeated the mostly-unknown Guifang people.[58] The first ruler whose name is included in oracle bones which date to his reign.[59][56]
Zu Geng
祖庚
Zi Yue
子躍
1191–1148
(42–43 years)
1188–1178
(9–10 years)
Son of Wu Ding Yin Possibly commissioned the Houmuwu ding in memory of his mother Fu Jing[60][56][f]
Zu Jia
祖甲
Zi Zai
子載
1177–1158
(18–19 years)
Son of Wu Ding Yin Reformed the ritual and calendar systems, as recording in the Book of Documents[56]
Lin Xin (#)
廩辛
Zi Xian
子先
1157–1149
(7–8 years)
Son of Zu Jia Yin Due to inconsistencies in the oracle bone inscriptions, it is possible he did not reign.[62][63]
Geng Ding
庚丁
Kang Ding
康丁
Zi Xiao
子囂
1148–1132
(15–16 years)
Son of Zu Jia Yin His reign accelerated the dynasty's decline[64]
Wu Yi
武乙
Zi Qu
子瞿
1147–1131
(15–16 years)
1131–1117
(13–14 years)
Son of Geng Ding Yin, Hebei, then Mo Engaged in numerous military campaigns, including against the state of Yiqu. Traditionally held to have been killed by a lightning strike, considered a bad omen[64]
Wen Wu Ding
文武丁
Wen Ding
文丁
Zi Tuo
子托
1112–1102
(9–10 years)
1116–1106
(9–10 years)
Son of Wu Yi Yin The Predynastic Zhou rose in power during his reign, led by Ji, King of Zhou[64]
Di Yi
帝乙
Zi Xian
子羡
1101–1076
(24–25 years)
1105–1087
(17–18 years)
Son of Wen Wu Ding Yin Supposedly married his daughter to King Wen of Zhou,[65][66] or married his sister to Ji, King of Zhou[67]
Di Xin
辛(紂)
Zi Shou
子受
1075–1046
(28–29 years)
1086–1045
(40–41 years)
Son of Di Yi Yin Killed by Ji Fa during the Battle of Muye[68][64]

Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BCE)

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Zhou dynasty (周; c. 1046–256 BCE)
Posthumous name[69] Personal name Tentative reign (BCE) Traditional succession[70] Purported life details
XSZ Project[49][50] CHAC[69]

Western Zhou

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Wu
Ji Fa
姬發
1046–1043
(2–3 years)
1049–1043
(5–6 years)
Son of King Wen Defeated the tyrannical King Zhou of Shang in the Battle of Muye[71]
Cheng
Ji Song
姬誦
1042–1021
(20–21 years)
1042–1006
(35–36 years)
Son of Wu Most of his reign was controlled by the Duke of Zhou, who suppressed the Rebellion of the Three Guards[71]
Kang
Ji Zhao
姬釗
1020–996
(23–24 years)
1005–978
(26–27 years)
Son of Cheng His accession established Zhou primogeniture. A largely peaceful reign[71]
Zhao
Ji Xia
姬瑕
995–977
(17–18 years)
977–957
(19–20 years)
Son of Kang Lost the Zhou–Chu War, during which he died. His reign marked the Zhou's gradual decline[72]
Mu
Ji Man
姬滿
976–922
(53–54 years)
956–918
(39–40 years)
Son of Zhao Engaged in many destabilizing territory conflicts[73]
Gong
Ji Yihu
姬繄扈
922–900
(21–22 years)
917–900
(16–17 years)
Son of Mu Little is known of his reign[73]
Yih
Ji Jian
姬囏
899–892
(6–7 years)
899–873
(25–26 years)
Son of Gong Little is known of his reign; may have been removed from power by Xiao[73]
Xiao
Ji Pifang
姬辟方
891–886
(4–5 years)
872–866
(5–6 years)
Son of Mu Little is known of his reign[73]
King Yi
Ji Xie
姬燮
885–878
(6–7 years)
865–858
(6–7 years)
Son of Yih Continued decline of the Zhou[73]
Li
Ji Hu
姬胡
877–841
(35–36 years)
857–842
(14–15 years)
Son of Yi Traditionally considered a corrupt and cruel ruler. Exiled amid a peasant rebellion[74]
Gonghe Regency (共和; 841–828)[75]
Xuan
Ji Jing
姬靜
827–782 Son of Li Had military successes, aiming to restore Zhou authority[75]
You
Ji Gongnie
姬宮涅
781–771
(9–10 years)
782–771
(10–11 years)
Son of Xuan Numerous natural disasters occurred, after which Quanrong him and overran the capital[75]

Eastern Zhou

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Spring and Autumn period (春秋時代; 770–476 BCE)
Ping
Ji Yijiu
姬宜臼
770–720
(49–50 years)
Son of You Moved the capital to Luoyang[76]
Huan
Ji Lin
姬林
719–697
(21–22 years)
Grandson of Ping Defeated by the Duke of Zheng at the Battle of Xuge, accelerating the Zhou dynasty's decline in power[76]
Zhuang
Ji Tuo
姬佗
696–682
(13–14 years)
Son of Huan Royal court's authority began declining[76]
Xi
Ji Huqi
姬胡齊
681–677
(3–4 years)
Son of Zhuang Briefly reigned as the Duke Huan led the Qi to surpass the Zhou in power[76]
Hui
Ji Lang
姬閬
676–652
(23–24 years)
Son of Xi Slowed the Chu state's rise[76]
Xiang
Ji Zheng
姬鄭
651–619
(31–32 years)
Son of Hui Briefly deposed by his brother, but reinstated by Duke Wen[76]
Qing
Ji Renchen
姬壬臣
618–613
(4–5 years)
Son of Xiang Briefly reigned[76]
Kuang
Ji Ban
姬班
612–607
(4–5 years)
Son of Qing Increasing fighting between surrounding kingdoms[76]
Ding
Ji Yu
姬瑜
606–586
(19–20 years)
Son of Qing Continued fighting of surrounding kingdoms[77]
Jian
Ji Yi
姬夷
585–572
(12–13 years)
Son of Ding Continued fighting of surrounding kingdoms[77]
Ling
Ji Xiexin
姬泄心
571–545
(25–26 years)
Son of Jian Weakened relations with surrounding kingdoms[77]
Jing
Ji Gui
姬貴
544–521
(22–23 years)
Son of Ling Died without an heir, causing a power struggle and rebellion[77]
Dao
Ji Meng
姬猛
520
(less than a year)
Son of Jing (544–521) Briefly ruled before being murdered by his brother[77]
Jing
Ji Gai
姬丐
519–476
(42–43 years)
Son of Jing (544–521) Briefly exiled during a revolt. Ruled during the lifetime of Confucius[77]
Warring States period (戰國時代; 475–221 BCE)
Yuan
Ji Ren
姬仁
475–469
(5–6 years)
Son of Jing (519–476) Decline in Zhou's power[77]
Zhending
貞定
Ji Jie
姬介
468–442
(25–26 years)
Son of Yuan Continued decline of Zhou[78]
Ai
Ji Quji
姬去疾
441
(less than a year)
Son of Zhending Continued decline of Zhou. Killed by Si[79]
Si
Ji Shu
姬叔
441
(less than a year)
Son of Zhending Continued decline of Zhou. Killed by Kao[79]
Kao
Ji Wei
姬嵬
440–426
(13–14 years)
Son of Zhending [79]
Weilie
威烈
Ji Wu
姬午
425–402
(22–23 years)
Son of Kao [79]
An
Ji Jiao
姬驕
401–376
(24–25 years)
Son of Weilie Wei increased in power[79]
Lie
Ji Xi
姬喜
375–369
(5–6 years)
Son of An [79]
Xian
Ji Bian
姬扁
368–321
(46–47 years)
Son of An Qin began to rise in power[79]
Shenjing
慎靚
Ji Ding
姬定
320–315
(5–6 years)
Son of Xian Qin's power grew significantly during his reign[79]
Nan
Ji Yan
姬延
314–256
(57–58 years)
Son of Shenjing Longest reigning Zhou ruler, though held little power amid the divided kingdom. Conquered and deposed by King Zhaoxiang of Qin[79]

Early imperial China

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Qin dynasty (221–207 BCE)

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Qin dynasty (秦朝; 221–207 BCE)[80]
Dynastic name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Qin Shi Huang[g]
秦始皇
Ying Zheng
嬴政
Zhao Zheng
趙政
221[h] – July 210 BCE[i]
(11 years)
Son of King Zhuangxiang of Qin. As King Zheng of Qin, he conquered the six other states during the Warring States period and proclaimed himself Emperor (皇帝; Huangdi).[84] 259 – July 210 BCE
(48–49 years)
Instilled a Legalist philosophy, combined preexisting walls into the Great Wall of China, and built the Lingqu canal and the Terracotta Army. Died of sudden illness,[85] possibly alchemical elixir poisoning[86]
Qin Er Shi[j]
秦二世
Ying Huhai
嬴胡亥
210[k] – October 207 BCE
(3 years)
Second son of Qin Shi Huang. Put on the throne by Li Si and Zhao Gao, who forced the appointed heir Fusu to commit suicide.[87] 231/222 – October 207 BCE
(23–24/14–15 years)
His reign was completely dominated by Zhao Gao. Forced by Zhao to commit suicide[88]
As the Qin dynasty greatly weakened in power, the Chu–Han Contention began in 206 BCE and ended with Liu Bang inaugurating the Han dynasty in 202 BCE[l]

Han and Xin dynasties (202 BCE – 220 CE)

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  (#) – contested legitimacy
Han (漢朝; 202 BCE – 9 CE; 25–220 CE) and Xin (新; 9–23 CE) dynasties
Posthumous name Personal name Reign[92] Succession Life details

Western Han (202 BCE – 9 CE)

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Gaozu
高祖
Gao
高帝
Liu Bang
劉邦
28 February 202[m]– 1 June 195 BCE
(7 years, 3 months and 4 days)
Unified China and proclaimed himself Emperor after victory in the Chu–Han Contention 256 – 1 June 195 BCE
(aged 61)
Among the most revered Chinese emperors. Died from an arrow injury in a campaign against Ying Bu[94]
Hui
惠帝
Liu Ying
劉盈
23 June 195 – 26 September 188 BCE
(7 years, 3 months and 3 days)
Son of Gao 210 – 26 September 188 BCE
(aged 22)
His reign was largely dominated by his mother Empress Lü. Died from an unknown illness[95]
Qianshao[n] (#)
前少帝
Liu Gong
劉恭
19 October 188 – 15 June 184 BCE
(3 years, 7 months and 27 days)
Purportedly a son of Hui[o] ? – after 184 BCE
An infant emperor whose reign was completely dominated by Empress Lü. Deposed and put under house arrest; unknown date of death after 184[98]
Houshao[p] (#)
後少帝
Liu Yi
劉盈
Liu Hong
劉弘
15 June 184 – 15 August 180 BCE
(4 years and 2 months)
Purportedly a son of Hui[o] ? – 14 November 180
An infant emperor whose reign was completely dominated by Empress Lü. Put to death by the House of Lü[100]
Wen
文帝
Liu Heng
劉恆

14 November 180 – 6 July 157 BCE
(22 years, 5 months and 23 days)
Era(s)

    • Qianyuan (前元)
      25 November 180 – 14 November 164 BCE
    • Houyuan (後元)
      15 November 164 – 28 October 157 BCE
Son of Gao 203/202 – 6 July 157 BCE
(aged 46)
Died of natural causes[101]
Jing
景帝
Liu Qi
劉啟

14 July 157 – 10 March 141 BCE
(15 years, 7 months and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Qianyuan (前元)
      29 October 157 – 10 November 150 BCE
    • Zhongyuan (中元)
      11 November 149 – 3 November 144 BCE
    • Houyuan (後元)
      4 November 143 – 31 October 141 BCE
Son of Wen 188 – 10 March 141 BCE
(aged 47)
Died of natural causes[102]
Wu
武帝
Liu Che
劉徹

10 March 141 – 29 March 87 BCE[q]
(54 years and 19 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianyuan (建元)
      1 November 141 – 25 October 135 BCE
    • Yuanguang (元光)
      26 October 135 – 17 November 129 BCE
    • Yuanshuo (元朔)
      18 November 129 – 11 November 123 BCE
    • Yuanshou (元狩)
      12 November 123 – 5 November 117 BCE
    • Yuanding (元鼎)
      6 November 117 – 14 May 110 BCE
    • Yuanfeng (元封)
      15 May 110 – 24 June 104 BCE
    • Taichu (太初)
      25 June 104 – 5 February 100 BCE
    • Tianhan (天漢)
      6 February 100 – 22 January 96 BCE
    • Taishi (太始)
      23 January 96 – 6 February 92 BCE
    • Zhenghe (征和)
      7 February 92 – 23 January 88 BCE
    • Houyuan (後元)
      24 January 88 – 29 March 87 BCE
Son of Jing 157/156 – 29 March 87 BCE[q]
(aged 69)
Among the longest reigning and highly regarded Chinese emperors. Expanded the Han dynasty considerably. Died from an unknown illness[103]
Zhao
昭帝
Liu Fuling
劉弗陵

30 March 87 – 5 June 74 BCE
(13 years, 2 months and 6 days)
Era(s)

    • Shiyuan (始元)
      1 February 86 – 25 January 80 BCE
    • Yuanfeng (元鳳)
      26 January 80 – 18 February 74 BCE
    • Yuanping (元平)
      19 February 74 – 8 February 73 BCE
Son of Wu 94 – 5 June 74 BCE
(aged 20)
Died from natural causes[104]
None, known as
Marquis of Haihun (#)
海昏侯
Liu He
劉賀
18 July – 14 August 74 BCE
(27 days)
Grandson of Wu 92–59 BCE
(aged 32–33)
Briefly installed by Huo Guang and not often considered legitimate. Died from natural causes[105]
Xuan
宣帝
Liu Bingyi
劉病已
Liu Xun
劉詢

10 September 74 – 10 January 48 BCE
(25 years and 4 months)
Era(s)

    • Benshi (本始)
      8 February 73 – 24 January 69 BCE
    • Dijie (地節)
      25 January 69 – 8 February 65 BCE
    • Yuankang (元康)
      9 February 65 – 25 January 61 BCE
    • Shenjue (神爵)
      26 January 61 – 10 February 57 BCE
    • Wufeng (五鳳)
      11 February 57 – 27 January 53 BCE
    • Ganlu (甘露)
      28 January 53 – 12 February 49 BCE
    • Huanglong (黃龍)
      13 February 49 – 10 January 48 BCE
Great-grandson Wu 91 – 10 January 48 BCE
(aged 43)
His reign is sometimes considered a cultural and political 'renaissance'. Died from natural causes[106]
Yuan
元帝
Liu Shi
劉奭

29 January 48 – 3 July 33 BCE
(15 years, 5 months and 4 days)
Era(s)

    • Chuyuan (初元)
      1 February 48 – 5 February 43 BCE
    • Yongguang (永光)
      6 February 43 – 10 February 39 BCE
    • Jianzhao (建昭)
      11 February 38 – 15 February 34 BCE
    • Jingning (竟寧)
      16 February 33 – 3 July 33 BCE
Son of Xuan 75 – 8 July 33 BCE
(aged 42)
Died from an unknown illness[107]
Cheng
成帝
Liu Ao
劉驁

4 August 33 – 17 April 7 BCE
(25 years, 8 months and 13 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianshi (建始)
      4 February 32 – late 28 BCE
    • Heping (河平)
      late 28 – 10 August 25 BCE
    • Yangshuo (陽朔)
      11 August 25 – 20 February 20 BCE
    • Hongjia (鴻嘉)
      21 February 20 – 6 February 17 BCE
    • Yongshi (永始)
      7 February 16 – 23 January 13 BCE
    • Yuanyan (元延)
      24 January 12 – 8 February 8 BCE
    • Suihe (綏和)
      9 February 8 – 17 April 7 BCE
Son of Yuan 51 – 17 April 7 BCE
(aged 44)
Died from a stroke or possibly complications from an aphrodisiac overdose[108]
Ai
哀帝
Liu Xin
劉欣

7 May 7 – 15 August 1 BCE
(6 years, 3 months and 8 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianping (建平)
      17 February 6 – 2 February 2 BCE
    • Taichu Yuan Jiang (太初元將)
      9 July – September 5 BCE
    • Yuanshou (元壽)
      3 February 2 – 11 February 1 CE
Grandson of Yuan 27 – 15 August 1 BCE
(aged 26)
Died from an unknown illness[109]
Ping
平帝
Liu Kan
劉衎

17 October 1 BCE – 3 February 6 CE
(6 years, 3 months and 17 days)
Era(s)

    • Yuanshi (元始)
      12 February 1 CE – 16 February 6 CE
Grandson of Yuan 9 BCE – 3 February 6 CE
(aged 14)
His reign was dominated by Wang Zhengjun and Wang Mang. He was murdered, possibly by orders from the latter.[110]
None, known as
Ruzi Ying (#)
孺子嬰
Liu Ying
劉嬰

17 April 6 – 10 January 9 CE
(2 years, 8 months and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Jushe (居攝)
      17 February 6 – 27 January 8 CE
    • Chushi (初始)
      27 January – 10 January 9 CE
Cousin-once-removed of Ping 5 – 25 CE
(aged 20)
A child puppet of Wang Mang; often not considered legitimate. He later attempted to succeed the Gengshi Emperor, but was killed by him[111]

Xin dynasty (9–23 CE)

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Wang Mang
王莽

10 January 9 – 6 October 23 CE
(14 years, 8 months and 26 days)
Era(s)

    • Shijianguo (始建國)
      15 January 9 – 19 January 14 CE
    • Tianfeng (天鳳)
      20 January 14 – 13 January 20 CE
    • Dihuang (地皇)
      14 January 20 – 6 October 23 CE
After dominating the reign of Emperor Ping, Wang Mang overthrew him and established the short-lived Xin dynasty 46 BCE – 6 October 23 CE
(aged 68)
Established the Xin dynasty, but his drastic reforms incited the Red Eyebrows and Lulin peasant rebellions which collapsed the dynasty. [112]

Gengshi Emperor (23–25 CE)

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None, known by his era:
Gengshi (#)
更始帝
Liu Xuan
劉玄

11 March 23 – November 25 CE
(2 years and 8 months)
Era(s)

    • Gengshi (更始)
      10 February 23 – November 25 CE
Descendant of Jing ? – November 25 CE
Strangled on the orders of Xie Lu [zh], a leader of the Red Eyebrows. Sometimes considered a pretender and illegitimate[113]

Eastern Han (25–220 CE)

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Guangwu
光武帝
Liu Xiu
劉秀

5 August 25 – 29 March 57 CE
(31 years, 7 months and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianwu (建武)
      5 August 25 – 13 May 56 CE
    • Jianwezhongyuan (建武中元)
      14 May 56 – 12 February 57 CE
Descendant of Jing 15 January 5 BCE – 29 March 57 CE
(aged 62)
Died of natural causes[114]
Ming
明帝
Liu Yang
劉陽
Liu Zhuang
劉莊

29 March 58 – 5 September 75 CE
(17 years, 5 months and 7 days)
Era(s)

    • Yongping (永平)
      13 February 58 – 23 February 76 CE
Son of Guangwu 28 – 5 September 75 CE
(aged 48)
Died of natural causes[115]
Zhang
章帝
Liu Da
劉炟

5 September 75 – 9 April 88 CE
(12 years, 7 months and 4 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianchu (建初)
      24 February 76 – 26 January 84 CE
    • Yuanhe (元和)
      27 January 84 – 11 September 87 CE
    • Zhanghe (章和)
      12 September 87 – 29 April 88 CE
Son of Ming 56 – 9 April 88 CE
(aged 32)
His reign marked the beginning of the Han's decline. Died of natural causes[116]
He
和帝
Liu Zhao
劉肇

9 April 88 – 13 February 106 CE
(17 years, 10 months and 4 days)
Era(s)

    • Yongyuan (永元)
      30 January 89 – 17 May 105 CE
    • Yuanxing (元興)
      18 May 105 – 20 February 106 CE
Son of Zhang 79 – 13 February 106
(aged 27)
Died of natural causes[117]
Shang
殤帝
Liu Long
劉隆

13 February – 21 September 106 CE
(7 months and 8 days)
Era(s)

    • Yanping (延平)
      21 February 106 – 9 February 107 CE
Son of He 105 – 21 September 106
(aged 4)
Died of natural causes[118]
An
安帝
Liu Hu
劉祜
Liu You
劉友

23 September 106 – 30 April 125 CE
(18 years, 7 months and 7 days)
Era(s)

    • Yongchu (永初)
      10 February 107 – 23 February 113 CE
    • Yuanchu (元初)
      24 February 114 – 24 May 120 CE
    • Yongning (永寧)
      25 May 120 – 30 September 121 CE
    • Jianguang (建光)
      1 August 121 – 24 April 122 CE
    • Yanguang (延光)
      25 April 122 – 30 April 125 CE
Grandson of Zhang 94 – 30 April 125
(aged 32)
Died of natural causes[119]
None, known as
Marquess of Beixiang (#)
北鄉侯
Liu Yi
劉懿
18 May – 10 December 125 CE[r]
(6 months and 22 days)
Grandson of Emperor Zhang ?–125 CE
Briefly reigned, probably as a child; often not considered legitimate. Died of natural causes[120]
Shun
順帝
Liu Bao
劉保

16 December 125 – 20 September 144
(18 years, 9 months and 4 days)
Era(s)

    • Yongjian (永建)
      10 February 126 – 15 April 132 CE
    • Yangjia (陽嘉)
      16 April 132 – 4 March 135 CE
    • Yonghe (永和)
      5 March 136 – 25 February 142 CE
    • Han'an (漢安)
      26 February 142 – 2 June 144 CE
    • Jiankang (建康)
      3 June 144 – 9 February 145 CE
Son of An 115 – 20 September 144 CE
(aged 29)
Died of natural causes[121]
Chong
沖帝
Liu Bing
劉炳

20 September 144 – 15 February 145
(4 months and 26 days)
Era(s)

    • Yongxi (永嘉)
      10 February 145 – 29 January 146 CE
Son of Shun 143 – 15 February 145 CE
(aged 2)
Died of natural causes[122]
Zhi
質帝
Liu Zuan
劉纘

6 March 145 – 26 July 146
(1 year, 4 months and 20 days)
Era(s)

    • Benchu (本初)
      30 January 146 – 17 February 147 CE
Cousin of Chong and great-grandson of Emperor Zhang 138 – 26 July 146 CE
(aged 7–8)
His reign was dominated by Liang Ji, who may have poisoned him. Otherwise he died from food poisoning[123]
Huan
桓帝
Liu Zhi
劉志

1 August 146 – 25 January 168
(21 years, 5 months and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianhe (建和)
      18 February 147 – 14 February 150 CE
    • Heping (和平)
      15 February 150 – 18 February 151 CE
    • Yuanjia (元嘉)
      19 February 151 – 30 June 153 CE
    • Yongxing (永興)
      1 July 153 – 4 March 155 CE
    • Yongshou (永壽)
      5 March 155 – 16 July 158 CE
    • Yanxi (延熹)
      17 July 158 – 11 July 167 CE
    • Yongkang (永康)
      12 July 167 – 16 February 168 CE
Great-grandson of Zhang 132 – 25 January 168 CE
(aged 36)
Died of natural causes[124]
Ling
靈帝
Liu Hong
劉宏

17 February 168 – 13 May 189
(21 years and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianning (建寧)
      17 February 168 – 23 June 172 CE
    • Xiping (熹平)
      24 June 172 – 25 April 178 CE
    • Guanghe (光和)
      26 April 178 – 15 February 185 CE
    • Zhongping (中平)
      16 February 184 – 14 May 189 CE
Great-great-grandson of Zhang 156 – 13 May 189 CE
(aged 32–33)
Died of an unknown illness[125]
Prince of Hongnong (#)
  弘農王
Liu Bian
劉辯

15 May – 28 September 189 CE
(6 months and 13 days)
Era(s)

    • Guingxi (光熹)
      15 May – 24 September 189 CE
    • Zhaoning (昭宁)
      25–27 September 189 CE
Son of Ling 173/176 – 22 March 190 CE
(aged 13–14)
Briefly reigned as a child; often not considered legitimate. Poisoned by Dong Zhuo[126]
Xian
獻帝
Liu Xie
劉協

28 September 189 – 11 December 220[s]
(31 years, 2 months and 23 days)
Era(s)

    • Yonghan (永汉)
      28 September 189 – 18 February 190 CE
    • Zhongping (中平)
      19–22 February 193 CE
    • Chuping (初平)
      23 February 190 – 20 February 194 CE
    • Xingping (兴平)
      21 February 194 – 22 February 196 CE
    • Jian'an (建安)
      23 February 196 – 20 March 220 CE
    • Yankang (延康)
      21 March – 11 December 220 CE
Son of Ling 2 April 181 – 21 April 234
(aged 53)
A puppet of Dong Zhuo and later Cao Cao. Forced to abdicate by Cao Pi, but spared. Died of natural causes[127]
Cao Cao is defeated at the Battle of Red Cliffs by Sun Quan and Liu Bei, preventing him from uniting seceded southern Han territory. The region becomes split into three competing powers: Cao Wei, Eastern Wu, and Shu Han.[128]

Six Dynasties

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Three Kingdoms (220–280)

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Cao Wei (220–266)

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Cao Wei (曹魏; 220–266)
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Cao Pi
曹丕
Emperor Wen
文帝
11 December 220 – 29 June 226
(5 years, 6 months and 18 days)
Era(s)

    • Huangchu (黃初) December 220–226
The eldest son of Cao Cao. Inherited what lands the Eastern Han dynasty still controlled to found the Cao Wei state 187 – 29 June 226
(aged 38–39)
Died of natural causes[129]
Cao Rui
曹叡
Emperor Ming
明帝
29 June 226 – 22 January 239
(12 years, 6 months and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Taihe (太和) 227–233
    • Qinglong (青龍) 233–237
    • Jingchu (景初) 237–239
Son of Cao Pi and grandson of Cao Cao c. 206 – 22 January 239
(aged 34–35)
Died of natural causes[130]
Cao Fang
曹芳
Emperor Shao
少帝

Emperor Fei
廢帝
22 January 239 – 16 October 254
(15 years, 8 months and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Zhengshi (正始) 240 – 7 May 249
    • Jiaping (嘉平) 8 May 249 – 1 November 254
Adopted heir by Cao Rui, who had no sons of his own. He was presumably related to the imperial family in some way 231–274
(aged 42–43)
His reign was completely dominated by Cao Shuang, Sima Yi and Sima Shi, the latter of which eventually deposed Cao Fang. Died of natural causes[131]
Cao Mao
曹髦
Duke of Gaogui District
高貴鄉公
2 November 254 – 2 June 260
(5 years and 7 months)
Era(s)

    • Zhengyuan (正元) 2 November 254 – 9 July 256
    • Ganlu (甘露) 10 July 256 – 13 July 260
The cousin of Cao Fang and grandson of Cao Pi. Put on the throne by Sima Shi c. 241 – 9 July 260
(aged 18–19)
His reign was completely dominated by Sima Shi and Sima Zhao. Died in a failed coup to regain power from Sima Zhao[132]
Cao Huan
曹奐
Emperor Yuan
元皇帝
27 July 260 – 4 February 266
(5 years, 6 months and 8 days)
Era(s)

    • Jingyuan (景元) 8 July 260 – June 264
    • Xianxi (咸熙) June 264 – 4 February 266
Grandson of Cao Cao and the first cousin once-removed of Cao Mao 245–302
(aged 56–57)
His reign was completely dominated by Sima Zhao and Sima Yan. Died of natural causes[133]

Shu Han (221–263)

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Shu Han (蜀漢; 221–263)
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Liu Bei
劉備
Emperor Zhaolie
昭烈皇帝
15 May 221 – 10 June 223
(2 years and 26 days)
Era(s)

    • Zhangwu (章武) 221–223
Claimed to descend from Emperor Jing of Han. Conquered the Yi Province to found the Shu Han state 161 – 10 June 223
(aged 61–62)
Died of natural causes[134]
Liu Shan
劉禪
Emperor Xiaohuai
孝懷皇帝
June 223 – December 263
(40 years and 6 months)
Era(s)

    • Jianxing (建興) 223–237
    • Yanxi (延熙) 238–257
    • Jingyao (景耀) 258–263
    • Yanxing (炎興) 263
The son of Liu Bei 207–271
(aged 63–64)
Abdicated after the fall on the Shu capital of Chengdu in 263.[135]

Eastern Wu (222–280)

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Eastern Wu (東吳; 222–280)
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Sun Quan
孫權
Emperor Da
大皇帝
23 May 229 – May 252
(22 years, 11 months and 8 days)
Era(s)

    • Huangwu (黃武) 222–229
    • Huanglong (黃龍) 229–231
    • Jiahe (嘉禾) 232–238
    • Chiwu (赤烏) 238–251
    • Taiyuan (太元) 251–252
    • Shenfeng (神鳳) 252
The son of Sun Jian; inherited the conquests of his brother Sun Ce. Proclaimed "King of Wu" in 221 and later "Emperor" in 229 182–252
(aged 69–70)
Died of natural causes[136]
Sun Liang
孫亮
Emperor Fei
吳廢帝
May 252 – 9 November 258
(6 years, 6 months and 8 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianxing (建興) 252–253
    • Wufeng (五鳳) 254–256
    • Taiping (太平) 256–258
Son of Sun Quan 243–260
(aged 16–17)
His reign was completely dominated by three successive regents: Zhuge Ke, Sun Jun and Sun Chen. He was later deposed and died of natural causes[137]
Sun Xiu
孫休
Emperor Jing
景皇帝
30 November 258 – 3 September 264
(5 years, 11 months and 4 days)
Era(s)

    • Yongan (永安) 258–264
Son of Sun Quan 235–264
(aged 28–29)
Died of natural causes[137]
Sun Hao
孫皓
Emperor Mo
末帝
3 September 264 – 1 May 280
(15 years, 5 months and 28 days)
Era(s)

    • Yuanxing (元興) 264–265
    • Ganlu (甘露) 265–266
    • Baoding (寶鼎) 266–269
    • Jianheng (建衡) 269–271
    • Fenghuang (鳳凰) 272–274
    • Tiance (天冊) 275–276
    • Tianxi (天璽) 276
    • Tianji (天紀) 277–280
Son of Sun He, former heir apparent to Sun Quan 241–283
(aged 41–42)
Eastern Wu was conquered by Sima Yan in 280. Died of natural causes[138]

Jin dynasty (266–420)

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Jin dynasty (晉朝; 266–420)[139]
Posthumous name Personal name Reign Succession Life details

Western Jin (266–316)

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Emperor Wu
晉武帝
Sima Yan
司馬炎

8 February 266 – 16 May 290
(24 years, 4 months and 8 days)
Era(s)

    • Taishi (泰始) 266–274
    • Xianning (咸寧) 275–280
    • Taikang (太康) 280–289
    • Taixi (太熙) 290
Son of Prince Sima Zhao, proclaimed emperor after the abdication of Cao Huan of Wei. He unified China after conquering Eastern Wu in 280 236–290
(aged 53–54)
Died of natural causes[140]
Emperor Hui
晉惠帝
Sima Zhong
司馬衷

16 May 290 – 8 January 307
(16 years, 7 months and 23 days)
Era(s)

    • Yongxi (永熙) 290
    • Yongping (永平) 291
    • Yuankang (元康) 291–299
    • Yongkang (永康) 300–301
    • Yongning (永寧) 301–302
    • Taian (太安) 302–303
    • Yongan (永安) 304
    • Jianwu (建武) 304
    • Yongan (永安) 304
    • Yongxing (永興) 305–306
    • Guangxi (光熙) 306
Son of Emperor Wu, ruled under the regency of his wife, Jia Nanfeng, until her death in 300 CE 259–307
(aged 47–48)
Possibly mentally unstable, his reign was marked by the disastrous War of the Eight Princes. He was poisoned by Sima Yue[141]
Sima Lun
司馬倫

3 February – 30 May 301
(3 months and 27 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianshi (建始) 301
Prince of Zhou and son of Sima Yi, briefly usurped power from Emperor Hu One of the infamous Eight Princes; often seen as an usurper. He was forced to commit suicide by Princes Jiong, Ying and Yong[142]
Emperor Huai
晉懷帝
Sima Chi
司馬熾

8 January 307 – 14 March 311
(4 years, 2 months and 6 days)
Era(s)

    • Yongjia (永嘉) 307–313
Younger brother of Emperor Hui 284–313
(aged 30–31)
His reign, dominated by Sima Yue, saw widespread ethnic rebellions. He was deposed and killed by the Han-Zhao[143]
Emperor Min
晉愍帝
Sima Ye
司馬鄴

14 March 313 – 7 February 316
(2 years, 10 months and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianxing (建興) 313–317
Nephew of Emperor Huai, proclaimed emperor in Chang'an after the fall of Luoyang to the Five Barbarians. 300 – 7 February 316
(aged 15–16)
Killed by Liu Cong of Han-Zhao[144]

Eastern Jin (318–420)

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Emperor Yuan
晉元帝
Sima Rui
司馬睿

26 April 318 – 3 January 323
(4 years, 8 months and 8 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianwu (建武) 317–318
    • Taixing (太興) 318–322
    • Yongchang (永昌) 322–323
Great-grandson of Sima Yi, proclaimed himself emperor with the help of Wang Dun in Jiankang after the fall of Chang'an. 276 – 323
(aged 47)
Died of natural causes[145]
Emperor Ming
晉明帝
Sima Shao
司馬紹

3 January 323 – 18 October 325
(2 years, 9 months and 15 days)
Era(s)

    • Taining (太寧) 323–326
Son of Emperor Yuan 299 – 325
(aged 26)
His reign was dominated by Wang Dao and antagonized by Wang Dun. Died of natural causes[146]
Emperor Cheng
晉成帝
Sima Yan
司馬衍
19 October 325 – 26 July 342
(16 years, 9 months and 7 days)
Era(s)

    • Xianhe (咸和) 326–335
    • Xiankang (咸康) 335–342
Son of Emperor Ming, ruled initially under the regency of Yu Wenjun 321 – 342
(aged 21)
Dominated by Yu Liang, he was briefly deposed in 328 by rebel Su Jun. Died of natural causes[147]
Emperor Kang
晉康帝
Sima Yue
司馬岳

27 July 342 – 17 November 344
(2 years, 3 months and 21 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianyuan (建元) 343–344
Son of Emperor Ming 322 – 344
(aged 22)
Died of natural causes[148]
Emperor Mu
晉穆帝
Sima Dan
司馬聃

18 November 344 – 10 July 361
(16 years, 7 months and 22 days)
Era(s)

    • Yonghe (永和) 345–357
    • Shengping (升平) 357–361
Son of Emperor Kang, "ruled" under the regency of Empress Dowager Chu until 357 343 – 361
(aged 18)
The youngest Chinese emperor.[t] Died of natural causes[149]
Emperor Ai
晉哀帝
Sima Pi
司馬丕

13 July 361 – 30 March 365
(3 years, 8 months and 17 days)
Era(s)

    • Longhe (隆和) 362–363
    • Xingning (興寧) 363–365
Son of Emperor Cheng, reigned alongside Empress Dowager Chu 341 – 365
(aged 24)
Died of drug poisoning[150]
none, known as:
Emperor Fei[u]
晉廢帝
Sima Yi
司馬奕

31 March 365 – 6 January 372
(6 years, 9 months and 6 days)
Era(s)

    • Taihe (太和) 366–372
Son of Emperor Cheng 342 – 386
(aged 44)
Deposed by Huan Wen, later dying of natural causes[152]
Emperor Jianwen
晉簡文帝
Sima Yu
司馬昱

6 January – 19 August 372
(7 months and 13 days)
Era(s)

    • Xianan (咸安) 372
Son of Emperor Yuan and great-great-grandson of Sima Yi, enthroned by Huan Wen 320 – 372
(aged 52)
Died of natural causes[153]
Emperor Xiaowu
晉孝武帝
Sima Yao
司馬曜

19 August 372 – 6 November 396
(24 years, 2 months and 18 days)
Era(s)

    • Ningkang (寧康) 373–376
    • Taiyuan (太元) 376–397
Son of Emperor Jianwen 362 – 396
(aged 34)
His army's defeat of the Former Qin army at the Battle of Fei River led to the eventual collapse of the Former Qin. Killed by a jealous concubine[154]
Emperor An
晉安帝
Sima Dezong
司馬德宗

7 November 396 – 28 January 419
(22 years, 2 months and 21 days)
Era(s)

    • Longan (隆安) 397–402
    • Yuanxing (元興) 402–405
    • Yixi (義熙) 405–419
Son of Emperor Xiaowu 382/3 – 419
(aged 36–37)
Dominated by Sima Daozi, Huan Xuan and Liu Yu, he was killed by the latter[155]
Emperor Gong
晉恭帝
Sima Dewen
司馬德文

28 January 419 – 5 July 420
(1 year, 5 months and 7 days)
Era(s)

    • Yuanxi (元熙) 419–420
Son of Emperor Xiaowu 386 – 12 November 421
(aged 35)
Abdicated in favor of Liu Yu (Emperor Wu of Song), later assassinated[156]

Sixteen Kingdoms (304–439)

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Cheng Han (成漢; 304–347)[157]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Li Xiong
李雄
Emperor Wu
武皇帝
304–334
(29–30 years)
Era(s)

    • Jianxing (建興) 304–306
    • Yanping (晏平) 306–311
    • Yuheng (玉衡) 311–334
Son of rebel Li Te, proclaimed himself King in 304 and then Emperor in 306 274–334
(aged 59–60)
Died of disease[158]
Li Ban
李班
Emperor Ai
哀皇帝
334
(less than a year)
Nephew of Li Xiong 274–334
(aged 59–60)
Killed by Li Qi[159]
Li Qi
李期
Duke You
幽公
334–338
(3–4 years)
Era(s)

    • Yuheng (玉恆) 335–338
Son of Li Xiong 314–338
(aged 23–24)
Committed suicide[160]
Li Shou
李壽
Emperor Xiaowen
昭文皇帝
338–343
(4–5 years)
Era(s)

    • Hanxing (漢興) 338–344
Nephew of Li Te, usurped power from Li Qi and renamed the state from "Cheng” to “Han” 300–343
(aged 42–43)
Died of natural causes[160]
Li Shi
李勢
Marquess of Guiyi
歸義侯
343–347
(3–4 years)
Era(s)

    • Taihe (太和) 343–346
    • Jianing (嘉寧) 346–347
Son of Li Shou Abdicated to Huan Wen after the fall of Cheng in 347. Died of natural causes in 361 in the Eastern Jin capital[160]
Han-Zhao (漢趙; 304–319) / Former Zhao (前趙; 319–329)[161]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Liu Yuan
劉淵
Emperor Guangwen
光文皇帝
304–310
(5–6 years)
Era(s)

    • Yuanxi (元熙) 304–308
    • Yongfeng (永鳳) 308–309
    • Herui (河瑞) 309–310
Rebelled against the Jin dynasty. Proclaimed himself King of Han in 304 and Emperor in 308 c. 250–310
(aged approx. 60)
Died of natural causes[162]
Liu He
劉和
310
(less than a year)
Son of Liu Yuan Killed by his brother Liu Cong[163]
Liu Cong
劉聰
Emperor Zhaowu
昭武皇帝
310–318
(7–8 years)
Era(s)

    • Guangxing (光興) 310–311
    • Jiaping (嘉平) 311–315
    • Jianyuan (建元) 315–316
    • Linjia (麟嘉) 316–318
Son of Liu Yuan Died of natural causes in 318[163]
Liu Can
劉粲
Emperor Yin
隱皇帝
318
(less than a year)
Son of Liu Cong Killed by officer Jin Zhun in 318[163]
Liu Yao
劉曜
318–329
(10–11 years)
Era(s)

    • Guangchu (光初) 318–329
Nephew of Liu Yuan, changed the dynastic title from "Han" to "Zhao" Ended the Western Jin in 316. Captured and killed by Shi Le of Later Zhao[162]
Later Zhao (後趙; 319–351)
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Shi Le
石勒
Emperor Ming
明皇帝
319–333
(13–14 years)
Era(s)

    • Zhaowang (趙王) 319–328
    • Taihe (太和) 328–330
    • Jianping (建平) 330–333
Rebelled with Ji Sang during the War of the Eight Princes. Proclaimed himself King of Zhao in 319 and then Emperor in 330 374–333
(aged 58–59)
Ended the Former Zhao in 329. Died of natural causes[164]
Shi Hong
石弘
333–334
(0–1 years)
Era(s)

    • Yanxi (延熙) 334
Son of Shi Le 313–334
(aged 20–21)
Deposed and killed by Shi Hu[164]
Shi Hu
石虎
Emperor Wu
武皇帝
334–349
(14–15 years)
Era(s)

    • Jianwu (建武) 335–349
    • Taining (太寧) 349
Nephew of Shi Le, usurped power from Shi Hong in 334. Ruled as Heavenly King until 349 295–349
(aged 53–54)
Died of natural causes[164]
Shi Shi
石世
349
(less than a year)
Son of Shi Hu 339–349
(aged 9–10)
Murdered[164]
Shi Zun
石遵
349
(less than a year)
Son of Shi Hu Killed by Ran Min[164]
Shi Jian
石鑒
349–350
(0–1 years)
Era(s)

    • Qinglong (青龍) 350
Son of Shi Hu, enthroned by Ran Min Killed by Ran Min[164]
Shi Zhi
石祇
350–351
(0–1 years)
Era(s)

    • Yongning (永寧) 350–351
Son of Shi Hu Gave up the imperial title in 351, later killed by a subordinate officer[164]
Former Liang (前涼; 320–376)[165]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Zhang Mao
張茂
Duke Cheng
成公
320–324
(3–4 years)
Son of governor Zhang Gui 377–324
(aged 52–53)
Made vassal of Former Zhao in 323. Died of natural causes[166]
Zhang Jun
張駿
Duke Zhongcheng
忠成公
324–346
(21–22 years)
Son of governor Zhang Shi 307–346
(aged 38–39)
Died of natural causes[167]
Zhang Chonghua
張重華
Duke Huan
桓公
346–353
(6–7 years)
Son of Zhang Jun, didn't assume the dynastic title until 349 327–353
(aged 25–26)
Died of natural causes[168]
Zhang Yaoling
張曜靈
Duke Ai
哀公
353
(less than a year)
Son of Zhang Chonghua 344–355
(aged 25–26)
Killed by Zhang Zuo[167]
Zhang Zuo
張祚
King Wei
威王
354–355
(0–1 years)
Era(s)

    • Heping (和平) 354–355
Son of Zhang Jun Discontinued the use of Western Jin era names before being killed in 355[167]
Zhang Xuanjing
張玄靚
Duke Chong
沖公
355–363
(7–8 years)
Era(s)

    • Taishi (太始) 355–356
Son of Zhang Chonghua 350–363
(aged 12–13)
Killed by Zhang Tianxi[167]
Zhang Tianxi
張天錫
Duke Dao
沖公
363–376
(12–13 years)
Era(s)

    • Taiqing (太清) 363–376
Son of Zhang Jun 346–406
(aged 59–60)
Surrendered to the Former Qin, later dying of natural causes in Eastern Jin[167]
Former Yan (前燕; 337–370)[169]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Murong Huang
慕容皝
Emperor Wenming
文明皇帝
337–348
(10–11 years)
Son of governor Murong Hui, proclaimed himself Prince of Yan in 337. Remained loyal to the Jin 297–348
(aged 50–51)
Died of natural causes[170]
Murong Jun
慕容儁
Emperor Jingzhao
景昭皇帝
348–360
(11–12 years)
Era(s)

    • Yuanxi (元璽) 353–357
    • Guangshou (光壽) 357–360
Son of Murong Huang, proclaimed himself Emperor in 352 319–360
(aged 38–39)
Died of natural causes[167]
Murong Wei
慕容暐
Emperor You
幽皇帝
360–370
(9–10 years)
Era(s)

    • Jianxi (建熙) 360–370
Son of Murong Jun, ruled under the regency of Murong Ping 350–384
(aged 33–34)
Captured by Former Qin in 370, executed by Fu Jiān in 384 after a failed coup[168]
Former Qin (前秦; 351–394)[171]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Fu Jiàn
苻健
Emperor Jingming
景明皇帝
351–355
(3–4 years)
Era(s)

    • Huangshi (皇始) 351–355
Son of Prince Hong, leader of the Di. Proclaimed Heavenly King and Great Chanyu after Hong's murder in 351, became Emperor in 352 307 or 317–355
(aged 48 or 38)
Died of natural causes[172]
Fu Sheng
苻生
Prince Li
厲王
355–357
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Shouguang (壽光) 355–357
Son of Fu Jiàn 335–357
(aged 22)
Killed by his cousin[172]
Fu Jiān
苻堅
Emperor Xuanzhao
宣昭皇帝
357–385
(27–28 years)
Era(s)

    • Yongxing (永興) 357–359
    • Ganlu (甘露) 359–364
    • Jian yuan (建元) 365–385
Grandson of Fu Hong, ruled as Heavenly King 338–385
(aged 47)
Conquered Former Yan, Former Liang, and Dai. Killed by Yao Chang.[172]
Fu Pi
苻丕
Emperor Aiping
哀平皇帝
385–386
(0–1 years)
Era(s)

    • Taian (太安) 385–386
Son of Fu Jiān Defeated by Murong Yong of Western Yan, later killed by the Eastern Jin army[172]
Fu Deng
苻登
Emperor Gao
高皇帝
386–394
(7–8 years)
Era(s)

    • Taichu (太初) 386–394
Grandnephew of Fu Jiān 343–394
(aged 51)
Killed by Yao Xing of Later Qin[172]
Fu Chong
苻崇
394
(less than a year)
Era(s)

    • Yanchu (延初) 394
Son of Fu Deng Killed by Qifu Qiangui of Western Qin[172]
Later Yan (後燕; 384–409)[169]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Murong Chui
慕容垂
Emperor Wucheng
成武皇帝
384–396
(11–12 years)
Era(s)

    • Jianxing (建興) 386–396
Son of Prince Murong Huang of Former Yan, reestablished his kingdom after the Battle of Fei River 326–396
(aged 70)
Conquered Western Yan in 394[173]
Murong Bao
慕容寶
Emperor Huimin
惠愍皇帝
396–398
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Yongkang (永康) 396–398
Son of Murong Chui 355–398
(aged 43)
Killed by the usurper Lan Han[173]
Murong Sheng
慕容盛
Emperor Zhaowu
昭武皇帝
398–401
(2–3 years)
Era(s)

    • Jianping (建平) 398
    • Changle (長樂) 399–401
Son of Murong Bao, came to power after killing Lan Han 373–401
(aged 28)
Killed by general Duan Ji[173]
Murong Xi
慕容熙
Emperor Zhaowen
昭文皇帝
401–407
(5–6 years)
Era(s)

    • Guangshi (光始) 401–406
    • Jianshi (建始) 407
Son of Murong Chui 385–407
(aged 22)
Killed by Feng Ba[173]
Later Qin (後秦; 384–417)[171]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Yao Chang
姚萇
Emperor Wuzhao
武昭皇帝
384–393
(8–9 years)
Era(s)

    • Baique (白雀) 384–386
    • Jianchu (建初) 386–393
Proclaimed King after the Battle of Fei River, then Emmperor after killing Fu Jiān of Former Qin 343–394
(aged 51)
Died of natural causes[174]
Yao Xing
姚興
Emperor Wenhuan
文桓皇帝
394–416
(21–22 years)
Era(s)

    • Huangchu (皇初) 394–399
    • Hongshi (弘始) 399–416
Son of Yao Chang 366–416
(aged 50)
Conquered Former Qin and Later Liang. Favored Buddhism and Taoism.[174]
Yao Hong
姚泓
416–417
(0–1 years)
Era(s)

    • Yonghe (永和) 416–417
Son of Yao Xing 388–417
(aged 29)
Executed by the Eastern Jin[174]
Western Qin (西秦; 385–400, 409–431)[171]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Qifu Guoren
乞伏國仁
Prince Xuanlie
宣烈王
385–388
(2–3 years)
Era(s)

    • Jianyi (建義) 385–388
Former general of Former Qin Died of natural causes[175]
Qifu Gangui
乞伏乾歸
Prince Wuyuan
武元王
388–412
(23–24 years)
Era(s)

    • Taichu (太初) 388–400
    • Gengshi (更始) 409–412
Younger brother of Qifu Guoren Surrendered to Later Qin in 400, reclaimed the throne in 409. Killed by his nephew[175]
Qifu Chipan
乞伏熾磐
Prince Wenzhao
文昭王
412–428
(15–16 years)
Era(s)

    • Yongkang (永康) 412–419
    • Jianhong (建弘) 419–428
Son of Qifu Gangui Conquered Southern Liang in 414[175]
Qifu Mumo
乞伏暮末
428–431
(2–3 years)
Era(s)

    • Yonghong (永弘) 428–431
Son of Qifu Chipan Killed by the Xia[175]
Later Liang (後涼; 386–403)[176]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Lü Guang
呂光
Emperor Yiwu
懿武皇帝
386–399
(12–13 years)
Era(s)

    • Taian (太安) 386–389
    • Linjia (麟嘉) 389–396
    • Longfei (龍飛) 396–400
Former general of Former Qin, proclaimed himself Duke of Jiuquan in 386 and Heavenly King in 396 337–399
(aged 19)
Abdicated in favor of his son[177]
Lü Shao
呂紹
Prince Yin
隱王
399
(less than a year)
Son of Lü Guang Was forced to commit suicide by his brother[177]
Lü Zuan
呂纂
Emperor Ling
靈皇帝
399–401
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Xianning (咸寧) 400–401
Son of Lü Guang Killed by Lü Chao, Guang's nephew[177]
Lü Long
呂隆
401–403
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Shending (神鼎) 401–403
Nephew of Lü Guang Killed by Yao Hong of Later Qin[177]
Southern Liang (南涼; 397–414)[178]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Tufa Wugu
禿髮烏孤
Prince Wu
武王
397–399
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Taichu (太初) 397–400
Proclaimed himself Great Chanyu Died of natural causes[179]
Tufa Lilugu
禿髮利鹿孤
Prince Kang
康王
399–402
(2–3 years)
Era(s)

    • Jianhe (建和) 400–402
Elder brother of Tufa Wugu Died of natural causes[179]
Tufa Rutan
禿髮傉檀
Prince Jing
景王
402–414
(11–12 years)
Era(s)

    • Hongchang (弘昌) 402–404
    • Jiaping (嘉平) 409–414
Elder brother Tufa Lilugu 364–415
(aged 51)
Captured and killed by Western Qin[179]
Northern Liang (北涼; 397–439)[169]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Duan Ye
段業
397–401
(3–4 years)
Era(s)

    • Shenxi (神璽) 397–399
    • Tianxi (天璽) 399–401
Governor of Later Liang, proclaimed himself Prince of Liang in 397 Killed by Juqu Mengxun[180]
Juqu Mengxun
沮渠蒙遜
401–433
(31–32 years)
Era(s)

    • Yongan (永安) 401–412
    • Xuanshi (玄始) 412–428
    • Chengxuan (承玄) 428–430
    • Yihe (義和) 430–433
Former ally of Duan Ye, proclaimed himself Duke of Zhangye Conquered Western Liang in 421[181]
Juqu Mujian
沮渠牧犍
Prince Ai
哀王
433–439
(5–6 years)
Era(s)

    • Shenxi (神璽) 397–399
    • Yonghe (永和) 433–439
Son of Juqu Mengxun Defeated by Northern Wei, later forced to commit suicide in 449 for sedition[181]
Southern Yan (南燕; 398–410)[169]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Murong De
慕容德
Emperor Xianwu
武昭皇帝
398–405
(6–7 years)
Era(s)

    • Jianping (建平) 400–405
Younger brother of Murong Chui of Later Yan, declared himself Prince in 398 and then Emperor in 400 336–405
(aged 69)
Captured and killed by Western Qin[182]
Murong Chao
慕容超
405–410
(4–5 years)
Era(s)

    • Taishang (太上) 405–410
Uncertain succession 385–410
(aged 25)
Captured and killed by Eastern Jin[182]
Western Liang (西涼; 400–421)[178]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Li Gao
李暠
Prince Wuzhao
武昭王
400–417
(16–17 years)
Era(s)

    • Gengzi (庚子) 400–405
    • Jianchu (建初) 406–417
Governor of Dunhuang under Duan Ye of Northern Liang, declared himself Duke 351–417
(aged 66)
Died of natural causes[183]
Li Xin
李歆
417–420
(2–3 years)
Era(s)

    • Jiaxing (嘉興) 417–420
Son of Li Gao Killed by Juqu Mengxun of Northern Liang[184]
Li Xun
李恂
420–421
(0–1 years)
Era(s)

    • Yongjian (永建): 420–421
Son of Li Gao Committed suicide after the fall of Dunhuang[184]
Helian Xia (胡夏; 407–431)[171]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Helian Bobo
赫連勃勃
Emperor Wulie
武烈皇帝
407–425
(17–18 years)
Era(s)

    • Longsheng (龍升) 407–413
    • Fengxiang (鳳翔) 413–418
    • Changwu (昌武) 418–419
    • Zhenxing (真興) 419–425
Subordinate of Yao Xing of Later Qin, declared himself Heavenly King in 407 and then Emperor at Chang'an in 418 381–425
(aged 44)
Died of natural causes[185]
Helian Chang
赫連昌
425–428
(2–3 years)
Era(s)

    • Chengguang (承光) 425–428
Son of Helian Bobo Executed by Northern Wei in 434[185]
Helian Ding
赫連定
428–431
(2–3 years)
Era(s)

    • Shengguang (勝光): 428–431
Son of Helian Bobo Executed by Tuyuhun in 432[185]
Northern Yan (北燕; 407–436)[169]
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Gao Yun
高雲
Emperor Huiyi
惠懿皇帝
407–409
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Zhengshi (正始) 407–409
Adopted son of Murong Bao or Later Yan, proclaimed Heavenly King by Feng Ba Killed by his underlings[185]
Feng Ba
馮跋
Emperor Wencheng
文成皇帝
409–430
(20–21 years)
Era(s)

    • Taiping (太平) 409–430
Seized power after Yun's death Died of natural causes[186]
Feng Hong
馮弘
Emperor Zhaocheng
昭成皇帝
430–436
(5–6 years)
Era(s)

    • Daxing (大興) 431–436
Younger brother of Feng Ba Defeated by Northern Wei, later murdered in Goguryeo[185]

Northern and Southern Dynasties (420–589)

edit

Northern Dynasties (420–581)

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Northern Wei (北魏; 386–535)[187]
Posthumous name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Emperor Daowu
道武皇帝
Tuoba Gui
拓拔珪
20 February 386 – 409
Era(s)

    • Dengguo (登國) 386–396
    • Huangshi (皇始) 396–398
    • Tianxing (天興) 398–404
    • Tianci (赤烏)404–409
Leader of the Tuoba, refounded the Dai State as Wei 371–409
(aged 39)
Killed by his son Tuoba Shao[188]
Emperor Mingyuan
明元皇帝
Tuoba Si
拓拔嗣
409–423
Era(s)

    • Yongxing (永興) 409–413
    • Shenrui (神瑞) 414–416
    • Taichang (泰常) 416–423
Son of Emperor Daowu 392–423
(aged 31)
Died of disease[188]
Emperor Taiwu
太武皇帝
Tuoba Tao
拓拔燾
423–452
Era(s)

    • Shiguang (始光) 424–428
    • Shenjia (神䴥) 428–431
    • Yanhe (延和) 432–434
    • Taiyan (太延) 435–440
    • Taipingzhenjun (太平真君) 440–451
    • Zhengping (正平) 451–452
Son of Emperor Mingyuan 408–452
(aged 43–44)
Conquered Xia, Northern Yan and Liang. Killed by eunuch Zong Ai[188]
Tuoba Yu
拓拔余
Tuoba Yu
拓拔余
452
Era(s)

    • Chengping(承平)
Son of Taiwu. Put on the throne by eunuch Zong Ai Killed by Zong Ai[189]
Emperor Wencheng
文成皇帝
Tuoba Jun
拓拔濬
452–465
Era(s)

    • Xing'an (興安) 452–454
    • Xingguang (興光) 454–455
    • Tai'an (太安) 455–459
    • Heping (和平) 460–465
Grandson of Taiwu. Ascended to the throne after the murder of Zong. 440–465
(aged 24–25)
Died of natural causes[190]
Emperor Xianwen
獻文皇帝
Tuoba Hong
拓拔弘
465–471
Era(s)

    • Tianan (天安) 466–467
    • Huangxin (皇興) 467–471
Son of Wencheng 454–476
(aged 21–22)
Abdicated in favor of his son Yuan Hong, later dying of natural causes[191]
Emperor Xiaowen
孝文皇帝
Tuoba Hong
拓拔宏
Yuan Hong
元宏
471–499
Era(s)

    • Yanxing (延興) 471–476
    • Chengming (承明) 476
    • Taihe (太和) 477–499
Son of Xianwen, ruled under the regency of Empress Dowager Feng until 470. 467–499
(aged 31–32)
One of the most significant reformers in medieval China. Died of natural causes[192]
Emperor Xuanwu
宣武皇帝
Yuan Ke
元恪
499–515
Era(s)

    • Jingming (景明) 500–503
    • Zhengshi (正始) 504–508
    • Yongping (永平) 508–512
    • Yanchang (延昌) 512–515
Son of Xiaowen 483–515
(aged 31–32)
His reign marked the decline of Wei[193]
Emperor Xiaoming
孝明皇帝
Yuan Xu
元詡
515–528
Era(s)

    • Xiping (熙平) 516–518
    • Shengui (神龜) 518–520
    • Zhengguang (正光) 520–525
    • Xiaochang (孝昌) 525–527
    • Wutai (武泰) 528
Son of Xuanwu 510–528
(aged 17–18)
Killed in a power struggle against Empress Dowager Hu[194]
None, known as
Youzhu of Northern Wei
北魏幼主
Yuan Zhao
元釗
528 Enthroned by Empress Dowager Hu 526–528
(aged 2)
Killed by general Erzhu Rong[195]
Emperor Xiaozhuang
孝莊皇帝
Yuan Ziyou
元子攸
528–530
Era(s)

    • Jianyi (建義) 528
    • Yongan (永安) 528-530
Enthroned by Erzhu Rong 507–early 531
(aged 24)
Killed by general Erzhu Zhao[196]
Yuan Ye
元曄
Yuan Ye
元曄
530–531
Era(s)

    • Jianming (建明) 530–531
Enthroned by the Erzhu Clan in opposition to Xiaozhuang Executed in 532[197]
Emperor Jiemin
節閔皇帝
Yuan Gong
元恭
531–532
Era(s)

    • Putai (普泰) 531–532
Enthroned by Erzhu Shilong 498–532
(aged 33–34)
Deposed and executed by Gao Huan[198]
Yuan Lang
元朗
Yuan Lang
元朗
531–532
Era(s)

    • Zhongxing (中興) 531–532
Enthroned by Gao Huan 513–532
(aged 19–18)
Deposed and executed by Gao Huan[198]
Emperor Xiaowu
節閔皇帝
Yuan Xiu
元脩
532–535
Era(s)

    • Taichang (太昌) 532
    • Yongxing (永興) 532
    • Yongxi (永熙) 532–534
Enthroned by Gao Huan 510–early 535
(aged 25)
Fled to Chang’an, where he was poisoned by Yuwen Tai of Northern Zhou[199]
Eastern Wei (东魏; 534–550)[200]
Posthumous name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Emperor Xiaojing
孝靜皇帝
Yuan Shanjian
元善見
534–550
Era(s)

    • Tianping (登國) 534–537
    • Yuanxiang (皇始) 538–539
    • Xinghe (天興) 539–542
    • Wuding (赤烏) 543–550
Enthroned by Gao Huan 524–552
(aged 27–28)
Forced to abdicate and later poisoned by Gao Yang[201]
Northern Qi (北齐; 550–577)[200]
Posthumous name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Emperor Wenxuan
文宣皇帝
Gao Yang
高洋
550–559
Era(s)

    • Tianbao (天保)
Regent of Eastern Wei, proclaimed himself emperor after deposing Emperor Xiaojing 529–559
(aged 29–30)
Supposedly suffered insanity in his late reign. Died of natural causes[202]
Emperor Fei
孝靜皇帝
Gao Yin
高殷
559–560
Era(s)

    • Qianming (乾明)
Son of Emperor Wenxuan, enthroned by official Yang Yin 545–561
(aged 15–16)
Forced to abdicate by his uncles Gao Yan and Gao Zhan, later executed[202]
Emperor Xiaozhao
孝昭皇帝
Gao Yan
高演
560–561
Era(s)

    • Huangjian (登國)
Son of Gao Huan, seized power through a palace coup 535–559
(aged 25–26)
Died of natural causes[202]
Emperor Wucheng
武成皇帝
Gao Zhan
高湛
561–565
Era(s)

    • Taining (太寧) 561–562
    • Heqing (河清) 562–565
Brother of Xiaozhao 537–569
(aged 31–32)
Abdicated in favor of his son, later dying of natural causes[203]
Gao Wei
高緯
Gao Wei
高緯
565–577
Era(s)

    • Tiantong (天統) 565–569
    • Wǔpíng (河清) 570–576
    • Longhua (隆化) 576
Son of Wucheng, ruled under his father's regency until 569 557–577
(aged 19–20)
Abdicated in favor of his son, later killed by Northern Zhou[204]
Gao Heng
高恆
Gao Heng
高恆
577
Era(s)

    • Chengguang (承光)
Son of Gao Wei 557–577
(aged 19–20)
Abdicated in favor of his uncle Gao Jie, but was soon killed alongside him[205]
Western Wei (西魏; 535–557)[200]
Posthumous name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Emperor Wen
文皇帝
Yuan Baoyu
元寶炬
535–551
Era(s)

    • Datong (大統) 535–551
Grandson of Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei 507–551
(aged 43–44)
Killed by Yuwen Tai of Northern Zhou[206]
Emperor Fei
廢帝
Yuan Qin
元欽
551–554 Son of Emperor Wen, enthroned by Yuwen Tai Poisoned to death by Yuwen Tai[206]
Emperor Gong
恭皇帝
Yuan Kuo
元廓
554–556 Son of Emperor Wen, enthroned by Yuwen Tai 537–557
(aged 19–20)
Abdicated in favor of Yuwen Jue, Tai's son. Killed shortly after[206]
Northern Zhou (北周; 557–581)[207]
Posthumous name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Emperor Xiaomin
孝閔皇帝
Yuwen Jue
宇文覺
557 Son of Yuwen Tai, proclaimed himself Heavenly King under Yuwen Hu's patronage and refounded the Northern Wei State as Zhou 542–557
(aged 14–15)
Poisoned to death after a failed coup against Yuwen Hu[208]
Emperor Ming
明皇帝
Yuwen Yu
宇文毓
557–560
Era(s)

    • Wucheng (武成) 559–560
Son of Yuwen Tai, ruled alongside Yuwen Hu 534–560
(aged 25–26)
Poisoned to death by Yuwen Hu[209]
Emperor Wu
武皇帝
Yuwen Yong
宇文邕
561–578
Era(s)

    • Baoding (保定) 561–565
    • Tianhe (河清) 565–572
    • Jiande (隆化) 572–578
    • Xuanzheng (隆化) 578
Son of Yuwen Tai, sole ruler after deposing Yuwen Hu in 572 543–578
(aged 34–35)
Died of natural causes[209]
Emperor Xuan
宣皇帝
Yuwen Yun
宇文贇
578–579
Era(s)

    • Dacheng (大成) 579
Son of Yuwen Yong 559–580
(aged 34–35)
He neglected government and abdicated in favor of his son[209]
Emperor Jing
靜皇帝
Yuwen Yan
宇文衍
Yuwen Chan
宇文闡
579–581
Era(s)

    • Daxiang (大象) 579–581
    • Dading (大定) 581
Son of Yuwen Yun 573–581
(aged 7–8)
Killed by officer Yang Jian, the future Emperor Wen of Sui[209]

Southern Dynasties (420–589)

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Liu Song dynasty (劉宋, 420–479)[210]
Posthumous name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Emperor Wu
武皇帝
Liu Yu
劉裕
420–422
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Yongchu (永初)
Proclaimed himself emperor after defeating Huan Xuan of Jin in 404, conquering Southern Yan in 410 and taking Later Qin in 417. 363–422
(aged 58–59)
Died of natural causes[211]
Emperor Shao
少帝
Liu Yifu
劉義符
422–424
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Jingping (景平) 423–424
Son of Emperor Wu 406–424
(aged 17–18)
Killed by officer Xu Xianzhi[212]
Emperor Wen
文皇帝
Liu Yilong
劉義隆
424–453
(28–29 years)
Era(s)

    • Yuanjia (元嘉) 424–453
Son of Emperor Wu 407–453
(aged 45–46)
Killed by his son[213]
Liu Shao
劉劭
Liu Shao
劉劭
453
(less than a year)
Era(s)

    • Taichu (太初) 453
Son of Emperor Wen c. 426–453
(aged c. 27)
Killed by his brother[214]
Emperor Xiaowu
孝武皇帝
Liu Jun
劉駿
453–464
(10–11 years)
Era(s)

    • Xiaojian (孝建) 454–456
    • Daming (大明) 457–464
Son of Emperor Wen 430–464
(aged 13–14)
Died of natural causes[215]
Emperor Qianfei
前廢帝
Liu Ziye
劉子業
464–465
(0–1 years)
Era(s)

    • Yongguang (永光) 456
    • Jinghe (景和) 456
Son of Emperor Xiaowu 449–465
(aged 15–16)
Killed in a conspiracy[216]
Emperor Ming
明皇帝
Liu Yu
劉彧
466–472
(5–6 years)
Era(s)

    • Taishi (泰始) 465–471
    • Taiyu (泰豫) 472
Son of Emperor Wen 439–472
(aged 15–16)
Died of natural causes[217]
Emperor Houfei
後廢帝
Liu Yu
劉昱
472–477
(4–5 years)
Era(s)

    • Yuanhui (元徽) 473–477
Son of Emperor Ming 463–477
(aged 13–14)
Killed by Xiao Daocheng[218]
Emperor Shun
順皇帝
Liu Zhun
劉準
477–479
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Shengming (昇明)
Son of Emperor Ming, enthroned by Xiao Daocheng, the future Emperor Gao of Southern Qi 467–479
(aged 13–14)
Killed by Xiao Daocheng[219]
Southern Qi (南齊; 479–502)[210]
Posthumous name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Emperor Gao
高皇帝
Xiao Daocheng
蕭道成
479–482
(2–3 years)
Era(s)

    • Jianyuan (建元) 479–482
Proclaimed himself emperor after overthrowing the Liu Song dynasty 427–482
(aged 54–55)
Died of natural causes[220]
Emperor Wu
武皇帝
Xiao Ze
蕭賾
482–493
(10–11 years)
Era(s)

    • Jianyuan (建元) 483–493
Son of Emperor Gao 440–493
(aged 54–55)
Died of natural causes[221]
Prince of Yulin
鬱林王
Xiao Zhaoye
蕭昭業
493–494
(0–1 years)
Era(s)

    • Jianyuan (隆昌) 494
Grandson of Emperor Wu 473–494
(aged 20–21)
Killed by Xiao Luan[221]
Xiao Zhaowen
蕭昭文
Xiao Zhaowen
蕭昭文
494
(less than a year)
Era(s)

    • Yanxing (延興) 494
Younger brother of Xiao Zhaoye 480–494
(aged 13–14)
Killed by Xiao Luan[222]
Emperor Ming
明皇帝
Xiao Luan
蕭鸞
494–498
(3–4 years)
Era(s)

    • Jianwu (建武) 494–498
    • Tongtai (永泰) 498
Nephew of Emperor Gao 452–498
(aged 45–46)
Died of natural causes[223]
Marquess of Donghun
東昏侯
Xiao Baojuan
蕭寶卷
498–501
(2–3 years)
Era(s)

    • Yongyuan (永元) 499–501
Son of Xiao Luan 483–501
(aged 17–18)
Killed by his underlings[224]
Emperor He
和皇帝
Xiao Baorong
蕭寶融
501–502
(0–1 years)
Era(s)

    • Zhongxing (中興) 501–502
Son of Xiao Luan, set up in Jiangling in opposition to his brother 488–502
(aged 13–14)
Deposed and killed by Xiao Yan[225]
Liang dynasty (梁; 502–557)[210]
Posthumous name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Emperor Wu
武皇帝
Xiao Yan
蕭衍
502–549
(46–47 years)
Era(s)

    • Tianjian (天監) 502–519
    • Putong (普通) 520–527
    • Datong (大通) 527–529
    • Zhongdatong (中大通) 529–534
    • Datong (大同) 535–546
    • Zhongdatong (中大同) 546–547
    • Taiqing (太清) 547–549
Overthrew the Southern Qi 464–549
(aged 85)
Imprisoned during the rebellion of Hou Jing, died of hunger[226]
Emperor Jianwen
簡文皇帝
Xiao Gang
蕭綱
549–551
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Dabao (大寶) 550–551
Son of Emperor Wu, enthroned by Hou Jing 503–551
(aged 47–48)
Deposed and killed by Hou Jing[227]
None, known by his personal name Xiao Dong
蕭棟
551
(less than a year)
Era(s)

    • Tianzheng (天正) 551
Grandson of Xiao Tong and great-grandson of Emperor Wu, enthroned by Hou Jing 503–551
(aged 47–48)
Deposed by Hou Jing and killed by Xiao Yi[227]
Emperor Yuan
元皇帝
Xiao Yi
蕭繹
552–555
(2–3 years)
Era(s)

    • Chengsheng (承聖) 552–555
Son of Wu. Sole ruler after defeating Hou Jing in 552 and Xiao Ji in 553. 508–555
(aged 46–47)
Captured and killed by Western Wei[227]
Emperor Ming
閔皇帝
Xiao Yuanming
蕭淵明
555
(less than a year)
Era(s)

    • Tiancheng (天成) 555
Nephew of Wu, enthroned by official Wang Sengbian Deposed by Chen Baxian, died of natural causes in 556[228]
Emperor Jin
敬皇帝
Xiao Fangzhi
蕭方智
555–557
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Shaotai (紹泰) 555–556
    • Taiping (太平) 556–557
Son of Yuan, enthroned by Chen Baxian 543–558
(aged 14–15)
Deposed and killed by Chen Baxian[229]
Western Liang (西梁; 555–587)[230]
Posthumous name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Emperor Xuan
宣皇帝
Xiao Cha
蕭詧
555–562
(6–7 years)
Era(s)

    • Dading (大定) 555–562
Son of Xiao Tong and grandson of Emperor Wu, enthroned by Western Wei 519–562
(aged 42–43)
Died of natural causes[231]
Emperor Ming
武皇帝
Xiao Kui
蕭巋
562–585
(22–23 years)
Era(s)

    • Tianbao (天保) 562–585
Son of Xiao Cha 542–585
(aged 42–43)
Died of natural causes[232]
Emperor Jing
豫章王
Xiao Cong
蕭琮
585–587
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Guangyun (廣運) 586–587
Son of Xiao Kui Deposed by Emperor Wen of Sui in 587, died of natural causes c. 607[231]
Chen dynasty(陳; 557–589)[230]
Posthumous name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Emperor Wu
武皇帝
Chen Baxian
陳霸先
557–559
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Yongding (永定) 557–559
Overthrew the Liang Dynasty 503–559
(aged 55–56)
Died of natural causes[233]
Emperor Wen
文皇帝
Chen Qian
陳蒨
559–566
(6–7 years)
Era(s)

    • Tianjia (永定) 560–566
    • Tiankang (天康) 566
Nephew of Chen Baxian 522–566
(aged 43–44)
Died of natural causes[234]
Emperor Fei
廢帝
Chen Bozong
陳伯宗
566–568
(1–2 years)
Era(s)

    • Guangda (光大) 555–568
Son of Emperor Wen 554–570
(aged 15–16)
Deposed by his uncle[235]
Emperor Xuan
宣皇帝
Chen Xu
陳頊
569–582
(12–13 years)
Era(s)

    • Taijian (太建) 569–582
Younger brother of Emperor Wen 528–582
(aged 59–60)
Died of natural causes[236]
Chen Houzhu
陳後主
Chen Shubao
陳叔寶
582–589
(6–7 years)
Son of Emperor Xuan 553–604
(aged 50–51)
Neglect of government, he was captured by the Sui army. Died of natural causes[237]

Mid-imperial China

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Sui dynasty (581–619)

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Sui dynasty (隋朝; 581–619)
Portrait Posthumous name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
  Wen
Yang Jian
楊堅

4 March 581 – 13 August 604
(23 years, 5 months and 9 days)
Era(s)

    • Kaihuang (開皇)
      4 March 581 – 7 February 601
    • Renshou (仁壽)
      8 February 601 – 13 August 604
Son of Yang Zhong, Duke of Sui. Overthrew the Northern Zhou and conquered the other Chinese states 21 July 541 – 13 August 604
(aged 63)
Instituted several institutional reforms and promoted Buddhism. Murdered by his son[238]
  Yang
Yang Guang
楊廣

21 August 604 – 11 April 618
(13 years, 7 months and 21 days)
Era(s)

    • Daye (大業)
      25 January 605 – 11 April 618
Son of Wen 569 – 11 April 618
(aged 51)
Led several construction projects and military campaigns. Overthrown in a rebellion and killed by his underlings[239]
Gong
Yang You
楊侑
18 December 617 – 12 June 618[v]
(5 months and 25 days)
Era(s)

    • Yining (義寧)
      18 December 617 – 12 June 618
Grandson of Wen 605 – 619
(aged 14)
A puppet of Li Yuan. Deposed and later executed[241]

Tang and Zhou dynasties (618–907)

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Tang (唐; 618–690; 705–907) and (Wu) Zhou ((武)周; 690–705) dynasties
Portrait Temple name Personal name Reign Succession Life details

Early Tang (618–690)

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  Gaozu
高祖
Other names

  • Posthumous name (635) Emperor Taiwu (太武皇帝)
    Posthumous name (674) Emperor Shenyao
    (神堯皇帝)
    Posthumous name (754)
    Emperor Shenyao Dasheng Daguang Xiao
    (神堯大聖大光孝皇帝)
Li Yuan
李淵
18 June 618 – 4 September 626
(8 years, 2 months and 17 days)
Era(s)

    • Wude (武德)
      18 June 618 – 22 January 627
Son of Li Bing, Duke of Tang and officer of Northern Zhou. Claimed descent from Li Gao, founder of Western Liang 566 – 25 June 635
(aged 69)
Abdicated in favor of his son following the Xuanwu Gate Incident. A fair and capable ruler, his reign is said to have started a golden age in Chinese history, although imperial propaganda often underestimated his reign to exalt that of his son[242]
  Taizong
太宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name (649): Emperor Wen (文皇帝)
    Posthumous name (754):
    Emperor Wen Wu Dasheng Daguang Xiao
    (文武大聖大廣孝皇帝)
Li Shimin
李世民
4 September 626 – 10 July 649
(23 years, 10 months and 6 days)
Era(s)

    • Zhenguan (貞觀)
      23 January 627 – 6 February 650
Son of Gaozu; named heir after the murder of Crown Prince Li Jiancheng in the Xuanwu Gate Incident 23 January 597/99 – 10 July 649
(aged 50–52)
Considered one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history, both as a conqueror and administrator. His reign saw a territorial expansion and economic growth not seen since the Han dynasty. Died after a period of prolonged illness, possibly due to alchemical elixir poisoning[243]
  Gaozong
高宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name (683): Great Emperor Tianhuang (天皇大皇帝)
    Posthumous name (754): Emperor Tianhuang Dasheng Dahong Xiao
    (天皇大聖大弘孝皇帝)
Li Zhi
李治

15 July 649 – 27 December 683
(34 years, 5 months and 12 days)
Era(s)

    • Yonghui (永徽)
      7 February 650 – 6 February 656
    • Xianqing (顯慶)
      7 February 656 – 3 April 661
    • Longshuo (龍朔)
      4 April 661 – 1 February 664
    • Linde (麟德)
      2 February 664 – 13 February 666
    • Qianfeng (乾封)
      14 February 666 – 21 April 668
    • Zongzhang (總章)
      22 April 668 – 26 March 670
    • Xianheng (咸亨)
      27 March 670 – 19 September 674
    • Shangyuan (上元)
      20 September 674 – 17 December 676
    • Yifeng (儀鳳)
      18 December 676 – 14 July 679
    • Tiaolu (調露)
      15 July 679 – 21 September 680
    • Yonglong (永隆)
      22 September 680 – 14 November 681
    • Kaiyao (開耀)
      15 November 681 – 1 April 682
    • Yongchun (永淳)
      2 April 682 – 26 December 683
    • Hongdao (弘道)
      27 December 683 – 22 January 684
Son of Taizong 20 July 628 – 27 December 683
(aged 55)
A well-meaning but ineffectual ruler, his reign was dominated by several successive regencies. Suffered a serious stroke in late 660, whereafter the government was run by his wife, the future Empress Wu Zetian. Died after several years of illness[244]
  Zhongzong
中宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name (710): Emperor Xiaohe (孝和皇帝)
    Posthumous name (754):
    Emperor Dahe Dasheng Dazhao Xiao
    (大和大聖大昭孝皇帝)
Li Xian
李顯

3 January 684 – 26 February 684
(1 month and 23 days)
Era(s)

    • Sisheng (嗣聖)
      23 January – 26 February 684
Son of Gaozong and Wu Zetian 26 November 656 – 3 July 710
(aged 53)
Deposed by his mother after challenging her authority[245]
  Ruizong
睿宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name (716): Great Emperor Shengzhen (大圣真皇帝)
    Posthumous name (754):
    Emperor Xuanzhen Dasheng Daxing Xiao
    (玄真大聖大興孝皇帝)
Li Dan
李旦

27 February 684 – 16 October 690
(6 years, 7 months and 19 days)
Era(s)

    • Wenming(文明)
      27 February – 18 October 684
    • Guangzhai(光宅)
      19 October 684 – 8 February 685
    • Chuigong(垂拱)
      9 February 685 – 26 January 689
    • Yongchang(永昌)
      27 January – 17 December 689
    • Zaichu(載初)
      18 December 689 – 15 October 690
Son of Gaozong and Wu Zetian 22 June 662 – 13 July 716
(aged 54)
A complete puppet of his mother; forced to abdicate[246]

Wu Zhou (690–705)

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  none, known as
Wu Zetian
   武則天[w]
Other names

  • Dynastic name:
    Emperor Jinlun (金輪皇帝)
    Posthumous name (706): Emperor Zetian Dasheng
    (則天大聖皇帝)
    Posthumous name (710):
    Holy Empress (大聖天后)
    Posthumous name (716):
    Empress Zetian (則天皇后)
    Posthumous name (749):
    Holy Empress Zetianshun (則天順聖皇后)
Wu Zhao
武曌

16 October 690 – 21 February 705
(14 years, 4 months and 5 days)
Era(s)

    • Tianshou (天授)
      16 October 690 – 21 April 692
    • Ruyi (如意)
      22 April – 22 October 692
    • Changshou (長壽)
      23 October 692 – 8 June 694
    • Yanzai (延載)
      9 June 694 – 21 January 695
    • Zhengsheng (證聖)
      22 January – 21 October 695
    • Tiancewansui (天冊萬歲)
      22 October 695 – 19 January 696
    • Wansuidengfeng (萬歲登封)
      20 January – 21 April 696
    • Wansuitongtian (萬歲通天)
      22 April 696 – 28 September 697
    • Shengong (神功)
      29 September – 19 December 697
    • Shengli (聖曆)
      20 December 697 – 26 May 700
    • Jiushi (久視)
      27 May 700 – 14 February 701
    • Dazu (大足)
      15 February – 25 November 701
    • Chang'an (長安)
      26 November 701 – 21 February 705
Former consort of emperors Taizong and Gaozong; regent since November 660, de facto ruler since January 683 623/625 – 12 December 706
(aged 81–83)
Only female sovereign in Chinese history. Notable for her contribution to the Imperial examination system and her support for Buddhism, but also for her violent methods of enforcement. Deposed by Zhang Jianzhi; died of natural causes[248]

Tang restoration (705–907)

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  Zhongzong
(second reign)
Li Xian
李顯

23 February 705 – 3 July 710
(5 years, 4 months and 10 days)
Era(s)

    • Shenlong (神龍)
      21 February 705 – 4 October 707
    • Jinglong (景龍)
      5 October 707 – 4 July 710
Restored to the throne by Tang loyalists 26 November 656 – 3 July 710
(aged 53)
A weak ruler; he died after eating a poisoned cake delivered by his wife, Empress Wei[249]
none, known as
Emperor Shang
唐殤帝[x]
Li Chongmao
李重茂

8 July 710 – 25 July 710
(17 days)
Era(s)

    • Tanglong (唐隆)
      5 July – 18 August 710
Son of Zhongzong; installed by Empress Wei 698–714 (aged 16)
Second shortest-reigning emperor; deposed in a palace coup[250]
  Ruizong
(second reign)
Li Dan
李旦

25 July 710 – 8 September 712
(2 years, 1 month and 14 days)
Era(s)

    • Jingyun (景雲)
      19 August 710 – 28 February 712
    • Taiji (太極)
      1 March – 20 June 712
    • Yanhe (延和)
      21 June – 11 September 712
Restored to the throne by detractors of Empress Wei 22 June 662 – 13 July 716
(aged 54)
Spent his reign in a constant power struggle with his sister, Princess Taiping. Abdicated in favor of his son to undermine her influence[251]
  Xuanzong
玄宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name (long): Emperor Zhidao Dasheng Daming Xiao
    (至道大聖大明孝皇帝)
    Posthumous name (short): Emperor Ming (明皇帝)
Li Longji
李隆基

8 September 712 – 12 August 756
(43 years, 11 months and 4 days)
Era(s)

    • Xiantian (先天)
      12 September 712 – 21 December 713
    • Kaiyuan (開元)
      22 December 713 – 9 February 742
    • Tianbao (天寶)
      10 February 742 – 11 August 756
Son of Ruizong 8 September 685 – 3 May 762
(aged 76)
One of the greatest and longest reigning Chinese emperors. The Tang empire reached its peak during his early reign, but fell of grace at the end as a result of the disastrous An Lushan Rebellion. Abdicated in favor of his son[252]
  Suzong
肅宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name: Emperor Wenming Wude Dasheng Daxuan Xiao
    (文明武德大聖大宣孝皇帝)
Li Jun
李浚

12 August 756 – 16 May 762
(5 years, 9 months and 4 days)
Era(s)

    • Zhide (至德)
      12 August 756 – 17 March 758
    • Qianyuan (乾元)
      18 March 758 – 6 June 760
    • Shangyuan (上元)
      7 June 760 – 22 October 761
    • Yuannian (元年)
      23 October 761 – 13 May 762
    • Baoying (上元)
      14 May 762 – 23 August 763
Son of Xuanzong; proclaimed emperor in Lingwu 711 – 16 May 762
(aged 51)
Recaptured Chang'an in November 757. During his reign the eunuchs grew increasingly powerful.[253]
  Daizong
代宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name: Emperor Ruiwen Xiaowu
    (睿文孝武皇帝)
Li Chu
李俶

18 May 762 – 10 June 779
(17 years and 23 days)
Era(s)

    • Guangde (廣德)
      24 August 763 – 25 January 765
    • Yongtai (永泰)
      26 January 765 – 17 December 766
    • Dali (大曆)
      18 December 766 – 10 February 780
Son of Suzong; proclaimed emperor in Chang'an 9 January 727 – 10 June 779
(aged 52)
Ended the An–Shi Rebellion, but failed to maintain control over the far provinces[254]
  Dezong
德宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Shenwu Xiaowen
    (神武孝文皇帝)
Li Gua
李适

12 June 779 – 25 February 805
(25 years, 8 months and 13 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianzhong (建中)
      11 February 780 – 26 January 784
    • Xingyuan (興元)
      27 January 784 – 13 February 785
    • Zhenyuan (貞元)
      14 February 785 – 31 August 805
Son of Daizong 27 May 742 – 25 February 805
(aged 62)
Notable for his tax reforms, he also attempted to control regional jiedushi, but this backfired and caused a military mutiny in 783[255]
Shunzong
順宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name: Emperor Zhide Dasheng Da'an Xiao
    (至德大聖大安孝皇帝)
Li Song
李誦

28 February – 28 August 805
(6 months)
Era(s)

    • Yongzhen (永貞)
      1 September 805 – 24 January 806
Son of Dezong February 761 – 11 February 806
(aged 45)
Aphasic, weak and ill, he was urged to abdicate by the court eunuchs[256]
  Xianzong
憲宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Zhaowen Zhangwu Dasheng Zhishen Xiao
    (昭文章武大聖至神孝皇帝)
Li Chu
李純

5 September 805 – 14 February 820
(14 years, 5 months and 9 days)
Era(s)

    • Yuanhe (元和)
      25 January 806 – 8 February 810
Son of Shunzong March 778 – 14 February 820
(aged 41)
Ended the warlord threat, but ended up becoming a puppet of the eunuchs. A drug addict, he was poisoned to death by eunuch Chen Hongzhi[257]
  Muzong
穆宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name: Emperor Ruisheng Wenhui Xiao (睿聖文惠孝皇帝)
Li Heng
李恆

20 February 820 – 25 February 824
(4 years and 5 days)
Era(s)

    • Changqing (長慶)
      9 February 821 – 28 January 825
Son of Xianzong July 795 – 25 February 824
(aged 28)
Suffered a serious stroke in 822 (while playing polo), whereafter the government was run by eunuchs Wang Shoucheng and Li Fengji.[258]
  Jingzong
敬宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name: Emperor Ruiwu Zhaomin Xiao (睿武昭湣孝皇帝)
Li Zhan
李湛

29 February 824 – 9 January 827
(2 years, 10 months and 11 days)
Era(s)

    • Baoli (寶曆)
      29 January 825 – 13 March 827
Son of Muzong 22 July 809 – 9 January 827
(aged 17)
A reckless player of football; he was killed by eunuchs[259]
  Wenzong
文宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name: Emperor Yuansheng Zhaoxian Xiao
    (元聖昭獻孝皇帝)
Li Ang
李昂

13 January 827 – 10 February 840
(13 years lacking 3 days)
Era(s)

    • Taihe (太和)
      14 March 827 – 21 January 836
    • Kaicheng (開成)
      22 January 836 – 3 February 841
Son of Muzong 20 November 809 – 10 February 840
(aged 30)
Attempted to eradicate the eunuchs in the Sweet Dew incident (835), but ended up making them stronger. Died of natural causes[260]
  Wuzong
武宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name: Emperor Zhidao Zhaosu Xiao (至道昭肅孝皇帝)
Li Yan
李炎

20 February 840 – 22 April 846
(6 years, 2 months and 2 days)
Era(s)

    • Huichang (會昌)
      4 February 841 – 5 February 847
Son of Muzong 2 July 814 – 22 April 846
(aged 31)
Notable for his persecution of Buddhism. Died of drug overdose[261]
  Xuanzong
宣宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name: Emperor Yuansheng Zhiming Chengwu Xianwen Ruizhi Zhangren Shencong Yidao Daxiao
    (元聖至明成武獻文睿智章仁神聰懿道大孝皇帝)
Li Chen
李忱

25 April 846 – 7 September 859
(13 years, 4 months and 13 days)
Era(s)

    • Dazhong (大中)
      6 February 847 – 16 December 860
Son of Xianzong 27 July 810 – 7 September 859
(aged 49)
Arguably the last capable Tang emperor. Notable for his campaigns against the Tibetan Empire. Died of drug overdose[262]
  Yizong
懿宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name: Emperor Zhaosheng Gonghui Xiao
    (昭聖恭惠孝皇帝)
Li Cui
李漼

13 September 859 – 15 August 873
(13 years, 11 months and 2 days)
Era(s)

    • Xiantong (咸通)
      17 December 847 – 16 December 860
Son of Xuanzong 28 December 833 – 15 August 873
(aged 39)
A devout Buddhist, but also a cruel and unstable ruler. His reign, which was dominated by eunuchs, saw various revolts that severely weakened imperial power[263]
  Xizong
僖宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name: Emperor Huisheng Gongding Xiao
    (惠聖恭定孝皇帝)
Li Xuan
李儇

16 August 873 – 20 April 888
(14 years, 8 months and 4 days)
Era(s)

    • Qianfu (乾符)
      17 December 874 – 13 February 880
    • Guangming (廣明)
      14 February 880 – 8 August 881
    • Zhonghe (中和)
      9 August 881 – 1 April 885
    • Guangqi (光啟)
      2 April 885 – 4 April 888
    • Wende (文德)
      5 April 888 – 3 February 889
Son of Yizong 8 June 862 – 20 April 888
(aged 25)
A puppet of Tian Lingzi, had to flee Chang'an twice due to internal strife[264]
None, known by his personal name Li Yun
李熅

31 October 886 – January 887
(3 months)
Era(s)

    • Jianzhen (建貞)
      7 June 886 – January 887
Great-grandson of Suzong, took power in Chang'an Died in 887
Killed by Xizong's forces; often seen as an usurper[265]
  Zhaozong
昭宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name: Emperor Shèngmù Jǐngwén Xìao (聖穆景文孝皇帝)
Li Ye
李曄

20 April 888 – 22 September 904
  (12 years, 7 months and 11 days)[y]
Era(s)

    • Longji (龍紀)
      4 February 889 – 24 January 890
    • Dashun (大順)
      25 January 890 – 1 February 891
    • Jingfu (景福)
      2 February 892 – 9 February 894
    • Qianning (乾寧)
      10 February 894 – 15 September 898
    • Guanghua (光化)
      16 September 898 – 12 May 901
    • Tianfu (天復)
      13 May 901 – 27 May 904
    • Tianyou (天佑)
      28 May 904 – 1 June 907
Son of Yizong 31 March 867 – 22 September 904
(aged 37)
His reign saw the final collapse of imperial authority and the rise of new powerful warlords. He was killed by rebel Zhu Wen[267]
better known as
Emperor Ai

唐哀帝
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Jǐngzōng (景宗)
    Alternate posthumous name: Emperor Zhaoxuan (昭宣帝)
Li Zhu
李柷
26 September 904 – 1 June 907
  (2 years, 8 months and 6 days)[z]
Son of Zhaozong, proclaimed emperor in Luoyang 27 October 892 – 25 March 908
(aged 15)
Installed, deposed, and later killed by Zhu Wen[268]

Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms

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Five Dynasties (907–912)

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Later Liang (後梁; 907–923)
Personal name Temple name Reign Succession Life details
Zhu Wen
朱溫
Taizu
太祖
907–912
(4–5 years)
Eras

    • Kaiping (開平) 907–911
    • Qianhua (乾化) 911–912
Former ally of rebel Huang Chao, defected to the Imperial army in 882 but later betrayed the Tang and proclaimed himself Emperor in Kaifeng 852–912
(aged 60)
Killed by his son[269]
Zhu Yougui
朱友珪
912–913
(0–1 years)
Eras

    • Fengli (鳳曆) 913
Son of Zhu Wen, usurped power after learning of his father's intentions of adopting Zhu Youwen as heir Died in 913
Described as murderous and lustful, he was killed by his brother[269]
Zhu Youzhen
朱瑱
913–923
(9–10 years)
Eras

    • Qianhua (乾化) 913–915
    • Zhenming (貞明) 915–921
    • Longde (龍德) 921–923
Son of Zhu Wen 888–923
(aged 35)
Killed by the forces of Li Cunxu[269]
Later Tang (後唐; 923–937)
Personal name Temple name Reign Succession Life details
Li Cunxu
李存勗
Zhuangzong
莊宗
923–926
(2–3 years)
Eras

    • Tongguang (同光) 923–926
Proclaimed himself Emperor after conquering Later Liang 885–926
(aged 41)
Killed in a coup[270]
Li Siyuan
李嗣源
Mingzong
明宗
926–933
(6–7 years)
Eras

    • Tiancheng (天成) 926–933
Adopted son of Li Keyong, took Luoyang and proclaimed himself Emperor after the murder of Li Cunxu 867–933
(aged 66)
Died of natural causes[271]
Li Conghou
李從厚
934
(less than a year)
Eras

    • Yingshun (应顺) 934
Son of Li Siyuan 914–early 934
(aged 20)
Killed by Li Congke[272]
Li Congke
李從珂
934–937
(2–3 years)
Eras

    • Qingtai (清泰) 934–937
Adopted son of Li Siyuan, he usurped power from Li Conghou 884/6–936
(aged 50–52)
Defeated by Shi Jingtang of Later Jin, he burned himself to death[272]
Later Jin (後晉; 936–947)
Personal name Temple name Reign Succession Life details
Shi Jingtang
石敬瑭
Gaozu
高祖
936–942
(5–6 years)
Eras

    • Tianfu (天福) 936–942
Proclaimed himself emperor with the help of the Shatuo and Khitan people 892–942
(aged 50)
Died of natural causes[273]
Shi Chonggui
石重貴
942–947
(4–5 years)
Eras

    • Tianfu (天福) 942–944
    • Kaiyun (開運) 944–946
Nephew of Shi Jingtang 914–947
(aged 33)
Captured by Emperor Taizong of Liao but spared; died of natural causes[273]
Later Han (後漢; 947–951)
Personal name Temple name Reign Succession Life details
Liu Zhiyuan
劉知遠
Gaozu
高祖
947–948
(0–1 years)
Eras

    • Tianfu (天福) 947
    • Qianyou (乾祐) 948
Jiedushi under the Later Jin, proclaimed himself emperor after the capture of Shi Chonggui by the Khitan 895–948
(aged 53)
Died of natural causes[274]
Liu Chengyou
劉承祐
948–951
(2–3 years)
Eras

    • Qianyou (乾祐) 947–951
Son of Liu Zhiyuan 931–951
(aged 20)
Killed by the forces of Guo Wei[275]
Later Zhou (後周; 951–960)
Personal name Temple name Reign Succession Life details
Guo Wei
郭威
Taizu
太祖
951–954
(2–3 years)
Eras

    • Guangshun (廣順) 951–953
    • Xiande (顯德) 954
Officer of Later Han, proclaimed himself emperor and dethroned Liu Chengyou 904–954
(aged 50)
Died of natural causes; introduced reforms that greatly benefited farming[276]
Chai Rong
柴榮
Shizong
世宗
954–959
(4–5 years)
Eras

    • Xiande (顯德) 954–959
Adopted son of Guo Wei 921–959
(aged 38)
Conquered Eastern and Southwest China; died of natural causes[277]
Chai Zongxun
柴宗訓
959–960
(0–1 years)
Eras

    • Xiande (顯德) 959–960
Son of Chai Rong 953–973
(aged 20)
Deposed by Emperor Taizu of Song[278]

Ten Kingdoms (907–979)

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Former Shu (前蜀; 907–925)
Personal name Temple name Reign Succession Life details
Wang Jian
王建
Gaozu
高祖
907–918
(10–11 years)
Rebelled against the Tang in 891, named Prince in 903 and later proclaimed himself emperor in 907 847–918
(aged 69)
Died of natural causes; known for his great tomb and stone statues[279]
Wang Zongyan
王宗衍
918–925
(6–7 years)
Son of Wang Jian 899–926
(aged 27)
Lustful and neglected of government, he was killed by Li Cunxu[280]
Yang Wu (楊吳; 907–937)
Personal name Temple name Reign Succession Life details
Yang Xingmi
楊行密
Taizu
太祖
902–905
(2–3 years)
Took over Yangzhou in 892 and was named "Prince of Wu" in 902, became independent after the fall of the Tang 852–905
(aged 53)
Died of natural causes[281]
Yang Wo
楊渥
905–908
(2–3 years)
Son of Yang Xingmi 886–908
(aged 22)
Killed by Zhang Hao and Xu Wen[282]
Yang Longyan
楊隆演
908–920
(11–12 years)
Son of Yang Xingmi, enthroned by Xu Wen 897–920
(aged 23)
Died of natural causes[282]
Yang Pu
楊溥
920–937
(16–17 years)
Son of Yang Xingmi and enthroned by Xu Zhigao (Li Bian), declared himself Emperor in 927 901–938
(aged 37)
Forced to abdicate to Li Bian of Southern Tang; died of natural causes[283]
Ma Chu (馬楚; 907–951)
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Ma Yin
馬殷
Prince Wumu
武穆王
907–930
(22–23 years)
A carpenter who rose from the ranks to become prefect of Tanzhou in 896, he was named Prince in 927 by Li Siyuan 852–930
(aged 78)
Died of natural causes[284]
Ma Xisheng
馬希聲
Prince of Hengyang
衡陽王
930–932
(1–2 years)
Son of Ma Yin 899–932
(aged 33)
An admirer of Zhu Wen, he cooked 50 chickens a day; died of natural causes[284]
Ma Xifan
馬希範
Prince Wenzhao
文昭王
932–947
(14–15 years)
Son of Ma Yin, didn't assume his title until later in his reign 899–947
(aged 48)
Known for his extravagance and his building projects; died of natural causes[285]
Ma Xiguang
馬希廣
947–951
(3–4 years)
Son of Ma Yin Died in 951
Deposed and later killed by his brother[286]
Ma Xi'e
馬希萼
951
(less than a year)
Son of Ma Yin Deposed by his brother, fate unknown[286]
Ma Xichong
馬希崇
951
(less than a year)
Son of Ma Yin Deposed by the Southern Tang with the help of Xi’e's supporters, fate unknown[286]
Wuyue (吳越; 907–978)
Personal name Posthumous name Reign Succession Life details
Qian Liu
錢鏐
Prince Wusu
武肅王
907–932
(24–25 years)
Named "Prince of Wuyue" by Later Liang 852–932
(aged 80)
Died of natural causes[287]
Qian Yuanguan
錢元瓘
Prince Wensu
文肅王
932–941
(8–9 years)
Son of Qian Liu 887–941
(aged 54)
Died of natural causes[287]
Qian Hongzuo
錢弘佐
Prince Zhongxian
忠獻王
941–947
(5–6 years)
Son of Qian Yuanguan 928–947
(aged 69)
Died of natural causes[288]
Qian Hongzong
錢弘倧
Prince Zhongxun
忠遜王
947–early 948
(0–1 years)
Son of Qian Yuanguan c. 929–c. 971
(aged approx. 42)
Deposed by general Hu Jinsi, fate unknown[289]
Qian Chu
錢俶
Prince Zhongyi
忠懿王
978
(less than a year)
Son of Qian Yuanguan 929–988
(aged 59)
Surrendered to the Song dynasty, died of sudden illness or poisoning[290]
Min (閩; 909–944) & Yin (殷; 943–945)
Personal name Temple name Reign Succession Life details
Wang Shenzhi
王審知
Taizu
太祖
909–925
(15–16 years)
Younger brother of warlord Wang Chao, named wang of Min by Later Liang 862–925
(aged 63)
One of the most peaceful reign periods of the period; died of natural causes[291]
Wang Yanhan
王延翰
926–927
(0–1 years)
Son of Wang Shenzhi Died in 927
Killed by his brother[292]
Wang Yanjun
王延鈞
Huizong
惠宗
927–935
(7–8 years)
Son of Wang Shenzhi, proclaimed Prince in 928 and later Emperor in 933 Died in 935
Killed by his son[292]
Wang Jipeng
王繼鵬
Wang Chang
王昶
Kangzong
康宗
935–939
(3–4 years)
Son of Wang Yanjun Died in 939
A devout Taoist, he was killed in a coup[293]
Wang Yanxi
王延羲
Jingzong
景宗
939–944
(4–5 years)
Son of Wang Shenzhi Died in 944
A despotic ruler, he was killed by Lian Chongyu and his associates[294]
Wang Yanzheng
王延政
Gongyi
懿王
945
(less than a year)
Proclaimed himself "Prince of Yin" to rival his brother Wang Yanxi Died in 945
Defeated by Southern Tang, died of natural causes in captivity[294]
Great Yue (大越; 917–918) Southern Han (南漢; 918–971)
Personal name Temple name Reign Succession Life details
Liu Yan
劉巖
Gaozu
高祖
917–942
(24–25 years)
Took over of Guangzhou in 911, proclaimed himself Emperor of Yue (renamed "Han" in 918) 889–942
(aged 63)
A despotic and extravagant ruler; died of natural causes[295]
Liu Bin
劉玢
942–943
(0–1 years)
Son of Liu Yan 920–943
(aged 63)
An hedonistic ruler; he was killed by his brother[296]
Liu Sheng
劉晟
Zhongzong
中宗
943–958
(14–15 years)
Son of Liu Yan 920–958
(aged 38)
Died of natural causes[297]
Liu Chang
劉鋹
958–971
(12–13 years)
Son of Liu Sheng 943–980
(aged 37)
Another hedonistic ruler, he surrendered to the Song army and was spared[296]
Jingnan (荊南; 924–963)
Personal Name Temple name Reign Succession Life details
Gao Jixing
高季興
924–early 929
(4–5 years)
Named King of Nanping by Later Tang in 924, ruled under the vassalage of Wu 858–929
(aged 71)
Died of natural causes[298]
Gao Conghui
高從誨
929–948
(18–19 years)
Son of Gao Jixing 891–948
(aged 57)
A weak ruler, he was nicknamed "Gao the Jerk" (高賴子); died of natural causes[298]
Gao Baorong
高寶融
948–960
(11–12 years)
Son of Gao Conghui 920–960
(aged 40)
Died of natural causes[298]
Gao Baoxu
高寶勗
960–962
(1–2 years)
Son of Gao Conghui, effective ruler during the reign of his brother 924–962
(aged 38)
Died of natural causes[298]
Gao Jichong
高繼沖
962–963
(0–1 years)
Son of Gao Baorong 943–973
(aged 30)
Surrendered to the Song but spared[298]
Later Shu (後蜀; 934–965)
Personal Name Temple name Reign Succession Life details
Meng Zhixiang
孟知祥
Gaozu
高祖
934
(less than a year)
Later Tang governor from 926, proclaimed King in 933 and later Emperor in 93 874–934
(aged 60)
Died of natural causes[299]
Meng Chang
孟昶
934–965
(30–31 years)
Son of Meng Zhixiang 919–965
(aged 60)
Defeated by the Song dynasty, died of natural causes[299]
Southern Tang (南唐; 937–976)
Personal Name Temple name Reign Succession Life details
Li Bian
李昪
Liezu
烈祖
937–943
(5–6 years)
Adopted son of Xu Wen, proclaimed himself Emperor after overthrowing the Yang Wu 888–943
(aged 55)
Died of natural causes[300]
Li Jing
李璟
Yuanzong
元宗
943–961
(17–18 years)
Son of Li Bian 888–943
(aged 55)
Conquered Min and Chu, but failed to ward the attacks of Later Zhou. A distinguished poet, he died of natural causes[301]
Li Yu
李煜
961–976
(14–15 years)
Son of Li Jing 937–978
(aged 41)
A master of the ci poetry, he surrendered to the Song dynasty but was spared[302]
Northern Han (北漢; 951–979)
Personal Name Temple name Reign Succession Life details
Liu Chong
劉崇
Shizu
世祖
951–954
(2–3 years)
Cousin of Liu Zhiyuan of Later Tang, proclaimed himself Emperor 895–954
(aged 59)
Died of natural causes[303]
Liu Jun
劉鈞
Ruizong
睿宗
954–968
(13–14 years)
Son of Liu Chong 926–968
(aged 42)
Died of natural causes[304]
Liu Ji'en
劉繼恩
968
(less than a year)
Adopted son of Liu Jun 935–968
(aged 33)
Killed by Hou Barong[305]
Liu Jiyuan
劉繼元
Yingwu
英武
968–979
(10–11 years)
Adopted son of Liu Jun 956–991
(aged 35)
Surrendered to the Song and spared[305]

Late imperial China

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Song dynasty (960–1279)

edit
Song dynasty (宋朝; 960–1279)
Portrait Temple name Personal name Reign Succession Life details

Northern Song (960–1127)

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  Taizu
太祖
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Qiyun Liji Yingwu Ruiwen Shende Shenggong Zhiming Daxiao (啓運立極英武睿文神德聖功至明大孝皇帝)
Zhao Kuangyin
趙匡胤

4 February 960 – 14 November 976
(16 years, 9 months and 10 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianlong (建隆)
      4 February 960 – 3 December 963
    • Qiande (乾德)
      4 December 963 – 15 December 968
    • Kaibao (開寶)
      16 December 968 – 13 January 977
Proclaimed emperor after deposing Chai Zongxun of Later Zhou. Unified most of China under his rule 21 March 927 – 14 November 976
(aged 49)
Significantly reduced the power of the military in favor of civilian officers. Died in uncertain circumstances, probably illness[306]
  Taizong
太宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Zhiren Yingdao Shengong Shengde Wenwu Ruilie Daming Guangxiao (至仁應道神功聖德文武睿烈大明廣孝皇帝)
Zhao Jiong
趙炅
14 November 976 – 8 May 997
(20 years, 5 months and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Taiping Xingguo (太平興國)
      14 January 977 – 5 December 984
    • Yongxi (雍熙)
      6 December 984 – 7 February 988
    • Duangong (雍熙)
      8 February 988 – 29 January 990
    • Chunhua (淳化)
      30 January 990 – 2 February 995
    • Zhidao (至道)
      3 February 995 – 30 January 998
Younger brother of Taizu 20 November 939 – 8 May 997
(aged 57)
Conquered the last remaining Chinese state in 978, but failed the reconquer former Tang territories, like Vietnam. Died of natural causes[307]
  Zhenzong
真宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Yingfu Jigu Shengong Rangde Wenming Wuding Zhangsheng Yuanxiao (膺符稽古神功讓德文明武定章聖元孝皇帝)
Zhao Heng
趙恆
8 May 997 – 23 March 1022
(24 years, 10 months and 15 days)
Era(s)

    • Xianping (咸平)
      31 January 998 – 24 January 1004
    • Jingde (景德)
      25 January 1004 – 9 February 1008
    • Dazhongxiangfu (大中祥符)
      10 February 1008 – 30 January 1017
    • Tianxi (天禧)
      31 January 1017 – 3 February 1022
    • Qianxing (乾興)
      4 February 1022 – 24 January 1023
Son of Taizong 23 December 968 – 23 March 1022
(aged 53)
Suffered significant defeats to the northern Liao dynasty, leading to the Chanyuan Treaty. Died after a prolonged period of illness[308]
  Renzong
仁宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Titian Fadao Jigong Quande Shenwen Shengwu Ruizhe Mingxiao (體天法道極功全德神文聖武睿哲明孝皇帝)
Zhao Zhen
趙禎
23 March 1022 – 30 April 1063
(41 years, 1 month and 7 days)
Era(s)

    • Tiansheng (天聖)
      25 January 1023 – 10 December 1032
    • Mingdao (明道)
      11 December 1032 – 22 January 1034
    • Jingyou (景祐)
      23 January 1034 – 15 December 1038
    • Baoyuan (寶元)
      16 December 1038 – 4 April 1040
    • Kangding (康定)
      5 April 1040 – 15 December 1041
    • Qingli (慶曆)
      16 December 1041 – 4 February 1048
    • Huangyou (皇祐)
      5 February 1049 – 25 April 1054
    • Zhihe (至和)
      26 April 1054 – 22 October 1056
    • Jiayou (嘉祐)
      23 October 1056 – 20 January 1064
Son of Zhenzong 30 May 1010 – 30 April 1063
(aged 52)
Ruled under the regency of Empress Liu until 1033. His long reign, the longest of the Song dynasty, saw several developments in culture, philosophy and arts[309]
  Yingzong
英宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Tiyuan Xiandao Fagu Lixian Dide Wanggong Yingwen Liewu Qinren Shengxiao (體元顯道法古立憲帝德王功英文烈武欽仁聖孝皇帝)
Zhao Shu
趙曙
1 May 1063 – 25 January 1067
(3 years, 8 months and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Zhiping (治平)
      21 January 1064 – 5 February 1068
Son of Zhao Yunrang, a grandson of Emperor Taizong, and adopted son of Emperor Renzong 16 February 1032 – 25 January 1067
(aged 34)
Ruled initially under the regency of Empress Dowager Cao. Died after several years of illness[310]
  Shenzong
神宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Xianyuan Jidao Shide Yanggong Qinwen Ruiwu Qisheng Zhaoxiao (憲元繼道世德揚功欽文睿武齊聖昭孝皇帝)
Zhao Xu
趙頊
25 January 1067 – 1 April 1085
(18 years, 2 months and 7 days)
Era(s)

    • Xining (熙宁)
      6 February 1068 – 22 December 1077
    • Yuanfeng (元豐)
      23 December 1077 – 17 January 1086
Son of Yingzong 25 May 1048 – 1 April 1085
(aged 36)
Best known by the implementation of the "New Policies". Died of illness[311]
  Zhezong
哲宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Tiqian Yingli Longgong Shengde Xianwen Suwu Ruisheng Xuanxiao (體乾應歷隆功盛德憲文肅武睿聖宣孝皇帝)
Zhao Xu
趙煦
1 April 1085 – 23 February 1100
(14 years, 6 months and 25 days)
Era(s)

    • Yuanyou (元祐)
      18 January 1086 – 28 April 1094
    • Shaosheng (紹聖)
      29 April 1094 – 1 July 1098
    • Yuanfu (元符)
      2 July 1098 – 30 January 1101
Son of Shenzong 4 January 1077 – 23 February 1100
(aged 23)
Ruled under the regency of Empress Dowager Gao until 1093. Died of illness[312]
  Huizong
徽宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Tishen Hedao Junlie Xungong Shengwen Rende Xianci Xianxiao (體神合道駿烈遜功聖文仁德憲慈顯孝皇帝)
Zhao Ji
趙佶
23 February 1100 – 18 January 1126
(25 years, 10 months and 26 days)
Era(s)

    • Jianzhongjingguo (建中靖國)
      31 January 1101 – 20 January 1102
    • Chongning (崇寧)
      21 January 1102 – 25 January 1107
    • Daguan (大觀)
      26 January 1107 – 9 February 1111
    • Zhenghe (政和)
      10 February 1111 – 14 December 1118
    • Chonghe (重和)
      15 December 1118 – 15 March 1119
    • Xuanhe (宣和)
      16 March 1119 – 24 January 1125
Son of Shenzong 7 June 1082 – 4 June 1135
(aged 52)
A remarkable patron of the arts and an artist himself, but a weak ruler and politician. Abdicated during the Jurchen Jin siege of Kaifeng. Captured by the Jin shortly after; died in captivity[313]
  Qinzong
欽宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Gongwen Shunde Renxiao (恭文順德仁孝皇帝)
Zhao Huan
趙桓
19 January 1126 – 25 March 1127
(1 year, 2 months and 6 days)
Era(s)

    • Jingkang (靖康)
      25 January 1126 – 11 June 1127
Son of Huizong 23 May 1100 – 14 June 1161
(aged 62)
Refused to negotiate with the Jin, which led to a second invasion. Captured alongside his father during the Jingkang incident; died in captivity[314]

Southern Song (1127–1279)

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  Gaozong
高宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Shouming Zhongxing Quangong Zhide Shengshen Wuwen Zhaoren Xianxiao (受命中興全功至德聖神武文昭仁憲孝皇帝)
Zhao Gou
趙構
12 June 1127 – 24 July 1162
  (35 years, 1 month and 12 days)[aa]
Era(s)

    • Jianyan (建炎)
      12 June 1127 – 30 January 1131
    • Shaoxing (紹興)
      31 January 1131 – 22 December 1162
Son of Huizong, proclaimed emperor in Jiankang after fleeing the Jurchen invasion of the North 12 June 1107 – 9 November 1187
(aged 80)
A competent ruler that managed to preserve the Song dynasty, but often criticized for his military defeats and political failures. Abdicated in favor of his adopted son, later dying of natural causes[316]
None, known by his personal name Zhao Fu
趙旉
March – April 1129
(1 month or less)
Era(s)

    • Mingshou (明受)
      1–22 April 1129
Son of Gaozong, proclaimed emperor during a mutiny An infant installed by officers Miao Fu and Liu Zhengyan. They lost power within a month[315]
  Xiaozong
孝宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Shaotong Tongdao Guande Zhaogong Zhewen Shenwu Mingsheng Chengxiao (紹統同道冠德昭功哲文神武明聖成孝皇帝)
  Zhao Shen[ab]
趙眘
24 July 1162 – 18 February 1189
(26 years, 6 months and 25 days)
Era(s)

    • Longxing (隆興)
      23 December 1162 – 12 February 1165
    • Qiandao (乾道)
      13 February 1165 – 3 February 1174
    • Chunxi (淳熙)
      3 February 1174 – 7 February 1190
Son of Zhao Zicheng, a descendant of the first Song Emperor, and adopted son of Gaozong 27 November 1127 – 28 June 1194
(aged 66)
Often regarded as the most peaceful and stable ruler of the Southern Song. Abdicated in favour of his son, later dying of natural causes[318]
  Guangzong
光宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Xundao Xianren Minggong Maode Wenwen Shunwu Shengzhe Cixiao (循道憲仁明功茂德溫文順武聖哲慈孝皇帝)
Zhao Dun
趙惇
18 February 1189 – 24 July 1194
(5 years, 5 months and 6 days)
Era(s)

    • Shaoxi (紹熙)
      7 February 1190 – 8 December 1194
Son of Xiaozong 30 September 1147 – 17
September 1200
(aged 53)
Forced to abdicate in favor of his son, allegedly because of his mental instability. Died of natural causes[319]
  Ningzong
寧宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Fatian Beidao Chunde Maogong Renwen Zhewu Shengrui Gongxiao (法天備道純德茂功仁文哲武聖睿恭孝皇帝)
Zhao Kuo
趙擴
24 July 1194 – 17 September 1224
(30 years, 1 month and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Qingyuan (慶元)
      11 February 1195 – 1201)
    • Jiatai (嘉泰)
      1201–1204)
    • Kaixi (開禧)
      1205–1207)
    • Jiading (嘉定)
      1207–1224)
Son of Guangzong 19 November 1168 – 17
September 1224
(aged 66)
A weak and indecisive ruler who spent most of his life in isolation at the palace. Died of illness[320]
  Lizong
理宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Jiandao Beide Dagong Fuxing Liewen Renwu Shengming Anxiao (建道備德大功復興烈文仁武聖明安孝皇帝)
Zhao Yun
趙昀
17 September 1224 – 16 November 1264
(40 years, 1 month and 30 days)
Era(s)

    • Baoqing (寶慶; 1225–1227)
    • Shaoding (紹定; 1228–1233)
    • Duanping (端平; 1234–1236)
    • Jiaxi (嘉熙; 1237–1240)
    • Chunyou (淳祐; 1241–1252)
    • Baoyou (寶祐; 1253–1258)
    • Kaiqing (開慶; 1259)
    • Jingding (景定; 1260–1264)
Son of Zhao Xilu, a descendant of the first Song Emperor, Taizu 26 January 1205 – 16
November 1264
(aged 59)
An emperor devoted to philosophy and the arts, he had to face the first Mongol incursions following the fall of the Jin. Died of illness[321]
  Duzong
度宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Duanwen Mingwu Jingxiao
    (端文明武景孝皇帝)
Zhao Qi
趙禥
16 November 1264 – 12 August 1274
(9 years, 8 months and 27 days)
Era(s)

    • Xianchun (咸淳)
      18 January 1265 – 28 January 1275
Son of Zhao Yurui, a brother of Lizong 2 May 1240 – 12 August 1274
(aged 34)
Relegated most imperial duties to his officers. Died of sudden illness[322]
  Gongzong
恭宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Duke Ying
    (瀛國公, Yíng Guó Gōng)
Zhao Xian
趙禥
12 August 1274 – 21 February 1276
(1 year, 6 months and 5 days)
Era(s)

    • Deyou (德祐)
      29 January 1275 – 13 June 1276
Son of Duzong 2 November 1270 – 1323
Ruled under the regency of Empress Xie, who was forced to surrender to the Mongols. Became a monk in Tibet, but was later executed of forced to commit suicide; died in Gansu[323]
  Duanzong
端宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Duke Jian
    (建國公, Jiàn Guó Gōng)
Zhao Shi
趙昰
14 June 1276 – 8 May 1278
(1 year and 11 months)
Era(s)

    • Jingyan (景炎)
      14 June 1276 – 22 May 1278
Son of Duzong, proclaimed emperor in Fuzhou after the fall of the capital 1268 – 8 May 1278
(aged 10)
Spent most of his life fleeing from the Mongols by sea. Died of illness after barely surviving the sinking of his ship[324]
  None, known by his personal name Zhao Bing
趙昺
10 May 1278 – 19 March 1279
(10 months and 9 days)
Era(s)

    • Xiangxing (祥興)
      23 May 1278 – 19 March 1279
Son of Duzong 1271 – 19 March 1279
(aged 8)
Thrown into the Xi River during the Battle of Yamen alongside several soldiers and officers as part of a mass suicide[325]

Northern regimes (916–1234)

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Liao dynasty (916–1125)

edit
Liao dynasty (大遼; 916–1125)
Temple name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Taizu
太祖
Other names

  • Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Tian (天皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Dasheng Daming Shenlie Tian (大聖大明神烈天皇帝)[ac]
Yelü Abaoji
耶律阿保机
27 February 907 – 6 September 926
(19 years, 6 months and 10 days)
Era(s)

    • Shence (神冊)
      17 March 916 – 22 March 922
    • Tianzan (天贊)
      23 March 922 – 20 March 926
    • Tianxian (天顯)
      21 March 926 – 6 September 926
Led the Yelü clan as Khagan to unite the Khitan people 872 – 6 September 926
(aged 53–54)
Died of natural causes[326]
Taizong
太宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Xiaowu Huiwen (孝武惠文皇帝)[ad]
Yelü Deguang
耶律德光
11 December 927 – 15 May 947
(19 years, 4 months and 23 days)
Era(s)

    • Tianxian (天顯)
      927 – 16 December 938
    • Huitong (會同)
      17 December 938 – 23 February 946
    • Datong (大同)
      24 February 947 – 18 May 947[ae]
Son of Taizu 902 – 15 May 947
(aged 44–45)
Died from a sudden illness[328]
Shizong
世宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Xiaohe Zhuangxian (孝和莊憲皇帝)[af]
Yelü Ruan
耶律阮
16 May 947 – 7 October 951
(4 years, 4 months and 21 days)
Era(s)

    • Tianlu (天祿)
      1 November 947 – 7 October 951
Grandson of Taizu 918 – 7 October 951
(aged 32–33)
Murdered by his cousin in a coup d'état[329]
Muzong
穆宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Xiao'an Jingzheng (孝安敬正皇帝)
Yelü Jing
耶律璟
11 October 951 – 12 March 969
(17 years, 5 months and 1 day)
Era(s)

    • Yingli (應曆)
      11 October 951 – 12 March 969
Son of Taizong 931 – 12 March 969
(aged 37–38)
Killed by his personal attendants[330]
Jingzong
景宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Xiaocheng Kangjing (孝成康靖皇帝)[ag]
Yelü Xian
耶律贤
13 May 969 – 13 October 982
(13 years and 5 months)
Era(s)

    • Baoning (保寧)
      13 March 969 – 16 December 979
    • Qianheng (乾亨)
      17 December 979 – 13 October 982
Son of Shizong 948 – 13 October 982
(aged 33–34)
Died of illness on a hunting trip[331]
Shengzong
聖宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Wenwu Daxiao Xuan (文武大孝宣皇帝)
Yelü Longxu
耶律隆绪
14 October 982 – 25 June 1031
(48 years, 8 months and 11 days)
Era(s)

    • Qianheng (乾亨)
      982 – 21 July 983
    • Tonghe (統和)
      22 July 983 – 15 December 1012
    • Kaitai (開泰)
      16 December 1012 – 1021
    • Taiping (太平)
      1021 – 25 June 1031
Son of Jingzong 971 – 25 June 1031
(aged 59–60)
Longest reigning Liao ruler, though he was controlled by his mother Xiao Yanyan until 1009. Died of natural causes[332]
Xingzong
興宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Shensheng Xiaozhang (神聖孝章皇帝)
Yelü Zongzhen
耶律宗真
25 June 1031 – 28 August 1055
(24 years, 2 months and 3 days)
Era(s)

    • Jingfu (景福)
      7 July 1031 – 15 December 1302
    • Chongxi (重熙)
      16 December 1302 – 28 August 1055
Son of Shengzong 1016 – 28 August 1055
(aged 38–39)
Died of natural causes[333]
Daozong
道宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Xiaowen (孝文皇帝)
Yelü Hongji
耶律洪基
28 August 1055 – 12 February 1101
(45 years, 5 months and 15 days)
Era(s)

    • Qingning (清寧)
      9 September 1055 – 7 February 1065
    • Xianyong (咸雍)
      8 February 1065 – 6 January 1075
    • Dakang (大康)
      7 January 1075 – 1084
    • Da'an (大安)
      1085 – 1094
    • Shouchang (壽昌)
      1095 – 1101
Son of Xingzong 1032 – 12 February 1101
(aged 68–69)
Died of natural causes[334]
None, known by his posthumous name:
Tianzuo
天祚帝
Yelü Yanxi
耶律延禧
12 February 1101 – 6 September 1125
(24 years, 6 months and 25 days)
Era(s)

    • Qiantong (乾統)
      2 March 1101 – 25 January 1111
    • Tianqing (天慶)
      26 January 1111 – 1120
    • Baoda (保大)
      1121 – 26 March 1125
Grandson of Daozong 1075 – after 6 September 1125
(aged 49–50)
Died in captivity from natural causes[335]

Western Xia (1038–1227)

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Western Xia (西夏; 1038–1227)
Temple name[ah] Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Jingzong
景宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Wulie (武烈皇帝)
Li Yuanhao
李元昊
1038 – 1048[ai]
(9–10 years)
Era(s)

    • Tianshoulifayanzuo (天授禮法延祚)
      7 February 1038 – 1048
Son of the Tangut leader Li Deming 1003–1048[ai]
(aged 44–45)
Assassinated by his son, Ningling Ge[337]
Yizong
毅宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Zhaoying (昭英皇帝)
Li Liangzuo
李諒祚
1048 – January 1068
(19–20 years)
Era(s)

    • Yansiningguo (延嗣寧國)
      18 January 1048 – 4 February 1049
    • Tianyouchuisheng (天祐垂聖)
      5 February 1049 – 3 February 1052
    • Fushengchengdao (福聖承道)
      4 February 1052 – 19 January 1056
    • Duodu (奲都)
      20 January 1056 – 11 February 1062
    • Gonghua (拱化)
      12 February 1062 – January 1068
Son of Jingzong 1047 – January 1068
(aged 20–21)
Infant emperor whose reign was controlled by Lady Mozang and later Mozang Epang. Died of natural causes[338]
Huizong
惠宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Kangjing (康靖皇帝)
Li Bingchang
李秉常
January 1068 – 21 August 1086
(17–18 years)
Era(s)

    • Qiandao (乾道)
      18 January 1067 – 25 January 1069
    • Tiancilishengguoqing (天賜禮盛國慶)
      26 January 1069 – 29 January 1074
    • Da'an (大安)
      30 January 1074 – 28 January 1085
    • Tian'anliding (天安禮定)
      29 January 1085 – 21 August 1086
Son of Yizong 1061 – 21 August 1086
(aged 24–25)
Struggled with his mother for power throughout his reign. Died of natural causes[339]
Chongzong
崇宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Shengwen (聖文皇帝)
Li Qianshun
李乾順
11 November 1086 – 1 July 1139
(52–53 years)
Era(s)

    • Tianyizhiping (天儀治平)
      18 January 1086 – 2 February 1090
    • Tianyoumin'an (天祐民安)
      3 February 1090 – 3 February 1098
    • Yong'an (永安)
      4 February 1098 – 30 January 1101
    • Zhenguan (貞觀)
      31 January 1101 – 7 February 1114
    • Yongning (雍寧)
      8 February 1114 – 11 February 1119
    • Yuande (元德)
      12 February 1119 – 12 February 1127
    • Zhengde (正德)
      13 February 1127 – 15 January 1135
    • Dade (大德)
      16 January 1135 – 1 July 1139
Son of Huizong 1084 – 1 July 1139
(aged 54–55)
Died of natural causes[340]
Renzong
仁宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Shengde (聖德皇帝)
Li Renxiao
李仁孝
July 1139 – 16 October 1193
(53–54 years)
Era(s)

    • Daqing (大慶)
      22 January 1140 – 17 January 1143
    • Renqing (人慶)
      18 January 1143 – 1 February 1147
    • Tiansheng (天盛)
      2 February 1147 – 10 February 1168
    • Qianyou (乾祐)
      11 February 1168 – 16 October 1193
Son of Chongzong 1124 – 16 October 1193
(aged 68–69)
Longest ruling ruler of the dynasty. Died of natural causes[340]
Huanzong
桓宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Zhaojian (昭簡皇帝)
Li Chunyou
李純佑
1193 – 1 March 1206
(12–13 years)
Era(s)

    • Tianqing (天慶)
      24 January 1194 – 1 March 1206
Son of Renzong 1177 – 1 March 1206
(aged 28–29)
Overthrown in a coup d'état led by Xiangzong. Died of natural causes[341]
Xiangzong
襄宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Jingmu (敬慕皇帝)
Li Anquan
李安全
March 1206 – 13 September 1211
(4–5 years)
Era(s)

    • Yingtian (應天)
      30 January 1207 – 26 January 1210
    • Huangjian (皇建)
      27 January 1210 – 13 September 1211
Grandson of Renzong 1170 – 13 September 1211
(aged 40–41)
Suffered many losses from the Mongols. Died of natural causes[341]
Shenzong
神宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name:
    Emperor Yingwen (英文皇帝)
Li Zunxu
李遵頊
12 August 1211 – 1223
(14–15 years)
Era(s)

    • Guangding (光定)
      17 January 1211 – 1226
Descendant of Jingzong 1163 – 1226
(aged 62–63)
Abdicated amid Mongol invasions. Died of natural causes[341]
Xianzong
獻宗
Li Dewang
李德旺
1223 – August 1226
(2–3 years)
Era(s)

    • Qianding (乾定)
      2 February 1223 – August 1226
Son of Shenzong 1181 – August 1226
(aged 44–45)
Died of natural causes[341]
None, known by his personal name Li Xian
李晛
1226 – 1227
(1 year or less)
Era(s)

    • Baoyi (寶義)
      30 January 1226 – 1227
Grandson of Shenzong ? – 1227
(aged ?)
Killed by the Mongols[341]

Jin dynasty (1115–1234)

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Jin dynasty (金朝; 1115–1234)[342]
Temple name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
Taizu
太祖
Other names

  • Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Wuyuan (武元)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Yingqian Xingyun Zhaode Dinggong Renming Zhuangxiao Dasheng Wuyuan (應乾興運昭德定功仁明莊孝大聖武元皇帝)
Wanyan Min
完顏旻
28 January 1115 – 19 September 1123
(8 years, 7 months and 22 days)
Era(s)

    • Shouguo (收國)
      28 January 1115 – 4 January 1117
    • Tianfu (天輔)
      5 January 1117 – 19 September 1123
Son of Helibo from the Wanyan tribe 1 August 1068 – 19 September 1123
(aged 55)
Conquered the Liao dynasty[343]
Taizong
太宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Wenlie (文烈皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Tiyuan Yingyun Shide Zhaogong Zhehui Rensheng Wenlie (體元應運世德昭功哲惠仁聖文烈皇帝)
Wanyan Sheng
完顏晟
27 September 1123 – 7 February 1135
(11 years, 4 months and 11 days)
Era(s)

    • Tianhui (天會)
      7 October 1123 – 7 February 1135
Brother of Taizu 1075 – 7 February 1135
(aged 59–60)
Sacked the North Song dynasty's capital. Died of natural causes[343]
Xizong
熙宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Xiaocheng (孝成皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Hongji Zuanwu Zhuangjing Xiaocheng (弘基纘武莊靖孝成皇帝)
Wanyan Dan
完顏亶
8 February 1135 – 9 January 1150
(14 years, 11 months and 1 day)
Era(s)

    • Tianhui (天會)
      1135 – 6 February 1138
    • Tianjuan (天眷)
      7 February 1138 – 20 February 1141
    • Huangtong (皇統)
      21 February 1141 – 9 January 1150
Grandson of Taizu 1119 –  9 January 1150
(aged 30–31)
Assassinated by his chancellor and successor Wanyan Liang[343]
None, informally known as
Prince of Hailing
海陵王
Wanyan Liang
完顏亮
9 January 1150 – 15 December 1161
(11 years, 11 months and 6 days)
Era(s)

    • Tiande (天德)
      11 January 1150 – 20 April 1153
    • Zhenyuan (貞元)
      21 April 1153 – 22 February 1156
    • Zhenglong (正隆)
      23 February 1156 – 15 December 1161
Grandson of Taizu 1122 – 15 December 1161
(aged 38–39)
Assassinated by his military commanders after losing the Battle of Caishi[344]
Shizong
世宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Renxiao (仁孝皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Guangtian Yuyun Wende Wugong Shengming Renxiao (光天興運文德武功聖明仁孝皇帝)
Wanyan Yong
完顏雍
27 October 1161 – 20 January 1189
(27 years, 2 months and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Dading (大定)
      28 October 1161 – 20 January 1189
Grandson of Taizu 1123 – 20 January 1189
(aged 65–66)
Had the longest and most stable reign of the dynasty[345]
Zhangzong
章宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Yingxiao (英孝皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Xiantian Guangyun Renwen Yiwu Shensheng Yingxiao (憲天光運仁文義武神聖英孝皇帝)
Wanyan Jing
完顏璟
20 January 1189 – 29 December 1208
(19 years, 11 months and 9 days)
Era(s)

    • Mingchang (明昌)
      7 February 1190 – 13 December 1196
    • Cheng'an (承安)
      14 December 1196 – 6 January 1201
    • Taihe (泰和)
      7 January 1201 – 29 December 1208
Grandson of Shizong 31 August 1168 – 29 December 1208
(aged 40)
Died of natural causes[346]
None, informally known as
Prince Shao of Wei
衛紹王
Wanyan Yongji
完顏永濟
29 December 1208 – 11 September 1213
(4 years, 8 months and 13 days)
Era(s)

    • Da'an (大安)
      5 March 1209 – 4 February 1212
    • Chongqing (崇慶)
      5 February 1212 – ? 1213
    • Zhining (至寧)
      ? 1213 – 11 September 1213
Son of Shizong ? – 11 September 1213[aj]
(aged ?)
Assassinated under the orders of the Mongol general Hushahu [zh][346]
Xuanzong
宣宗
Other names

  • Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Shengxiao (聖孝皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Jitian Xingtong Shudao Qinren Yingwu Shengxiao (繼天興統述道勤仁英武聖孝皇帝)
Wanyan Xu
完顏珣
22 September 1213 – 14 January 1224
(10 years, 3 months and 23 days)
Era(s)

    • Zhenyou (貞祐)
      30 September 1213 – 8 October 1217
    • Xingding (興定)
      9 October 1217 – 15 September 1222
    • Yuanguang (元光)
      15 September 1222 – 14 January 1224
Grandson of Shizong 1163 – 14 January 1224
(aged 60–61)
Suffered heavy losses from the Mongols. Died of natural causes[346]
Aizong
哀宗
Wanyan Shouxu
完顏守緒
15 January 1224 – 8 February 1234
(10 years and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Zhengda (正大)
      22 January 1224 – 10 February 1232
    • Kaixing (開興)
      11 February 1232 – 4 May 1232
    • Tianxing (天興)
      5 May 1232 – 8 February 1234
Son of Xuanzong 25 September 1198 – 9 February 1234
(aged 35)
Committed suicide amid Mongol invasions[346]
Mo
Wanyan Chenglin
完顏承麟
9 February 1234
(less than a day)
Descendant of Helibo ? – 9 February 1234
(aged ?)
The shortest reigning Chinese monarch, ruled for less than a day. Died during the Mongol conquest of the Jin[346]

Yuan dynasty (1271–1368)

edit
Yuan dynasty (大元; 1271–1368)
Portrait Khan name Personal name Reign Succession Life details
  Setsen Khan
薛禪汗
better known as
Kublai Khan
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Shizu (世祖)
    Posthumous name:
    Emperor Shengde Shengong Wenwu (聖德神功文武皇帝)
Borjigin Kublai
孛兒只斤忽必烈
18 December 1271 – 18 February 1294
(22 years and 2 months)
Era(s)

    • Zhongtong (中統)
      26 June 1260 – 6 September 1264
    • Zhiyuan (至元)
      7 September 1264 –  18 February 1294
Grandson of Genghis Khan; declared emperor after defeating the Song in the Battle of Yamen 23 September 1215 – 18 February 1294
(aged 78)
Fully conquered the Song dynasty, won the Toluid Civil War, moved the capital to Khanbaliq and employed Marco Polo[347]
  Öljeytü Khan
完澤篤汗
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Chengzong (成宗)
    Posthumous name:
    Emperor Qinming Guangxiao (欽明廣孝皇帝)
Borjigin Temür
孛兒只斤鐵穆耳
10 May 1294 – 10 February 1307
(12 years and 9 months)
Era(s)

    • Yuanzhen (元貞)
      17 January 1295 – 20 March 1297
    • Dade (大德)
      21 March 1297 – 10 February 1307
Grandson of Kublai 15 October 1265 – 10 February 1307
(aged 41)
Died of natural causes[348]
  Külüg Khan
曲律汗
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Wuzong (武宗)
    Posthumous name:
    Emperor Renhui Xuanxiao (仁惠宣孝皇帝)
Borjigin Haishan
孛兒只斤海山
21 June 1307 – 27 January 1311
(3 years, 7 months and 6 days)
Era(s)

    • Zhida (至大)
      23 January 1308 – 27 January 1311
Great-grandson of Kublai 4 August 1281 – 27 January 1311
(aged 29)
Died of natural causes[349]
  Buyantu Khan
普顏篤汗
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Renzong (仁宗)
    Posthumous name:
    Emperor Shengwen Qinxiao (聖文欽孝皇帝)
Borjigin Ayurbarwada
孛兒只斤愛育黎拔力八達
7 April 1311 – 1 March 1320
(8 years, 10 months and 23 days)
Era(s)

    • Huangqing (皇慶)
      7 April 1311 – 6 February 1314
    • Yanyou (延祐)
      7 February 1314 – 1 March 1320
Great-grandson of Kublai 9 April 1285 – 1 March 1320
(aged 34)
Died of natural causes[350]
Gegeen Khan
格堅汗
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Yingzong (英宗)
    Posthumous name:
    Emperor Ruisheng Wenxiao (睿聖文孝皇帝)
Borjigin Shidibala
孛兒只斤硕德八剌
19 April 1320 – 4 September 1323
(3 years, 4 months and 16 days)
Era(s)

    • Zhizhi (至治)
      30 December 1320 – 4 September 1323
Son of Ayurbarwada 22 February 1302 – 4 September 1323
(aged 21)
Killed in a coup led by Temuder [zh][351]
None, known either by his personal or era name Borjigin Yesün Temür
孛兒只斤也孫鐵木兒
4 October 1323 – 15 August 1328
(4 years, 10 months and 11 days)
Era(s)

    • Taiding (泰定)
      3 January 1324 – 6 May 1328
    • Zhihe (致和)
      7 May 1328 – 15 August 1328
Great-Grandson of Kublai 28 November 1293 – 15 August 1328[ak]
(aged 34)
Died of natural causes[352]
None, known either by his personal or era name Borjigin Ragibagh
孛兒只斤阿速吉八
October 1328 – 14 November 1328
(1 month)
Era(s)

    • Tianshun (天順)
      October 1328 – 14 November 1328
Son of Yesün 1320 – 14 November 1328
(aged 8)
Child emperor; probably murdered amid the War of the Two Capitals[353]
  Jayaatu Khan
札牙篤汗
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Wenzong (文宗)
    Posthumous name:
    Emperor Shengming Yuanxiao (聖明元孝皇帝)
Borjigin Tugh Temür
孛兒只斤圖帖睦爾
16 October 1328 – 26 February 1329
(4 months and 10 days)
Era(s)

    • Tianli (天曆)
      16 October 1328 – 26 February 1329
Son of Külüg 16 February 1304 – 2 September 1332
(aged 28)
Abdicated in favor of his brother Khutughtu Khan[354]
Khutughtu Khan
忽都篤汗
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Mingzong (明宗)
    Posthumous name:
    Emperor Yixian Jingxiao (翼獻景孝皇帝)
Borjigin Kusala
孛兒只斤和世剌
27 February 1329 – 30 August 1329
(6 months and 3 days)
Era(s)

    • Tianli (天曆)
      27 February 1329 – 30 August 1329
Son of Külüg 22 December 1300 – 30 August 1329
(aged 28)
Briefly ruled before killed by El Temür[353]
  Jayaatu Khan
札牙篤汗
(second reign)
Borjigin Tugh Temür
孛兒只斤圖帖睦爾
8 September 1329 – 2 September 1332
(2 years, 11 months and 25 days)
Era(s)

    • Zhishun (至順)
      25 May 1330 – 2 September 1332
Son of Külüg 16 February 1304 – 2 September 1332
(aged 28)
A patron of the arts and scholarship, his reign was dominated by the ministers El Temür and Bayan of the Merkid. Died of natural causes[354]
  None, known by his personal name
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Ningzong (寧宗)
    Posthumous name:
    Emperor Chongsheng Sixiao (沖聖嗣孝皇帝)
Borjigin Rinchinbal
孛兒只斤懿璘質班
23 October 1332 – 14 December 1332
(1 month and 21 days)
Era(s)

    • Zhishun (至順)
      23 October 1332 – 14 December 1332
Son of Khutughtu 1 May 1326 – 14 December 1332
(aged 6)
Child emperor; died of sudden illness[355]
Ukhaghatu Khan
烏哈噶圖汗
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Huizong (惠宗)
    Posthumous name:
    Emperor Shun (順皇帝)[al]
Borjigin Toghon Temür
孛兒只斤妥懽帖睦爾
19 July 1333 – 10 September 1368
(35 years, 2 months and 22 days)
Era(s)

    • Yuantong (元統)
      15 November 1333 – 7 December 1335
    • Zhiyuan (至元)
      8 December 1335 – 17 January 1341
    • Zhizheng (至正)
      18 January 1341 – 10 September 1368
Son of Khutughtu 25 May 1320 – 23 May 1370
(aged 49)
Died of natural causes[357]

Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

edit
Ming dynasty (大明; 1368–1644)
Portrait Era name Personal name Reign[am] Succession Life details
  Hongwu
洪武
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Taizu (太祖)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Gao (高皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Kaitian Xingdao Zhaoji Liji Dasheng Zhishen Renwen Yiwu Junde Chenggong Gao (開天行道肇紀立極大聖至神仁文義武俊德成功高皇帝)
Zhu Yuanzhang
朱元璋
23 January 1368 – 24 June 1398
(30 years, 5 months and 1 day)
Era(s)

    • Hongwu (洪武)
      23 January 1368 – 24 June 1398
Born into poverty, he led the Red Turban Rebellions to establish the Ming dynasty 21 October 1328 – 24 June 1398
(aged 69)
Initiated cultural reconstruction and political reform, also noted for his extreme and violent methods of enforcement. Died of natural causes[359]
  Jianwen
建文
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Huizong (惠宗)[an]
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Hui (惠皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Gōngmǐn Hui (恭閔惠皇帝)[ao]
Zhu Yunwen
朱允炆
30 June 1398 – 13 July 1402
(4 years and 13 days)
Era(s)

    • Hongwu (洪武)
      30 June 1398 – 5 February 1399
    • Jianwen (建文)
      6 February 1399 – 13 July 1402
Grandson of Hongwu 5 December 1377 – 13 July 1402
(aged 24)
Overthrown by the future Yongle Emperor, his uncle. Either died in or disappeared after the fires in the Ming Palace.[361]
  Yongle
永樂
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Chengzu (成祖)[ap]
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Wen (文皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Qitian Hongdao Gaoming Zhaoyun Shengwu Shengong Chunren Zhixiao Wen (啓天弘道高明肇運聖武神功純仁至孝文皇帝)
Zhu Di
朱棣
17 July 1402 – 12 August 1424
(22 years and 26 days)
Era(s)

    • Hongwu (洪武)
      30 July 1402 – 22 January 1403
    • Yongle (永樂)
      23 January 1403 – 19 January 1425
Son of Hongwu 2 May 1360 – 12 August 1424
(aged 64)
Raised the Ming to its highest power. Patron of many projects, including the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, Yongle Encyclopedia and the Ming treasure voyages. Died of natural causes.[362]
  Hongxi
洪熙
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Renzong (仁宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Zhao (昭皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Jingtian Tidao Chuncheng Zhide Hongwen Qinwu Zhangsheng Daxiao Zhao (敬天體道純誠至德弘文欽武章聖達孝昭皇帝)
Zhu Gaochi
朱高熾
7 September 1424 – 29 May 1425
(8 months and 22 days)
Era(s)

    • Yongle (永樂)
      7 September 1424 – 19 January 1425
    • Hongxi (洪熙)
      20 January 1425 – 7 February 1426
Son of Yongle 16 August 1378 – 29 May 1425
(aged 46)
Focused primarily on domestic affairs. Died of natural causes[363]
  Xuande
宣德
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Xuanzong (宣宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Zhang (章皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Xiantian Chongdao Yingming Shensheng Qinwen Zhaowu Kuanren Chunxiao Zhang (憲天崇道英明神聖欽文昭武寬仁純孝章皇帝)
Zhu Zhanji
朱瞻基
27 June 1425 – 31 January 1435
(9 years, 7 months and 4 days)
Era(s)

    • Hongxi (洪熙)
      28 June 1425 – 7 February 1426
    • Xuande (宣德)
      8 February 1426 – 17 January 1436
Son of Hongxi 16 March 1399 – 31 January 1435
(aged 35)
A noted painter. Died of natural causes[364]
  known by his temple:
Yingzong
英宗
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Yingzong (英宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Rui (睿皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Fatian Lidao Renming Chengjing Zhaowen Xianwu Zhide Guangxiao Rui (法天立道仁明誠敬昭文憲武至德廣孝睿皇帝)
Zhu Qizhen
朱祁镇
7 February 1435 – 1 September 1449
(14 years, 6 months and 25 days)[aq]
Era(s)

    • Xuande (宣德)
      7 February 1435 – 17 January 1436
    • Zhengtong (正統)
      18 January 1436 – 13 January 1450
Son of Xuande 29 November 1427 – 23 February 1464
(aged 36)
His reign was dominated by eunuchs, particularly Wang Zhen, which led to growing instability. Captured by the Northern Yuan dynasty during the Tumu Crisis.[366]
  Jingtai
景泰
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Daizong (代宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Jing (景皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Gongren Kangding Jing (恭仁康定景皇帝)
Zhu Qiyu
朱祁鈺
22 September 1449 – 24 February 1457
(7 years, 5 months and 2 days)
Era(s)

    • Zhengtong (正統)
      18 January 1436 – 13 January 1450
    • Jingtai (景泰)
      14 January 1450 – 11 February 1457
Son of Xuande 11 September 1428 – 14 March 1457
(aged 28)
Briefly ruled while his brother was held captive; deposed soon after. Died a month later, possibly from murder.[367]
  Yingzong
英宗
(second reign)
Zhu Qizhen
朱祁镇
11 February 1457 – 23 February 1464
(7 years and 12 days)[aq]
Era(s)

    • Tianshun (天順)
      11 February 1457 – 26 January 1465
Son of Xuande 29 November 1427 – 23 February 1464
(aged 36)
Restored to power after his release. Died of natural causes[368]
  Chenghua
成化
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Xianzong (憲宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Chun (純皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Jitian Ningdao Chengming Renjing Chongwen Suwu Hongde Shengxiao Chun (繼天凝道誠明仁敬崇文肅武宏德聖孝純皇帝)
Zhu Jianshen
朱見濡
28 February 1464 – 9 September 1487
(23 years, 6 months and 12 days)
Era(s)

    • Jingtai (景泰)
      28 February 1464 – 26 January 1465
    • Chenghua (成化)
      27 January 1465 – 9 September 1487
Son of Yingzong 9 December 1447 – 9 September 1487
(aged 39)
Died of natural causes[369]
  Hongzhi
弘治
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Xiaozong (孝宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Jing (敬皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Datian Mingdao Chuncheng Zhongzheng Shengwen Shenwu Zhiren Dade Jing (達天明道純誠中正聖文神武至仁大德敬皇帝)
Zhu Youcheng
朱祐樘
22 September 1487 – 8 June 1505
(17 years, 8 months and 17 days)
Era(s)

    • Chenghua (成化)
      22 September 1487 – 13 January 1488
    • Hongzhi (弘治)
      14 January 1488 – 23 January 1506
Son of Chenghua 30 July 1470 – 9 June 1505
(aged 34)
Died of natural causes[370]
  Zhengde
正德
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Wuzong (武宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Yi (毅皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Chengtian Dadao Yingsu Ruizhe Zhaode Xiangong Hongwen Sixiao Yi (承天達道英肅睿哲昭德顯功弘文思孝毅皇帝)
Zhu Houzhao
朱厚㷖
19 June 1505 – 20 April 1521
(15 years, 10 months and 1 day)
Era(s)

    • Hongzhi (弘治)
      19 June 1505 – 23 January 1506
    • Zhengde (正德)
      24 January 1506 – 20 April 1521
Son of Hongzhi 14 November 1491 – 20 April 1521
(aged 29)
His reign saw the rise of influence from eunuchs, particularly Liu Jin. Probably drowned after his boat sank.[371]
  Jiajing
嘉靖
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Shizong (世宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Su (肅皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Qintian Lüdao Yingyi Shengshen Xuanwen Guangwu Hongren Daxiao Su (欽天履道英毅聖神宣文廣武洪仁大孝肅皇帝)
Zhu Houcong
朱厚熜
27 May 1521 – 23 January 1567
(45 years, 7 months and 26 days)
Era(s)

    • Zhengde (正德)
      27 May 1506 – 26 January 1522
    • Jiajing (嘉靖)
      28 January 1522 – 23 January 1567
Grandson of Chenghua, brother of Zhengde 16 September 1507 – 23 January 1567
(aged 59)
Died of natural causes[372]
  Longqing
隆慶
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Muzong (穆宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Zhuang (莊皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Qitian Longdao Yuanyi Kuanren Xianwen Guangwu Chunde Hongxiao Zhuang (契天隆道淵懿寬仁顯文光武純德弘孝莊皇帝)
Zhu Zaiji
朱載坖
4 February 1567 – 5 July 1572
(5 years, 5 months and 1 day)
Era(s)

    • Jiajing (嘉靖)
      4 February 1567 – 8 February 1567
    • Longqing (隆慶)
      9 February 1567 – 5 July 1572
Son of Jiajing 4 March 1537 – 5 July 1572
(aged 35)
Died of natural causes[373]
  Wanli
萬曆
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Shénzōng (神宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Xian (顯皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Fantian Hedao Zhesu Dunjian Guangwen Zhangwu Anren Zhixiao Xian (範天合道哲肅敦簡光文章武安仁止孝顯皇帝)
Zhu Yijun
朱翊鈞
19 July 1572 – 18 August 1620
(48 years and 30 days)
Era(s)

    • Longqing (隆慶)
      19 July 1572 – 1 February 1573
    • Wanli (萬曆)
      2 February 1573 – 18 August 1620
Son of Longqing 4 September 1563 – 18 August 1620
(aged 56)
Despite early successes, the gradual decline of Ming began towards the end of his reign. Died of natural causes[374]
  Taichang
泰昌
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Guangzong (光宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Zhen (貞皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Chongtian Qidao Yingrui Gongchun Xianwen Jingwu Yuanren Yixiao Zhen (崇天契道英睿恭純憲文景武淵仁懿孝貞皇帝)
Zhu Changluo
朱常洛
28 August – 26 September 1620
(29 days)
Era(s)

    • Taichang (泰昌)
      28 August 1620 – 26 September 1620
Son of Wanli 28 August 1582 – 26 September 1620
(aged 38)
Died suddenly after a reign of around a month, possibly murdered by poison[375]
  Tianqi
天啓
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Xizong (熹宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Zhen (貞皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Datian Chandao Dunxiao Duyou Zhangwen Xiangwu Jingmu Zhuangqin Zhen (達天闡道敦孝篤友章文襄武靖穆莊勤悊皇帝)
Zhu Youjiao
朱由校
1 October 1620 – 30 September 1627
(6 years, 11 months and 29 days)
Era(s)

    • Taichang (泰昌)
      1 October 1620 – 21 January 1621
    • Tianqi (天啓)
      22 January 1621 – 30 September 1627
Son of Taichang 23 December 1605 – 30 September 1627
(aged 21)
A weak ruler, his reign was dominated by the eunuch Wei Zhongxian. Died from an unknown illness[376]
Chongzhen
崇禎
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Sīzōng (思宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Min (愍皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Zhuanglie Min (莊烈愍皇帝)
Zhu Youjian
朱由檢
2 October 1627 – 25 April 1644
(16 years, 6 months and 23 days)
Era(s)

    • Tianqi (天啓)
      2 October 1627 – 4 February 1628
    • Chongzhen (崇禎)
      5 February 1628 – 25 April 1644
Son of Taichang, brother of Tianqi 6 February 1611 – 25 April 1644
(aged 33)
Committed suicide, possibly by hanging himself on a tree.[377]

Qing dynasty (1644–1912)

edit
Qing dynasty (大清; 1644–1912)
Portrait Era name Personal name Reign[ar] Succession Life details
  Shunzhi
順治
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Shizu (世祖)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Zhang (章皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Titian Longyun Dingtong Jianji Yingrui Qinwen Xianwu Dahe Honggong Zhiren Chunxiao Zhang (體天隆運定統建極英睿欽文顯武大德弘功至仁純孝章皇帝)
Aisin-Gioro Fulin
愛新覺羅福臨
8 November 1644 – 5 February 1661
(16 years, 2 months and 28 days)
Era(s)

    • Shunzhi (順治)
      8 November 1644 – 5 February 1661
Son of Hong Taiji; chosen by a council of Manchu princes 15 March 1638 – 5 February 1661
(aged 22)
Finished the Manchu conquest of the Ming, pushing the remaining Ming sympathizers to the South. Died suddenly of smallpox[379]
  Kangxi
康熙
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Shengzu (聖祖)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Ren (仁皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Hetian Hongyun Wenwu Ruizhe Gongjian Kuanyu Xiaojing Chengxin Zhonghe Gongde Dacheng Ren (合天弘運文武睿哲恭儉寬裕孝敬誠信中和功德大成仁皇帝)
Aisin-Gioro Xuanye
愛新覺羅玄燁
5 February 1661 – 20 December 1722
(61 years, 10 months and 15 days)
Era(s)

    • Shunzhi (順治)
      17 February 1661 – 17 February 1662
    • Kangxi (康熙)
      18 February 1662 – 20 December 1722
Son of Shunzhi 4 May 1654 – 20 December 1722
(aged 68)
Longest ruling Chinese emperor. Expanded the empire's territory, and commissioned both the Kangxi Dictionary and Complete Tang Poems. Died of natural causes[380]
  Yongzheng
雍正
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Shizong (世宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Xian (憲皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Jingtian Changyun Jianzhong Biaozhen Wenwu Yingming Kuanren Xinyi Ruisheng Daxiao Zhicheng Xian (敬天昌運建中表正文武英明寬仁信毅睿聖大孝至誠憲皇帝)
Aisin-Gioro Yinzhen
愛新覺羅胤禛
27 December 1722 – 8 October 1735
(12 years, 9 months and 11 days)
Era(s)

    • Kangxi (康熙)
      20 December 1722 – 4 February 1723
    • Yongzheng (雍正)
      5 February 1723 – 8 October 1735
Son of Kangxi 13 December 1678 – 8 October 1735
(aged 56)
Ruled for a relatively short period, establishing the Grand Council. Probably died of alchemical elixir poisoning; death officially recorded as natural causes.[381][as]
  Qianlong
乾隆
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Gaozong (高宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Chun (純皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Fatian Longyun Zhicheng Xianjue Tiyuan Liji Fuwen Fenwu Qinming Xiaoci Shensheng Chun (法天隆運至誠先覺體元立極敷文奮武欽明孝慈神聖純皇帝)
Aisin-Gioro Hongli
愛新覺羅弘曆
18 October 1735 – 9 February 1796
(60 years, 3 months and 22 days)
Era(s)

    • Yongzheng (雍正)
      18 October 1735 – 11 February 1736
    • Qianlong (乾隆)
      12 February 1736 – 8 February 1796
Son of Yongzheng 25 September 1711 – 7 February 1799
(aged 87)
Brought the empire to its height. Died of natural causes[383]
  Jiaqing
嘉慶
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Renzong (仁宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Rui (睿皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Shoutian Xingyun Fuhua Suiyou Chongwen Jingwu Guangyu Xiaogong Qinjian Duanmin Yingzhe Rui (受天興運敷化綏猷崇文經武光裕孝恭勤儉端敏英哲睿皇帝)
Aisin-Gioro Yongyan
愛新覺羅顒琰
9 February 1796 – 2 September 1820
(24 years, 6 months and 24 days)
Era(s)

    • Jiaqing (嘉慶)
      9 February 1796 – 2 September 1820
Son of Qianlong 13 November 1760 – 2 September 1820
(aged 59)
Died suddenly from apoplexy[384]
  Daoguang
道光
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Xuanzong (宣宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Cheng (成皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Xiaotian Fuyun Lizhong Tizheng Zhiwen Shengwu Zhiyong Renci Jianqin Xiaomin Kuanding Cheng (效天符運立中體正至文聖武智勇仁慈儉勤孝敏寬定成皇帝)
Aisin-Gioro Minning
愛新覺羅旻寧
3 October 1820 – 26 February 1850
(29 years, 4 months and 23 days)
Era(s)

    • Jiaqing (嘉慶)
      3 October 1820 – 2 February 1821
    • Daoguang (道光)
      3 February 1821 – 25 February 1850
Son of Jiaqing 16 September 1782 – 25 February 1850
(aged 67)
An ineffective ruler who led a highly unstable reign, marked by the First Opium War and the early Taiping Rebellion. Probably died from a stroke[385]
  Xianfeng
咸豐
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Wenzong (文宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Xian (顯皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Xietian Yiyun Zhizhong Chuimo Maode Zhenwu Shengxiao Yuangong Duanren Kuanmin Zhuangjian Xian (協天翊運執中垂謨懋德振武聖孝淵恭端仁寬敏莊儉顯皇帝)
Aisin-Gioro Yizhu
愛新覺羅奕詝
9 March 1850 – 22 August 1861
(11 years, 5 months and 13 days)
Era(s)

    • Daoguang (道光)
      9 March 1850 – 30 January 1851
    • Xianfeng (咸豐)
      1 February 1851 – 22 August 1861
Son of Daoguang 17 July 1831 – 22 August 1861
(aged 30)
The last Chinese emperor to have personal power for the entirety of his reign, which was unstable after the Taiping Rebellion, Nian Rebellion and Second Opium War. Died of natural causes[386]
  Tongzhi
同治
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Muzong (穆宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Yi (毅皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Jitian Kaiyun Shouzhong Juzheng Baoda Dinggong Shengzhi Chengxiao Xinmin Gongkuan Mingsu Yi (繼天開運受中居正保大定功聖智誠孝信敏恭寬明肅毅皇帝)
Aisin-Gioro Zaichun
愛新覺羅載淳
11 November 1861 – 12 January 1875
(13 years, 2 months and 1 day)
Era(s)

    • Qixiang (祺祥)
      August 1861 – 11 November 1861[387]
    • Xianfeng (咸豐)
      11 November 1861 – 29 January 1862
    • Tongzhi (同治)
      30 January 1862 – 12 January 1875
Son of Xianfeng 27 April 1856 – 12 January 1875
(aged 18)
Reign was completely dominated by Empress Dowager Cixi, who initiated the Tongzhi Restoration. Died suddenly, under suspicious circumstances[388]
  Guangxu
光緒
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Dezong (德宗)
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Jing (景皇帝)
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Tongtian Chongyun Dazhong Zhizheng Jingwen Weiwu Renxiao Ruizhi Duanjian Kuanqin Jing (同天崇運大中至正經文緯武仁孝睿智端儉寬勤景皇帝)
Aisin-Gioro Zaitian
愛新覺羅載湉
25 February 1875 – 14 November 1908
(33 years, 8 months and 20 days)
Era(s)

    • Guangxu (光緒)
      25 February 1875 – 14 November 1908
Cousin of Tongzhi 14 August 1871 – 14 November 1908
(aged 37)
Initiated the failed Hundred Days' Reform, and from 1898 on, his reign was completely dominated by Empress Dowager Cixi. Died of poisoning, possibly from Cixi.[389]
  Xuantong
宣統
Other names

  • Temple name:
    Gongzong (恭宗)[at]
    Posthumous name (short):
    Emperor Min (愍帝)[at]
    Posthumous name (long):
    Emperor Peitian Tongyun Fagu Shaotong Cuiwen Jingfu Kuanrui Zhengmu Tiren Lixiao Min (配天同運法古紹統粹文敬孚寬睿正穆體仁立孝愍皇帝)
Aisin-Gioro Puyi
愛新覺羅溥儀
2 December 1908 – 12 February 1912
(3 years, 2 months and 10 days)
Era(s)

    • Xuantong (宣統)
      2 December 1908 – 12 February 1912
Nephew of Guangxu 7 February 1906 – 17 October 1967
(aged 61)
Reigned as a young child, but forced to abdicate in 1912 amid the 1911 Revolution, ending the 2000 year monarchial system of Imperial China. Died of natural causes.[390]
For the subsequent heads of state of China, see List of presidents of the Republic of China and List of state representatives of the People's Republic of China

References

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Notes

edit
  1. ^ Contemporary scholars often split Chinese history into three periods: Ancient, Imperial and Modern, based on the Ancient, Medieval and Modern scheme developed by Liang Qichao.[1] In Chinese history, "Medieval"—originally defined as from the Qin to Qing dynasties—has since been replaced by "Imperial".[2] "Medieval" now refers to the more specific period from the End of the Han dynasty through the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms.[3]
  2. ^ The Mandate of Heaven is essentially equivalent to the European divine right of kings.[7] It was first formally introduced by the Duke of Zhou to justify his house's overthrow of the Shang.[7] Prior to this, the Shang kings justified their rule by being claiming descent from a "divine ancestor",[8] and being able to interpret, manipulate and maintain cosmic relations between humans and heaven (; Tian).[9]
  3. ^ Although era names originated in the reign of Emperor Wu of Han (r.141–87 BCE),[15] his two immediate predecessors Emperor Wen of Han (r.180–157) and Emperor Jing of Han (r.157–141) were also given era names later.[16]
  4. ^ All reign dates for the Xia rulers are excluded. They are highly speculative, due to their dependence on the already uncertain beginning and ending dates of the dynasty
  5. ^ The traditional dating method (beginning the Shang in 1766) is not included in this table. See Liu et al. 2021, pp. 165, 169 for another, more recent, method of dating
  6. ^ Zu Ji, another son of Wu Ding is given a kingly title in some oracle bone texts, but did probably not reign.[61]
  7. ^ In his lifetime, Ying Zheng would have been known as simply "Shi Huangdi", but after the Qin's fall it became standard practice to include the dynasty's name when referring to him. His dynastic name is commonly abbreviated to 'Qin Shi Huang'. In its fullest form, it would be: Qin Shi Huangdi (秦始皇帝)[4]
  8. ^ Qin Shi Huang began his reign as king of Qin in 246 BCE, but did not unite China and proclaim himself Emperor (皇帝 Huangdi) until 221 BCE.[81]
  9. ^ Moule 1957, p. 3 gives 18 July 210 BCE as the exact date for the end of Qin Shi Huang's reign, but also notes the issues surrounding this chronology. The date is accepted by Vervoorn 1990, p. 311, but it's not used by modern scholars.[82][83] Hymes 2000, p. 8 gives July–August 210 BCE, the seventh lunar month.
  10. ^ In its fullest form, Ying Huhai's dynastic name would be Qin Er Shi Huangdi (秦二世皇帝)[4]
  11. ^ Sources vary on the exact month of Qin Er Shi's accession, though they agree it was in late 210. Vervoorn 1990, p. 311 gives August 210 while Barbieri-Low & Yates 2015, p. xix and Moule 1957, p. 3 give September–October 210
  12. ^ After Qin Er Shi's death the Qin dynasty became increasingly weaker in power, so Zhao Gao proclaimed the state was once again a kingdom, not an empire. Thus when Ziying (子嬰) ascended to the throne, he only ruled as a King of Qin.[89] After ruling for 46 days in late 207 BCE, Ziying surrendered to Liu Bang and was later killed by Xiang Yu during the Chu–Han Contention.[90][91]
  13. ^ Liu Bang began his peasant revolt in 209 BCE, during the collapse of the Qin dynasty. He assumed the title "King of Han" (漢王) in 206 BCE, referencing his dominions near the Han river. He only assumed the title of Emperor (皇帝; Huangdi) in 202 BCE after his victory in the Chu–Han Contention.[93]
  14. ^ Also known as:
    Shaodi Gong
    少帝恭[96]
  15. ^ a b In order to justify Emperor Wen of Han's overthrow of the House of Lü's puppets, Houshao and Qianshao, both of the dynasty's official histories—the Shiji and Hanshu—assert that neither was actually a son of Hui.[97]
  16. ^ Also known as:
    Shaodi Hong
    少帝弘[99]
  17. ^ a b Though most modern sources agree that Emperor Wu died on 29 March 87 BCE, Vervoorn 1990, p. 312 gives 2 March; Moule 1957, p. 5 gives 27 March.
  18. ^ Liu Yi reigned for less than a year, so thus did not live long enough to receive an era name[120]
  19. ^ de Crespigny 2010, p. 450 notes that "On 11 December [...] Cao Cao's son and successor Cao Pi received the abdication of the last emperor of Han. [...] Some authorities give the date of abdication as 25 November [...] This is the date upon which Emperor Xian issued an edict calling upon Cao Pi to take the throne, but the ceremonial transfer of sovereignty was carried out two weeks later"
  20. ^ Not counting Ruzi Ying, who never officially ascended to the throne.
  21. ^ Also known as:
    Duke of Haixi
    海西公[151]
  22. ^ Moule 1957, p. 34 gives 30 May 618 as the date for the end of Yang You's reign, but modern sources usually give 12 June.[240]
  23. ^ Also known as "Wu Hou" (武后). The title Huanghou (皇后) given to consorts it's often translated as "Empress consort" in English. Though often translated as "Emperor" in this context, the title Huangdi, as well as many other Chinese words, has no assigned gender.[247]
  24. ^ Li Chongmao is often referred by his posthumous name; he's also known as "Emperor Shao" (少皇帝), referencing his brief reign.
  25. ^ Emperor Zhaozong was briefly deposed in December 900 by eunuch Liu Jishu, but he regained the throne just a month later.[266]
  26. ^ Moule 1957, p. 62 gives 1 June 907 as the date for the end of Emperor Ai's reign, but Kroll 2019, p. 1 gives 5 June. Other sources give 12 May.
  27. ^ Emperor Gaozong was briefly deposed between March and April 1129. He was forced to abdicate in favor of his infant son Zhao Fu.[315]
  28. ^ Born as Zhao Bocong (趙伯琮), later changed to Zhao Wei (趙瑋) in 1160.[317]
  29. ^ For Taizu's aternate posthumous names, see Moule 1957, p. 94
  30. ^ In 1008, Taizong was originally given the posthumous name Emperor Xiaowu (孝武). This was changed in 1052 to Emperor Xiaowu Huiwen (孝武惠文皇帝).[327]
  31. ^ Some sources differ over the dates for Taizong's Datong era, see Moule 1957, p. 95
  32. ^ In 952, Shizong was originally given the posthumous name Emperor Xiaohe (孝和) this was changed in 1008 to Emperor Xiaohe Zhuangxian (孝和莊憲皇帝).[327]
  33. ^ In 983, Jingzong was originally given the posthumous name Emperor Xiaocheng (孝成) this was changed in 1052 to Emperor Xiaocheng Kangjing (孝成康靖皇帝).[327]
  34. ^ See Cui & Wen 2007 for further information on the complexities surrounding the names of the Western Xia rulers
  35. ^ a b The death of Jingzong is uncertain and contradictory in many records. He may have died in late 1047 or early 1048.[336]
  36. ^ Moule 1957, p. 101 notes that there is uncertainty concerning Wanyan Yongji's death date
  37. ^ Some uncertainty surrounds his birth and death dates, see Ch'i-Ch'ing 1994, p. 353
  38. ^ Ukhaghatu Khan's posthumous name was given by the Ming court[356]
  39. ^ In the Ming dynasty, a few days usually separate each emperor's reign. When a Ming emperor died there was a period of mourning, after which their successor was crowned as soon a "propitious" day was chosen. Emperors reigned in their predecessor's era name until a new era name was declared at the beginning of the next year. Thus, the Hongwu (洪武) era did not technically end with the Hongwu Emperor's death on 24 June 1398, but ended on 5 February 1399 when the subsequent Jianwen Emperor began a new era on 6 February 1399.[358]
  40. ^ The temple name Huizong was given to the Jianwen Emperor long after his reign by Zhu Yousong, the Prince of Fu, in 1644.[360]
  41. ^ The posthumous name Emperor Gongmin Hui was given to the Jianwen Emperor long after his reign by the Qianlong Emperor in 1736.[360]
  42. ^ Following his death, the Yongle Emperor was given the temple name Taizong (太宗) by his successor the Hongxi Emperor, but this was changed on 3 October 1538 to Chengzu (成祖) by the Jiajing Emperor. The latter has been used since its bestowment[360]
  43. ^ a b From 1 September 1449 to 20 September 1450, Emperor Yingzong was a captive of the Northern Yuan dynasty during the Tumu Crisis. He was restored to power on 11 February 1457.[365]
  44. ^ In the Qing dynasty, a few days usually separate each emperor's reign. When a Qing emperor died there was a period of mourning, after which the successor was crowned as soon a "propitious" day was chosen. Emperors reigned in their predecessor's era name until a new era name was declared at the beginning of the next year. Thus, the Shunzhi (順治) era did not technically end with the Shunzhi Emperor's death on 5 February 1661, but ended on 17 February 1662 when the subsequent Kangxi Emperor began a new era on 18 February 1662.[378]
  45. ^ There are popular, though unsubstantiated, rumors that the Yongzheng Emperor was killed by the daughter of Lü Liuliang, whom he had executed.[382]
  46. ^ a b The Xuantong Emperor was only given posthumous and temple names in 2004 when the Qing family's descendants bestowed him with them.[378]

Citations

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  1. ^ Wilkinson 2018, p. 1.
  2. ^ Wilkinson 2018, pp. 1, 5.
  3. ^ Xiong 2009, pp. 1–32.
  4. ^ a b c d Wilkinson 2018, p. 287.
  5. ^ a b Wilkinson 2018, p. 8.
  6. ^ a b c Wilkinson 2018, p. 7.
  7. ^ a b Wechsler 1985, p. 12.
  8. ^ Wilkinson 2018, p. 9.
  9. ^ Wang 2000, p. 193.
  10. ^ Paludan 1998, pp. 6–7.
  11. ^ Wilkinson 2018, pp. 7–8.
  12. ^ Chen 2014, pp. 325–326.
  13. ^ Wilkinson 2018, pp. 288, 290–291.
  14. ^ Wilkinson 2018, p. 288.
  15. ^ Wright & Fagan 1951, p. 113.
  16. ^ Moule 1957, pp. 4–5.
  17. ^ Theobald 2011a.
  18. ^ Wright & Fagan 1951, pp. 113–114.
  19. ^ Wilkinson 2018, pp. 294–295.
  20. ^ a b Biran 2017, p. 130.
  21. ^ Chang 1999, pp. 65–66.
  22. ^ Chang 1999, p. 67; Wilkinson 2018, p. 746.
  23. ^ Chang 1999, p. 66.
  24. ^ Wilkinson 2018, p. 746; Chang 1999, pp. 66–67.
  25. ^ Chang 1999, pp. 66–68.
  26. ^ Chang 1999, pp. 68–69.
  27. ^ a b c Chang 1999, p. 70.
  28. ^ a b c Wilkinson 2018, p. 747.
  29. ^ a b Morton & Lewis 2004, p. 14.
  30. ^ Chang 1999, pp. 71–73.
  31. ^ Theobald 2018a.
  32. ^ Imperial China 2020, pp. 314–316.
  33. ^ Wu 1982, pp. 110–117; Imperial China 2020, pp. 30, 314.
  34. ^ Wu 1982, pp. 117–119; Imperial China 2020, p. 314.
  35. ^ Wu 1982, pp. 119–121; Imperial China 2020, p. 314.
  36. ^ Wu 1982, pp. 121–122; Imperial China 2020, p. 314.
  37. ^ Wu 1982, pp. 122–123; Imperial China 2020, p. 315.
  38. ^ Wu 1982, pp. 123–125; Imperial China 2020, p. 315.
  39. ^ Wu 1982, pp. 125–126; Imperial China 2020, p. 315.
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h Imperial China 2020, p. 315.
  41. ^ Wu 1982, pp. 126–127; Imperial China 2020, p. 315.
  42. ^ Wu 1982, pp. 129–143; Imperial China 2020, p. 315.
  43. ^ Keightley 1999, p. 232.
  44. ^ Wilkinson 2018, p. 1277.
  45. ^ a b Keightley 1985, pp. 204–207.
  46. ^ Moule 1957, p. xiv.
  47. ^ Indiana University 2006, pp. 2–3.
  48. ^ Theobald 2018b.
  49. ^ a b Lee 2002, p. 18.
  50. ^ a b XSZCP Group 2000, pp. 86–88.
  51. ^ Loewe & Shaughnessy 1999, p. 25.
  52. ^ Loewe & Shaughnessy 1999, p. 2.
  53. ^ a b c d e f Imperial China 2020, p. 316.
  54. ^ a b Indiana University 2006.
  55. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Imperial China 2020, p. 317.
  56. ^ a b c d e f g Imperial China 2020, p. 318.
  57. ^ Keightley 1985, pp. xiii–xiv.
  58. ^ Shaughnessy 1997, pp. 13–14.
  59. ^ Keightley 1985, p. xiii.
  60. ^ Li (2012), p. 13.
  61. ^ Indiana University 2006, p. 3; Theobald 2018b.
  62. ^ Keightley 1985, p. 187.
  63. ^ Imperial China 2020, pp. 318–319.
  64. ^ a b c d Imperial China 2020, p. 319.
  65. ^ Shaughnessy 1997, p. 14.
  66. ^ Marshall 2001, p. 157.
  67. ^ Marshall 2001, pp. 157–158.
  68. ^ Lee 2002, pp. 31–32.
  69. ^ a b Loewe & Shaughnessy 1999, pp. 25–28.
  70. ^ Moule 1957, pp. xvii–xviii.
  71. ^ a b c Imperial China 2020, p. 320.
  72. ^ Imperial China 2020, pp. 320–321.
  73. ^ a b c d e Imperial China 2020, p. 321.
  74. ^ Imperial China 2020, pp. 321–322.
  75. ^ a b c Imperial China 2020, p. 322.
  76. ^ a b c d e f g h Imperial China 2020, p. 323.
  77. ^ a b c d e f g Imperial China 2020, p. 324.
  78. ^ Imperial China 2020, pp. 324–325.
  79. ^ a b c d e f g h i Imperial China 2020, p. 325.
  80. ^ Loewe 2000, p. 823; Barbieri-Low & Yates 2015, pp. XIX–XX.
  81. ^ Vervoorn 1990, p. 311.
  82. ^ Loewe 2000, p. 823.
  83. ^ Barbieri-Low & Yates 2015, p. xix.
  84. ^ Paludan 1998, pp. 16–17.
  85. ^ Loewe 2000, pp. 654–655.
  86. ^ Wright 2001, p. 49.
  87. ^ Loewe 2004, p. 575.
  88. ^ Loewe 2000, pp. 652–653.
  89. ^ Xiong & Hammond 2019, p. 23.
  90. ^ Loewe 2000, p. 752.
  91. ^ Xiong & Hammond 2019, p. 24.
  92. ^ Barbieri-Low & Yates 2015, pp. xix–xx; Vervoorn 1990, pp. 311–315; Twitchett & Loewe 1986, pp. xxxix–xli; Moule 1957, pp. 4–11.
  93. ^ Loewe 1986, pp. 111–116.
  94. ^ Paludan 1998, pp. 28–31; Loewe 2000, pp. 253–259.
  95. ^ Paludan 1998, p. 31; Loewe 2000, pp. 397–399.
  96. ^ Loewe 2000, p. 468.
  97. ^ Theobald 2011b.
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  365. ^ Goodrich & Fang 1976a, p. xxi.
  366. ^ Goodrich & Fang 1976a, pp. 289–294; Paludan 1998, pp. 170–171; Twitchett & Grimm 1988, pp. 305–324; Moule 1957, p. 107; Wilkinson 2018, p. 885.
  367. ^ Goodrich & Fang 1976a; Paludan 1998, p. 171; Twitchett & Grimm 1988, pp. 325–338; Moule 1957, p. 108; Wilkinson 2018, p. 885.
  368. ^ Goodrich & Fang 1976a, pp. 289–294; Paludan 1998, pp. 171–172; Twitchett & Grimm 1988, pp. 339–342; Moule 1957, p. 107; Wilkinson 2018, p. 885.
  369. ^ Goodrich & Fang 1976a, pp. 298–304; Paludan 1998, pp. 173–174; Mote 1988, pp. 343–369; Moule 1957, p. 108; Wilkinson 2018, p. 885.
  370. ^ Goodrich & Fang 1976a, pp. 375–380; Paludan 1998, p. 174; Mote 1988, pp. 343–369; Moule 1957, p. 108; Wilkinson 2018, p. 885.
  371. ^ Goodrich & Fang 1976a, pp. 307–315; Paludan 1998, pp. 176–178; Geiss 1988a, pp. 403–439; Moule 1957, p. 108; Wilkinson 2018, p. 885.
  372. ^ Goodrich & Fang 1976a, pp. 315–322; Paludan 1998, pp. 178–180; Geiss 1988b, pp. 440–510; Moule 1957, p. 108; Wilkinson 2018, p. 885.
  373. ^ Goodrich & Fang 1976a, pp. 365–367; Paludan 1998, p. 180; Huang 1988, pp. 511–513; Moule 1957, p. 108; Wilkinson 2018, p. 885.
  374. ^ Goodrich & Fang 1976a, pp. 324–338; Paludan 1998, pp. 180–183; Huang 1988, pp. 511–517; Moule 1957, p. 109; Wilkinson 2018, p. 885.
  375. ^ Kennedy 1943a, pp. 176–177; Paludan 1998, p. 183; Atwell 1988, pp. 590–594; Moule 1957, p. 109; Wilkinson 2018, p. 885.
  376. ^ Kennedy 1943b, p. 190; Paludan 1998, pp. 183, 187; Atwell 1988, pp. 595–610; Moule 1957, p. 109; Wilkinson 2018, p. 886.
  377. ^ Kennedy 1943c, pp. 191–192; Paludan 1998, p. 187; Atwell 1988, pp. 611–636; Moule 1957, p. 109; Wilkinson 2018, p. 886.
  378. ^ a b Wilkinson 2018, p. 907.
  379. ^ Fang 1943a, pp. 255–259; Paludan 1998, pp. 190–191; Dennerline 2002, pp. 73–119; Moule 1957, p. 111; Wilkinson 2018, p. 907.
  380. ^ Fang 1943b, pp. 327–331; Paludan 1998, pp. 191–194; Spence 2002, pp. 120–182; Moule 1957, p. 111; Wilkinson 2018, p. 907.
  381. ^ Fang 1943c, pp. 915–920; Paludan 1998, p. 195; Zelin 2002, pp. 183–229; Moule 1957, p. 111; Wilkinson 2018, p. 907.
  382. ^ Fang 1943c, pp. 915–920.
  383. ^ Fang 1943d, pp. 369–373; Paludan 1998, pp. 196–203; Woodside 2002, pp. 230–309; Moule 1957, p. 111; Wilkinson 2018, p. 907.
  384. ^ Fang 1943e, pp. 965–969; Paludan 1998, pp. 204–205; Moule 1957, p. 111; Wilkinson 2018, p. 907.
  385. ^ Fang 1943f, pp. 574–576; Paludan 1998, pp. 205–207; Moule 1957, p. 112; Wilkinson 2018, p. 907.
  386. ^ Fang 1943g, pp. 378–380; Paludan 1998, pp. 208–209; Moule 1957, p. 112; Wilkinson 2018, p. 907.
  387. ^ Wilkinson 2018, p. 567.
  388. ^ Fang 1943h, pp. 729–731; Paludan 1998, pp. 210–213; Moule 1957, p. 112; Wilkinson 2018, p. 907.
  389. ^ Fang 1943i, pp. 731–734; Paludan 1998, pp. 213–216; Moule 1957, p. 112; Wilkinson 2018, p. 907.
  390. ^ Fang 1943i, pp. 733–734; Paludan 1998, pp. 213, 216–217; Moule 1957, p. 112; Wilkinson 2018, p. 907.

Sources

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Ancient Era