CHINESE DYNASTIES AND RULERS

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Qing dynasty Qianlong Emperor

SHANG DYNASTY AND BEFORE

Age of Five Rulers (legendary): 2700-2200 B.C.

Xia (Hsia) Dynasty (legendary): 2200-1700 B.C.

Shang Dynasty: 1700-1100 B.C.

Zhou (Chou): 1100 to 221 B.C.

Western Zhou (Chou): 1100 to 771 B.C.

Eastern Zhou (Chou): 770-221 B.C.

Spring and Autumn Period: 722-481 B.C.

Warring States Period: 453-221 B.C.

By another reckoning: The Zhou Dynasty (1050–256 BC) period is divided into: 1) the Western Zhou — (1050–771 BC); 2) Eastern Zhou — (771–256 BC); 3) Spring and Autumn Period — (770–475 BC); and 4) Warring States Period — (475–221 BC). [Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Qin (Ch'in) Dynasty: 221-207 B.C.

Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC) Rulers: Qin Shihuangdi (221–210 BC); Er Shi (210–207 BC).

Han Dynasty: 206 B.C. to A.D. 220

Western (Former) Han (206 BC–9 AD) Rulers: Gaodi (206–195 BC); Huidi (195–188 BC); (Lu Hou) ((Regent 188–180 BC); Wendi (180–157 BC); Jingdi (157–141 BC); Wudi (141–87 BC); Zhaodi (87–74 BC); Xuandi (74–49 BC); Yuandi (49–33 BC); Chengdi (33–7 BC); Aidi (7–1 BC); Pingdi (1 BC–AD 6); Ruzi (AD7–9); Wang Mang (AD9–23). [Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Eastern (Later) Han (AD25–220) Rulers: ; Guang Wudi (AD25–57); Mingdi (AD57–75); Zhangdi (AD75–88); Hedi (AD88–106); Shangdi (AD106); Andi (AD106–125); Shundi (AD125–144); Chongdi (AD144–145); Zhidi (AD145–146); Huandi (AD146–168); Lingdi (AD168–189); Xiandi (AD189–220).

Six Dynasties (220–589)

Three Kingdoms Period (Wei, Shu Han, Wu): A.D. 220-280

Three Kingdoms rulers: (220–265): 1) WEI rulers: Wendi (220–226); Mingdi (227–239); Shaodi (240–253); Gao Gui Xiang Gong (254–260); Yuandi (260–264). 2) WU rulers: Wudi (222–252); Feidi (252–258); Jingdi (258–264); Modi (264–280). 3) SHU HAN rulers: Xuande (221–223); Hou Zhu (23–263); Western Jin Dynasty ((265–317); Wudi (265–289); Huidi (290–306); Huaidi (307–312); Mindi (313–316). [Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Jin (Chin): A.D. 265-420

Northern and Southern Dynasties: A.D. 220-589

Southern Dynasties (A.D. 420-589) included: Song (420-479), Qi (479-502), Liang (502-557), Chen (557-589)

Northern Dynasties (A.D. 386-581) included: Northern Wei (386-534),Eastern Wei (534-577),

Western Wei (535-556), Northern Qi (550-557), Northern Zhou (557-581).

Sui Dynasty (581–618)

Sui Dynasty (581–618) Rulers: Wendi (581–604); Yangdi (604–617); Gongdi (617–618).

Tang Dynasty (618–906)

There is some debate as to when the Tang dynasty began. Most historians argue that it was inaugurated by a Sui official named Li Yuan (later known as Gaozu) who took power after the last Sui emperor was assassinated in 618. The Tangs had Turkic influences and a little Turkish blood.

Tang Dynasty rulers: Gaozu (618–626); Taizong (626–650); Gaozong (649–683); Zhongzong (684, 705–710); Ruizong (684–690); Wu Zetian (690–705); Xuanzong (712–756); Suzong (756–762); Daizong (762–779); Dezong (779–805); Shunzong (805); Xianzong (805–820); Muzong (820–824); Jingzong (824–827); Wenzong (826–840); Wuzong (840–846); Xuanzong (846–859); Yizong (859–873); Xizong (873–888); Zhaozong (888–904); Aidi (Zhaoxuan) (904–906).

Five Dynasties (907–960) and Liao Dynasty (907–1125)

These included: 1) Later Liang (907-960), 2) Later Tang (907-923), 3) Later Jin (936-946), 4) Later Han (947-950), 5) Later Zhou (951-960), and 6) Liao: 916-1125.

Dynasty One: Later Liang: Rulers: Taizu (907–910); Modi (911–923) [Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Dynasty Two: Later Tang: Rulers: Zhuangzong (923–926); Mingzong (926–934); Feidi (934–935).

Dynasty Three: Later Jin: Rulers: Gaozu (936–944); Chudi (944–947).

Dynasty Four: Later Han: Rulers: Gaozu (947–948); Yindi (948–951).

Dynasty Five: Later Zhou: Rulers: Taizu (951–954); : Rulers: Shizong (954–960).

Liao Dynasty (907–1125)

Song (Song): 960-1279

1) Northern Song (Song): 960-1127; 2) Southern Song (Song): 1127-1279; 3) Western Xia: 1038-1227; 4) Jin: 1115-1234.

Northern Song (960–1127) Rulers: Taizu (960–76); Taizong (976–97); Zhenzong (998–1022); Renzong (1023–63); Yingzong (1064–67); Shenzong); Zhezong (1086–1100); Huizong (1101–25); Qinzong (1126–27).

Southern Song (1127–1279) Rulers: Gaozong (1127–62); Xiaozong (1163–89); Guangzong (1190–94); Ningzong (1195–1224); Lizong (1225–64); Duzong (1265–74); Gongti (1275–76); Duanzong (1276–78); (Di Bing) (1278–79).

Zhao Kuanggyin (960-976) cemented his power by forcing troublesome generals to retire and replacing military provincial governors with civil functionaries. Other Song rulers included Kuanggyin, a cruel leader who ordered habitual gamblers to have their hands cut off, a measure historians noted that “was very effective for quite some time.” Yue Fei is a famous Song Dynasty general who was betrayed and died tragically.

Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368)

Yuan Dynasty rulers: Shizu (Kublai Khan 1260–94); Chengzong (1295–1307); Wuzong (1308–11); Renzong (1312–20); Yingzong (1321–23); (Taidingdi) (1324–28); Wenzong (1328–32); Mingzong (1329); Ningzong (1332–33); (Shundi) (1333–68).

Ming Dynasty (1368–1644)

Ming Dynasty Rulers (Name: Reign Title, Reign Dates).

Taizu: Hongwu (1368–98).

(Huidi): Jianwen (1399–1402).

Chengzu: Yongle (1403–24).

Renzong: Hongxi (1425).

Xuanzong: Xuande (1426–35).

Yingzong: Zhengtong (1436–49).

Daizong: Jingtai (1450–56).

Yingzong *: Dienshun (1457–64).

Xianzong: Chenghua (1465–87).

Xiaozong: Hongzhi (1488–1505).

Wuzong: Zhengde (1506–21).

Shizong: Jiajing (1522–66).

Muzong: Longqing (1567–72).

Shenzong: Wanli (1573–1620).

Guangzong: Taichang (1620).

Hsizong: Dianqi (1621–27).

(Ssuzong): Chongzheng (1628–44). *Restored to throne

Qing Dynasty (1644–1911)

Qing Dynasty Rulers (Name: Reign Title, Reign Dates).

Shizu: Shunzhi (1644–61).

Shengzu: Kangxi (1662–1722).

Shizong: Yungzheng (1723–35).

Gaozong: Qianlong (1736–95).

Renzong: Jiaqing (1796–1820).

Xuanzong: Daoguang (1821–50).

Wenzong: Xianfeng (1851–61).

Muzong: Dongzhi (1862–74).

Tezong: Guangxu (1875–1908).

(Pui): Xuantong (1909–11).

Websites and Resources

Good Websites and Sources: List of Emperors and Other World Historical Leaders friesian.com/sangoku ; List of Emperors PaulNoll.com ; Wikipedia Long List with references to major historical events Wikipedia ; Wikipedia shorter list Wikipedia Court Life During the Time of Empress Dowager Cixi etext.virginia.edu ; Book: Chronicle of the Chinese Emperor by Ann Paludan.

Forbidden City: Book:Forbidden City by Frances Wood, a British Sinologist. Web Sites FORBIDDEN CITY factsanddetails.com/china ; Wikipedia; China Vista ; UNESCO World Heritage Site Sites World Heritage Site ; Maps China Map Guide Links in this Website: Temple of Heaven: Wikipedia Wikipedia UNESCO World Heritage Site UNESCO World Heritage Site Map on China Map Guide China Map Guide

Good Websites and Sources on Early Chinese History: 1) Robert Eno, Indiana University indiana.edu; 2) Chinese Text Project ctext.org ; 3) Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization depts.washington.edu ; 4) Ancient China Life ancientchinalife.com ; 5) Ancient China for School Kids elibrary.sd71.bc.ca/subject_resources ; Good Chinese History Websites: 1) Chaos Group of University of Maryland chaos.umd.edu/history/toc ; 2) WWW VL: History China vlib.iue.it/history/asia ; 3) Wikipedia article on the History of China Wikipedia 4) China Knowledge; 5) Gutenberg.org e-book gutenberg.org/files ; Links in this Website: Main China Page factsanddetails.com/china (Click History)

Books: 1) Benn, Charles, “Daily Life in Traditional China: The Tang Dynasty,” Westport: Greenwood Press, 2002; 2) Schafer, Edward H. “The Golden Peaches of Samarkan,” Berkeley: University of California Press, 1963; 3) Watt, James C. Y., et al. “China: Dawn of a Golden Age, 200–750 A.D. Exhibition catalogue. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2004; 4) Cambridge History of China Vol. 3 (Cambridge University Press); 5) The Culture and Civilization of China, a massive, multi-volume series, (Yale University Press)

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated November 2016

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