16th Century Emperors & Kings

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 1 Suleiman The Magnificent

Suleiman The Magnificent
25
Famous As: 10th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Birthdate: November 6, 1494
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Trabzon, Ottoman Empire
Died: September 6, 1566
Suleiman The Magnificent ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to 1566 and was instrumental in the empire’s expansion, leading the conquests of Belgrade, Rhodes, and Hungary. He was a patron of art and culture, and a talented poet and goldsmith himself. He married Roxelana, a Christian-turned-Muslim from his harem.

 2 Ivan the Terrible

Ivan the Terrible
17
Famous As: Grand Prince of Moscow (1533-1547)
Birthdate: August 25, 1530
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kolomenskoye, Moscow, Russia
Died: March 28, 1584
Ivan the Terrible, son of Vasili III, served as the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547. The “Chosen Council” declared him the tsar at 16 and established the Tsardom of Russia. Ivan’s reign was known for wars such as the Livonian War, which damaged Russia’s economy. 

 3 Henry VIII of England

Henry VIII of England
19
Famous As: King of England
Birthdate: June 28, 1491
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kent, England
Died: January 28, 1547

Henry VIII, the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, ruled England from 1509 to 1547. He married six times, leading to differences with the Roman Catholic Church, which prohibited divorce, thus forming the Anglican Church. The "father of the Royal Navy," he was known for his tyranny and extravagance.

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 4 Henry IV of France

Henry IV of France
12
Famous As: King of France (1589-1610)
Birthdate: December 13, 1553
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pau, France
Died: May 14, 1610

Henry IV of France reigned as the King of France from 2 August 1589 until his death on 14 May 1610. Remembered for his concern about the welfare of the people of France, Henry worked to eliminate corruption, promote agriculture, encourage education, and regularize state finance. The character of Ferdinand in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost was loosely based on Henry.

 5 King James I

King James I
7
Famous As: King of Scotland
Birthdate: June 19, 1566
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Died: March 27, 1625

King James I of England and Ireland was also the king of Scotland as James VI. Son of Mary, Queen of Scots, he believed in royal absolutism. He had major conflicts with the Parliament and its ever-growing powers, which eventually led to revolts against his successor, Charles I.

 6 Henry VII of England

Henry VII of England
23
Famous As: King of England
Birthdate: January 28, 1457
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom
Died: April 21, 1509

Henry VII of England played an important role in popularizing the House of Tudor by becoming the first monarch of the house; he ruled as the king of England from 1485 until his death in 1509. He is credited with several economic, diplomatic, and administrative initiatives.

 7 Philip II of Spain

Philip II of Spain
13
Famous As: King of Spain (1556-1598)
Birthdate: May 21, 1527
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Valladolid, Spain
Died: September 13, 1598
Philip II, son of Charles V, was a 16-th century king of Spain and Portugal. Also known as Philip the Prudent, he became the king of Ireland and England through his marriage to Mary I. Following Mary’s death, he attempted to overthrow Elizabeth I with his armada invasions, but failed.
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 8 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
10
Famous As: Former Holy Roman Emperor
Birthdate: February 24, 1500
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ghent
Died: September 21, 1558

Charles V served as the Holy Roman Emperor, King of Italy, and King of Germany from 1519 to 1556. From 1516 to 1556, he ruled as the King of Spain. His personal union of the American and European territories was the first collection of kingdoms that were described the empire on which the Sun never sets.

 9 Maharana Pratap

Maharana Pratap
18
Famous As: Ruler of Mewar
Birthdate: May 9, 1540
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kumbhalgarh
Died: January 19, 1597
Maharana Pratap, son of Maharana Udai Singh, ruled the Indian region of Mewar, in modern-day Rajasthan, from 1572 to 1597. Also known as “Mewari Rana,” he is best remembered for his exploits at the Battle of Haldighati, against the Mughal army of Akbar, led by Man Singh I of Amer.

 10 Oda Nobunaga

Oda Nobunaga
12
Famous As: 16th Century Japanese Feudal Lord
Birthdate: June 23, 1534
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nagoya Castle, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Died: June 21, 1582
Oda Nobunaga was a 16th-century Japanese leader of the Sengoku period. Known as the “Great Unifier" of Japan, he overthrew Ashikaga Yoshiaki and dissolved the Ashikaga Shogunate. He also crushed the Ikkō-ikki rebels and conquered Honshu. He was later ambushed and forced to commit “seppuku,” a form of ritual suicide.

 11 Akbar

Akbar
45
Famous As: Mughal Emperor
Birthdate: October 14, 1542
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Umarkot, Pakistan
Died: October 27, 1605

Akbar, the third Mughal emperor, played an important role in inculcating Persian culture into the Indian subcontinent. Akbar is considered one of the most important rulers of the Mughal Empire, an empire that seeped foreign ideas and culture into medieval India, the effects of which are still visible in modern-day India, especially in the northern parts of the country.

 12 Francis II of France

Francis II of France
13
Famous As: King of France (1559-1560)
Birthdate: January 19, 1544
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fontainebleau, France
Died: December 5, 1560
Francis II, son of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici, reigned as the king of France from 1559 to 1560. He took over the throne at age 15, after his father’s death. His reign witnessed conflicts between the Protestants and the Catholics, including coups such as the Amboise Conspiracy.

 13 Edward VI of England

Edward VI of England
20
Famous As: King of England
Birthdate: October 12, 1537
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hampton Court Palace, Molesey, United Kingdom
Died: July 6, 1553

Edward VI of England served as the King of England and Ireland from 1547 until his death at the age of 15 in 1553. Edward VI, who took interest in religious matters, allowed Protestantism to be established in England during his reign. His reign also witnessed the introduction of written works that formed the basis for practices of the English Church.

 14 Henry II of France

Henry II of France
10
Famous As: King of France (1547-1559)
Birthdate: March 31, 1519
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Died: July 10, 1559
Henry II, son of Francis I, reigned as the king of France from 1547 to 1559. Though he achieved the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis, which ended the Italian Wars, he died as a result of a would inflicted by Gabriel de Montgomery during a jousting event to celebrate the same.

 15 Joanna of Castile

Joanna of Castile
4
Famous As: Queen of Aragon
Birthdate: November 6, 1479
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toledo, Spain
Died: April 12, 1555
Joanna, the 16th-century queen of Castile and Aragon, also known as "Joanna the Mad," was declared insane and locked up at the Royal Convent of Santa Clara by her father. Following her father’s death, she nominally co-ruled the kingdom with her son, Charles I, but remained imprisoned till her death.

 16 Ferdinand II of Aragon

Ferdinand II of Aragon
6
Famous As: King of Aragon (1479-1516)
Birthdate: March 10, 1452
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sos del Rey Católico, Spain
Died: January 23, 1516

Ferdinand II of Aragon reigned as the King of Aragon from 1479 until his death in 1516. He sponsored Christopher Columbus' first voyage and therefore is credited with playing a key role in the discovery of the New World. He has been depicted in several films, including Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, and Assassin's Creed.

 17 Henry III of France

Henry III of France
10
Famous As: King of France (1574-1589)
Birthdate: September 19, 1551
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Château de Fontainebleau, France
Died: August 2, 1589

Henry III of France was the King of France from 1574 to 1589. He also served as the Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland from 1573 to 1575. Henry was known for his alleged sexual relationships with men. Although certain reports have claimed that the allegations were false, he is sometimes depicted in popular culture as being effeminate.

 18 Charles IX of France

Charles IX of France
11
Famous As: King of France (1560-1574)
Birthdate: June 27, 1550
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Died: May 30, 1574

Becoming the King of France at the age 10, Charles IX presided over a kingdom which was torn apart by the Wars of Religion between Protestants and Catholics. The infamous massacre of Huguenot leaders in Paris, instigated by his mother Catherine, left a traumatic effect on the mind of the ruler who succumbed to tuberculosis at the age of 23.

 19 James IV of Scotland

James IV of Scotland
6
Famous As: King
Birthdate: March 17, 1473
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Stirling Castle, Stirling,Scotland, United Kingdom
Died: September 9, 1513

James IV of Scotland reigned as the king of Scotland from 1488 until his death in 1513. Although his reign ended at the Battle of Flodden, where he was defeated, James is widely considered the most successful monarch of Scotland from the House of Stewart

 20 Selim I

Selim I
5
Famous As: ottoman Sultan
Birthdate: October 10, 1470
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Amasya, Ottoman Empire, Turkey
Died: September 22, 1520

Selim I reigned as the ninth Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Although his reign lasted only eight years, Selim I is credited for the vast expansion of the Ottoman Empire; his conquest of the entire Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt is widely regarded as his best achievement. A hardworking ruler, Selim was one of the most respected emperors of the Empire.

 21 Francis I of France

Francis I of France
11
Famous As: King of France
Birthdate: September 12, 1494
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Royal Castle of Cognac, Cognac, France
Died: March 31, 1547

Francis I, son of Charles, Count of Angoulême, was the king of France from 1515 to 1547. He was an art connoisseur and invited Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci to his court. His contribution to the promotion of French language earned him the title Father and Restorer of Letters.

 22 Jahangir

Jahangir
21
Famous As: Mughal Emperor
Birthdate: August 31, 1569
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fatehpur Sikri
Died: November 8, 1627
Prince Salim, son of Mughal emperor Akbar, ruled as Emperor Jahangir from 1605 to 1627. Jahangir was a patron of the arts and architecture, and focused on expansion through war. Fictional accounts of his relationship with a courtesan named Anarkali were later portrayed in literature and movies. 

 23 James V of Scotland

James V of Scotland
12
Famous As: Former King of Scotland
Birthdate: April 10, 1512
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Linlithgow Palace, Linlithgow, United Kingdom
Died: December 14, 1542
James V was the son of Scottish King James IV and Margaret Tudor, Henry VII's daughter. He ruled Scotland from 1513 till his death following his loss at the Battle of Solway Moss. His daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, succeeded him, supported by regents, when she was 6 days old.

 24 Shah Jahan

Shah Jahan
24
Famous As: Mughal Emperor
Birthdate: January 5, 1592
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lahore
Died: February 1, 1666

Shah Jahan, emperor Jahangir’s son, ruled as the fifth Mughal emperor, from 1628 to 1658. He is known for commissioning the Taj Mahal for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, among other contributions to Mughal architecture. He was put under house arrest by his son, Aurangzeb, during his final years.

 25 Murad III

Murad III
4
Famous As: Ottoman Sultan
Birthdate: July 4, 1546
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Manisa, Turkey
Died: December 31, 1595
Murad III, son of Şehzade Selim and Nurbanu Sultan, was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1574 to 1595. He was dominated by his mother and his harem, particularly by his favorite wife, Safiye Sultan. He also fought wars with the Safavid Empire and was an art connoisseur.

 26 Humayun

Humayun
19
Famous As: Mughal Emperor
Birthdate: March 17, 1508
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kabul
Died: January 27, 1556

Humayun was the second emperor of the Mughal Empire, which ruled over South Asia for nearly two centuries. At the time of his demise, the empire spanned nearly one million square kilometers. The expansion of the empire under Humayun’s reign helped his son Akbar establish a substantial legacy of his own.

 27 Philip III of Spain

Philip III of Spain
7
Famous As: King of Spain (1598-1621)
Birthdate: April 14, 1578
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: March 31, 1621

Philip III of Spain was the king of Spain from 1598 to 1621. He also reigned over Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia as Philip II. He was the son of Philip II of Spain and Anna of Austria. He was believed to be a weak man, who relied too much on his corrupt chief minister, the Duke of Lerma.

 28 Atahualpa

Atahualpa
3
Famous As: Last Inca Emperor
Birthdate: 1502 AD
Birthplace: Inca Empire
Died: July 26, 1533

Atahualpa was the last Inca Emperor. He reigned for a short time between 1532 and 1533 before the Spanish conquest ended his reign. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro captured Atahualpa and killed him after a while. Even though many brave warriors led the Inca resistance against the invading Spaniards, they could not stop the empire from disintegrating.

 29 Selim II

Selim II
5
Famous As: Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Birthdate: May 28, 1524
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Topkapi Palace Museum, İstanbul, Turkey
Died: December 15, 1574

Known as a generous Ottoman monarch, Selim II was the successor of the empire’s longest-reigning sultan, Suleiman I. His reign saw his navy decisively defeated by the Holy League in the Battle of Lepanto before the Ottomans regained control of Tunis from Spain. Selim, who was married to Nurbanu Sultan, was noted for helping his subjects during a severe famine.

 30 Ismail I

Ismail I
8
Famous As: sovereign, poet, writer
Birthdate: July 17, 1487
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ardabil
Died: May 23, 1524

 31 Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor

Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 18, 1552
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: January 20, 1612

Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor reigned as the King of the Romans and as the King in Germany between 1576 and 1612. Best remembered as an intellectual aficionado of occult arts, Rudolf is often seen as the founding father of the Scientific Revolution. He devoted his time to astrology and alchemy in an attempt to find the Philosopher's Stone.

 32 Ivan III of Russia

Ivan III of Russia
3
Famous As: Grand Prince of Moscow
Birthdate: January 22, 1440
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: October 27, 1505

Ivan III of Russia was a Grand Prince of Moscow and Grand Prince of all Rus'. He initially served as the co-ruler and regent for his blind father, Vasily II, before officially occupying the throne. He vastly expanded his kingdom and  laid the foundations of the Russian state. His reign—lasting 43 years—was one of the longests in Russian history.

 33 Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor

Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Famous As: Holy Roman Emperor
Birthdate: July 9, 1578
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Died: February 15, 1637

Ferdinand II was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1619 to1637. He was a member of the House of Habsburg and the son of Archduke Charles II of Inner Austria and Maria of Bavaria. A zealous Catholic, he wanted to restore the Catholic Church as the only religion in the empire, a move that earned him the ire of Protestant groups. 

 34 Francis, Duke of Anjou

Francis, Duke of Anjou
3
Famous As: Duke
Birthdate: March 18, 1555
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fontainebleau, France
Died: June 10, 1584

 35 Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor

Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Famous As: Holy Roman Emperor
Birthdate: July 31, 1527
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: October 12, 1576

Maximilian II was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1564 until his death in 1576.  A member of the Austrian House of Habsburg, he was the eldest son of the Habsburg archduke Ferdinand I and Anne of Bohemia and Hungary. He was the nephew of Emperor Charles V. As the king, he adopted a policy of religious neutrality.

 36 Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor

Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
7
Famous As: Holy Roman Emperor (1556-1564)
Birthdate: March 10, 1503
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Alcala de Henares, Spain
Died: July 25, 1564
“Let justice be done, though the world perish” was the motto that Roman Emperor Ferdinand I abided by. His reign was known for his clashes with the Ottomans. His Peace of Augsburg ended religious issues in Germany. An art connoisseur, he invited many architects and humanists to his kingdom.

 37 Louis, Prince of Conde

Louis, Prince of Conde
5
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: May 7, 1530
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vendôme, France
Died: March 13, 1569

 38 Gustav I of Sweden

Gustav I of Sweden
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: May 12, 1496
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rydboholm Castle, Uppland or Lindholmen, Uppland, Sweden
Died: September 29, 1560

Gustav I of Sweden reigned as the king of Sweden from 1523 to 1560. Gustav was an energetic administrator who worked tirelessly to bring about a reformation in Sweden. He is credited with replacing medieval Sweden's elective monarchy with a hereditary monarchy, thus helping three of his sons become the rulers of Sweden at different points in history.

 39 Cosimo I

Cosimo I
3
Famous As: Duke of Florence and Tuscany
Birthdate: June 12, 1519
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: April 21, 1574

 40 Michael I of Russia

Michael I of Russia
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1596
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: July 12, 1645

 41 Manuel I of Portugal

Manuel I of Portugal
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: May 31, 1469
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Alcochete, Portugal
Died: December 13, 1521

 42 Christian IV of Denmark

Christian IV of Denmark
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: April 12, 1577
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød, Denmark
Died: February 28, 1648

 43 Hong Taiji

Hong Taiji
3
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: November 28, 1592
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Manchuria, China
Died: September 21, 1643

Hong Taiji reigned as the khan of the Later Jin from 1626 to 1636. He is credited with establishing the Qing dynasty and reigned as its emperor from 1636 to 1643. He also played a major role in consolidating the empire founded by his father Nurhaci. Over the years, Hong Taiji has been portrayed in many TV series and films.

 44 Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor

Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Birthdate: February 24, 1557
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: March 20, 1619

Apart from serving as the Holy Roman Emperor, Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor also served as the Archduke of Austria, King of Croatia and Hungary, and King of Bohemia between 1612 and 1619. His reign resulted in the Bohemian Revolt, which was the initial theatre of the famous Thirty Years War.

 45 Muhammad XII of Granada

Muhammad XII of Granada
6
Famous As: Naṣrid ruler
Birthdate: 1460 AD
Birthplace: Alhambra, Granada, Spain
Died: 1533 AD

 46 Toyotomi Hideyori

Toyotomi Hideyori
3
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: September 8, 1593
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Japan
Died: June 4, 1615

The son of Japanese samurai and the second Great Unifier of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Toyotomi Hideyori is remembered in Japanese history for his suicide at age 21 after being tricked by Ieyasu in the summer Siege of Osaka. Some even believe he had escaped, as his corpse was never found.  

 47 Alessandro de' Medici, Duke of Florence

Alessandro de' Medici, Duke of Florence
3
Famous As: Duke
Birthdate: July 22, 1510
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 6, 1537

 48 Bohdan Khmelnytsky

Bohdan Khmelnytsky
3
Famous As: Cossack
Birthdate: 1595 AD
Birthplace: Subotiv, Ukraine
Died: August 6, 1657

 49 Stephen Báthory

Stephen Báthory
2
Famous As: King
Birthdate: September 27, 1533
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Șimleu Silvaniei, Romania
Died: December 12, 1586

 50 Isabella Clara Eugenia

Isabella Clara Eugenia
2
Famous As: Sovereign
Birthdate: August 12, 1566
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Palacio de Valsaín, Segovia, Spain
Died: December 1, 1633