Famous Chinese Emperors & Kings

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 1 Qin Shi Huang

Qin Shi Huang.
12
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0259 BC
Birthplace: Handan, China
Died: 0210 BC

Qin Shi Huang is credited with founding the Qin dynasty, the first dynasty of Imperial China. He reigned as the first emperor of a unified China from 221 BC to 210 BC. Under his rule, the Chinese state expanded greatly and he also enacted major political and economic reforms. His life and work inspired several films like The Emperor's Shadow.

 2 Qianlong Emperor

Qianlong Emperor.
8
Famous As: Emperor of China
Birthdate: September 25, 1711
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lama Temple, Beijing, China
Died: February 7, 1799
The Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty was the fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor and reigned over China from 1735 to 1796. Known for the economic prosperity and military prowess his kingdom gained under his rule, he continued to indirectly rule as the Retired Emperor even after his abdication.
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 3 Puyi

Puyi.
13
Famous As: Last Emperor of China
Birthdate: February 7, 1906
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Prince Chun Mansion, Beijing, China
Died: October 17, 1967

Puyi served as the final emperor of China's last imperial dynasty, The Qing dynasty. After Manchuria was invaded by Japan, Puyi became a puppet at the hands of the Japanese and was chosen as the emperor of the puppet state of Manchukuo. He then signed many edicts, given to him by the Japanese, including the one that made slavery legal.

 4 Kangxi Emperor

Kangxi Emperor.
5
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: May 4, 1654
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Forbidden City, Beijing, China
Died: December 20, 1722
Son of emperor Shunzhi and empress Xiaokang, Xuanye, or the Kangxi Emperor, was the Qing dynasty’s third emperor. Apart from signing the Treaty of Nerchinsk with Russia, he crushed the revolt of the three warlords, known as the Rebellion of Wu Sangui. He was also known to be a workaholic.

 5 Yongle Emperor

Yongle Emperor.
4
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: May 2, 1360
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nanjing, China
Died: August 12, 1424

Yongle Emperor reigned as the third emperor of the Ming dynasty from 1402 until his death in 1424. He is credited with preserving Chinese culture by constructing monuments like the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, which was counted among the wonders of the world until its destruction in 1856. He is considered one of the most influential rulers in Chinese history.

 6 Emperor Wu of Han

Emperor Wu of Han.
4
Famous As: Emperor of China
Birthdate: June 30, 0156
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chang'an
Died: March 29, 0087
Emperor Wu of Han took over the reins of his kingdom at 15. He introduced Confucian academies to test the efficiency of candidates for government posts, selecting only those who cleared an exam on Confucian political philosophy. He also developed trade along the Silk Road but turned dictatorial later.

 7 Liu Bei

Liu Bei.
5
Famous As: Founder of the Chinese Shu Han Dynasty
Birthdate: 0161 AD
Birthplace: Zhuozhou, Baoding, China
Died: June 10, 0223

Liu Bei was a warlord in the Eastern Han dynasty. He is credited with founding the state of Shu Han. Liu Bei went on to reign as the emperor of Shu Han from 221 until his death in 223. Liu Bei is best remembered for his remarkable skills as a leader and politician. His life has inspired several TV series.

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 8 Temür Khan

Temür Khan
7
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: October 15, 1265
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Karakorum
Died: February 10, 1307

 9 Yellow Emperor

Yellow Emperor
5
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Zhengzhou
Died: 2598 BC

 10 Yongzheng

Yongzheng
5
Famous As: Emperor of China
Birthdate: December 13, 1678
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: October 8, 1735

 11 Guangxu Emperor

Guangxu Emperor
3
Famous As: Emperor of China
Birthdate: August 14, 1871
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Prince Chun Mansion, Beijing, China
Died: November 14, 1908

 12 Jiaqing

Jiaqing
3
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: November 13, 1760
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Yuanmingyuan Park, Beijing, China
Died: September 2, 1820

 13 Emperor Taizong of Tang

Emperor Taizong of Tang.
3
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: January 28, 0598
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wugong County, Xianyang, China
Died: July 10, 0649

Emperor Taizong of Tang was the second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China. He ruled for over two decades from 626 to 649. He is considered to be one of the greatest emperors in China's history. Under his reign, Tang China flourished. The emperor was a scholar of logic and scientific reason. He was married to Empress Zhangsun. 

 14 Hongwu Emperor

Hongwu Emperor.
10
Famous As: Emperor of China
Birthdate: October 21, 1328
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Haozhou, Henan Jiangbei province, Yuan dynasty (present-day Fengyang, Anhui)
Died: June 24, 1398

Hongwu Emperor is credited with founding the Ming dynasty, which ruled over China from 1368 to 1644. He reigned as the first emperor of the dynasty from 1368 until his death in 1398. Under his reign, China witnessed many unprecedented political reforms. He is also credited with establishing the famous secret police organization, the Embroidered Uniform Guard.

 15 Tongzhi Emperor

Tongzhi Emperor
3
Famous As: Emperor of Qing dynasty
Birthdate: April 27, 1856
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Forbidden City, Beijing, China
Died: January 12, 1875

 16 Daoguang Emperor

Daoguang Emperor
3
Famous As: Emperor of China
Birthdate: September 16, 1782
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Forbidden City, Beijing, China
Died: February 25, 1850

Daoguang Emperor reigned as the emperor of the Qing dynasty from 1820 to 1850. His reign not only witnessed the First Opium War but also the commencement of the Taiping Rebellion. Over the years, he has been portrayed by several actors in TV series, such as The Rise and Fall of Qing Dynasty, Sigh of His Highness, and Succession War.    

 17 Xianfeng Emperor

Xianfeng Emperor
3
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: July 17, 1831
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yuanmingyuan Park, Beijing, China
Died: August 22, 1861

 18 Togon-temür

Togon-temür
3
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: May 25, 1320
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: China
Died: May 23, 1370

 19 Emperor Xuanzong of Tang

Emperor Xuanzong of Tang
3
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: September 8, 0685
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Luoyang, China
Died: May 3, 0762

 20 Shunzhi Emperor

Shunzhi Emperor
3
Famous As: Emperor of China
Birthdate: March 15, 1638
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mukden Palace, Shenyang, China
Died: February 5, 1661

Shunzhi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty was the first Qing ruler of China proper. Shunzhi relied on Buddhist priests and eunuch officials. While some believe he had died of smallpox, others state he had retired to a monastery to cope with the death of his favorite consort.

 21 Sun Quan

Sun Quan
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0182 AD
Birthplace: Xiapi County, Xu Province, Han Empire
Died: May 21, 0252

Sun Quan was the founder of Wu during the tripartite division of China. He went on to reign as the emperor of Eastern Wu from 229 to 252 AD. Today, he is known as a playable character in popular video games, such as the Warriors Orochi video game series. He has also been portrayed in TV series like Three Kingdoms.

 22 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.

 23 Cao Pi

Cao Pi
3
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 0187 AD
Birthplace: Xiao County, Suzhou, Anhui
Died: June 29, 0226

 24 Koxinga

Koxinga
3
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: August 27, 1624
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hirado, Hizen Province, Japan
Died: June 23, 1662

 25 Chagatai Khan

Chagatai Khan
3
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: 1183 AD
Birthplace: China
Died: July 1, 1242

 26 Shennong

Shennong
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0000 BC

Legends state that Shennong, or the Divine Farmer, who was a Chinese mythological figure, was born with the body of a man and the head of a bull, and had learned to speak by 3 days of his birth. He revolutionized agricultural methods and made a catalogue of medicinal plants.

 27 Kaidu

Kaidu
3
Famous As: Political leader
Birthdate: 1235 AD
Birthplace: Mongol Empire, China
Died: 1301 AD

Kaidu, the great-grandson of Genghis Khan, emerged as the main opposition to his cousin Kublai Khan’s reign over the Mongol empire. Kaidu’s war against Kublai’s empire didn’t end with Kublai’s death, and continued for almost 30 years. He has found mention in literary works such as The Journeyer.

 28 Wanli Emperor

Wanli Emperor
4
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: September 4, 1563
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: August 18, 1620

 29 Wang Mang

Wang Mang
2
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 0045 BC
Birthplace: Wei Commandery
Died: October 6, 0023

Known as Shehuangdi, or The Usurper Emperor, 1st-century Chinese monarch Wang Mang was initially a Han dynasty official. He seized the Chinese throne from the Liu family of the Han dynasty, to form his own short-lived reign, also known as the Xin dynasty. He was later overthrown.

 30 Li Zicheng

Li Zicheng
2
Famous As: Chinese Rebel Leader
Birthdate: September 22, 1606
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Yan'an, China
Died: 1644 AD

 31 Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan

Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan
2
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: April 9, 1285
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Yanqing District, Beijing, China
Died: March 1, 1320

 32 Emperor Yingzong of Ming

Emperor Yingzong of Ming
2
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: November 29, 1427
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: February 23, 1464

 33 King Zhou of Shang

King Zhou of Shang
2
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 1105 AD
Birthplace: China
Died: 1046 AD

 34 Emperor Yang of Sui

Emperor Yang of Sui.
2
Famous As: Emperor of China’s Sui dynasty
Birthdate: 0569 AD
Birthplace: Daxing District, Beijing, China
Died: April 11, 0618

Emperor Yang of Sui is remembered for constructing countless canals and palaces in China during his reign. He apparently took over the throne after executing his father and brother. Though a patron of the arts, he killed two poets when he found they wrote better poetry than him.

 35 King Wu of Zhou

King Wu of Zhou
2
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 1043 AD

 36 Jiajing

Jiajing
2
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: September 16, 1507
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: January 23, 1567

 37 Emperor Guangwu of Han

Emperor Guangwu of Han
2
Famous As: Emperor of Han dynasty
Birthdate: January 15, 0005
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Luoyang, China
Died: March 29, 0057

 38 Jianwen Emperor

Jianwen Emperor
2
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: December 5, 1377
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: China
Died: July 13, 1402

 39 Zhengde

Zhengde
2
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: October 27, 1491
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: April 20, 1521

 40 Emperor Huizong of Song

Emperor Huizong of Song
2
Famous As: Fine art artist
Birthdate: November 2, 1082
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: China
Died: June 4, 1135

 41 Emperor Renzong of Song

Emperor Renzong of Song
2
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: May 30, 1010
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: China
Died: April 30, 1063

 42 Jingtai Emperor

Jingtai Emperor
2
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: September 21, 1428
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: March 14, 1457

 43 Ruizong

Ruizong
2
Famous As: Emperor of Tang dynasty
Birthdate: June 22, 0662
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chang'an
Died: July 13, 0716

 44 Emperor Jing of Han

Emperor Jing of Han
2
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 0188 AD
Birthplace: Taiyuan, China
Died: March 9, 0141

 45 Tianqi Emperor

Tianqi Emperor
2
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: December 23, 1605
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: China
Died: September 30, 1627

 46 Songtsen Gampo

Songtsen Gampo
2
Famous As: Tibetan King
Birthdate: 0617 AD
Birthplace: Maizhokunggar County, Lhasa, China
Died: 0649 AD

 47 King Wen of Zhou

King Wen of Zhou
2
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 1152 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 1050 AD

 48 Longqing Emperor

Longqing Emperor
1
Famous As: Emperor of Ming dynasty
Birthdate: March 4, 1537
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: China
Died: July 5, 1572

 49 Emperor Xuan of Han

Emperor Xuan of Han
1
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: 0091 AD
Birthplace: Chang'an, China
Died: 0048 AD

 50 Emperor Dezong of Tang

Emperor Dezong of Tang
1
Famous As: Emperor of Tang Dynasty
Birthdate: May 27, 0742
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: China
Died: February 25, 0805