Famous Chinese Historical Personalities

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 1 
Qin Shi Huang
(King of Qin (221-210BC))

Qin Shi Huang
16
Birthdate: February 18, 0259
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: 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 
Wu Zetian
(Chinese Empress)

Wu Zetian
14
Birthdate: February 17, 0624
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lizhou, Tang Dynasty
Died: December 16, 0705

Wu Zetian was a Chinese empress regnant who ruled the Zhou dynasty from 690 to 705. She is the only female monarch in Chinese history. Before ruling the Zhou dynasty, Wu Zetian had served as the de facto ruler of China from 665 to 690. Under her political and military leadership, the Chinese empire expanded beyond its former territorial limits.

 3 
Empress Dowager Cixi
(Chinese Empress Dowager)

Empress Dowager Cixi
11
Birthdate: November 29, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: November 15, 1908

Empress Dowager Cixi was a Chinese regent and empress dowager. From 1861 to 1908, Cixi served as the de facto supreme ruler of the Qing dynasty. She is credited with overseeing a series of moderate reforms called the Tongzhi Restoration, which helped the regime survive for a long period of time. She also supported military and technological reforms.  

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 4 
Qianlong Emperor
(Emperor of China)

Qianlong Emperor
9
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.

 5 
Puyi
(Emperor of China (1908-12))

Puyi
15
Birthdate: February 7, 1906
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: 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.

 6 
Kangxi Emperor
(Emperor of China)

Kangxi Emperor
6
Birthdate: May 4, 1654
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: 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.

 7 
Emperor Wu of Han
(Emperor of China)

Emperor Wu of Han
5
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.
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 8 
Liu Bei
(Founder of the Chinese Shu Han Dynasty)

Liu Bei
5
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.

 9 
Yongle Emperor
(Emperor of the Ming dynasty (1402-1424))

Yongle Emperor
6
Birthdate: May 1, 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.

 10 
Yongzheng
(Emperor of China)

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

Yongzheng reigned over the Qing dynasty as its fourth Emperor from 1722 to 1735. He was also the third Qing emperor to reign over the Eighteen Provinces. Remembered for his hard-working nature, Yongzheng's most prominent objective was to come up with an effective government at minimum expense. Yongzheng, who cracked down on corruption, is credited with forming the Grand Council.

 11 

Yellow Emperor
5
Birthdate: 2711 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 2598 AD

The Chinese Yellow Emperor, also known as Huangdi, was more of a mythological figure and a Daoist patron saint. Known for defeating barbarians, he is also credited with introducing wooden houses, the bow and arrow, the lunar calendar, and the art of writing. Following his death, he became an immortal.

 12 
Temür Khan
(Emperor)

Temür Khan
8
Birthdate: October 15, 1265
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Karakorum
Died: February 10, 1307

Yuan dynasty Chinese emperor Temür Khan mostly protected the northwestern border of his country and countered rebellion in South China and Korea. Posthumously, he was named Chengzong, or Accomplished Ancestor. He was the grandson of the famed Kublai Khan, the founder of the Yuan dynasty.

Emperor Taizong of Tang
3
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 
Guangxu Emperor
(Emperor of China)

Guangxu Emperor
4
Birthdate: August 14, 1871
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Prince Chun Mansion, Beijing, China
Died: November 14, 1908

Guangxu Emperor reigned over the Qing dynasty from 1875 to 1908. He was also the ninth Qing emperor to reign over the Eighteen Provinces or China proper. He is best remembered for initiating the Hundred Days' Reform, which was brought to an end by Empress Dowager Cixi in 1898. Subsequently, Guangxu Emperor lost power and was killed in 1908.

 15 
Jiaqing
(Emperor)

Jiaqing
5
Birthdate: November 13, 1760
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Yuanmingyuan Park, Beijing, China
Died: September 2, 1820

Jiaqing served as the sixth emperor of the Qing dynasty from 1796 to 1820. He was also the fifth Qing emperor to reign over the Eighteen Provinces. Jiaqing's reign is remembered for the prosecution of a corrupt official named Heshen. He made several attempts to curb the smuggling of opium into his dynasty and to restore order within the empire.

 16 
Hongwu Emperor
(Emperor of the Ming dynasty (1368-98))

Hongwu Emperor
10
Birthdate: October 21, 1328
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hao Prefecture
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.

 17 
Shunzhi Emperor
(Emperor of China)

Shunzhi Emperor
3
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.

 18 

Xianfeng Emperor
5
Birthdate: July 17, 1831
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yuanmingyuan Park, Beijing, China
Died: August 22, 1861

Qing dynasty Chinese emperor Xianfeng not just faced the invasion of the European powers but also had to deal with the internal Taiping Rebellion. In his bid to prevent the disintegration of his empire, he relied on the militia. He eventually fled his city when the Anglo-French forces advanced into it.

 19 
Tongzhi Emperor
(Emperor of Qing dynasty)

Tongzhi Emperor
5
Birthdate: April 27, 1856
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Forbidden City, Beijing, China
Died: January 12, 1875

Tongzhi Emperor was the Emperor of the Qing dynasty who reigned from 1861 to 1875. The predecessor of Xianfeng Emperor, Tongzhi was the eighth Qing emperor to reign over the Eighteen Provinces. Tongzhi was a puppet emperor whose reign was overshadowed by the influence of his mother Empress Dowager Cixi over state affairs.

 20 
Daoguang Emperor
(Emperor of China)

Daoguang Emperor
4
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.    

 21 
Hong Taiji
(Emperor)

Hong Taiji
5
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.

 22 
Togon-temür
(Emperor)

Togon-temür
4
Birthdate: May 25, 1320
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: China
Died: May 23, 1370

Togon-temür was the Emperor of the Yuan dynasty from 1333 to 1368. During his reign, the Red Turban Rebellion caused the fall of the Yuan dynasty, which led to the establishment of the Ming dynasty. Togon-temür is also regarded as the last emperor of the famous Mongol Empire.

 23 
Sun Quan
(King)

Sun Quan
3
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.

 24 

Empress Xiaoxianchun
4
Birthdate: March 28, 1712
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: April 8, 1748

 25 
Cao Pi
(Emperor)

Cao Pi
3
Birthdate: 0187 AD
Birthplace: Xiao County, Suzhou, China
Died: June 29, 0226

 26 
Koxinga
(Prince)

Koxinga
4
Birthdate: August 27, 1624
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hirado, Hizen Province, Japan
Died: June 23, 1662

Koxinga was a Ming loyalist who opposed and resisted the Manchu invasion of China. In 1661, he established the House of Koxinga after defeating the Dutch military camp in Taiwan. He then ruled the Kingdom of Tungning from 1661 to 1662. Today, Koxinga is considered a deity in coastal China and is worshiped in places like Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

 27 
Shennong
(King)

Shennong
3
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.

 28 

Chagatai Khan
4
Birthdate: 1183 AD
Birthplace: China
Died: July 1, 1242

 29 
Kaidu
(Political leader)

Kaidu
4
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.

Emperor Xuanzong of Tang
4
Birthdate: September 8, 0685
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Luoyang, China
Died: May 3, 0762

Chinese Tang dynasty emperor Xuanzong took over the reins of his kingdom after his father, Ruizong, abdicated. However, his sister made sure Ruizong stayed as a regent. Xuanzong developed the canal system and finances of his empire initially but later relied too much on his court officials, leading to a rebellion.

 31 
Wanli Emperor
(Emperor)

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

 32 
Wang Mang
(Emperor)

Wang Mang
2
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.

 33 
Li Zicheng
(Chinese Rebel Leader)

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

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

 35 

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

 36 
Emperor Yang of Sui
(Emperor of China’s Sui dynasty)

Emperor Yang of Sui
3
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.

Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan
3
Birthdate: April 9, 1285
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Yanqing District, Beijing, China
Died: March 1, 1320

 38 
Emperor Guangwu of Han
(Emperor of Han dynasty)

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

 39 
Jiajing
(Emperor)

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

 40 

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

 41 
Fu Hao
(Military general)

Fu Hao
5
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: China
Died: 1200 AD

Fu Hao, or Lady Hao, the legendary figure of the Shang dynasty, was a high priestess and the only female military general of her time. Known for her successful battle against the Tu-Fang tribe, she was buried with valuables and 16 people who would be her servants in the afterlife.

 42 
Zhengde
(Emperor)

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

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

 44 
Empress Lü
(Empress of Han dynasty)

Empress Lü
2
Birthdate: 0241 AD
Birthplace: China
Died: August 18, 0180

 45 
Emperor Huizong of Song
(Fine art artist)

Emperor Huizong of Song
2
Birthdate: November 2, 1082
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: China
Died: June 4, 1135

 46 
Liang Qichao
(Historian)

Liang Qichao
2
Birthdate: February 23, 1873
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Xinhui, China
Died: January 19, 1929

Chinese scholar Liang Qichao had fled to Japan after the Hundred Days' Reform was halted. He returned to China after a 14-year exile, with the formation of the Republic of China. He later served as a professor. He is remembered for his Chinese translations of Western and Japanese books.

 47 

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

 48 

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

 49 
Ruizong
(Emperor of Tang dynasty)

Ruizong
2
Birthdate: June 22, 0662
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chang'an
Died: July 13, 0716

 50 

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