Chinese Emperor Timeline

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  • c. 1050 BCE
    King Wen of Zhou is the first Chinese ruler to claim a Mandate of Heaven.
  • 221 BCE
    King Ying Zheng assumes the title Shi Huangdi, First Emperor of China. Founds Qin Dynasty.
  • 210 BCE
    First Emperor of China Shi Huangdi dies, buried with army of 8,000 terracotta warriors in palace tomb.
  • 202 BCE
    Liu Bang is proclaimed emperor of China after defeating the rival general Xiang Yu.
  • Mar 202 BCE
    Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang) becomes the first Han ruler.
  • 141 BCE - 87 BCE
    Reign of Emperor Wu (Wu the Great), the most effective and influential of the Han monarchs.
  • 9 CE
    Wang Mang takes control of the empire by usurping the throne and proclaiming his innovative dynasty called Xin ("new").
  • 168 CE - 189 CE
    Ling is emperor in China.
  • 190 CE
    Dong Zhou seized control of the Chinese imperial capital and placed a child, Liu Xie, as the new ruler.
  • 581 CE - 601 CE
    Reign of Wen (aka Wendi), first Sui emperor in China.
  • 598 CE - 649 CE
    Life of Li-Shimin, Emperor Taizong of China.
  • 604 CE - 618 CE
    Reign of Yang (aka Yangdi), second and last Sui emperor in China.
  • 618 CE - 626 CE
    Reign of Gaozu, 1st Emperor of Tang Dynasty in China.
  • 626 CE - 649 CE
    Reign of Emperor Taizong in China.
  • 649 CE - 683 CE
    Reign of Emperor Gaozong in China.
  • 683 CE - 704 CE
    Reign of Empress Wu Zetian, only female monarch of China.
  • 712 CE - 756 CE
    Reign of Xuanzong, 7th emperor of the Tang Dynasty in China.
  • 756 CE
    Chinese emperor Xuanzong abdicates in favor of his son Suzong.
  • 762 CE
    Death of Chinese emperor Xuanzong.
  • 840 CE - 846 CE
    Reign of Chinese emperor Wuzong of the Tang dynasty.
  • 960 CE - 976 CE
    Reign of Emperor Taizu, founder of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 976 CE - 997 CE
    Reign of Emperor Taizong of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 997 CE - 1022 CE
    Reign of Emperor Zhenzong of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 1022 CE - 1063 CE
    Reign of Emperor Renzong of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 1063 CE - 1067 CE
    Reign of Emperor Yingzong of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 1067 CE - 1085 CE
    Reign of Emperor Shenzong of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 1085 CE - 1100 CE
    Reign of Emperor Zhizong of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 1100 CE - 1126 CE
    Reign of Emperor Huizong of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 1127 CE - 1162 CE
    Reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 1162 CE - 1189 CE
    Reign of Emperor Xiaozong of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 1189 CE - 1194 CE
    Reign of Emperor Guangzong of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 1194 CE - 1224 CE
    Reign of Emperor Ningzong of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 1224 CE - 1264 CE
    Reign of Emperor Lizong of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 1264 CE - 1274 CE
    Reign of Emperor Duzong of the Song dynasty in China.
  • 1274 CE - 1275 CE
    Reign of Emperor Gongzong of the Song dynasty in southern China.
  • 1275 CE - 1277 CE
    Reign of Emperor Duanzong of the Song dynasty in southern China.
  • 1278 CE - 1279 CE
    Reign of Emperor Dibing of the Song dynasty in southern China.
  • 1368 CE - 1398 CE
    Reign of the Hongwu Emperor, founder of the Ming Dynasty in China.
  • 1368 CE - 1644 CE
    Reign of the Ming Dynasty in China.
  • 1398 CE - 1402 CE
    Reign of the Jianwen Emperor of the Chinese Ming Dynasty.
  • 1403 CE - 1424 CE
    Reign of the Yongle Emperor (aka Chengzu) of the Ming Dynasty.
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