List of Chinese monarchs

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The following list of Chinese monarchs is in no way inclusive. From the Shang Dynasty to the Qin Dynasty, rulers usually held the title "King" (Chinese: 王 Wáng). With the division of China into separate Warring States, this title had become so common that the unifier of China, the first Qin Emperor Qin Shi Huang created a new title for himself, that of "Emperor" (皇帝 Huángdì). This title of Emperor of China continued to be used for the remainder of China's Imperial history, right down to the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912. While many other monarchs existed in and around China throughout its history, this list covers only those with a quasi-legitimate claim to the majority of China, or those who have traditionally been named in king-lists.

Chinese monarchs were known by many different names, and how they should be identified is often confusing. Sometimes the same emperor is commonly known by two or three separate names, or the same name is used by emperors of different dynasties. The tables below do not necessarily include all of an emperor's names – for example, posthumous names could run to more than twenty characters and were rarely used in historical writing – but, where possible, the most commonly used name or naming convention has been indicated.

These tables may not necessarily represent the most recently updated information on Chinese monarchs; please check the page for the relevant dynasty for possible additional information.

Follow these links to see how they are related:

Chinese emperors family tree (ancient)Chinese emperors family tree (early)Chinese emperors family tree (middle)Chinese emperors family tree (late)


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