Emperor of China

emperoremperors of ChinaChinese emperorSon of HeavenemperorsChinese emperorsEmperor ofTianziEmpress Regnanthuangdi
Emperor of China (皇帝; realized as Qin Shi Huáng dì in Standard Chinese) is the title given the monarch of China during the imperial period of Chinese history.wikipedia
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Monarch

kingSovereignkings
Emperor of China (皇帝; realized as Qin Shi Huáng dì in Standard Chinese) is the title given the monarch of China during the imperial period of Chinese history.
Monarchs, as such, bear a variety of titles – king or queen, prince or princess (e.g., Sovereign Prince of Monaco), emperor or empress (e.g., Emperor of China, Emperor of Ethiopia, Emperor of Japan, Emperor of India), archduke, duke or grand duke (e.g., Grand Duke of Luxembourg), emir (e.g., Emir of Qatar), sultan (e.g., Sultan of Oman), or pharaoh.

Son of Heaven

Tian ZiSon of Goddirect descendants
In traditional Chinese political theory, the Emperor was considered the Son of Heaven and the autocrat of All under Heaven.
Son of Heaven, or Tianzi, was the sacred imperial title of the Chinese emperor.

Han dynasty

Eastern Han dynastyHanWestern Han dynasty
Under the Han dynasty, Confucianism replaced Legalism as the official political theory and succession theoretically followed agnatic primogeniture.
The emperor was at the pinnacle of Han society.

Scholar-official

literatischolar-bureaucratsscholar-bureaucrat
The power of the emperor was also often limited by the imperial bureaucracy staffed by scholar-officials and eunuchs and by filial obligations to surviving parents and to dynastic traditions, such as those detailed in the Ming dynasty's Ancestral Instructions.
Scholar-officials, also known as Literati, Scholar-gentlemen or Scholar-bureaucrats were politicians and government officials appointed by the emperor of China to perform day-to-day political duties from the Han dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty in 1912, China's last imperial dynasty.

Chinese nobility

nobilitywang1st-rank princely peerage for imperial son of Ming Dynasty
During the Zhou dynasty, Chinese feudal rulers with power over their particular fiefdoms were called gong but, as the power of the Shang and Zhou kings (, mod.  wang) waned, the dukes began to usurp that title for themselves.
Although formally Tianzi, "The Son of Heaven," the power of the Chinese emperor varied between different emperors and different dynasties, with some emperors being absolute rulers and others being figureheads with actual power in the hands of court factions, eunuchs, the bureaucracy or noble families.

Chinese sovereign

KingKing of Chinasovereign ruler
During the Zhou dynasty, Chinese feudal rulers with power over their particular fiefdoms were called gong but, as the power of the Shang and Zhou kings (, mod.  wang) waned, the dukes began to usurp that title for themselves.
The character was reserved for mythological rulers until the first emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huang), who created a new title Huangdi (皇帝 in pinyin: huáng dì) for himself in 221 BCE, which is commonly translated as Emperor in English.

History of China

Chineseimperial Chinaancient China
Emperor of China (皇帝; realized as Qin Shi Huáng dì in Standard Chinese) is the title given the monarch of China during the imperial period of Chinese history. Before this, Huang and Di were the nominal "titles" of eight rulers of Chinese mythology or prehistory: The three Huang (, "august, sovereign") were godly rulers credited with feats like ordering the sky and forming the first humans out of clay; the five Di (帝, also often translated "emperor" but also meaning "the God of Heaven") were cultural heroes credited with the invention of agriculture, clothing, astrology, music, etc. In the 3rd century BCE, the two titles had not previously been used together.
In 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang conquered the various warring states and created for himself the title of Huangdi or "emperor" of the Qin, marking the beginning of imperial China.

Five Grains

Five Cereals (China)Five Cerealsagriculture
Before this, Huang and Di were the nominal "titles" of eight rulers of Chinese mythology or prehistory: The three Huang (, "august, sovereign") were godly rulers credited with feats like ordering the sky and forming the first humans out of clay; the five Di (帝, also often translated "emperor" but also meaning "the God of Heaven") were cultural heroes credited with the invention of agriculture, clothing, astrology, music, etc. In the 3rd century BCE, the two titles had not previously been used together.
As the position of emperor was seen as an embodiment of this society, one's behavior towards the Five Grains could take on political meaning: as a protest against the overthrow of the Shang Dynasty by the Zhou, Boyi and Shuqi ostentatiously refused to eat the Five Grains.

Taishang Huang

Jōkō of Japanretired emperorJōkō
Such an emperor was titled the Taishang Huang, the "Grand Imperial Sire".
In Chinese history, a Taishang Huang or Taishang Huangdi is an honorific and institution of retired emperorship.

Shangdi

ShàngdìShang DiDi
Before this, Huang and Di were the nominal "titles" of eight rulers of Chinese mythology or prehistory: The three Huang (, "august, sovereign") were godly rulers credited with feats like ordering the sky and forming the first humans out of clay; the five Di (帝, also often translated "emperor" but also meaning "the God of Heaven") were cultural heroes credited with the invention of agriculture, clothing, astrology, music, etc. In the 3rd century BCE, the two titles had not previously been used together.
The first – undefined, Shàng – means "high", "highest", "first", "primordial"; the second – undefined, Dì – is typically considered as shorthand for huangdi (皇帝)in modern Chinese, the title of the emperors of China first employed by Qin Shi Huang, and is usually translated as "emperor".

Yuan dynasty

YuanYuan ChinaYuan Empire
The Yuan and Qing dynasties were founded by successful invaders; as part of their rule over China, however, they also went through the rituals of formally declaring a new dynasty and taking on the Chinese title of Huangdi, in addition to the titles of their respective people. Generally, in the Chinese dynastic cycle, emperors founding a dynasty usually consolidated the empire through absolute rule: examples include Qin Shi Huang of the Qin, Emperor Taizong of the Tang, Kublai Khan of the Yuan, and the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing.
In addition to Emperor of China, Kublai Khan also claimed the title of Great Khan, supreme over the other successor khanates: the Chagatai, the Golden Horde, and the Ilkhanate.

Puyi

Xuantong EmperorPu YiEmperor Puyi
The Xuantong Emperor (Puyi) of the Qing dynasty, the de jure last Emperor of China, abdicated on 12 February 1912.
Puyi or Pu Yi (7 February 1906 – 17 October 1967), of the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan, was the 12th Emperor of the Qing dynasty, Styled both Emperor of the Great Qing and Emperor of China and subsequently the last of these.

Ming dynasty

MingMing ChinaMing Empire
The power of the emperor was also often limited by the imperial bureaucracy staffed by scholar-officials and eunuchs and by filial obligations to surviving parents and to dynastic traditions, such as those detailed in the Ming dynasty's Ancestral Instructions.
Huang Taiji also adopted the Chinese imperial title huangdi, declared the Chongde ("Revering Virtue") era, and changed the ethnic name of his people from "Jurchen" to "Manchu".

Kublai Khan

KublaiKhubilai KhanKubilai Khan
Thus, Kublai Khan was simultaneously Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of China. Among the most famous emperors were Qin Shi Huang of the Qin dynasty, the Emperors Gaozu and Wu of the Han dynasty, Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty, Kublai Khan of the Yuan dynasty, the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming dynasty, and the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty. Generally, in the Chinese dynastic cycle, emperors founding a dynasty usually consolidated the empire through absolute rule: examples include Qin Shi Huang of the Qin, Emperor Taizong of the Tang, Kublai Khan of the Yuan, and the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing.
In 1271, Kublai established the Yuan dynasty, which ruled over present-day Mongolia, China, Korea, and some adjacent areas, and assumed the role of Emperor of China.

Heirloom Seal of the Realm

Imperial SealImperial Seal of ChinaImperial Seals
The proper list was considered those made by the official dynastic histories; the compilation of a history of the preceding dynasty was considered one of the hallmarks of legitimacy, along with symbols such as the Nine Ding or the Heirloom Seal of the Realm.
Passing into the hands of the new Emperor of China, he ordered it made into his Imperial seal.

Empire of China (1915–1916)

Empire of ChinaEmperor of ChinaEmpire of China (1915–16)
Yuan Shikai, former President of the Republic of China, attempted to restore a monarchy with himself as the Hongxian Emperor, however his reign as Emperor ended on 22 March 1916.
The Empire of China was a short-lived attempt by statesman and general Yuan Shikai from late 1915 to early 1916 to reinstate monarchy in China, with himself as the Hongxian Emperor.

Emperor Wu of Han

Emperor WuHan WudiLiu Che
Among the most famous emperors were Qin Shi Huang of the Qin dynasty, the Emperors Gaozu and Wu of the Han dynasty, Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty, Kublai Khan of the Yuan dynasty, the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming dynasty, and the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty.
Emperor Wu of Han (30 July 157BC – 29 March 87BC), born Liu Che, courtesy name Tong, was the seventh emperor of the Han dynasty of China, ruling from 141–87 BC.

Confucianism

ConfucianConfucianistConfucian philosophy
Under the Han dynasty, Confucianism replaced Legalism as the official political theory and succession theoretically followed agnatic primogeniture.
The emperors of China were considered agents of Heaven, endowed with the Mandate of Heaven.

Ding (vessel)

dingdingstripod
The proper list was considered those made by the official dynastic histories; the compilation of a history of the preceding dynasty was considered one of the hallmarks of legitimacy, along with symbols such as the Nine Ding or the Heirloom Seal of the Realm.
The number of permitted ding varied according to one's rank in the Chinese nobility: the Nine Ding of the Zhou kings were a symbol of their rule over all China but were lost by the first emperor, Shi Huangdi in the late 3rd century .

Tang dynasty

TangTang ChinaTang Empire
Generally, in the Chinese dynastic cycle, emperors founding a dynasty usually consolidated the empire through absolute rule: examples include Qin Shi Huang of the Qin, Emperor Taizong of the Tang, Kublai Khan of the Yuan, and the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing. There has been only one lawful female reigning Emperor in China, Empress Zetian, who briefly replaced the Tang dynasty with her own Zhou dynasty.
The adoption of the title Khan of Heaven by the Tang emperor Taizong in addition to his title as emperor was eastern Asia's first "simultaneous kingship".

Tian

HeavenTiān
Before this, Huang and Di were the nominal "titles" of eight rulers of Chinese mythology or prehistory: The three Huang (, "august, sovereign") were godly rulers credited with feats like ordering the sky and forming the first humans out of clay; the five Di (帝, also often translated "emperor" but also meaning "the God of Heaven") were cultural heroes credited with the invention of agriculture, clothing, astrology, music, etc. In the 3rd century BCE, the two titles had not previously been used together.

Empress dowager

Dowager Empressempresses dowagerEmpress Dowager of Japan
During these minorities, the Empress Dowager (i.e., the emperor's mother) would possess significant power.
Empress dowager (also dowager empress or empress mother) (hiragana: こうたいごう) is the English language translation of the title given to the mother or widow of a Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Vietnamese emperor.

Qin (state)

QinState of QinQin state
In 221 BCE, after the then-king of Qin completed the conquest of the various kingdoms of the Warring States period, he adopted a new title to reflect his prestige as a ruler greater than the rulers before him.
Ying Zheng declared himself "Qin Shi Huang" (meaning "First Emperor of Qin") and founded the Qin Dynasty, becoming the first sovereign ruler of a united China.

Manchu Restoration

Restored Qing Governmentabortive attemptabortive restoration
He was briefly restored for almost two weeks during a coup in 1917 but was overthrown again shortly after.
On the morning of July 1, 1917, the royalist general Zhang Xun took advantage of the unrest and entered the capital, proclaiming the restoration of Puyi as Emperor of China at 4 am with a small entourage and reviving the Qing monarchy which had been abolished earlier on February 12, 1912.

Wu Zetian

Empress WuEmpress Dowager WuEmpress Wu Zetian
There has been only one lawful female reigning Emperor in China, Empress Zetian, who briefly replaced the Tang dynasty with her own Zhou dynasty.
Wu Zetian (17 February 624 – 16 December 705), alternatively named Wu Zhao, Wu Hou (Empress Wu), during the later Tang dynasty as Tian Hou, in English as Empress Consort Wu, was a Chinese sovereign who ruled unofficially as empress consort, power behind the throne, and later officially as regent, empress dowager, empress regnant.