Emperor of China

Imperial portrait on a hanging scroll of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China
A painting of Qin Shi Huangdi, who was the first Emperor of China and introduced the title huangdi for emperorship
Imperial standard of the Qing Emperor
Puyi as the Kangde Emperor of Manchukuo
Yuan Shikai as the Hongxian emperor of China
Emperor Wu of Han
An 18th century depiction of Wu Zetian, the only female emperor of China
Yellow Emperor
Zhuanxu
Emperor Ku
Emperor Yao
Emperor Shun
Qin Shi Huang escaping assassination (3rd c. AD)
Emperor Gaozu of Tang (566-635)
Emperor Taizong of Tang (598–649)
Another portrait of Taizong
Li Cunxu (Emperor Zhuangzong of Later Tang)
Zhao Hongyin, posthumously made emperor by his son, the first emperor of the Song dynasty
Emperor Taizu of Song (927–976)
Emperor Taizong of Song (939–997)
Emperor Zhenzong of Song (968–1022)
Emperor Renzong of Song (1010–1063)
Emperor Yingzong of Song (1032–1067)
Emperor Shenzong of Song (1048–1085)
Emperor Zhezong of Song (1077–1100)
Emperor Huizong of Song (1082-1135)
Emperor Qinzong of Song (1100-1161)
Emperor Gaozong of Song (1104-1187)
Emperor Xiaozong of Song (1127–1194)
Emperor Guangzong of Song (1147–1200)
Emperor Ningzong of Song (1168–1224)
Emperor Lizong of Song (1205–1264)
Emperor Duzong of Song (1240–1274)
Emperor Gong of Song (1271–1323)
Emperor Duanzong (1270–1278)
Zhao Bing (1272–1279)
Song dynasty portrayal of Emperor Wen of Han
Song depiction of Emperor Yao
Kublai Khan (1215-1294)
Temür Khan (1265-1307)
Külüg Khan (1281-1311)
Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan (1285-1320)
Jayaatu Khan Tugh Temür (1304-1332)
Rinchinbal Khan (1326-1332)
Hongwu Emperor
Jianwen Emperor
Yongle Emperor
Hongxi Emperor
Xuande Emperor
Emperor Yingzong of Ming
Jingtai Emperor
Chenghua Emperor
Hongzhi Emperor
Zhengde Emperor
Jiajing Emperor
Longqing Emperor
Wanli Emperor
Taichang Emperor
Tianqi Emperor
Chongzhen Emperor
Nurhaci
Hong Taiji
Shunzhi Emperor
Kangxi Emperor
Yongzheng Emperor
Qianlong Emperor
Jiaqing Emperor
Daoguang Emperor
Xianfeng Emperor
Tongzhi Emperor
Guangxu Emperor
Xuantong Emperor

The superlative title held by monarchs of China who ruled various imperial regimes in Chinese history.

- Emperor of China

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Chinese sovereign

The ruler of a particular monarchical regime in the historical periods of ancient China and imperial China.

Longest-reigning Aisin Gioro Xuanye (Kangxi Emperor) 5 February 1661 – 20 December 1722

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

The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c.

Approximate territories controlled by the various dynasties and states throughout the history of China
Timeline of Chinese history
Bronze ding (cauldron) with human faces
The Warring States. Qin is shown in pink
Map showing the expansion of Han dynasty in the 2nd century BC
Three Kingdoms in 262, on the eve of the conquest of Shu, Wei, and Wu
Mongol successor khanates
Qianlong Emperor
Li Hongzhang, a Chinese politician, general and diplomat of the late Qing dynasty.
The national flag of the Great Qing from 1862 to 1889. (Triangular version)
The national flag of the Great Qing from 1889 to 1912.
Flag of the First Guangzhou Uprising
Nanjing Road during Xinhai Revolution, 1911
Beijing college students rallied during the May Fourth Movement, dissatisfied with Article 156 of the Treaty of Versailles for China (Shandong Problem).
The flag of the Republic of China from 1912 to 1928.
The flag of the Republic of China from 1928 to now.
The People's Liberation Army enters Beijing in the Pingjin Campaign
Chairman Mao Zedong proclaiming the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949.
People's Republic of China 10th Anniversary Parade in Beijing
The flag of the People's Republic of China since 1949.

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.

Han dynasty

Imperial dynasty of China , established by Liu Bang (Emperor Gao) and ruled by the House of Liu.

A map of the Western Han dynasty in 2 AD
Principalities and centrally-administered commanderies

Protectorate of the Western Regions (Tarim Basin)
Thirteen direct-controlled commanderies including the capital region (Yellow) and ten semi-autonomous kingdoms of the early periods, 195 BC
Belt Buckle with nomadic-inspired zoomorphic design, manufactured in China for the Xiongnu. Mercury-gilded bronze (a Chinese technique). North China, 3rd-2nd century BC.
Map showing the expansion of Han dynasty in the 2nd century BC
The ruins of a Han-dynasty watchtower made of rammed earth at Dunhuang, Gansu province, the eastern edge of the Silk Road.
These rammed earth ruins of a granary in Hecang Fortress, located ~11 km (7 miles) northeast of the Western-Han-era Yumen Pass, were built during the Western Han (202 BC – 9 AD) and significantly rebuilt during the Western Jin (280–316 AD).
Situation of warlords and peasant forces at the beginning of Eastern Han dynasty
Eastern Han inscriptions on a lead ingot, using barbarous Greek alphabet in the style of the Kushans, excavated in Shaanxi, 1st–2nd century AD
Preserved arrow, Western Han
A late Eastern Han (25–220 CE) Chinese tomb mural showing lively scenes of a banquet (yanyin 宴飲), dance and music (wuyue 舞樂), acrobatics (baixi 百戲), and wrestling (xiangbu 相撲), from the Dahuting Tomb, on the southern bank of the Siuhe River in Zhengzhou, Henan province (just west of Xi County)
A mural from an Eastern Han tomb at Zhucun (朱村), Luoyang, Henan province; the two figures in the foreground are playing liubo, with the playing mat between them, and the liubo game board to the side of the mat.
Brick Relief with Acrobatic Performance, Han Dynasty (202 BCE – 220 CE)
Detail of a mural showing two women wearing Hanfu silk robes, from the Dahuting Tomb of the late Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 CE), located in Zhengzhou, Henan
Han period inscribed bamboo-slips of Sun Bin's Art of War, unearthed in Yinque Mountain, Linyi, Shandong.
A fragment of the Xiping Stone Classics; these stone-carved Five Classics installed during Emperor Ling's reign along the roadside of the Imperial University (right outside Luoyang) were made at the instigation of Cai Yong (132–192 CE), who feared the Classics housed in the imperial library were being interpolated by University Academicians.
A silk banner from Mawangdui, Changsha, Hunan province. It was draped over the coffin of Lady Dai (d. 168 BCE), wife of the Marquess Li Cang (利蒼) (d. 186 BCE), chancellor for the Kingdom of Changsha.
A part of a Daoist manuscript, ink on silk, 2nd century BCE, Han Dynasty, unearthed from Mawangdui tomb 3rd, Changsha, Hunan Province.
An Eastern-Han bronze statuette of a mythical chimera (qilin), 1st century CE
A scene of historic paragons of filial piety conversing with one another, Chinese painted artwork on a lacquered basketwork box, excavated from an Eastern-Han tomb of what was the Chinese Lelang Commandery in Korean Peninsula.
A rubbing of a Han pictorial stone showing an ancestral worship hall (cítáng 祠堂)
Animalistic guardian spirits of day and night wearing Chinese robes, Han dynasty paintings on ceramic tile; Michael Loewe writes that the hybrid of man and beast in art and religious beliefs predated the Han and remained popular during the first half of Western Han and the Eastern Han.
The Gansu Flying Horse, depicted in full gallop, bronze sculpture, h 34.5 cm. Wuwei, Gansu, China, AD 25–220
A mural showing chariots and cavalry, from the Dahuting Tomb (Chinese: 打虎亭漢墓, Pinyin: Dahuting Han mu) of the late Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 AD), located in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China
Gold coins of the Eastern Han dynasty
A Han-dynasty iron ji (polearm) and iron dagger
A gilded bronze oil lamp in the shape of a kneeling female servant, dated 2nd century BC, found in the tomb of Dou Wan, wife of Liu Sheng, King of Zhongshan; its sliding shutter allows for adjustments in the direction and brightness in light while it also traps smoke within the body.
An array of bronze bells, Western Han dynasty
Ornamental belt buckle, decorated with Chinese mythical creatures. Chiseled and hammered gold, late Han period.
The physical exercise chart; a painting on silk depicting the practice of Qigong Taiji; unearthed in 1973 in Hunan Province, China, from the 2nd-century BC Western Han burial site of Mawangdui, Tomb Number 3.
A pair of stone-carved que (闕) located at the temple of Mount Song in Dengfeng. (Eastern Han dynasty.)
A pair of Han period stone-carved que (闕) located at Babaoshan, Beijing.
A stone-carved pillar-gate, or que (闕), 6 m (20 ft) in total height, located at the tomb of Gao Yi in Ya'an. (Eastern Han dynasty.){{sfnp|Liu|2002|p=55}}
An Eastern-Han vaulted tomb chamber at Luoyang made of small bricks
A Han-dynasty pottery model of two men operating a winnowing machine with a crank handle and a tilt hammer used to pound grain.
A modern replica of Zhang Heng's seismometer
An early Western Han dynasty silk map found in tomb 3 of Mawangdui, depicting the Kingdom of Changsha and Kingdom of Nanyue in southern China (note: the south direction is oriented at the top).
An Eastern Han dynasty pottery boat model with a steering rudder at the stern and anchor at the bow.

The emperor was at the pinnacle of Han society.

Qin Shi Huang

19th-century posthumous depiction of Qin Shi Huang at the height of his reign
A portrait painting of Qin Shi Huangdi, first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, from an 18th-century album of Chinese emperors' portraits.
Jing Ke's assassination attempt on Qin Shi Huang; Jing Ke (left) is held by one of Qin Shi Huang's physicians (left, background). The dagger used in the assassination attempt is seen stuck in the pillar. Qin Shi Huang (right) is seen holding an imperial jade disc. One of his soldier (far right) rushes to save his emperor. Stone rubbing; 3rd century, Eastern Han
Qin's unification of seven warring states
Map of the Qin dynasty and its administrative divisions
Bronze swords (jian), Qin dynasty
Imperial tours of Qin Shi Huang
Lifelike terracotta soldier statues from the Terracotta Army, discovered near modern Xi'an, which was meant to guard the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
A posthumous depiction of Qin Shi Huang, painted during the late Qing dynasty
Statue of Emperor Qin Shi Huang in Handan

Qin Shi Huang (, ; 259–210 BCE), or Shi Huangdi, was the founder of the Qin dynasty, and the first emperor of a unified China.

Dynasties in Chinese history

Dynasties in Chinese history, or Chinese dynasties, were hereditary monarchical regimes that ruled over China during much of its history.

A depiction of Yu, the initiator of dynastic rule in China, by the Southern Song court painter Ma Lin.
An illustration of the Battle of Shanhai Pass, a decisive battle fought during the Ming–Qing transition. The victorious Qing dynasty extended its rule into China proper thereafter.
A photograph of the Xuantong Emperor, widely considered to be the last legitimate monarch of China, taken in AD 1922.
Imperial seal of the Qing dynasty with "Dà Qīng Dìguó zhī xǐ" (大清帝國之璽; "Seal of the Great Qing Empire") rendered in seal script. Seals were a symbol of political authority and legitimacy.
A German map of the Chinese Empire during the height of the Qing dynasty. The Qing dynasty is considered to be a "Central Plain dynasty", a "unified dynasty", and a "conquest dynasty".
Approximate territories controlled by the various dynasties and states throughout Chinese history, juxtaposed with the modern Chinese border.

wángcháo (王朝): while technically referring to royal dynasties, this term is often inaccurately applied to all dynasties, including those whose rulers held non-royal titles such as emperor

Kublai Khan

Portrait by artist Araniko, sling drawn shortly after Kublai's death in 1294. His white robes reflect his desired symbolic role as a religious Mongol shaman.
Portrait of young Kublai by Araniko, a Nepali artist in Kublai's court
“The Emperor Kublai Khan in a tower carried by four elephants on the day of the battle“ French Engraving, 18th century.
Kublai Khan was chosen by his many supporters to become the next Great Khan at the Grand Kurultai in the year 1260. 
Kublai Khan and His Empress Enthroned, from a Jami al-Twarikh (or Chingiznama). Mughal dynasty, Reign of Akbar, 1596. Mughal Court. Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper. India. Freer Gallery of Art. F1954.31
Painting of Kublai Khan on a hunting expedition, by Han Chinese court artist Liu Guandao, c. 1280.
Extract of the letter of Arghun to Philip IV of France, in the Mongolian script, dated 1289. French National Archives.
The Yuan Dynasty of China, c. 1294
Chinese opera flourished during Yuan China.
The "Muslim trebuchet" (or Huihui Pao) used to breach the walls of Fancheng and Xiangyang.
A Yuan dynasty hand cannon
Two dragons chasing a flaming pearl was a symbol associated with Goryeo.
The Gangnido reflects the Chinese geographical knowledge during the Mongol Empire about countries in the West.
The Japanese samurai Suenaga facing Mongol arrows and bombs. Mōko Shūrai Ekotoba (蒙古襲来絵詞), circa 1293.
Japanese samurai boarding Yuan ships in 1281.
Kublai gives financial support to the Polo family.
Rabban Bar Sauma, ambassador of Great Khan Kublai and Ilkhan Arghun, travelled from Dadu to Rome, Tuscany, Genoa, Paris, and Bordeaux to meet with European rulers in 1287–88.
The White Stupa of Dadu (or Khanbaliq; now Beijing).
A Yuan dynasty jade belt plaque featuring carved designs of the Azure Dragon, highly regarded as a symbol of Yuan China's maritime strength.
In Ilkhanate Persia, Ghazan converted to Islam and recognized Kublai Khan as his suzerain.
Chabi, Khatun of Kublai and Empress of the Mongol Empire
Longevity Hill in Beijing, where Kublai Khan wrote his poem.
Laborers transporting construction materials to Khanbaliq
Statue of Kublai Khan in Sükhbaatar Square, Ulaanbaatar. Together with Ögedei Khan's, and the much larger Genghis Khan's statues, it forms a statue complex dedicated to the Mongol Empire.

Kublai (also spelled Qubilai or Kübilai; Хубилай ; ; 23 September 1215 – 18 February 1294), also known by his regnal name Setsen Khan (薛禪汗), was the founder of the Yuan dynasty of China and the fifth khagan-emperor of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294, although after the division of the empire this was a nominal position.

Puyi

Painting portrait of Puyi, 1908
Silver coin: 1 yuan/dollar Xuantong 3rd year - 1911 Chopmark
Titular emperor Puyi in the Forbidden City
Gobulo Wanrong, Puyi's wife and Empress of China
Secondary consort Wenxiu
A photo taken of Puyi's bedroom in the Forbidden City shortly after being expelled
Puyi in the Garden of Serenity (靜園), as it looked in the late 1920s and early 1930s
Puyi, pictured with Wanrong
Puyi wearing the Mǎnzhōuguó uniform.
Puyi and Wanrong leaving their hotel on March 8 of 1932 before travelling to the official Manchukuo founding ceremony in Changchun
Manchukuo Enthronement Commemorative Medal
Puyi (right) as Emperor of Manchukuo. On the left is Chū Kudō.
Tan Yuling, Puyi's concubine
The site of Puyi's abdication in a small mining office complex in Dalizi
Puyi (right) and a Soviet military officer
Puyi's letters to Joseph Stalin
Fushun War Criminals Prison
Puyi in 1961, flanked by Xiong Bingkun, a commander in the Wuchang Uprising, and Lu Zhonglin, who took part in Puyi's expulsion from the Forbidden City in 1924.
In the spring of 1967, Pujie and Saga Hiro visited Puyi, who was by then seriously ill.

Aisin-Gioro Puyi (February 7, 1906 – October 17, 1967), courtesy name Yaozhi (曜之), was the last emperor of China as the eleventh and final Qing dynasty monarch.

Yuan dynasty

Successor state to the Mongol Empire after its division and an imperial dynasty of China established by Kublai (Emperor Shizu), leader of the Mongol Borjigin clan, lasting from 1271 to 1368.

Yuan dynasty (c. 1294)
Goryeo was a semi-autonomous vassal state
Mongol successor khanates
Yuan dynasty (c. 1294)
Goryeo was a semi-autonomous vassal state
Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan dynasty
Guan Daosheng "the most famous and talented female painter and calligrapher in Chinese history" flourished in the Yuan dynasty
The Bailin Temple Pagoda of Zhaoxian County, Hebei Province, built in 1330 during the Yuan dynasty
A Yuan dynasty jade swan
A Yuan dynasty blue-and-white porcelain dish with fish and flowing water design, mid-14th century, Freer Gallery of Art
Yuan porcelain jar
Yuan underglaze blue Jingdezhen porcelain plate
A plate made of lacquer, wood, and paper from the Yuan dynasty. The Chinese were able to perfect a method of making lacquer. Decorating this plate are parrots and peonies. The parrot was a symbol of fidelity; because of its ability to mimic human speech, it was believed to be a suitable companion to a woman whose husband was away from home. The bird would be able to inform each person of the other's activities. The peony was a symbol of female virtue. When shown in full bloom, it is a token of love, affection, and feminine beauty. Birmingham Museum of Art.
The Yuan dynasty arched bridges of Taicang were built to show the prosperity the city enjoyed under the Yuan.
Yuan dynasty coinage
Map of the Northwest territory
A diagram of Pascal's triangle in Zhu Shijie's Jade Mirror of the Four Unknowns, written in 1303
Yang Hui's Magic Circle
Yuan dynasty banknote with its printing plate, 1287
A revolving typecase with individual movable type characters from Wang Zhen's Nong Shu, published in 1313
Blue-and-white Covered Jar with Fretwork Floral Design in Red and Blue Glaze, excavated in Baoding
Painting of Kublai Khan on a hunting expedition, by Chinese court artist Liu Guandao, c. 1280
Wine jar with fish and aquatic plants, 14th century. Porcelain with underglaze cobalt blue decoration. Brooklyn Museum.
Manichaean Diagram of the Universe, a painting describing Yuan period Manichaean cosmology
A Yuan Qingbai porcelain statue of Guanyin, a bodhisattva of Mahayana Buddhism
Box with pavilion and figures, Yuan dynasty.
Covered box with lunar palace, 14th century. Yuan dynasty.
Jinan Great Southern Mosque was completed during the reign of Temür Khan (the Emperor Chengzong of Yuan).
Administrative divisions of the Yuan dynasty.
Mongol Empire's Ayimaq in North China
Magic square in Arabic numerals (Yuan dynasty)
smelting machines (Yuan dynasty)
Water wheel (Yuan dynasty)
Water hammer (Yuan dynasty)
Weaving machine (Yuan dynasty)
water mill gear (Yuan dynasty)
loom (Yuan dynasty)
Yuan painting (Zhao Mengfu)
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Military costume.
Yuan painting of a legendary figure riding on a dragon.
Yuan cavalry
Yuan Mongol soldier
Genghis Khan's grandson, Kublai Khan during his youth
Mongol rider (Yuan dynasty)
Chinese stone inscription of a Nestorian Christian Cross from a monastery of Fangshan District in Beijing (then called Dadu, or Khanbaliq), dated to the Yuan Dynasty

Although Genghis Khan had been enthroned with the Chinese title of Emperor in 1206 and the Mongol Empire had ruled territories including modern-day northern China for decades, it was not until 1271 that Kublai Khan officially proclaimed the dynasty in the traditional Chinese style, and the conquest was not complete until 1279 when the Southern Song dynasty was defeated in the Battle of Yamen.

Yuan Shikai

Yuan in 1915
Yuan Shikai as Governor of Shandong
Hongxian Emperor
Yuan Shikai and Te Lan in 1910.
Yuan Shikai in Qing dynasty uniform, 1912
Yuan Shikai in uniform
Yuan Shikai sworn in as Provisional President of the Republic of China, in Beijing, 10 March 1912.
Yuan Shikai was pictured with ambassadors from foreign countries on 10 October 1913.
The Yuan Shikai "dollar" (yuan in Chinese), issued for the first time in 1914, became a dominant coin type of the Republic of China.
A banknote from the early Republic of China depicting the face of President Yuan Shikai.
The residence of Yuan in Tianjin
Yuan and his children.

Yuan Shikai (16 September 1859 – 6 June 1916) was a Chinese military and government official who rose to power during the late Qing dynasty and eventually ended the Qing dynasty rule of China in 1912, later becoming the Emperor of China.

Taishang Huang

The honorific was first bestowed by Qin Shi Huangdi (depicted) to King Zhuangxiang of Qin

In Chinese history, a Taishang Huang or Taishang Huangdi is an honorific and institution of retired emperorship.