Kate Monk's Onomastikon

(Dictionary of Names)

Emperors of China

Emperors were often known by several different names - the family name, reign title, temple name and various honorary titles. Many early emperors had more than one reign title but by the Ming and Qing periods, just one was kept throughout the reign.

The Three Rulers



Reign   Spouse

2852 BC -

domesticated animals, instituted family life  
Shennong   taught settled agriculture  

The Five Emperors


Huangdi 'Yellow Emperor'

2697 BC -

ceramics and writing  
Yao   agrarian calendar  
Shun   peasant appointed by Yao  

Xia Dynasty

(some archaeological evidence)


2205 BC

appointed by Shun  

-1766 BC


Shang Dynasty

Cheng Tang 'the Completer'

1766 BC -

overthrew last Xia ruler  
30 hereditary rulers

-1122 BC


Zhou Dynasty

Western Zhou

Wen, Earl of the West

1122 BC

grandson of Tai  
Wu   son of Wen  
Wu's son      
Duke of Zhou, usurped power   brother of Wu  



- 771 BC


Eastern Zhou

Spring and Autumn Period 771 BC - 481 BC

Warring States Period 403 BC - 221 BC

Qin Dynasty

Duke Xiao


c 361-338 BC

Qin Shi Huangdi (The First August Emperor) Cheng the Upright c 221-210 Son of King Zhuang Xiang of Qin + Zhao Ji  
Er Shi Hu Hai 210-07 son of 1st Emperor  
- Ziying 207 Nephew of Er Shi  

Han Dynasty

Former or Western Han

Temple Name Personal Name

Reign Family Spouse
Gaozu (High Progenitor)

Gaodi (High Emperor)

Liu Bang, Liu Ji 202-195 BC King of Han Empress Lu

Consorts: Cao, Zhao, Qi, Bo

Huidi (Beneficial) Liu Ying 195-188 son of Gaozu + Lu Empress Chang
Shaodi Kong + Shaodi Hong   188-80 Infant sons of Gaozu by consorts  
Lu Hou Lu Zhi 188-80 (Regent)    
Wendi (Literary) Liu Heng 180-57 S of Gaozu + Bo Empress Dou
Jingdi (Admired) Liu Qi 157-141 son of Wendi Empresses Bo + Wang Consorts 1 Li, 2 Cheng, 3 Deng, 4 Wang
Wudi (Martial) Liu Che 141-87 Son of Jingdi Empresses Chen + Wei Consorts 1 Li, 2 Zhao, 3 Wang, 4 Li
Zhaodi (Shining) Liu Fuling 87-74 Son of Wudi + Zhao Dau of Shang Guanan
Xuandi (Proclaimed) Liu Bingyi 74-49 Gs of Wudi Empresses 1 Xu, 2 Huo, 3 Wang
Yuandi (Original) Liu Shi 49-33 Son of Xuandi + Xu Empresses 1 Fu, 2 Feng 3 Wang
Chengdi (Accomplished) Liu Ao 33-7 son of Yuandi + Wang Empresses 1 Xu, 2 Zhao Consorts 1 Pan, 2 Zhao
Aidi (Sorrowing) Liu Xin 7 - 1 BC Gs of Yuandi Empresses 1 Ding, 2 Fu
Pingdi (Peaceful) Liu Jizi 1 BC - 6 AD Gs of Yuandi + Feng Dau of Wang Mang
Ruzi (Young Ziying) Liu Ying AD 7-9 Ggs of Xuandi Gd of Wang Mang

Xin Dynasty

- Wang Mang, regent then usurper AD 9-23 Son of Wang Wan, br of Empress Wang  

Later or Eastern Han

Guang Wudi (Shining Martial E.) Liu Xiu 25-57 Desc from Jingdi 1 Guo Shengtong

2 Yin Lihua

Mingdi (Brilliant E.) Liu Xang 57-75 Son of Guang Wudi + Yin Empress Ma, Consort Jia
Zhangdi (Methodical E) Liu Da 75-88 Son of Mingdi + Jia Empress Dou Consorts 1 Song, 2 Liang, 3 Shen
Hedi (Harmonious E) Liu Zhao 88-106 Son of Zhangdi + Liang Empresses Yin + Deng
Shandi (Die-young E) Liu Long 106 son of Hedi dy
Andi (Peaceful E) Liu Yu 106-25 Gs of Zhangdi Empress Yan, Consort Li
Shundi (Submissive E) Liu Bao 125-44 Son of Andi + Li Empress Liang Na Consort Yu
Chongdi (Modest E) Liu Bing 144-38 Son of Shundi + Yu dy
Zhidi (Upright E) Liu Zuan 138-46 Ggs of Zhangdi dy
Huandi (Martial E) Liu Zhi 146-69 Ggs of Zhangdi Empresses 1 Liang, 2 Deng, 3 Dou
Lingdi (Quick-Witted E) Liu Hong 169-89 Ggs of Zhangdi Empresses 1 Song, 2 He Consort Wang
Xiandi (Dedicating E) Liu Xie 189-220 abd Son of Lingdi + Wang Empresses 1 Fu, 2 cAo

Three Kingdoms AD 220-80

Wei dynasty

north, capital Luoyang


Cao Cao


Han general

Wendi (Literary E) Cao Pei/Pi 220-7 son of Cao Cao  
Mingdi (Brilliant E)   227-40    
Shaodi (Young E)   240-54    
Gao Gui Xiang Gong (Duke of Noble Country)   254-60    
Yuandi (Original E)   260-4    

Wu Dynasty

south, capital Jiankang

Sun Quan


Han general

fell to Wei 280    

Shu Han Dynasty

Sichuan, capital Chengdu

Liu Bei


Han general

absorbed by Wei 234    

Southern Dynasties

Western Jin

Wudi (Martial E) Sima Yan (Jin) c265-290 usurper Wei general  
Huidi (Beneficial E)   290-306    
Huaidi (Cherished E)   307-312    
Mindi (Compassionate E)   313-6    

Eastern Jin

claimed to be heirs of Han

Yuandi (Original E)   317-22    
Mingdi (Brilliant E)   323-5    
Chengdi (Accomplished E)   326-42    
Kangdi (Healthy E)   343-4    
Mudi (Reverent E)   345-62    
Aidi (Sorrowing E)   362-5    
Hai Xi Gong (King of the Western Ocean)   366-70    
Jian Wendi (Refined Literati E)   371-2    
Xiao Wudi (Filial Martial E)   373-96    
Andi (Peaceful E)   397-418    
Gongdi (Respectful E)   419    

Liu-song Dynasty

Wudi (Martial E) Liu Yu 420-3 Usurped throne Empress Cang Consort Hu Jiechao
Ying Yang Wang (Sun king of Ying)

Shaodi (Young E)

Liu Yifu 423 Son of Wudi  
Wendi (Literary E) Liu Yilong 424-53 Son of Wudi + Hu  
Xiao Wudi (Filial Martial E) Liu Jun 454-65 Son of Wendi Empress Wang, Consort Ji
Mingdi (Brilliant E) Liu Yu 465-72 abd Son of Wendi  
Cang Wu Wang (King of Cangwu)


Liu Ye 473-7 Adopted son of Mingdi dy
Shundi (Submissive E) Liu Jun 477-9 Son of Mingdi  

Sixteen Kingdoms 316-84

Northern Wei 386-534

Wu 424-51    
Gao Yang 550-9    

Qi Dynasty

Gaodi (High E) Xiao Daocheng 479-82 Son of Xiao Cheng (Qi Xuandi) Empress Lu
Wudi (Martial E) Xiao Ze 483-93 Son of Gaodi Empress Pei
Mingdi (Brilliant E) Xiao Luan 494-9 Nephew of Gaodi  
Dong Hunhou (Marquis of Eastern Fatuousness) Xiao Bao Chuan 499-500 Son of Mingdi dy
Hedi (Harmonious E)   501 Son of Mingdi dy

Liang Dynasty

Wudi (Martial E) Xiao Yan 502-49 Son of a cousin of Qi Gaodi Empress Xi
Jian Wendi (Refined Literati E) Xiao Gang 550 Son of Wudi Empress Wang
Yu Zhang Wang (King of Yuzhang)   551 Son of Wudi  
Yuandi (Original E) Xiao Yi 552-4 Son of Wudi, killed YZW  
Jingdi (Esteemed E) Xiao Fangzhi 555-6 abd Son of Yuandi  

Chen Dynasty

Wudi (Martial E) Chen Baxian 557-9   Empress Zhang
Wendi (Literary E) Chen Qian 560-6    
Lin Hai Wang (King of Linhai) Chen Bozong 567-8 dep    
Xuandi (Proclaimed E) Chen Xu 569-82 Bro of Wendi  
Hou Zhu (Later Master) Chen Shubao 583-9 Son of Xuandi  

Sui Dynasty

reunified China

Wendi (Literary E) Yang Jian 589-604 dep Son of Yang Zhong Empress Wenxian
Yangdi (Arbitrary E) Yang Guang 604-17 son of Wendi + Wenxian Empress Xiao (Liang family)
Gongdi (Respectful E) Yang Yu 617-8 Gs of Yangdi dy

Tang Dynasty

Gaozu (High Progenitor) Li Yuan, Duke of Tang 618-26 abd. aristocratic military leader and rebel Empress Dou
Taizong (Supreme Ancestor) Li Shimin 626-49 son of Gaozu + Dou Empress Wende, Consort Wu Zetian
Gaozong (High Ancester) Li Zhi 649-83 son of Taizong + Wende Empress Wang Consorts 1 Wu Zhao (Zetian) 2 Xiao
Zhongzong (Moderate Ancestor) Li Zhe 683 dep son of Gaozong + Wu Empress Wei,
Ruizong (Far-sighted Ancestor) Li Dan 684-90 son of Gaozong + Wu Consort Dou
Empress Wu   660-705 dau of Wu Shihou + Lady Yang Concubine of Taizong + Gaozong
Zhongzong restored   705-12    
Ruizong restored   710-16    
Xuanzong (Profound Ancestor) Ming Huan Li Longhi 712-56 Son of Rizong + Dou Empress Wang, Consorts 1 Zhao, 2 Hua, 3 Yang Guifei 4 Wu
Suzong (Respectful A) Li Yu 756-62 Son of Xuanzong + Yang Guifei  
Daizong (Dai Ancestor) Li Yu 762-9 Son of Suzong  
Dezong (Virtuous A) Li Shi 779-805 Son of Daizong  
Shunzong (Submissive A) Li Song 805 abd Son of Dezong  
Xianzong (Constitutional A) Li Chun 805-20 Son of Shunzong  
Muzong (Reverent A) Li Heng 820-4 Son of Xianzong  
Jingzong (Esteemed A) Li Zhan 824-7 Son of Muzong  
Wenzong Li Ang 827-40 Son of Muzong  
Wuzong (Martial A) Li Yan 840-6 Son of Muzong  
Xuanzong (Proclaimed A) Li Chen 846-59 Son of Xianzong Zhao
Yizong (Exemplary A) Li Wen 459-73 Son of Xuanzong + Zhao  
Xizong (Contented A) Li Yan 873-88 Son of Yizong  
Zhaozong (Shining A) Li Jie 888-904 Son of Yizong  
Aidi (Sorrowing A) Zhaoxuan Li Zhu 904-7 dep Son of Zhaozong  

The Five Dynasties

Later Liang

Taizu (Supreme Progenitor) Zhu Wen 907-10    
Mudi (Final Emperor)   911-23    

Later Tang

Zhuangzong (Robust A)   923-6    
Mingzong (Brilliant A)   926-34    
Feidi (Yielding E)   934-5    

Later Jin

Gaozu (High Progenitor) 936-44    
Chudi (Exceeding E)   944-7    

Later Han

Gaozu (High Progenitor)   947-8    
  Yindi (Seclusive E) 948    

Later Zhou

Taizu (Supreme Progenitor)   951-4    
Sizong (Genesis A)   954-60    

Northern Song Dynasty

Taizu (Supreme Progenitor) Zhao Kuangyin 960-76 General of Later Zhou dynasty 1 He, 2 Wang, 3 Song
Taizong (Supreme A) Zhao Guangyi 976-97 Brother of Taizu 1 Yin, 2 Fu, 3 Mingde, 4 Li Yuande
Zhenzong (True A) Zhao Dechang 998-1022 Son of Taizong + 4 1 Pan, 2 Guo, 3 Liu, 4 Li, 5 Yang
Renzong (Benevolent A) Zhao Zhen 1022-63 Son of Zhenzong + Consort Li 1 Guo, 2 Zhang, 3 Cao, 4 Zhang
Yingzhong (Heroic A) Zhao Shu 1064-7 Ggs of Taizu, adopted by Renzong Gao
Shenzong ( Spiritual A) Zhao Xu 1068-85 Son of Yingzong + Gao 1 Xiang, 2 Zhu, 3 Zhen
Zhezong (Sagacious A) Zhao Xu 1086-1101 Son of Shenzong 1 Meng, 2 Liu
Huizong (Divine A) Zhao Ji 1101-25 abd Son of Shenzong + Zhen 1 Wang, 2 Zhang, 3 Wei, 4 Liu, 5 Liu
Qinzong ( Admirable A) Zhao Huan 1126-56 Son of Huizong + Zhu  

Jin Dynasty

Hailing 1150-61    
Shizong 1161-90    
Zhangzong 1190-1234    

Southern Song Dynasty

Gaozong (High Ancestor) Zhao Gou 1127-62 abd son of Huizong + Wei 1 Wu
Xiaozong (Filial A) Zhao Bozong 1162-90 abd 6th gen desc of Taizu  
Guangzong (Glorious A) Zhao Dun 1190-5 abd Son of Xiaozong Empress Li
Ningzong (Serene A) Zhao Kuo 1195-1224 Son of Guangzong + Li Empress Han, Concubine Yang
Lizong (Logical A) Zhao Yuju 1224-64 10th gen desc of Taizu, adopted son of Ningzong Empress Xie
Duzong (Magnanimous A) Zhao Mengqi 1265-74 Nephew of Lizong Empress Chuan, Consorts 1 Yang, 2 Yu
Gongzong (Respectful A) Zhao Xian 1275 dep Son of Duzong + Chuan  
Duanzong (Upright A) Zhao Shi 1276-8 Son of Duzong + Yang  
Bing Di (Promising E) Zhao Bing 1279 Son of Duzong + Yu  

Yuan Dynasty (Mongol)

Shizu (Genesis Progenitor) Kubilai 1279-94 Gs Genghis Khan; Son of Tolui + Sorghagtani Beki Tegulun, Chabi, Tarakhan, Bayaghucha
Chengzong (Accomplished) Temur Oljeitu 1294-1307 Gs of Kubilai 1 Shirindari

2 Bulukhan

Wuzong (Martial A) Khaishan 1307-11 Bro of Temur Oljeitu  
Renzong (Benevolent A) Ayurbarwada 1311-20 Bro of Khaishan  
Yingzong (Heroic A) Shidebala 1321-3 Son of Ayurbarwada  
Taiding Huangdi (Exalted and Decisive E) Yesun Temur 1323-8 Gs of Kubilai  
Wenzong (Literary A) Tugh Temur 1328, 1329-32 Son of Khaishan Budashiri
Mingzong (Brilliant A) Khoshila 1329 Son of Khaishan Babusha
Shundi (Submissive E) Toghon Temur 1333-68 dep Son of Khosila  

Ming Dynasty

Hongwu 'Vast Military Power'

Taizu (Supreme Progenitor)

Zhu Yuanzhang 1368-98 Son of Zhu Shichen Empress Ma, Consort Wu

Huidi (Beneficial E)

Zhu Yunwen 1398-1402 grandson of Hongwu Empress Ma
Yongle, Chengzu (Accomplished P) Zhu Di 1402-24 son of Hongwu Empress Xu
Hongxi, Renzong (Benevolent A) Zhu Gaozi 1424-5 Son of Yongle Empress Zhang
Xuande (Xuanzong 'Proclaimed A') Zhu Zhanji 1425-35 Son of Hongxi Empresses 1 Hu, 2 Sun, Consort Wu
Zhengtong Yingzong - Heroic A Zhu Qizhen 1435-49 dep. Son of Xuande + Sun Empresses 1 Qian, 2 Zhou
Jingtai (Jingti Admired E) Zhu Qiyu 1449-57 Son of Xuande Empress Wang, Consort Hang
Tianshun (Zhengtong restored)   1457-64    
Chenghua (Xianzong Constitutional A) Zhu Jianshen/Jianji/ Jianru 1464-87 Son of Zhengtong Empresses 1 Wu, 2 Wang, 3 Ji, 4 Shao Consort Wan Guifei
Hongzhi (Xiaozong Filial A) Zhu Yutang 1487-1505 Son of Chenghua + Ji Empress Zhang
Zhengde (Wuzong Martial A) Zhu Houzhao 1505-21 Son of Hongzhi + Zhang Empress Xia
Jiajing (Shizong - Genesis A) Zhu Houcong 1521-67 Gs of Chenhua + Shao Empresses 1 Chen 2 Zhang, 3 Fang Consort Du
Longqing (Muzong Reverent A) Zhu Zaihou 1567-72 Son of Jiajing + Kang Empresses 1 Li, 2 Chen, 3 Ci (Lishi)
Wanli (Shenzong Spiritual A) Zhu Yizhun 1572-1620 Son of Longqing + Lishi Empresses 1 Wang, 2 Wang Consorts Li + Zheng
Taichang (Guangzong Lustrous A) Zhu Changle 1620 Son of Wanli + Empresses 1 Guo, 2 Wang Consorts 1 Li, 2 Liu
Tianqui (Xizong Bright A) Zhu Yujiao 1620-7 Son of Taichang + Wang Empress Zhang
Chongzhen (Sizong Thoughtful A) Zhu Yujian 1627-44 Son of Taichang + Liu Empress Zhou Consort Tian

Qing Dynasty (Manchus)

Shunzhi (Shizu - Sage Progenitor) Fulin 1644-61 Son of the leader Abahai Empresses 1 Berjjijit, 2 Xiao Kang 3 Xiao Hui Consort Xiao Xian
Kangxi (Shengxu - Sacred Progenitor) Xuan Ye 1661-1722 son of Shunzhi + XK Empress Xiaocheng

Xiao Gong

Yongzheng (Shizong - Genesis A) Yinchen 1722-35 son of Kangxi + Xiao Gong Empresses 1 Xiao Sheng 2 Xiao Xian
Qianlong (Gaozong High A) Hongli 1735-96 abd son of Yongzheng Empresses 1 Xiao Xian, 2 Xiao Yi (Ula Nara)
Jiaqing (Renzong - Benevolent A) Yongyan 1796-1820 Son of Qianlong + XY Empress Xiao Shu
Daoguang (Xuanzong (Proclaimed A) Min Ning 1820-50 Son of Jiajing + XS Empresses 1 Xiaomu, 2 Xiao Zhuan
Xianfeng (Wenzong Literary A) Yichu 1850-61 Son of Daoguang + XZ Empresses

1 Niuhuru, Xiao Chen, Ci An

2 Xiao Qin/ Yehonala/Cixi

Tongzhi (Muzong Reverent A) Zaichun 1861-75 Son of Xianfeng + Cixi Empress Xiao Che, Alute
Guangxu (Xuandi Proclaimed E) Zai Tian 1875-1908 Son of Yi Huan, Prince Jun Empress Long Yu, Xiao Ding
Xuanzong Xuandi (Proclaimed A/E) Aisin Gioro Puyi (Henry Puyi) 1908-12 died 1967 Son of Chun II, bro of Guangxu Empress -

Consort -

This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.

Copies may be made for personal use only.

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