List of emperors of the Ming dynasty

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Emperor of the Great Ming
大明皇帝
Imperial
A Seated Portrait of Ming Emperor Taizu.jpg
First to reign
Hongwu Emperor
23 January 1368 – 24 June 1398
Details
StyleHis Imperial Majesty (陛下, 皇上, 萬歲)
First monarch
Last monarch
Formation
  • 1368 (Ming dynasty)
  • 1644 (Southern Ming)
Abolition
  • 1644 (Ming dynasty)
  • 1662 (Southern Ming)
Residence
AppointerHereditary

The Ming dynasty was a dynasty of China that existed from 1368 to 1644, succeeding the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty and falling amidst much political turmoil to the short-lived Shun dynasty. Sixteen emperors ruled over the whole of China proper spanning 276 years. Following the collapse of the Ming dynasty in 1644, members of the Ming imperial family continued to rule parts of southern China until 1662; this regime is known as the Southern Ming in historiography.

Emperors[edit]

Portrait Name by which most commonly known
(birth–death)
Reign[1] Given name Era name Posthumous name Temple name[a]
portrait Hongwu Emperor
(21 October 1328 –
24 June 1398)
23 January 1368 –
24 June 1398
Zhū Yuánzhāng
朱元璋
Hóngwǔ
洪武
Emperor Gāo
高皇帝
Tàizǔ
太祖
portrait Jianwen Emperor
(5 December 1377 –
13 July 1402)
30 June 1398 –
13 July 1402
Zhū Yǔnwén
朱允炆
Jiànwén
建文
Emperor Ràng
讓皇帝
Huìzōng[b]
惠宗
portrait Yongle Emperor
(2 May 1360 –
12 August 1424)
17 July 1402 –
12 August 1424
Zhū Dì
朱棣
Yǒnglè
永樂
Emperor Wén
文皇帝
Tàizōng
太宗
and
Chéngzǔ
成祖
portrait Hongxi Emperor
(16 August 1378 –
29 May 1425)
7 September 1424 –
29 May 1425
Zhū Gāochì
朱高熾
Hóngxī
洪熙
Emperor Zhāo
昭皇帝
Rénzōng
仁宗
portrait Xuande Emperor
(16 March 1399 –
31 January 1435)
27 June 1425 –
31 January 1435
Zhū Zhānjī
朱瞻基
Xuāndé
宣德
Emperor Zhāng
章皇帝
Xuānzōng
宣宗
portrait Emperor Yingzong
(29 November 1427 –
23 February 1464)
7 February 1435 –
1 September 1449
Zhū Qízhèn
朱祁鎮
Zhèngtǒng
正統
Emperor Ruì
睿皇帝
Yīngzōng
英宗
11 February 1457 –
23 February 1464[c]
Tiānshùn
天順
portrait Jingtai Emperor
(21 September 1428 –
14 March 1457)
22 September 1449 –
14 March 1457
Zhū Qíyù
朱祁鈺
Jǐngtài
景泰
Emperor Jǐng
景皇帝
Dàizōng
代宗
portrait Chenghua Emperor
(9 December 1447 –
9 September 1487)
28 February 1464 –
9 September 1487
Zhū Jiànshēn
朱見深
Chénghuà
成化
Emperor Chún
純皇帝
Xiànzōng
憲宗
portrait Hongzhi Emperor
(30 July 1470 –
9 June 1505)
22 September 1487 –
8 June 1505
Zhū Yòuchēng
朱祐樘
Hóngzhì
弘治
Emperor Jìng
敬皇帝
Xiàozōng
孝宗
portrait Zhengde Emperor
(27 October 1491 –
20 April 1521)
19 June 1505 –
20 April 1521
Zhū Hòuzhào
朱厚㷖
Zhèngdé
正德
Emperor Yì
毅皇帝
Wǔzōng
武宗
portrait Jiajing Emperor
(16 September 1507 –
23 January 1567)
27 May 1521 –
23 January 1567
Zhū Hòucōng
朱厚熜
Jiājìng
嘉靖
Emperor Sù
肅皇帝
Shìzōng
世宗
portrait Longqing Emperor
(4 March 1537 –
5 July 1572)
4 February 1567 –
5 July 1572
Zhū Zǎijì
朱載坖
Lóngqìng
隆慶
Emperor Zhuāng
莊皇帝
Mùzōng
穆宗
portrait Wanli Emperor
(4 September 1563 –
18 August 1620)
19 July 1572 –
18 August 1620
Zhū Yìjūn
朱翊鈞
Wànlì
萬曆
Emperor Xiǎn
顯皇帝
Shénzōng
神宗
portrait Taichang Emperor
(28 August 1582 –
26 September 1620)
28 August –
26 September 1620
Zhū Chángluò
朱常洛
Tàichāng
泰昌
Emperor Zhēn
貞皇帝
Guāngzōng
光宗
portrait Tianqi Emperor
(23 December 1605 –
30 September 1627)
1 October 1620 –
30 September 1627
Zhū Yóujiào
朱由校
Tiānqǐ
天啟
Emperor Zhé
悊皇帝
Xīzōng
熹宗
portrait of unknown origin Chongzhen Emperor
(6 February 1611 –
25 April 1644)
2 October 1627 –
25 April 1644
Zhū Yóujiǎn
朱由檢
Chóngzhēn
崇禎
Emperor Liè
烈皇帝
Sīzōng
思宗

Southern Ming[edit]

Name by which most commonly known
(birth–death)
Reign Given name Era name Temple name
Prince of Fu
Fúwáng
福王
(5 September 1607 –
23 May 1646)
19 June 1644 –
15 June 1645
Zhū Yóusōng
朱由崧
Hóngguāng
弘光
Ānzōng
安宗
Prince of Tang
Tángwáng
唐王
(25 May 1602 –
6 October 1646)
18 August 1645 –
6 October 1646
Zhū Yùjiàn
朱聿鍵
Lóngwǔ
隆武
Shàozōng
紹宗
Prince of Lu (Luh*)[d]
Lùwáng
潞王
(1608 – 23 May 1646)
30 June –
6 July 1645
Zhū Chángfāng
朱常淓
None given,
but sometimes referred to as the

Regency of the Prince of Lu (Luh)
Lùwáng Jiānguó
潞王監國
Prince of Lu (Lou*)[d]
Lǔwáng
魯王
(6 July 1618 –
23 December 1662)
19 August 1645 –
29 March 1653
Zhū Yǐhǎi
朱以海
Jiānguó[e]
監國
Prince of Tang
Tángwáng
唐王
(1605 – 20 January 1647)
11 December 1646 –
20 January 1647
Zhū Yùyuè
朱聿鐭
Shàowǔ
紹武
Prince of Huai
Huáiwáng
淮王
(?–1649)
1648–1649 Zhū Chángqīng
朱常清
Dōngwǔ
東武
Prince of Gui
Gùiwáng
桂王
(1 November 1623 –
1 June 1662)
18 November 1646 –
1 June 1662
Zhū Yóuláng
朱由榔
Yǒnglì
永曆
Zhāozōng
昭宗

Other Ming claimants included Zhu Benli, Prince of Han (1646–1663) and Zhu Changqing, Prince of Huai (1648–1661). If Zhu Benli existed, he would be the last legal emperor of Southern Ming from the execution (1662) of Zhu Youlang. However, Zhu Benli's identity and existence are disputed, and Zhu Youlang is generally taken to be the last emperor of Southern Ming.[3] Ming prince Zhu Shugui carried out his duties in the Kingdom of Tungning in the name of the last Southern Ming emperor until 1683.

Individuals posthumously recognized as emperors[edit]

This is a list of individuals who did not reign as emperor during their lifetime but were later recognized as Ming emperors posthumously.

Name
(birth–death)
Posthumous name Temple name Year of recognition Notes
Zhū Bǎiliù
朱百六
(?–?)
Emperor Xuán
玄皇帝
Dézǔ
德祖
1368 Great-great-grandfather of the Hongwu Emperor
Zhū Sìjiǔ
朱四九
(?–?)
Emperor Héng
恆皇帝
Yìzǔ
懿祖
1368 Great-grandfather of the Hongwu Emperor
Zhū Chūyī
朱初一
(?–?)
Emperor Yù
裕皇帝
Xīzǔ
熙祖
1368 Grandfather of the Hongwu Emperor
Zhū Shìzhēn
朱世珍
(1281–1344)
Emperor Chún
淳皇帝
Rénzǔ
仁祖
1368 Father of the Hongwu Emperor
Zhū Biāo
朱標
(10 October 1355 –
17 May 1392)
Emperor Xiàokāng
孝康皇帝
Xīngzōng
興宗
1398
and
1645
Crown Prince who never acceded to the throne.
Son of the Hongwu Emperor.
Father of the Jianwen Emperor.
Zhū Yòuyuán
朱祐杬
(22 July 1476 –
13 July 1519)
Emperor Xiàn
獻皇帝
Ruìzōng
睿宗
1538 Father of the Jiajing Emperor
Zhū Chángxún
朱常洵
(22 February 1586 –
2 March 1641)
Emperor Gōng
恭皇帝
and
Emperor Xiào
孝皇帝
Gōngzōng
恭宗
1644 Father of the Hongguang Emperor
Zhū Yǔwēn
朱宇溫
(1490–1560)
Emperor Huì
惠皇帝
1645 Great-great-grandfather of the Longwu and Shaowu emperors
Zhū Zhòuyǒng
朱宙栐
(1538–1564)
Emperor Shùn
順皇帝
1645 Great-grandfather of the Longwu and Shaowu emperors
Zhū Shuòhuáng
朱碩熿
(? – 24 January 1630)
Emperor Duān
端皇帝
1645 Grandfather of the Longwu and Shaowu emperors
Zhū Qìshèng
朱器墭
(?–1629)
Emperor Xuān
宣皇帝
1645 Father of the Longwu and Shaowu emperors
Zhū Cílǎng
朱慈烺
(26 February 1629 –
June 1644)
Emperor Dào
悼皇帝
1646 Crown Prince who never acceded to the throne.
Son of the Chongzhen Emperor.
Zhū Chángyíng
朱常瀛
(25 April 1597 –
21 December 1645)
Emperor Duān
端皇帝
Lǐzōng
禮宗
1646 Father of the Yongli Emperor

Timeline[edit]

Zhu YoulangZhu YuyueZhu YujianZhu YousongChongzhen EmperorTianqi EmperorTaichang EmperorWanli EmperorLongqing EmperorJiajing EmperorZhengde EmperorHongzhi EmperorChenghua EmperorJingtai EmperorEmperor Yingzong of MingXuande EmperorHongxi EmperorYongle EmperorJianwen EmperorHongwu Emperor

Legend:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As posthumous and temple names were often shared by emperors of different dynasties, they are usually preceded by the dynastic name, in this case, Ming, to avoid confusion. For example, the Hongwu Emperor is frequently referred to as Ming Taizu.
  2. ^ The Yongle Emperor assumed the throne of his nephew, the Jianwen Emperor, who was officially said to have died in a palace fire but who was suspected of escaping to live as a recluse. The Yongle Emperor wiped out the record of his nephew's reign and no temple name was given him. In 1644, the Prince of Fu (福王), the new self-proclaimed emperor of the Southern Ming, conferred on Emperor Jianwen the temple name Huizong.
  3. ^ After listening to the poor advice of his eunuch advisers, Emperor Yingzong personally led a campaign in 1449 against the Mongols and was captured. His younger brother, the Jingtai Emperor assumed the throne and as a hostage no longer of any value, the Mongols released the Emperor Yingzong who returned to live in seclusion. However, Emperor Yingzong was able to regain his position upon the illness of Jingtai Emperor in 1457, choosing the reign name Tianshun.
  4. ^ a b The two characters are both pronounced Lu but with different tones; to distinguish them in Roman script, one is usually kept as Lu and the other spelled differently. Luh is from Cambridge History of China; Lou is from A.C. Moule's Rulers of China (1957). When one irregular spelling is used, the other is kept as regular (Lu). The two systems are distinct and not used simultaneously. After the death of these princes, there is no temple name. The temple name appearing on the Internet has no source[2]
  5. ^ Not an actual era name, but used in place of an era name and served a similar function; Jianguo literally means "regency"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tong, James (1992). "Ming Dynasty Emperors and Reign Period". Disorder Under Heaven: Collective Violence in the Ming Dynasty. Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804766760.
  2. ^ Lynn A., Struve (1984). The Southern Ming, 1644-1662. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300030570.
  3. ^ Michael Dillon, ed. (December 2016). Encyclopedia of Chinese History. Routledge. p. 645. ISBN 9781317817161.