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Dynasties and Rulers of China

China has had a long history of successive rulers from mythical sages to real people documented in historical chronicles. Below is a list of rulers by their reign title. Only the main dynastic players in Chinese history are listed.

The first section lists the mythical and semi-mythical rulers. These contributed towards the development of Chinese culture in general by their teaching of important skill to the people. The founders of the Xia4, Shang1 and Zhou1 dynasties are important only as signposts in the timeline, the transition between the mythical and the historical.

In the second section, Dynastic China, the major dynasties are given together with reign titles and dates. The names of the founders of those dynasties are given in brackets. The year given against each ruler is the year (in the Western calendar) of ascension the throne.

We end with the third section, post imperial Modern China. For a Chinese Traditional Big5 version of this page, click here.

Mythical - Semi-Mythical Rulers

Dynastic China

Modern China : Presidents of the Republic


Some other pages of interest, especially regarding the Age of the Warlord.

The following links are to other dynastic information from other countries and China.


I would like to thank Al Chu for helping me out with some information about Taiwanese leaders. And to suggestions of sites from news:sci.lang.japan for Japanese and Chinese monarch on Thurday 14th and Friday 15th December 2000. It provided me with some information for the northern Warlords. And also Robert Wishlaw for alerting me to a typo.
This page was coverted to Unicode UTF8 on Sunday 15th October 2000.
This page was created on Saturday 16th December 2000 and was last updated on Monday 6th February 2001.
© Dylan W.H.S. 2000 onwards