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Emperors of Tang Dynasty

 Emperor Gaozu (566 – 635)
Name: Li Yuan
Brief Introduction: the first emperor of the Tang Dynasty, he was the senior minister of the Sui Dynasty (581 - 618) and grew up during the rebellions.
Reign Title: Kaihuang
Reign Period: 618 – 626

A painting of Tang Dynasty, Shaanxi History Museum, Xian

 Emperor Taizong (599 - 649)
Name: Li Shimin
Brief introduction: a great militarist, politician and calligrapher in Chinese History, he inaugurated the 'Zhenguan Era', and pushed China's feudal society to its peak.
Reign Title: Zhenguan
Reign Period: 627 – 649

 Emperor Gaozong (628 – 683)
Name: Li Zhi
Brief introduction: the ninth son of Emperor Taizong, he conquered many minority groups, making the territory the largest in the Tang Dynasty. In his later years, due to his poor health, he gradually lost control of the state, and Empress Wu Zetian rose to power.
Reign Title: Yonghui
Reign Period: 650 – 683

 Emperor Zhongzong (656 - 710)
Name: Li Xian
Brief introduction: the seventh son of Emperor Gaozong, he formally ascended to the throne in 683, but was a puppet for Wu Zetian who ruled the court from behind the scenes. In 684, he was deposed and degraded as Prince of Luling. In 705, he assumed the throne again, and ruled for five years, during which time the power was actually wielded by Empress Wei.
Reign Title: Hongdao and Shenlong
Reign Period: 683, 705 - 710

 Emperor Ruizong (662 - 716)
Name: Li Dan
Brief introduction: totally incompetent to manage the affairs of state, he was a puppet for Wu Zetian, Li Longji, and Emperor Xuanzong
Reign Title: Wenming
Reign Period: 684 – 690, 710 - 712

 Zhou Dynasty of Wu Zetian

Wu Zetian (624 – 705)
Name: Wu Meiniang, Wu Zhao
Brief introduction: the only officially recognized woman emperor in Chinese History; she was praised as the most influential female politician in China's feudal society by Song Qingling, the second wife of the Chinese revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan).
Reign Title: Tianshou
Reign Period: 690 – 705

 Tang Dynasty Continuation

 Emperor Shaodi (Shangdi) (695 - ?)
Name: Li Chongmao
Brief introduction: the youngest son of Emperor Zhongzong and Empress Wei, he was appointed emperor at age 16 by Empress Wei. After reigning only one month, he was expelled from Chang'an by Li Longji and Princess Taiping.
Reign Title: Tanglong
Reign Period: 710

 Emperor Xuanzong (685 - 762)
Name: Li Longji
Brief introduction: also known as Tang Minghuang, he reigned for 44 years. In his early years, he made every effort to make the country prosperous, and his reign was known as the Heyday of Kaiyuan. In later years, he became extravagant and eccentric, taking Yang Yuhuan, his daughter-in-law, as his concubine. His fatuity finally caused the An Lushan-Shi Siming Rebellion, and the Tang Dynasty gradually declined after the rebellion.
Reign Title: Kaiyuan
Reign Period: 712 – 756

 Emperor Suzong (711 – 762)
Name: Li Heng
Brief introduction: the third son of Emperor Xuanzong, he devoted himself to pacifying the An Lushan-Shi Siming Rebellion during his reign.
Reign Title: Zhide
Reign Period: 756 - 762

 Emperor Daizong (726 – 779)
Name: Li Yu
Brief introduction: the eldest son of Emperor Suzong, he believed in Buddhism and spent considerable sums of money building Buddhist temples. This both weakened state politics and the economy.
Reign Title: Guangde
Reign Period: 762 – 779

 Emperor Dezong (742 – 805)
Name: Li Kuo
Brief introduction: the eldest son of Emperor Daizong, he attempted to weaken the power of the local separatist regimes, but failed because of poor planning and strategies. Thereafter, the central power of the Tang Dynasty was reduced.
Reign Title: Jianzhong
Reign Period: 780 – 805

 Emperor Shunzong (761 – 806)
Name: Li Song
Brief introduction: the eldest son of Emperor Dezong, he attempted to implement reforms to correct the measures imposed by Emperor Dezong, but was unable to succeed due to poor health and suffered a number of strokes.
Reign Title: Yongzhen
Reign Period: 805

 Emperor Xianzong (778 – 820)
Name: Li Chun
Brief introduction: after ascending to the throne, he launched a series of successful battles against the local separatist regimes – due to his achievements, his ruling period was known as 'Guangwu Zhongxing' (a short period of prosperity).
Reign Title: Yuanhe
Reign Period: 805 – 820

 Emperor Muzong (795 – 824)
Name: Li Heng
Brief introduction: died at 30 years old, he was a foolish and self-indulgent ruler, neglecting the state affairs.
Reign Title: Changqing
Reign Period: 821 - 824

 Emperor Jingzong (809 – 826)
Name: Li Zhan
Brief introduction: the eldest son of Emperor Muzong, he was another fatuous emperor who followed in his father's footsteps and was killed by the eunuchs.
Reign Title: Baoli
Reign Period: 824 – 826

 Emperor Wenzong (809 – 840)
Name: Li Ang
Brief introduction: the second son of Emperor Muzong, he was a puppet of the eunuchs, and died of sorrow.
Reign Title: Dahe
Reign Period: 826 – 840

 Emperor Wuzong (814 – 846)
Name: Li Yan
Brief introduction: the fifth son of Emperor Muzong, he was well-known in Chinese history for persecuting Buddhists.
Reign Title: Huichang
Reign Period: 840 – 846

 Emperor Xuanzong (810 – 859)
Name: Li Zhen
Brief introduction: the 13th son of Emperor Xianzong, he was one of the wiser emperors in the Tang Dynasty, and was known as 'small Taizong'.
Reign Title: Dazhong
Reign Period: 846 – 859

 Emperor Yizong (833– 873)
Name: Li Cui
Brief introduction: the eldest son of Emperor Xuanzong, he was another fatuous and self-indulgent ruler. During his rule, 'cannibalism' once happened.
Reign Title: Xiantong
Reign Period: 859 – 873

 Emperor Xizong (826 – 888)
Name: Li Xuan
Brief introduction: the fifth son of Emperor Yizong; it was during his rule that the Huang Chao Rebellion broke out, and the Tang Dynasty was weakened significantly.
Reign Title: Ganfu
Reign Period: 873 – 888

 Emperor Zhaozong (867 – 904)
Name: Li Ye
Brief introduction: the seventh son of Emperor Yizong, he was manipulated and then killed by Zhu Wen, the official of the strongest local separatist regime at the time.
Reign Title: Wende
Reign Period: 888 – 904

 Emperor Aidi (892 – 908)
Name: Li Zhu
Brief introduction: the ninth son of Emperor Zhaozong, he was dethroned by Zhu Wen, and died at the young age of 17.
Reign Title: Tianyou
Reign Period: 904 – 907