Family tree of ancient Chinese emperors

This is a family tree of Chinese kings before the establishment of the title emperor (皇帝) by Shi Huangdi.

Chinese emperors family tree (ancient)Chinese emperors family tree (early)Chinese emperors family tree (middle)Chinese emperors family tree (late)

Five Emperors

The legendary Five Emperors were traditionally regarded as the founders of the Chinese state. The Records of the Grand Historian states that Shaohao did not accede to the throne while Emperor Zhi’s ephemeral and uneventful rule disqualify him from the Five Emperors in all sources.[1] Other sources name Yu the Great, the founder of the Xia dynasty, as the last of the Five.[2] Pretenders are italicized.[3]

Xia dynasty

This is a family tree for the Xia dynasty which ruled circa 2100–1600 BC. The historicity of the dynasty has sometimes been questioned, but circumstantial archaeological evidence supports its existence.[5]

Shang dynasty

This is a family tree for the Shang dynasty, which ruled China proper between circa 1600 BC and 1046 BC.[8] The Shang rulers bore the title Di(帝)

Zhou dynasty

This is a family tree for the Zhou dynasty, descendants of Duke Wu of Zhou who overthrew the last Shang ruler, thereby establishing the dynasty. Ruling from 1046 BC to 256 BC, it is notable as the longest dynasty in Chinese history, although the actual political and military control of China by the dynasty only lasted during the Western Zhou.

東野家族大宗世系 Family Tree of the descendants of the Duke of Zhou in Chinese

Spring and Autumn period




Warring States period

In 771BC, a coälition of feudal lords and the Western Rong tribes overthrew King You and drove the Zhou out of the Wei valley. During the following Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods, the major states pursued independent policies and eventually declared full independence claiming the title borne by Zhou rulers.

All claimed descent from the Yellow Emperor through cadet lines of the royal houses above, although the historicity of such claims is usually doubted.


The kings of Qin claimed descent from the Lady Xiu, "the granddaughter" of "a remote descendant" of the Emperor Zhuanxu, the grandson of the Yellow Emperor. Similarly, in the next generation, Lady Hua was said to be descended from Shaodian,[9] the legendary figure who is sometimes the father and sometimes the foster father of the Yellow and Flame Emperors. Although Nüfang (lit. "Lady Fang") is counted as Elai's son, some scholars have claimed the figure was Elai's daughter and, along with the numerous important women in the early pedigree, indicates that early Qin was matriarchal.[10]

The surname Ying (lit."Abundance") was said to have been bestowed by Shun upon Dafei (the husbandman Yi). If it was ever held by any of his descendants, it had fallen out of use by the time of Feizi, who was granted the name anew by King Xiao of the Zhou.[9]

The Three Jins





House of Jiang

House of Tian




  1. Yang, 99.
  2. Mungello, David E. The Great Encounter of China and the West, 1500–1800 Rowman & Littlefield; 3 edition (28 Mar 2009) ISBN 978-0-7425-5798-7 p.97
  3. Book of Han, which is originate from《帝系》。
  4. Sima Qian, Records of the Grand Historian
  5. Liu, L. & Xiu, H., "Rethinking Erlitou: legend, history and Chinese archaeology", Antiquity, 81:314 (2007) pp. 886–901.
  6. Mungello, David E. The Great Encounter of China and the West, 1500–1800 Rowman & Littlefield; 3 edition (28 March 2009) ISBN 978-0-7425-5798-7 p.97.
  7. Wang Quangen 王泉根, (1993). Huaxia Quming Yishu 華夏取名藝術. (Taipei: Zhishu-fang Chuban Jituan 知書房出版集團), 42.
  8. Bamboo Annals
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Sima Qian. Records of the Grand Historian translated by Nienhauser, William Jr.The Grand Scribe's Records: The Basic Annals of Pre-Han China, pp. 87 ff. Indiana University Press, 1994. Accessed 4 December 2013.
  10. E.g., Lao Kan in his commentary on the Records of the Grand Historian,[11] although note Nienhauser's disagreement with that assessment.[9]
  11. Lao Kan. Shih Chih Chin-chu, p. 106. (Chinese)
  12. Sima Qian calls it a ,[13] where can mean "black"[9] or "mysterious". Lao Kan identified the bird as a swallow.[9]
  13. Sima Qian. Records of the Grand Historian, 《秦本纪第五》 ["The Qin Chronicles, Part Five"]. Guoxie, 2003. Accessed 7 Dec 2013. (Chinese)
  14. Not Zhongyu.[9]
  15. Recorded as "Duke Ning of Qin" (秦寧公) in Sima Qian, but inscriptions on excavated bronzeware from the period has shown this to have been a mistranscription of the original "Xian".[16]
  16. Han Zhaoqi. Annotated Shiji, "Annals of Qin", pp. 353–359. Zhonghua Book Company, 2010. ISBN 978-7-101-07272-3. (Chinese)
  17. Yap, Joseph. Wars with the Xiongnu: A Translation from Zhizhi Tongjian, p. 51. AuthorHouse, 2009. Accessed 8 Dec 2013.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/22/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.