later zhou dynasty

later zhou dynasty (Simplified Chinese 后周; Traditional Chinese 後周; pinyin Hòu Zhōu) was the last a succession of five dynasties that controlled most of northern China during the five dynasties and ten kingdoms Period, which lasted from 907 to 960 and bridged the gap between the tang dynasty and the song dynasty.

Founding of the Dynasty

Guo Wei, a Han Chinese, served as the Assistant Military Commissioner at the court of the Later han dynasty, a regime ruled by Shatuo Turks. A teenager came to the throne of the later five dynasties in 948 after the death of the founding emperor, Gaozu. Guo Wei led a successful coup against the teenage emperor and declared himself emperor of the new later zhou dynasty on New Years Day in 951.

Rule of Guo Wei

Guo Wei, posthumously known as Emperor Taizu of later zhou dynasty, was the first Han Chinese ruler of northern China since 923. He is regarded as an able leader who attempted reforms designed to alleviate burdens faced by the peasantry. His rule was vigorous and well-organized. However, it was also a short reign. His death from illness in 954 ended his three year reign.

Rule of Guo Rong

Guo Rong, posthumously known as Emperor Shizong of later zhou dynasty, was the adoptive son of Guo Wei Born Chai Rong, he was the son of his wife's elder brother. He ascended the throne on the death of his adoptive father in 954. His reign was also effective and was able to make some inroads in the south with victories against the southern tang dynasty in 956. However, efforts in the north to dislodge the northern han dynasty, while initially promising, were ineffective. He died an untimely death in 959 from an illness while on campaign.

Fall of the later zhou dynasty

Guo Rong was succeeded by his seven-year-old son upon his death. Soon thereafter Zhao Kuangyin usurped the throne and declared himself emperor of the Great song dynasty, a dynasty that would eventually reunite China, bringing all of the southern states into its control as well as the northern han dynasty by 979.

Sovereigns of the later zhou dynasty 951- 960

Temple Names (Miao Hao 廟號 )

Posthumous Names (Shi Hao 諡號 )

Personal Names

Period of Reigns

Era Names (Nian Hao 年號) and their according range of years

Tàizŭ (太祖)

Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign

郭威 Guō Weī


Guǎngshun (廣順) 951-954

Xiande (顯德 xian3 de2) 954

Shìzōng (世宗)

Too tedious thus not used when referring to this sovereign

柴榮 Chái Róng


Xiǎndé (顯德) 954-959

Did not exist

恭帝 Gōngdì

柴宗訓 Chái Zōngxùn


Xiǎndé (顯德) 959-960

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