Ming Dynasty

Chinese Empresses

The first Ming emperor, Hongwu, laid the basis of an authoritarian political culture. Despite early expansion, it was an inward-looking state with an emphasis on its agrarian base. Gradual burgeoning of the commercial sector; important changes in the economy and social relations in the latter part of the dynasty; also a vibrant literary scene as represented by publication of the novel Journey to the West.

Early Period

Middle Period

End Period

Early Period

Empress Hu and Empress Sun

Empress Hu and Empress Sun

Empress Zhang (Hongxi)

Empress Zhang (Hongxi)

Empress Xu

Empress Xu

Empress Xiaominrang

Empress Ma

Empress Ma (Empress Xiaocigao)

Empress Ma (Empress Xiaocigao)

Middle Period

Empress Qian

Empress Qian

Empress Wang and Empress Hang

Empress Wang (Jingtai) and Empress Hang

Empress Wu and Empress Wang

Empress Wu and Empress Wang

Empress Zhang (Hongzhi)

Empress Zhang (Hongzhi)

Empress Xia

Empress Xia

Empress Chen, Empress Zhang, Empress Fang

Empress Chen, Empress Zhang, Empress Fang

End Period

Empress Xiaoyizhuang

Empress Xiaoyizhuang

Empress Chen (Longqi)

Empress Chen (Longqi)

Empress Xiaoduanxian

Empress Xiaoduanxian (Wang Xijie)

Empress Xiaoyuanzhen

Empress Xiaoyuanzhen

Empress Zhang (Tianqi)

Empress Zhang (Tianqi)

Empress Zhou

Empress Zhou