Emperor Taizu of Song

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  • Died: 976
  • Reign: 960-976
  • Other Names: 匡胤 (Zhao Kuangyin)
  • Chinese: 太祖皇帝 (Taizu huangdi)

Emperor Taizu was the founder of the Chinese Song Dynasty.

Zhao Kuangyin was a general in the service to the Later Zhou Dynasty before overthrowing the boy ruler in 960 and taking the throne himself, declaring the beginning of a new dynasty. His armies took Jiangnan in 963, Sichuan in 965, Guangdong in 971, and Anhui, Jiangxi and Hunan in 975, as he worked to unify China under his control.

Emperor Taizu died in 976 and was succeeded by his younger brother, Emperor Taizong of Song, who completed this effort of unification, seizing control of Jiangsu and Zhejiang in 978, and Shanxi in 979.

Preceded by
Emperor Gongdi of Later Zhou
Emperor of Song
Succeeded by
Emperor Taizong of Song


  • Valerie Hansen, The Open Empire, New York: W.W. Norton & Company (2000), 265.