Ming Shi-lu by Reign

The Ming Shi-lu is a collection of the shi-lu (or Veritable Records) of 13 of the 15 reigns during the Ming dynasty. The other two reigns are generally omitted from the “official” lists, for different reasons. The shi-lu of the Jian-wen Emperor (the second emperor) was not officially compiled as that emperor was deposed by his uncle Zhu Di (who became the Yong-le Emperor) in 1402, and the latter had the chronologies of the preceding two reigns re-arranged. Under the new chronology, the reign of Zhu Di’s father (the Hong-wu Emperor) extended up until his own reign began and the intervening reign of his nephew was consigned to oblivion. Also, the shi-lu of the final emperor of the Ming dynasty could not, obviously, have been compiled by officials of the Ming dynasty and is thus not considered an “official” compilation. The other unusual shi-lu is the Ying-zong Shi-lu which includes three reigns, beginning with the Zheng-tong reign of Zhu Qi-zhen, prior to his being captured and carried off by the Mongols in 1449, then the Jing-tai reign of his half-brother Zhu Qi-yu and finally the Tian-shun reign of Zhu Qi-zhen subsequent to his restoration. Apart from the Ying-zong shi-lu, each of the shi-lu comprises an account of one emperor's reign, and was compiled after the Emperor's death. For more on the Ming Shi-lu as a historical source, download the complete essay here.

Shi-lu Reign title Period included Date of compilation
of extant version
Tai-zu Hong-wu May 1351 to 24 Jun 1398 1418
Tai-zong Yong-le 24 Jun 1398 to 2 Sep 1424 1430
Ren-zong Hong-xi 25 Aug 1424 to 29 May 1425 1430
Xuan-zong Xuan-de 16 Jun 1425 to 31 Jan 1435 1438
Ying-zong Zheng-tong 29 Jan 1435 to 23 Feb 1464 1467
Xian-zong Cheng-hua 23 Feb 1464 to 9 Sep 1487 1491
Xiao-zong Hong-zhi 9 Sep 1487 to 8 Jun 1505 1509
Wu-zong Zheng-de 9 Jun 1505 to 27 May 1521 1525
Shi-zong Jia-jing 27 May 1521 to 23 Jan 1567 1577
Mu-zong Long-qing 24 Jan 1567 to 5 Jul 1572 1574
Shen-zong Wan-li 5 Jul 1572 to 18 Aug 1620 1630
Guang-zong Tai-chang 19 Aug 1620 to 25 Sep 1620 1623
Xi-zong Tian-qi 22 Jan 1621 to 3 Feb 1628 1637
Si-zong Chong-zhen 7 Feb 1628 to 24 Apr 1644 Late 17th century

* All dates are taken from Wolfgang Franke, An Introduction to the Sources of Ming History, 1968.