During the decline of the Han Dynasty, the northern part of China was under the control of Cao Cao, the Imperial Secretariat to the last Han emperor. In 213, he was titled Wei Gong (duke of Wei) and given ten cities as his domain. This area was named the "State of Wei". At that time, the southern part of China was already divided into two areas controlled by two warlords (later the Kingdom of Shu and Kingdom of Wu). In 216, Cao Cao was promoted to Wei Wang (king of Wei).
In 220, Cao Cao died and his son Cao Pi succeded to the title Wei Wang and the position as Imperial Secretarist. Later that year, Cao Pi seized the imperial throne and claimed to have founded the Wei dynasty, but Liu Bei of Shu immediately contested his claim to the throne, and Sun Quan followed suite in 222.
The capital of Wei was Luoyang.
|Posthumous Names||family (in bold) name and first names||Year(s) of Reigns||Era Namess and their range of years|
|Chinese Convention: family and first names, and less commonly "Wei" + posthumous name + "di"|
|Emperor Wen of Wei China, ch 文, py. wén||Cao Pi, ch. 曹丕, py. cáo pī||220-226||Huangchu (黃初 huang2 chu1) 220-226|
|Emperor Ming of Wei China, ch 明 py. míng||Cao Rui, ch. 曹叡, py. cáo rùi||226-239||Taihe (太和 tài hé) 227-233
|Shao (少 py. shao4) or King of Qi of Wei China, ch. 齊王, py. qí wáng||Cao Fang, ch. 曹芳, py. cáo fāng||239-254||Zhengshi (正始 zhèng shĭ) 240-249
|Gaoguixiang Gong of Wei China, ch. 高貴鄉公, py. gāo gùi xīang gōng||Cao Mao, ch. 曹髦, py. cáo máo||254-260||Zhengyuan (正元 zhèng yúan) 254-256
|Emperor Yuan of Wei China, ch. 元, py. yúan||Cao Huan, ch. 曹奐, py. cáo hùan||260-265||Jingyuan (景元 jĭng yúan) 260-264