Shi Le

Shi Le (石勒) (274–333), courtesy name Shilong (世龍), formally Emperor Ming of (Later) Zhao ((後)趙明帝), was the founding emperor of the Chinese/Jie state Later Zhao. At a young age he was sold as a slave by Jin officials, but he later helped start a rebellion and eventually became a powerful general for the Xiongnu state Han Zhao, conquering most of northern China in Han Zhao's name but holding the territory under his own control. In 319, after a dispute with the Han Zhao emperor Liu Yao, he broke away from Han Zhao and formed his own state, Later Zhao, and in 329 he captured Liu Yao and conquered Han Zhao, adding western China to his empire as well.

Shi Le was known as a brilliant general, but was criticized by historians for excessive cruelty during his campaigns. He also put too much power in the hands of his ambitious and even more ferocious nephew Shi Hu who, after Shi Le's death, seized power from Shi Le's son Shi Hong.

Read more about Shi Le:  Early Life, Independence and Reign As Prince of Zhao, As Emperor, Era Names, Personal Information