The History of the First Emperor of China Essay

The History of the First Emperor of China Essay

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On March 29, 1974, a couple of workers were digging a water well on the east side of Mount Li outside of the city of Xi’an. The workers uncovered a single terracotta figure and called the government authorities who investigated the matter. Soon, government archeologists were sent to the site. The unearthed great clay army that has baffled modern day craftsmen, intrigued archeologists, and amazed the general public. Before this discovery, no one knew about the First Emperor of China. Forty years later, we know a good deal about his legacy.
Ying Zheng was born in 259 BCE to the King of Qin and his concubine. In 246 BCE, he took the throne at only thirteen. By the time he thirty-eight, he had unified the seven warring states involved in the Warring States Era. These territories included Qin, Han, Wei, Zhao, Qi, Chu, Yan, and several minor states. He took on the name Qin Shi Huang Di and is known as the First Emperor of Qin and also as the First Emperor of China. Only a year after his conquest, 210 BC, he died. The dynasty he created only lived for another four years. All that we know of the First Emperor is from The Grand Scribe's Records, written by an astrologer who died around 85 BCE.
All that we know of the First Emperor is from The Grand Scribe's Records, written by an astrologer who died around 85 BCE. Because the fall of a dynasty was so regarded as weakness and a disproval from Heaven, records of the time portrayed the Emperor in a negative light. One story that circulated for centuries was that Qin Shi Huang Di wasn't his father's child at all, but that of a merchant. This merchant, who became the Prime Minister of Qin, happened to also be the Emperor of Qin's friend. The merchant impregnated a concubine and, with his ...


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... Emperor of one of the largest nations on earth died like he lived: with ruthlessness and eagerness for war. His Terracotta Army lives on for us to question and inquire the reasons and tactics of this emperor.



Works Cited

Man, John. The Terra Cotta Army: China's First Emperor and the Birth of a Nation. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 2008. Print.
Platt, Kevin H. "Ancient Mass Sacrifice, Riches Discovered in China Tomb." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 29 Jan. 2008. Web. 28 Mar. 2014.
Roach, John. "Terra-Cotta Army Protects First Emperor's Tomb." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2014.
Secrets of the Dead: China's Terracotta Warriors. By Steven Talley. Perf. Liev Schreiber. 2011. Netflix. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.
Wood, Frances. China's First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors. New York: St. Martin's, 2008. Print.

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