秦始皇帝 The First Emperor of China Part II

 
Part II
 
When they arrived at Xian Yang, Lu told Yi Ren to change to the costume
of the State of Chu (楚國) before he went in to see his parents because
Madam Hua Yang (華陽夫人) was originally from the state of Chu. Yi Ren then
went to pay respect to his parents who were very pleased to see him returned
home safely. The parents were amazed to see him wearing the costume of Chu.
An Guo Jun (安國君) laughingly nicknamed him Zi Chu Guo Jun (子楚國君) or
the Viscount of Chu. Yi Ren told his parents that Lu had saved his life.
Meanwhile, Yi Ren’s wife, Zhu Ji, carrying the baby boy, Zheng, came in
to see Lu and Yi Ren. Tears were welling up in their eyes when they were
reunited.

The next day An Guo Jun took them to see Qin Zhao Wang (秦昭王), the ruler
of Qin. The ruler was very grateful to Lu and appointed him the tutor of
Yi Ren. Thus Lu Buwei became an official in the Qin Court.

Several days later, Lu went to see Huang Yi (皇姨) and approached her to
remind Madam Hua Yang to appoint Yi Ren as the successor of his father.
A date was fixed. Eventually, Yi Ren was officially inducted as the heir
apparent of An Guo Jun.

Qin Zhao Wang (秦昭王), the ruler of Qin, died in the third month in 251BC.
The Crown Prince, An Guo Jun (安國君) became the new ruler of Qin and was
installed as Qin Xiao Wen Wang (秦孝文王) and Madam Hua Yang (華陽夫人)
became his official wife. The new ruler kept his promise and inducted Yi
Ren (異人) the Crown Prince his heir apparent. Qin Xiao Wen Wang died on
the third day after the installation. According to the traditional rules
of the State of Qin, Yi Ren was to become the new ruler of Qin. Yi Ren was
crowned Qin Zhuang Xiang Wang (秦莊襄王 250BC to 247BC), the 36th ruler
of the State of Qin. Zhu Ji (朱姬) became the official wife of Qin Zhuang
Xiang Wang. Yi Ren appointed Lu Buwei (呂不韋) his Premier. Yi Ren also
bestowed upon Lu the title of Wen Xin Hou (文信侯) or the Marquis of Wen
Xin. Yi Ren invested his son, Zheng (政) the Crown Prince.

Wanting to avenge the State of Zhao for holding him as a hostage Qin Zhuang
Xiang Wang ordered General Wang Jian (王翦) and General Zhang Han (章邯)
to lead an large army to attack the frontier town of Zhanghe (漳河) which
was occupied by the Qin army in a brief encountered with the Zhao troops.
Qin Zhuang Xiang Wang officially ended the Zhou Dynasty (周朝) by occupying
the Zhou capital of Chengzhou (成周 present day Luoyang 洛陽 in Henan province
河南省).

Qin Zhuang Xiang Wang died in 246BC and the young boy, Zheng, was installed
the 37th ruler of Qin. However, Zheng was only thirteen years old and was
too young to rule. Therefore, the Qin Court appointed Lu Buwei as the Regent
and the Godfather of the young ruler. Lu Buwei became the most powerful
man in the State of Qin.

Lu Buwei established his own private court and employed more than three
thousand people as his think tank. They helped him by fair means or foul
to stay in power. They were the experts of all professions. Among them were
the specialists in politics, current affairs, history, financial, story
and fable story writers. Their livelihoods depended on Lu Buwei.

Putting their brains together they compiled a book of more than two hundred
thousand words. The book was called, " 呂氏春秋 Lu Shi Chun Qiu or The 
Spring and Autumn Annals of Mr Lu"

This book was the sum total of all human knowledge at that time. Lu used
this book as his guide to conquer other States and unify this vast land
into one big empire. Lu also wanted every citizen in the state Qin to read
this book. So he hanged the scripts of this book up on the walls in the
capital. He proclaimed that if anyone could erase or change a word in the
book he promised that he would reward that person with a thousand pieces
of gold for each word he erased or changed. It was a perfect book. For ten
days not a single scholar came forward to change or delete a single word.
This was really 一字值千金 (Yi zi zhi qian jin) or one word was worth a
thousand pieces of gold.

Even though Zheng was young he knew what was going on in the State. He had
a vision that he would conquer and destroy other States and unify the land.
He knew that soon or later he would win back the political and military
power from Lu. However, Lu regarded him as just a boy and was not matured
and not ready to resume the Kingship. Actually, Lu did not want to relinguish
his power as the real ruler of Qin.

Lu continued to have affairs with Zhu Ji. However, Lu was so busy with his
books and the affairs of the State that he had no time to be with Zhu Ji.
In order to satisfy Zhu Ji’s lust he engaged a man named Lao Ai (嫪毐) to
continue the love affairs with her on his behalf. Lao Ai was disguised as
an eunuch by pulling off all his beard on his face. Lu rewarded Lao Ai the
title of Chang Xin Hou (長信侯) or the Marquis of Chang Xin. To keep the
love affair as secret as possible Zhu Ji moved to live in Qiyong (歧雍),
far away from the capital, Xianyang (咸陽). Eventually Zhu Ji and Lao Ai
live together for ten years and had two sons.

On the fifth day of the fifth month of in 238BC Lao Ai was drunk and scolded
an old house maid named Ji Shi (季氏) for being too clumsy by spilling the
wine. Lao Ai punished Ji Shi by whipping on her back. Ji Shi went back to
the capital and informed the chief eunuch named Zhao Gao (趙高) that Lao
Ai was a fake eunuch. Zhao Gao informed Zheng. Zheng was furious and became
very angry with Lu Buwei for arranging such a disgrace love affair for his
mother. Zheng had Lu Buwei arrested. Zheng went to his mother’s palace in
Qi Yong and had his two step-brothers killed and arrested Lao Ai. He banished
his mother to a place called Yong (雍) which was very far from the capital.
Zheng had Lao Ai executed. Zheng issued a decree stating that whoever advised
the affair regarding his mother would be put to death. Twenty seven people
tried to persuade the young ruler to take his mother back. Zheng had them
all executed.

One day, a man by the name of Mao Jiao (茅焦) came to advise Zheng and wanted
Zheng to take back his mother. Zheng was very angry and wanted to kill him
by boiling in a cauldron of boiling oil. While Zheng was waiting for the
oil in the cauldron to be boiled, he asked Mao Jiao why he was not afraid
of dying. Mao Jia replied that since there were 28 Zodiacal Constellations
in the sky and he had already killed 27 people that meant it was short of
one. That was why he came here to give advise and if the ruler killed him
he would become the 28th Constellation. Eventually, Zheng was persuaded
by Mao Jiao to take his mother back to live with him in Xian Yang. Zheng
appointed Mao Jiao as a high official.

In 237BC, Zheng dismissed Lu Bu Wei as the Prime Minister and appointed
a scholar named Li Si (李斯) as his new Prime Minister. Zheng ostracized
Lu Buwei to Luoyang city. The followers of Lu swamped to Luoyang to work
for him.

A year later Lu drew an open party in his house. The party was attended
by thousands of his followers. Zheng was afraid that Lu might organize an
rebellion against him. So he issued a decree to exile Lu for life to Shu
(蜀 in the present province of Sichuan 四川省). Lu knew that Zheng, his
own son was using excuses to get rid of him and wanted him to end his own
life. Lu committed suicide by drinking poisonous wine. Lu Buwei was buried
in a place north of the city of Luoyang (in present day Henan province 河
南省).

Zheng ordered his generals and armies to conquer all the States in the land.
By 221BC he achieved his ambition and had subjugated the States of Zhao
(趙國) , Chu (楚國), Yan (燕國), Han (韓國), Wei (魏國) and Qi (齊國). After
having unified the land Zheng proclaimed the establishment of Qin Dynasty
(秦朝).

Ying Zheng (嬴政), the 37th ruler of the State of Qin (秦國 897BC to 221BC),
was a very intelligent, clever and capable man. However, he was also a ruthless
and despotic ruler. After he had subjugated all the other States in the
land he established a centralized government for his empire which he called
the Qin Dynasty (秦朝 221BC to 207).

Ying Zheng did not want to be called the King or Wang (王). He argued that
he had achieved more than any ruler in the past. He was above the "三皇五
帝, the Three Emperors (天皇, 地皇 and 人皇) and the Five Sovereign (黃
帝, 玄帝, 嚳帝, 堯帝 and 舜帝). He wanted to have a title that sounded mightier
than all of the rulers before him. He also wanted the future generations
to know that he was the greatest ruler of all time. He called upon Li Si
(李斯), his Prime Minister and the court academicians (博士) to find an appropriate
title for him.

Wang Wan (王綰), a high official, said that the title of the "Three Emperors
and Five Sovereigns 三皇五帝" was a collective name of the rulers and the
territory of each of their country was not larger than one thousand square
miles. Wang Wan reminded Ying Zheng that the Zhou Dynasty (周朝 1134BC to
256BC) lasted for about 800 years and it was better to call himself Wang
(王 King) like all the Kings did in the Zhou Dynasty. Unhappily, Ying Zheng
told Wang Wan that he did not want his empire to last only for 800 years.
He wanted his empire to last for 10,000 years or forever.

Li Si suggested that since he, Ying Zheng, had achieved more than all the
rulers since time immemorial he should call himself 人皇 (Man Emperor) as
one of the Three Emperors, 天皇 ( Heaven Emperor), 地皇 (Earth Emperor)
and 人皇 (Man Emperor). On hearing this Ying Zheng was quite happy. He told
Li Si that he was different from the "Man Emperor" of ancient time. So Ying
Zheng decided to call himself "人皇 Man Emperor. Wanting to show that he
was different he deleted the word "Man" and added "Di 帝", the name of the
Five Sovereigns (五帝), after the word Huang 皇. Ultimately it became 皇
帝 Emperor Sovereign. Therefore he called himself Huang Di (皇帝). As he
wanted his empire to last forever there would be many Huang Dis after him.
He should be the First Emperor (始皇帝), his son the Second Emperor (二皇
帝) and his grandson the Third Emperor (三皇帝) and so on to 10,000 Emperors
or forever. He called himself 秦始皇帝 (Qin Shi Huang Di) or the First Emperor
of the Qin Empire.

Ying Zheng centralized his empire. No more vassal States, no more delegating
to relatives, generals, officials and some others to rule on the ruler’s
behalf like what the preceding Zhou Dynasty did. He was the Emperor and
he was the only person in the land who had the sole authorities, the power
and major decision making in the empire. Thus it was the beginning of a
new administration system, a Centralized Government that had continued for
more than 2,000 years until the 20th century.

The total population within his empire was only about 20 million. The bulk
of the population was in the present day provinces of Shaanxi (陜西省) and
Gansu (甘肅省) and in the regions along the two large rivers of Huanghe
(黃河) or the Yellow River and Changjiang (長江) or the Yangtze River.

The First Emperor, divided his Empire into 36 Prefectures (郡) and later
increased it to 41.

The forty one Prefectures were:

(01) Interior Jun (內史郡)=======
Xian Yang, Qin Capital (咸陽首都)

(02) Shang Jun (上郡)===================
Sui De Xian, Shaanxi province (綏德縣﹐陜西省)

(03) Bei Jun (北郡)=================
Ning Xian, Gansu province (寧縣﹐甘肅省)

(04) Long Xi Jun (隴西郡)================
Lin Yao Xian, Gansu Province (臨洮縣﹐甘肅省)

(05) Han Zhong Jun (漢中郡)====================
South of Zheng Xian, Shaanxi province (南鄭縣﹐陜西省)

(06) Shu Jun (蜀郡)========================
Cheng Du City, Sichuan province (成都市﹐四川省)

(07) Ba Jun (巴郡)=========================
Zhong Qing City, Sichuan province (重慶市﹐四川省)

(08) He Dong Jun (河東郡)===========
Xia Xian, Shanxi province (夏縣﹐山西省)

(09) Shang Dang Jun (上黨郡)==============
Chang Zi Xian, Shanxi province (長子縣﹐山西省)

(10) Tai Yuan Jun (太原郡)==============
Tai Yuan Xian, Shanxi province (太原縣﹐山西省)

(11) Yan Men Jun (雁門郡)===============
You Yu Xian, Shanxi province (右玉縣﹐山西省)

(12) Jiu Yuan Jun (九原郡)=============
Bao Tou City, Sui Yuan (old name) province (包頭市﹐,綏遠省舊名)

(13) Yun Zhong Jun (雲中郡)===============
Tuo Ke Tuo Xian, Sui Yuan (old name) province (托克托縣﹐綏遠省舊名)

(14) Dai Jun (代郡)==========================
Wei Xian, Hebei province (蔚縣﹐河北省)

(15) Qian Zhong Jun (黔中郡)===============
Yuan Ling Xian, Hunan province (沅陵縣﹐湖南省)

(16) Xiang Jun (象郡)==================
He Nei City, Vietnam (河內市﹐越南)

(17) Shang Gu Jun (上谷郡)============
Huai Lai Xian, Hebei province (懷來縣﹐河北省)

(18) Yu Yang Jun (漁陽郡)===============
Mi Yun Xian, Hebei province (密雲縣﹐河北省)

(19) You Bei Ping Jun (右北平郡)=====
Ping Quan Xian Re He (平泉縣﹐熱河)

(20) Liao Dong Jun (遼東郡)===========
Liao Yang Xian, Liaoning province (遼陽郡﹐遼寧省)

(21) Liao Xi Jun (遼西郡)============
Yi Xian Liaoning province (義縣﹐遼寧省)

(22) Ju Lu Jun (鉅鹿郡)====================
Ping Xiang Xian, Hebei province (平鄉縣﹐河北省)

(23) Han Dan Jun (邯鄲郡)===============
Han Dan Xian, Hebei province (邯鄲縣﹐河北省)

(24) Dong Jun (東郡)================
Pu Yang Xian, Hebei province (濮陽縣﹐河北省)

(25) Lang Ye Jun (瑯琊郡)===================
Zhu Cheng Xian, Shandong province (諸城縣﹐山東省)

(26) Si Shui Jun (泗水郡)==============
Pei Xian, Jiangsu province (沛縣﹐江蘇省)

(27) Jiu Jiang Jun (九江郡)===========
Shou Xian Anhui province (壽縣﹐安徽省)

(28) Min Zhong Jun (閩中郡)==========
Fu Zhou City, Fujian province (福州市﹐ 福建省)

(29) Nan Hai Jun (南海郡)======================
Guang Zhou City, Guangdong province (廣州市﹐ 廣東省)

(30) Qi Jun (齊郡)========================
Lin Zi Xian, Shandong province (臨淄縣﹐山東省)

(31) Xue Jun (薛郡)=========================
Teng Xian, Shandong province (滕縣﹐山東省)

(32) Dang Jun (碭郡)========================
Dang Shan Xian, Jiangsu province (碭山縣﹐ 江蘇省)

(33) Qi Jun (蘄郡)=================
Su Xian, Anhui province (宿縣﹐安徽省)

(34) San Chuan Jun (三川郡)=============
Luo Yang City, Henan province (洛陽市﹐河南省)

(35) Ying Chuan Jun (潁川郡)========
Yu Xian, Henan province (禹縣﹐河南省)

(36) Nan Yang Jun (南陽郡)=================
Nan Yang Xian, Henan province (南陽縣﹐河南省)

(37) Nan Jun (南郡)=======================
Jiang Ling Xian, Hubei province (江陵縣﹐湖北省)

(38) Hui Ji Jun (會稽郡)===============
Wu Xian, Jiangsu province (吳縣﹐江蘇省)

(39) Zhang Jun (鄣郡)========================
Chang Xing Xian, Zhejiang province (長興縣﹐浙江省)

(40) Chang Sha Jun (長沙郡)================
Chang Sha Xian, Hunan province (長沙縣﹐湖南省)

(41) Gui Lin Jun (桂林郡)===================
Gui Lin Xian, Guangxi province (桂林縣﹐廣西省)

For making it easy to govern such a big country the First Emperor realized
that he needed a common language to write his orders and decrees and his
officials, generals, governors and other subordinate officers should be
able to understand his instructions. He abolished the cultural systems of
the former six States that he had subjugated and used the Qin language as
the lingua franca of the empire.

It happened that there was a warder by the name of Cheng Mo (程邈) who had
offended the First Emperor. Cheng Mo was sentenced to prison for ten years.
While in prison Cheng Mo invented a writing script which was styled in calligraphy
from the Da Zhuan (大篆) an ancient style of calligraphy, current in the
Zhou Dynasty (周朝1134BC to 256BC). Da Zhuan was an official script, simplified
from Xiao Zhuan (小篆) which was an ancient style of calligraphy for the
purpose of standardizing the writing script. Cheng Mo compiled 3,000 words
into a book he called it Li Shu (隸書). Someone presented Cheng Mo’s Li Shu
to the First Emperor who was a man of letters. After reading the book the
First Emperor was overjoyed and he immediately released Cheng Mo. The First
Emperor issued a decree officially adopted the Qin script (秦篆) from Li
Shu to write all the official documents.

[Later, during the Han Dynasty (漢朝 206BC to 220AD), the book Li Shu became
very popular. The official script used by Han Government and the people
followed the style written in the book Li Shu. For over 2,000 years people
continued to write calligraphy according to the style invented by Cheng
Mo].

To encourage people to use only the Qin script Li Si, the Prime Minister,
advised the First Emperor to burn all the books that were written by the
former six states. Those scholars who disagreed with the Qin Government
were put to death by being buried alive. History had recorded that over
400 scholars were buried alive. The historians called this incident Fen
Shu Kang Ru (焚書坑儒) or burn books and bury scholars in pit.

The First Emperor unified weights and measures. He standardized the coinage.
He even unified the axle lengths of the wagons. He ordered to chisel and
dig a canal, which was to be called Ling Qu (靈渠), to connect the two rivers
of Xiangjiang (湘江in the present day Hunan province 湖南省), and Lijiang
(灕江 in present day Guangdong province 廣東省). When this canal was completed,
boats could sail from Chang Jiang (長江 or The Yangtze River) to the present
day city of Guangzhou (廣州) in Guangdong province.

The population in the southern coastal region of the empire were the Bai
Yue Ren (百越人). In order to consolidate his empire, the First Emperor
dispatched an army of 500,000 strong to the south. The army was under the
command of Tu Sui (屠睢). The troops were divided into five army corps of
100,000 each. One army was sent to Fanyu (番禺 in present day south of Guangzhou
city 廣州市 Guangdong province 廣東省), one to Tancheng (鐔城 in present
near Guilin city 桂林市 in Guangxi province 廣西省), one to the present day
northern part of Vietnam, which was then called Xiang Prefecture (象郡),
one to the present day Nanchang city in Jiangxi province (南昌市, 江西省
) and one to Yugan (餘干) near the Lake of Poyang (鄱陽湖) in the north
of Jiangxi province.

The First Emperor encouraged exogamy because he wanted to create a melting
pot of mixed blood people in his empire. He encouraged spinsters, newly
married couples, businessmen and those people wanted to venture to the south
to settle in the south. The First Emperor also banished convicts, army deserters,
and corrupted officials to the present day provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi
to live with the Bai Yue people. These newcomers intermarried with the Bai
Yue people and Sinicized them. They did not return to the north after the
collapse of the Qin Dynasty in 206BC.

From the time of Huang Di (黃帝) or the Yellow Emperor, more than 4600 years
ago, there had been continuous violent conflicts between the agricultural
Han Chinese in what is modern China and the non-Han Chinese herdsmen living
in the north. All along the ill-defined ecological border of North China,
pillaging and plundering committed by the non-Han Chinese went unabated
through the centuries. This constant menace resulted in enormous efforts
to defend the country against the marauding herdsmen.

The States of Yan (燕國 1112BC to 222BC, in present day Beijing city 北京
市 in Hebei province 河北省), Zhao (趙國 457BC to 222BC in present day Han
Dan city 邯鄲市 in Hebei province), and Qin (秦國) were the three northern
vassal States during the Zhou Dynasty (周朝 1134BC to 256BC) that built
walls along their northern frontiers as a defensive measure.

The State of Yan erected a long wall from Liaoning (遼寧) Peninsula in Hebei
province across the northern frontier to the north of Beijing. The State
of Zhao constructed a long wall along its northern frontier from the north
of Beijing city to the bank along the great bend of the Huanghe (黃河 Yellow
River). The ancestors of the First Emperor also built a long wall in northern
frontier from the bank of the Yellow River to the plateau of Longxi (隴西
) in Gansu province (甘肅省).

Meanwhile, the various non-Han tribes in the north united themselves into
a large political union which proved to be a formidable enemy to the Qin
Empire. The strife between the agricultural Qin subject farmers and the
non-Qin nomads intensified. At times the Qin armies drove their nomadic
rivals back to the desert but the intrusions continued.

To secure the northern frontiers, in 214BC, the First Emperor ordered his
greatest general, Meng Tian (蒙恬), known for his invention of the Chinese
character brush made of animal hair, to mobilize all the able-bodied subjects
in the country to link up all the walls already erected by his ancestors
and by the States of Yan and Zhao.

Thousands upon thousands of men were conscripted and forced to march north
to work on the construction. These workers were generally subjected to great
hardships. Up in the mountain wilderness, usually dressed only in rags they
had to endure the bitterly cold northern winter, frequent hunger, exhaustion
and cruel supervisors. Sadly, untold numbers died from a combination of
all these factors.

When all the walls were eventually connected they formed an incredibly long
wall and came to be called "Wan Li Chang Cheng 萬里長城 " (Ten Thousand
Li Long Wall). It measured more than 4800 li and became a permanent barrier
separating the agricultural Han Chinese to the south and the the nomadic
horse-mounted herdsmen to the north.

The First Emperor knew memento mori and man could not live forever. He had
to die sooner or later. Not satisfied for being a mortal emperor, the First
Emperor wanted to live forever and become an immortal. He became very superstitious
and employed many sorcerers who lived with him in the palace. Their jobs
were to report to him the activities of any fairy or immortal whom he believed
traveled about around his empire.

There was a sorcerer called Xu Fu (徐福) who was the most prominent sorcerer
of them all in the Qin Court. The First Emperor spent a lot of money on
him because his reports were more reliable than those sorcerers came to
answer his call.

The First Emperor was an asthmatic and was growing old. He panicked because
he knew he did not have much time to live. In a hurry to become an immortal,
he ordered Xu Fu to search for the elixir in the country. Xu Fu knew that
if he could not find the elixir he could be executed.

One day, Xu Fu told the First Emperor that there were three mountains called
Fenglai (蓬萊), Fangzhang (方丈) and Yingzhou (瀛洲) in an island in the
East Sea where all the immortals lived. If anyone could find that mountain
he could have no problem to get the elixir from the immortals. After hearing
Xu Fu’s story, the First Emperor was very excited and happy. Immediately
he ordered Xu Fu to go and find the three mountains at all costs. However,
Xu Fu told him that he needed 3,000 girls and boys as sacrifices to offer
to the immortals. Without hesitation the First Emperor agreed. He ordered
big boats to be built for Xu Fu’s voyage. In a short period the specially
built big boats were ready.

In 219BC. Xu Fu with 3,000 girls and boys set sailed towards the East Sea
in search of the three mountains. Actually Xu Fu had already planned not
to return to the Qin Empire. Xu Fu also knew that he would be executed if
he were to come back without the elixir.

After sailing for many days they finally arrived at the island in the East
Sea. It is believed that the island which Xu Fu and the children went ashore
was what we now call Japan. Xu Fu did not find the three mountains. Xu Fu
and the children settled down there for good and they did not return to
the Qin Empire.

Nowadays, there are many temples and shrines built to commemorate Xu Fu
on the East Coast of Japanese islands.

Having heard no news from Xu Fu, the First Emperor went touring his empire
and wanted to inspect the building of the Great Wall. He with his entourage
had been touring the empire for sometime. One day. a piece of information
came to his knowledge that there was a meteor landed in a town near the
city of Huiji (會稽 in present day Zhejiang province 浙江省). Six characters
were engraved on the meteor "始皇死而地分 The First Emperor died and the
land will be divided". Having confirmed with the news, Li Si (李斯), the
Prime Minister, believed that it was an inauspicious omen. He advised the
First Emperor that they had been touring for quite a long time and it was
time to return to the capital. The First Emperor agreed with Li Si and so
they began their journey back to the capital, Xianyang (咸陽).

When they arrived at Shaqiu (沙丘 present day east of Pingxiang county 平
鄉縣 in Hebei province 河北省), which was more than 1,000 kilometers to
the east of the capital, the First Emperor had a severe asthmatic attack,
and died soon afterwards. When the First Emperor died he was fifty years
old. Ying Huhai (嬴胡亥), his second son, the Prime Minister Li Si (李斯
) and the chief eunuch Zhao Dao (趙高) were with him when he breathed his
last breath. The crown prince, Fu Su (扶蘇), was in the north and far away
from the capital. Fu Su was sent there by his father to help supervising
the construction of the Great Wall.

Under the will made by the First Emperor, the crown prince, Fu Su, was to
become the next Emperor. However, the trio of Hu Hai, Li Si and Zhao Gao
destroyed the original and forged two new wills in its place. One pronounced
Hu Hai as the successor and the other ordered Fu Su the crown prince to
take his own life. Fu Su followed the instruction of the will and committed
suicide. The death of the Emperor was concealed from the people.

Li Si (李斯) the Prime Minister, Zhao Gao (趙高) the chief eunuch and Hu
Hai the heir apparent to the throne of the Qin Empire started their journey
home to the capital. The Emperor’s corpse was covered with salted fish to
disguise its odour. Finally they returned to the capital with the hearse
of the First Emperor (始皇帝). Hu Hai was installed the Second Emperor of
Qin (秦二皇帝). On the ninth month of 210BC the body of the First Emperor
was put to rest in the specially prepared huge grave at the foot of Lishan
(驪山 in the southeast of Lintong county 臨潼縣 in Shaanxi province).

The Second Emperor feared that General Meng Tian (蒙恬), who was the supervisor
of Fu Su (扶蘇), the late crown prince, and the commander-in-chief of the
troops overseeing the construction of the Great Wall, might rebel against
him. So the Second Emperor ordered General Meng Tian to take his own life
threatening him that if he disobeyed his whole family and every member of
his Meng Clan would be exterminated. Meng Tian had no choice but to obey
and he committed suicide. After the death of Meng Tian the Second Emperor
relocated Meng Tian’s family to Shu Prefecture (蜀郡 present day Sichuan
province 四川省). Meng Tian was best remembered for his invention of writing
the Chinese characters by a brush made of animal hairs.

Source:
Chapter six from the book entitled Shi Ji (史記 第六卷)
by Sima Qian (司馬遷 145BC to 86BC)

CHUNG yoon-Ngan (鄭永元)
All rights reserved

 
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About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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