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Qin Shi Huangdi

Qin Shi Huangdi (秦始皇帝 pinyin qin2 shi3 huang2 di4), or Qin Shi Huang Di, named Ying Zheng (嬴政 ying2 zheng4), was King Zheng of Qin during the Warring States Period prior to becoming an emperor. He unified China and proclaimed himself the First (shi) Emperor (huangdi) of Qin, as he was the first Chinese sovereign able to rule the whole country. He reigned from 246 BC to 210 BC.

"Huang" and "Di" were titles once reserved for the eight legendary kings (three Huang and five Di), so by employing the term "Huangdi", Ying Zheng indicated that he was even greater than the eight legendary kings combined. He believed that his family will rule China forever and so he wanted his successors to be titled "Emperor of China II", "Emperor of China III", etc.

He gave China a common currency and a standardized systems of weights and measures, writing characters and local prefecture administration. Endless labor in the later years of his reign (including the link-up of the Great Wall of China and construction of the first canal (Lingqu[?]) in today's Guangdong Province, an inconclusive campaign against the Huns, and the widening and paving of countless roads all over China) started to provoke widespread discontent. The emperor was still barely able to maintain stability by his tight grip on every aspect of lives of the Chinese. He also travelled frequently to large cities in Northern China to inspect the efficiency of the bureaucracy and to symbolize the presence of Qin's prestige. Nevertheless his trips provided chances for assassins, the most famous of whom was Zhang Liang[?].

In legend, He died suddenly so two of his high officials to take advantage of this. They forged the Emperor's order to kill his heir and then they chose his another son to be a puppet emperor. Everything went well except that they were not able to depress the rebels. Qin Dynasty soon collapsed.

Nevertheless in reality, he indeed died suddenly at Shaqiu[?] prefecture, and two of his high officials (the Imperial Secretariat Li Shi[?] and the chief eunuch Zhao Gao[?]) changed the emperor's will of make his first son the new emperor. Zhao was an enthusiastic partisan of this plot that could save himself from a revenge. He murdered Marshal Meng Tian[?]'s younger brother when Tian stationed at the northern border commanding more than 100,000 troops for the inconclusive Huns campaign mentioned in previous paragragh. Tian was publicly regarded as the faithful supporter and aide of the first son. Li and Zhao forged the altered Emperor's will to kill his first son, stripped the command of troops from Meng Tian and killed his family also. His second son was then chosen to be a puppet emperor.

He was believed to be buried with the Terracotta Army, but his body has yet to be discovered.

The film The Emperor and the Assassin[?] focused on the identity of his father, his heartless treaments of his officials and betrayal to the concubine leading to Jin Ke's assassination.



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