We each hope that once we inevitably perish from this world that we will be remembered for the things we’ve done. For many a legacy is the most important thing one can strive for, whether through good deeds, power or a family name, it’s the only way to really achieve any form of immortality (figuratively speaking). Throughout history this has been a major concern for many of its most well known figures and what’s interesting is that one of the most common ways to secure renown was by creating grand tombs and burial sites, making their death their most famous achievement. Perhaps the best example of this can be seen in the Valley of Kings in Egypt, a site filled with grand tombs and of course the pyramids, each site ties to a leader of its ancient roots. Another fine example of this though is the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, home of the terracotta warriors.
Who Is Qin Shi Huang?
Qin Shi Huang literally means “First Emperor of Qin” and was the first Emperor of a unified China. Before he became the Emperor, he was crowned King of the state of Qin in the West of China at the age of thirteen. For the nine years following this, due to his young age, the state was ruled by the regent prime minister named Lu Buwei. Qin Shi Huang, who at the time was named Zhao Zheng, seized power in the year 235 BCE after Lu Buwei was involved in a scandal with the Queen Dowager Zhao. Once he had seized power, he continued what was an ongoing war between the other states of China, during this time he faced many obstacles, namely an unsuccessful coup and two attempted assassinations against himself. Despite this he managed to both survive and continue his war in which he eventually took over every state in in the country, for the first time all of China was under one rule, it was then in the year 221 BCE that he named himself the Emperor.
During his reign China gained the foundations for much of its most well known history. Perhaps the countries most famous landmark, The Great Wall of China, found its roots here in Qin Shi Huang’s rule. He underwent an unsuccessful campaign against the Xiongnu tribes, a group of nomadic tribes that were situated in the North and North West. Instead of continuing the battle the Emperor instead decided to order the construction of a huge defensive wall to keep them out, this would be a precursor to the Great Wall. He was also Responsible for the construction of the Lingqu Canal, it runs a total of 34 km and links the Xiang River to the Li Jiang, this connects two of Chinas major waterways and made it possible to easily transport supplies to its armies which was instrumental for expansion into the South.