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Taken from various sources, which includes 100 Chinese Emperors by Lu Yangguang. Please be noted Shih Huang Ti, before he became Emperor had the given name of Ying Zhing, sometimes spelt as Ying Jing or Ying Zheng or Ying Zhing. All were the same guy.

So how old is the Qin (also spelt as Chin or in Cantonese, Chun) Dynasty 221BC-207BC! Very old. To give you some sort of a timeline, remember Gods Of Honour? That was older, in Shang Dynasty that was 1600BC-1100Bc, roughly more than a thousand years later we have Qin Dynasty and remember JTTW? That was Tang Dynasty which was in 619AD-907AD. Just bear in mind, by Qin Dynasty, Confucius was long dead and very famous and Qin Dynasty is really ancient, which explains for the weird Chinese characters and costumes in this series. Yes, the dynasty once existed more than 2000 years ago. Sometimes I must admire Chinese culture, we can trace back to so many zeros! Anyway, let us move on to one of the most controversial Chinese ruler, ever.

So who was Shih Huang Ti before he was Shih Huang Ti?
He was Ying Zheng (in Cantonese, Ying Ching), son of the King Zhuangxiang of the state of Qin. History has it that he was indeed a hostage in another state for many years (in actual fact his father was the one held hostage and Yingzheng was born in the enemy state) and when he was 13, he became the King, but being too young, state affairs were entrusted on senior officials who ultimately became corrupted, business as usual. At the age of 22, Ying Zheng took back power from the premier Lu Buwei (in this series, he is played by Kok Fung, rumoured to be the father of Ying Zheng but no foundation on that claim other than from the fact his mother, Chu Gei (Zhao Ji) was Lu Buwei's favourite concubine) and his mother's pet, Lao Ai. But Lao Ai,  being rather stupid started a rebellion that was soon suppressed. In July that year, Lu Buwei was forced to resign from his premiership.

Now that our guy had all the power, what he wanted next was to solidify his power and to do so, he must unify the 6 states that were divided with different rulers, language, customs and currencies. Not quite true to say he unified the WHOLE of China because he didn't but he made an effort to unify some part of China. With the help of a capable official by the name of Li Si, he spent 10 years wiping out the other 6 states before founding a unified, multi national, centralized feudal dynasty, the first of its kind in Chinese history and a system that lasted until the last emperor, Puyi. He was also the first to call himself Emperor, "Huang Ti". 

But was all this leading to more glory or glory comes with a price? Such as bloodshed? Let us see.

Shih Huang Ti The Great
-created a system of bureaucratic institutions compatible with centralized government. The "3 lords" and "9 ministers" were appointed directly by him and were not inherited.

-country divided into prefectures and counties as units of local administration.

-unified varied laws, currencies, characters, units of length, measurements, capacity and weight of former states and use of one language, Mandarin. So kinda oppressive but essential for economic growth.

-believed in military might and so collected and melted weapons, cast into giant bronze men each weighing 100 tonnes. Dismantled fortresses, strongholds and defences built by 6 former states, built main roads from capital Xianyang.

-Ordered his General Meng Tian to fight against the Huns, and to prevent invasion of the Huns, constructed the first phase of The Great Wall Of China, one of the 7 wonders of the Earth which could be seen even from space. Until the Ming Dynasty, the Great Wall was still being constructed, but for different reasons. From the reasons of to prevent invading enemies, it became some sort of a tower to oversee the trade road to lodgings or stopovers for traveling merchants to somewhat of a superficial achievement or whims of an Emperor to complete it for completion sakes to now, in the modern world, I consider it an artifact.

-toured his kingdom extensively, for about 5 times.

And much much much more.

Simply put, he created a great empire that lasted for like one generation. The kingdom fell when he died.

Shih Huang Ti The Devil
I believe if you're the first to build a kingdom, there must be bloodshed and often than not, you will be termed the tyrannical king. Sometimes evil deeds far outweigh the meritious deeds because of the severity of one evil deed. People tend to remember the bad stuff. Genghis Khan may be said to be the devil but Kublai Khan was said to be a peaceful King who gave Yuan Dynasty it's golden years. So how bad was Shih Huang Ti? Remember, "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely".

-he believed in Legalism and as such punishment seemed to be his main mantra. He hates Confucianism and so he ordered for the burning of all the Confucius books, works of other schools be burned as well so that there was only one school of thought.

-hated by the scholars, Shih Huang Ti was persuaded by the rumours that was said to be spread by such scholars and buried about 460 scholars, alive.

-the construction of The Great Wall caused the deaths of millions.

-rumoured to have built an exquisite tomb and killed everybody who knows where the tomb was.

-became obsessed with finding the elixir of life, as he was old, dying and afraid of death. Having so much wealth and power who would want to die? Because of this shipped hundreds (perhaps thousands) of virgins to a far off place that is now Japan , separating children from their parents.

And much much more.

In the end, he fell ill during one of his visits at Pingyuan Fort (probably ate too much of those supposed immortality potions and pills), and died before he had time to seal the letter that requested his son, Fusu to come home and preside over the funeral. In fact nobody knew he died until they returned to the capital, to avoid outbreak of riots. He was only 49 years old. Some years later, his kingdom fell, there was civil war until in came the Han Dynasty at around 206BC, one of the longest Chinese dynasty ever.

Depressing isn't it?

So much intelligence and ruthlessness and at the end of the day, his worst enemy was his own fear, his own fear of death and his unwillingness to let go of all the power, wealth and authority.

For more, do read More Info.