- "I have collected all the writings of the Empire and burnt those which were of no use."
- —Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang (also known as Qin Shi Huangdi, among other names) (260 – 210 BC) was the first Chinese emperor of the Qin dynasty.
He was born in 260 B.C. as the crown prince of Qin, a state in a divided, warring China.
He finished the reunification of China, and is today considered its first true emperor.
But for all his accomplishments, he was also responsible for many atrocities.
One of his most infamous acts was declaring himself the start of Chinese history, and trying to have the records of history that predated him destroyed, and killed scholars who tried to oppose him. This became known as the "burning of books and burying of scholars."
Death and Legacy
Obsessed with immortality, Shi Huang attempted to develop an elixir of life. Ironically, this hastened his own demise, given the detrimental effects of the mercury he experimented with.
Even in death, a lot of blood was shed in his name.