Qin Shihuangdi 秦始皇帝- Based on Shi Ji 史记 (Record of Grand Historian) Chapter 6

This is the history of the First Emperor of China of Qin Dynasty – or Qin Shihuangdi based on the Record of Grand Historian.

Qin is the name of the kingdom, shi/ 始 (literally means : start or beginning) and 皇帝 ( literally means emperor) ]

It’s important to understand, that Qin is not the emperor’s family name. It is his kingdom/ state name. It is a common practice to use the “State name” + “the title name”+ ” 王”  which means king or  “皇帝/帝” which means emperor.

So when we read : Han Wu Di – it means : Emperor Wu of Han.  Sui Yang Di = Emperor Yang of Sui.   Qin Zhao Wang = King Zhao of Qin.


It was in 294BC  during the period of Warring States (战国时代 453BC – 221BC) of the Zhou Dynasty (周朝 1134BC – 256BC), that King Zhao – YingJi  of Qin  – Qin Zhao Wang (秦昭王嬴稷 306BC- 251BC),  34th ruler of the State of Qin (秦国), dispatched an army of 100,000 soldiers to attack the State of Zhao (赵国). The ruler of the State of Zhao was King Hui  (赵惠王 Zhao Hui Wang) who had ruled Zhao for five years already.

The Qin army was under the command of General Wang He (王龁),  General Wang Jian (王翦) and Yi Ren (异人) who was the grandson of Qin Zhao Wang. After a long march the Qin army camped in a place near the border of the State of Zhao.

Li Jishu (李继叔), the commander of the Zhao’s frontier town of Zhanghe (漳河), sent messengers to Handan (邯郸), the capital of Zhao, to report to Zhao Hui Wang that the Qin forces were going to invade Zhao. On hearing of the news Zhao Hui Wang was terrified, but one of his officials named Lin Xiangru (蔺相如) said that he had plans to defeat the Qin army. Lin Xiang Ru told Zhao Hui Wang to send forth 20,000 troops to ambush quietly near the Qin camps. These troops were under the command of General Zhao Qian (赵干) and General Yi He (医和). Zhao Hui Wang then ordered General Lian Po (廉颇) to lead an army of 50,000 to join forces with the troops of General Li Ji Shu in Zhanghe.

Having settled his troops in Zhanghe, the following day, General Lian Po marched his troops out of Zhanghe to do battle with the Qin army. The Qin army came out in force to encounter the Zhao troops. There were only a few Qin soldiers left behind to guide their camps. Seeing the opportunity had arrived the Zhao troops, who had been laying ambushed near the Qin camps, sprang up and destroyed the Qin camps. They captured many heavy equipments. Yi Ren, the grandson of the ruler of Qin, was in his camp reading the maps when the Zhao soldiers entered his camp. Yi Ren was captured by the Zhao soldiers and became the prison of war.

Meanwhile, in the battlefield, the Zhao forces put the Qin army to rout. The Qin soldiers fled for their lives. The two generals of the Qin army General Wang He and General Wang Jian escaped unharmed.

The Zhao army returned in triumph to the capital, Handan. They displaced the war booties and the Qin prisoners of war with Yi Ren in the lead. Zhao Hui Wang wanted to execute Yi Ren, but he was advised by Lin Xiangru not to do so on the ground that Qin was a very powerful State and Qin Zhao Wang might attack Zhao again if his grandson was executed. It was better to use Yi Ren as a hostage to prevent further incursion by Qin.

A few days later, an official from Qin brought the message that Qin would live in peace with Zhao provided that no harm was being done unto Yi Ren. Zhao Hui Wang accepted the peaceful proposal and ordered General Zhao Qian to be the custodian of Yi Ren. The Zhao ruler also told the General to be kind, lenient and not to harm Yi Ren.

There was a big crowd in the street watching General Zhao Qian taking the royal prison of war, Yi Ren, to his house. Among the crowd there was a man by the name of Lu Buwei (吕不韦) who was a smart and very talented businessman. Lu Buwei sighed as soon as he saw Yi Ren whom he regarded as a strange commodity.

Lu Buwei (吕不韦) was the most political minded businessman in the land. When he was young he was a student of Gui Guzi (鬼谷子) who was a very learned master. Lu Buwei learned from him the art of fortune telling. He was not a resident of the State of Zhao (赵国) and was doing business in Handan (邯郸), the capital of Zhao, at that time.

As soon as he saw the face of Yi Ren (异人) he exclaimed and said to himself that Yi Ren was a strange commodity. He intended to invest heavily on Yi Ren who was, at that time, following General Zhao Qian (赵干) through the streets of Han Dan on the way to the General’s resident.

Lu Buwei went home and asked his father:  “How much was the return if he were to invest in the farm?”

His father replied: “The return will be about ten times.”

Lu Bu Wei asked:  “To invest on jewellery?”

His father replied: ” More than a hundred times.”

Lu Buwei asked again: ” If I were to invest on someone who could become a King, later?”

His father replied: “The returns will be unlimited!.”

Lu Buwei told his father what he had in mind on Yi Ren. He had a plan of arranging Yi Ren to return to Qin. If his plan were successful he could be very rich and become a noble man in the near future. He told his father that Yi Ren was the grandson of the ruler of Qin and was presently being held as a hostage in Zhao. He cautioned his father to be very careful lest they could become bankrupt.

Lu Buwei wanted to be a friend of General Zhao Qian, the custodian of Yi Ren. He heard that there was a man named Ji Mo (季默), who lived in the east of the city, was the best friend of General Zhao Qian. With a few presents Lu Buwei went to see Ji Mo. Lu Buwei introduced himself to Ji Mo that he was a businessman he would like to know a few officials especially General Zhao Qian. Ji Mo was willing to introduce him to General Zhao Qian and a meeting was arranged.

On the meeting day Lu Buwei gave General Zhao Qian ten gold bullions and a pair of fine jade as a token of friendship. General Zhao was glad to be a friend of such a generous businessman like Lu. From then on General Zhao and Lu became good friends.

On the festival day of Duanyang (端阳 the 5the day of the fifth month) General Zhao Qian invited Lu Buwei and Ji Mo for dinner. General Zhao Qian also asked Yi Ren to come and join them. Pretending not to recognize Yi Ren, Lu asked General Zhao who was that strange man. General Zhao told Lu the resume of Yi Ren and introduced him to Lu who eventually siting next to this noble man from Qin during the dinner.

The next day Lu Buwei went to see Yi Ren. General Qian Qian was not at home because he was having important discussions with Zhao Hui Wang (赵惠王), the ruler of Zhao, in the palace.

Yi Ren told Lu that he was an unwanted man from Qin and asked Lu not to bother about him. However, since there was no one around, Lu told Yi Ren that he intended to use his fortune to help him escape and return to Qin. Lu Buwei said:

“Qin Zhao Wang (秦昭王), your grandfather, is very old. Your father, An Guo Jun (安国君), the crown prince, although he has many wives he loves only Madam Hua Yang (华阳) who has no son. You have more than twenty brothers and you are not the eldest. The longer you stay in Zhao the least chance you have for returning to Qin. When Qin Zhao Wang dies and your father becomes the ruler of Qin you will be forgotten and sure will die of old aged in Zhao.”

After hearing this Yi Ren was very sad and asked Lu what to do. Lu told him that he had a plan and was willing to spend his fortune to help him returning to Qin. He told Yi Ren that he would go to Qin to see his father and Madam Hua Yang and to tell them that he was a very filial piety and a patriotic son. He would ask Madam Hua Yang to adopt him as her son. He  presumed that Madam Hua Yang would be very happy since she had no son. Lu also told Yi Ren that If he ever return to Qin for sure Madam Hua Yang would ask his father to make him the crown prince if his father became the ruler of Qin after the death of his grandfather.

Yi Ren was very happy to hear that. He told Lu that if he could help him to return to Qin he would share his wealth and nobility with Lu. Finally, Lu gave Yi Ren five hundred pieces of gold for his daily expenses and advised him to make new friends. Yi Ren was very grateful to Lu.

Several days later Lu went to see General Zhao Qian and told him that he was going away for a business trip for two months. General Zhao Qian gave him a farewell dinner and said bon voyage.

With two of his house servants Lu Buwei left Han Dan, and was on his way to Xianyang (咸阳), the capital of the State of Qin (秦国). After a long journey, master and servants arrived in the Qin capital. Having settled themselves in a hotel, the next day, Lu went to enquire about the address of Madam Hua Yang (华阳夫人). People said that Madam Hua Yang had no relatives except an older sister who was known in the city as Huang Yi (皇姨). The husband of Huang Yi was known as Huang Yi Zhang (黄姨丈). This couple had many real estates. Lu went to see Huang Yi Zhang pretending that he wanted to rent a house. To reveal his real intention, Lu introduced himself as the friend and messenger of Yi Ren (异人), the grandson of the ruler of Qin, who was presently being held as a hostage in the state of Zhao (赵国 ). He told Huang Yi Zhang that he had fifty pieces of gold for Huang Yi. Huang Yi Zhang was amazed and quickly sent a servant to call his wife back to meet Lu.

After introducing himself, Lu gave Huang Yi the fifty pieces of gold and told her that he wanted to see her sister Madam Hua Yang. Lu also told Huang Yi that Yi Ren was a very wise, sincere, honest and learned man who had a birthday present for Madam Hua Yang. He heard that since Madam Hua Yang had no son and Yi Ren had no mother and it was a good idea for Madam Hua Yang to adopt Yi Ren as her son. After An Guo Jun (安国君) had become the ruler of Qin and Madam Hua Yang had grown old and lost her beauty, Madam Hua Yang might not become his favorite wife. In that case Madam Hua Yang at least had a son to care for her old age. If Madam Hua Yang adopted Yi Ren as her son and asked An Guo Jun to induct Yi Ren as the heir apparent to him her position as the official wife of An Guo Jun was secured.

Madam Hua Yang would also become the mother of a crown prince, the future ruler of Qin. Huang Yi told Lu to stay in one of her houses and would take him to see her sister the next day.

The next day morning Huang Yi took Lu to see Madam Hua Yang. Huang Yi told Lu to wait in the waiting room and she went in to see her sister. Huang Yi told her sister that although Yi Ren was a hostage in Zhao yet he was always thinking of her and his father. She also told her sister that Yi Ren had a present for her birthday. Madam Hua Yang was overjoyed to hear that there was a son of her husband who had the affection of her. She summoned Lu to come in to see her. With due respect Lu presented Madam Hua Yang the present and a letter from Yi Ren. The presents were four fine pearls and a pair of jade earrings. Madam Hua Yang was overwhelmed by the presents and the affection of Yi Ren. Lu told her the plight of Yi Ren and wanted her to help Yi Ren to return home. Madam Hua Yang did not open Yi Ren’s letter because it was addressed to his father and she told Lu to go back to the rented house and she would contact him later.

When they were alone Huang Yi told her sister what Lu had told her. Madam Hua Yang was in tears when she heard about her being without a son. So she decided to adopt Yi Ren as her son and she would ask her husband to induct Yi Ren as the heir apparent to him.

While the two sisters were chatting a maid announced that the crown prince,An Guo Jun, had returned home. Madam Hua Yang told her husband about the plight of his son, Yi Ren, in Zhao. She gave her husband the letter from Yi Ren. It was a letter from a filial piety son wishing his parents of good health. In the letter Yi Ren asked his parents to help him to return home. An Guo Jun was in tears after reading the letter. Knowing how he felt for his son, immediately, Madam Hua Yang knelt down in front of her husband and asked for his permission to adopt Yi Ren as her son. She also begged him to make Yi Ren his heir apparent. Seeing his beautiful wife kneeing there he felt a bit soft and allowed her to adopt Yi Ren and agreed to make him his heir apparent even though he had more than twenty sons.

However, An Guo Jun said that it would be very hard for him to appoint Yi Ren as his successor because he was still being held as a hostage in Zhao and there was no one who could bring him back to Qin. Madam Hua Yang told him that there was a businessman named Lu Buwei who could help Yi Ren to return home. On hearing this An Guo Jun told a servant to fetch Lu. The crown prince asked Lu how he could help Yi Ren to return to Qin. Lu told him that he had a plan, but on condition that Yi Ren would become his successor.

The crown prince agreed. Lu asked the agreement to be curved in a pair of jade. Lu also requested the crown prince, An Guo Jun, to send a large force to receive them near the border between Qin and Zhao when the time had arrived for them to escape from Zhao. The troops could be used to protect them when they crossed the border. The crown agreed with all the suggestions by Lu as long as Lu could get his son back to Qin.

The next day Lu Buwei said farewell to the crown prince, his wife, Huang Yi and Huang Yi Zhang. Lu with his house servants began his journey back to Zhao.

After several days on the road Lu Buwei with his house servants arrived back at his business residence in Handan. Lu Buwei told his father, what he had been doing in Xian Yang. Lu Buwei noticed his mistress, Zhu Ji (朱 姬), looked pale and tired. He asked her:

“What have you done to yourself? I was away for only two months and now you look exhausted and tired.”

Zhu Ji: “Last month I found out that I was pregnant. It is more than a month now. That is why I am so tired.”

Several years ago, Lu bought Zhu Ji in a market when she was only a little girl. In the beginning Lu used her as a house servant, but she became very beautiful when she grew older. So Lu took her as his mistress. He was delighted with the news and thought that it was an opportunity to become a kingmaker. He told Zhu Ji that Yi Ren was the grandson of the ruler of Qin. He was currently being held as a hostage in Zhao. He also told her that when Yi Ren returned to Qin he would be the successor to his father and later would
become the crown prince and the ruler of Qin. Zhu Ji said:  “What has it got to do with me?”

Lu Buwei:  “I have a plan and I want you to have an affair with him. Later I would force him to marry you. When Yi Ren becomes the ruler of Qin and you will become the official wife of the ruler of Qin. Our son would become the ruler of Qin. The future ruler of Qin will be from the Lu (吕) family and not the Ying (嬴) family, ha ha ha.”

The next morning, Lu Buwei brought a few gifts and presents and went to see General Zhao Qian and Yi Ren. Lu stayed for lunch with them. After lunch General Zhao went to the bathroom to wash his hands. Quietly, Lu told Yi Ren about his trip and the meeting with Madam Hua Yang who was willing to adopt him as her son. His father was willing to appoint him as his successor.

Yi Ren was very happy with the good news. Before he left Lu invited General Zhao and Yi Ren to his house for dinner the next evening.

The next evening General Zhao and Yi Ren came to Lu’s house for dinner. After the dinner Lu invited them to the garden at the backyard for a drink. While they were having a good time Lu asked a servant to call Zhu Ji out to join them. Zhu Ji was a very beautiful woman. To Yi Ren, who had not been in contact with any female since he became a hostage, Zhu Ji was a fairly just came down from the Jade Emperor’s palace in heaven. Yi Ren told Lu that he had never seen such a beautiful woman like Zhu Ji.

After many cups of wine General Zhao was drunk. Two servants assisted him to a room to sleep. The moment he hit the deck General Zhao was fast asleep, snoring away. Lu was pretending to be drunk and slept on a long bench. Zhu Ji told all the servants to go away. Yi Ren and Zhu Ji continued their conversation but not drinking. Yi Ren was a green horn without any experience with women. In no time Zhu Ji seduced him to have sex with her. In the middle of the act Lu woke up and caught them red-handed. Lu was pretending to be very angry and scolded Yi Ren for being ungrateful. Zhu Ji was crying and said that she had been sexually molested. She was pretending to look for a sword to commit suicide by cutting her own throat. However, Lu calmed her down and asked Yi Ren if he was in love with Zhu Ji. Yi Ren answered positively. Zhu Ji told Lu that she was also in love with Yi Ren. Finally, Lu told them that since they were in love they should get marry.

General Zhao was awakened by the noisy commotion and he asked what was going on. After telling General Zhao what had happened between Yi Ren and Zhu Ji while he was sleeping in the bedroom, Lu asked him what to do with them. General Zhao said that they should get marry and he would be their match maker. Yi Ren and Zhu Ji were married on the ninth month in 252BC. A baby boy was born to Zhu Ji on the sixth month the following year. A messenger was sent to inform Lu on the arrival of the baby. Lu went to congratulate Yi Ren. General Zhao became the Godfather of the baby. Yi Ren named his son Zheng (政 who was later to become the first Emperor in China 始皇帝)

One day, Lu went home and told his father that it was time to take Yi Ren and his family to escape from Zhao. He told his father to go to General Zhao’s residence to invite Yi Ren and his family for dinner the next evening.Without any suspicion General Zhao allowed them to go because it was customary for the new mother to visit her parental home with the new born.

That evening, after dinner Lu sent a messenger to Xianyang to inform An Guo Jun that they were on their way to Qin. Lu told Yi Ren to help him to pack some clothing. Assisted by a few house servants Lu put Yi Ren’s family to a horse cart and his father and a few of his trusted servants to another cart. As soon as the sky had darkened they were on their way heading towards Xianyang (咸陽).

Lu Buwei (呂不韋) and Yi Ren (異人) did not escape that night as they had to stay back lest General Zhao Qian (趙乾) might go after them. Zhu Ji (朱姬) with her baby son, Zheng (政), Lu Buwei’s father and two house servants went off in a horse cart heading for Xianyang (咸陽). That night Yi Ren returned to the General Zhao’s residence as if nothing had happened. He told the General Zhao that his wife and the baby wanted to stay for a few
days in Lu’s house.

The next day Lu heard that General Zhao Qian (趙乾) was too busy supervising the drilling of Zhao troops and he would not be free for a few days.

Several days later, Lu went to see General Zhao Qian and Yi Ren. General Zhao Qian invited him to play chess in the garden pavilion at the back of his residence. Yi Ren came out to watch them playing. General Qian Zhao said that whoever had lost three sets should treat for a dinner. Lu consecutively lost three sets. Yi Ren also joined in to play and he too consecutively lost three sets to General Zhao Qian who was very happy. Actually, it was a plan set up by Lu. After the chess game Lu invited General Zhao Qian and Yi Ren for a picnic in a beautiful park about ten lis (one li = 1/3 of one English mile) away from the capital. They agreed to meet each other in the park the next day afternoon. That night Lu prepared himself for the escape with Yi Ren. He told his servants to choose the best four horses for a long journey.

The next day afternoon, they met in the park. Lu took with him a dancer from the local bar. In the park pavilion they drank the best wine and ate the food prepared by Lu’s servants. By evening General Zhao Qian was drunk. All the body guards of General Zhao Qian were also drunk because Lu’s servants had provided them with plenty of free wine. Lu told his servants to go home to prepare for dinner. The servants went back to the city with the female dancer.

Lu and Yi Ren mounted the horses and rode away towards Xianyang. Within one night they had covered about two hundred lis.

It was already passed midnight when General Zhao Qian sobered up. He looked for Lu and Yi Ren but they were nowhere to be found. He saw all his body guards were fast asleep. He realized that he had been tricked and Lu and Yi Ren had escaped. He woke up his body guards and hurried back to the city, but the city gates were closed. He had no alternative but to stay outside the city wall and waited for the day break.

As soon as the city gates were opened the next morning General Zhao Qian rushed into the city heading for Lu’s house as he wanted to arrest his father and the family of Yi Ren. However, Lu house was locked and no body answered the bell. The neighbours told the General Zhao that Lu Buwei’s father and the family of Yi Ren had left for a long journey about four or five days ago.

In desperation General Zhao Qian went to see Zhao Hui Wang (趙惠王), the ruler of the state of Zhao. Zhao Hui Wang ordered General Zhao Qian to chase after Lu and Yi Ren.

Immediately, Zhao Hui Wang dispatched a messenger to Li Jishu (李繼叔), the commander of the frontier town of Zhanghe (漳河), ordering him to arrest Lu and Yi Ren. Before the messenger reached the frontier town Lu and Yi Ren had already passed through the custom office of Zhanghe and were heading towards Xianyang. Half a day later, the warrant of arresting Lu and Yi Ren finally arrived at Zhanghe, but it was too late. Without hesitation General Li Jishu dispatched a cavalry to go after the fugitives.

When Lu and Yi Ren arrived on the bank of the Yellow River they saw the Zhao troops galloping from behind towards them. Yi Ren sighted:  “We are between the devil and the big river. This is the end of my life.”

Lu Buwei shouted:” Look! There, on the east bank, are the Qin soldiers who are coming to receive us.”

Indeed, there were Qin cavalry riding toward the Zhao cavalrymen. In no time both sides were engaged in battle. The Qin calvary defeated the Zhao cavalry who fled back to Zhanghe.

General Zhang Han the commander of the Qin cavalry greeted Yi Ren with respect and escorted them to Xianyang.

When they arrived at Xian Yang, Lu told Yi Ren to change to the costume of the State of Chu (楚国) before he went in to see his parents because Madam Hua Yang (华阳夫人) 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 (安国君) laughingly nicknamed him Zi Chu Guo Jun (子楚国君) 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 (安国君) became the new ruler of Qin and was installed as Qin Xiao Wen Wang (秦孝文王) and Madam Hua Yang (华阳夫人) became his official wife. The new ruler kept his promise and inducted Yi Ren (异人) 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 (秦庄襄王 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 (吕不韦) 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 洛阳 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, ” 吕氏春秋 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 (长信侯) 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 (咸阳). Eventually Zhu Ji and Lao Ai live together for ten years and had two sons.

According to Sima Qian’s Shi Ji, Lao Ai had a giant penis, being of such size as being able to be used as an axle for a wooden carriage. About Zhu Ji and her affair with Lao Ai, the story become a famous scandal that until right now, a man who has no capability in doing anything but using his sexuality to please women and to live off her wealth is often called as Lao Ai (Sima Qian already stated the reason why! LOL)

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 Ying Zheng. Ying Zheng was furious and became very angry with Lu Buwei for arranging such a disgrace love affair for his mother. Ying Zheng had Lu Buwei arrested. Ying 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.

Ying Zheng had Lao Ai executed. Ying 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. Ying Zheng had them all executed.

One day, a man by the name of Mao Jiao (茅焦) came to advise Ying Zheng and wanted Ying Zheng to take back his mother. Ying Zheng was very angry and wanted to kill him by boiling in a cauldron of boiling oil. While Ying 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, Ying Zheng was persuaded by Mao Jiao to take his mother back to live with him in Xian Yang. Ying Zheng appointed Mao Jiao as a high official.

In 237BC,Ying 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 (赵国) , Chu (楚国), Yan (燕国), Han (韓国), Wei (魏国) and Qi (齐国). 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 (秦国 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(黄帝, 玄帝, 喾帝, 尧帝 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 (内史郡)=======
Xian Yang, Qin Capital (咸阳首都)

(02) Shang Jun (上郡)===================
Sui De Xian, Shaanxi province (绥德县﹐陕西省)

(03) Bei Jun (北郡)=================
Ning Xian, Gansu province (宁县﹐甘肃省)

(04) Long Xi Jun (陇西郡)================
Lin Yao Xian, Gansu Province (临洮县﹐甘肃省)

(05) Han Zhong Jun (汉中郡)====================
South of Zheng Xian, Shaanxi province (南郑县﹐陕西省)

(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 (重庆市﹐四川省)

(08) He Dong Jun (河东郡)===========
Xia Xian, Shanxi province (夏县﹐山西省)

(09) Shang Dang Jun (上党郡)==============
Chang Zi Xian, Shanxi province (长子县﹐山西省)

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

(11) Yan Men Jun (雁门郡)===============
You Yu Xian, Shanxi province (右玉县﹐山西省)

(12) Jiu Yuan Jun (九原郡)=============
Bao Tou City, Sui Yuan (old name) province (包头市﹐,绥远省旧名)

(13) Yun Zhong Jun (云中郡)===============
Tuo Ke Tuo Xian, Sui Yuan (old name) province (托克托县﹐绥远省旧名)

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

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

(16) Xiang Jun (象郡)==================
He Nei City, Vietnam (河内市﹐越南)

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

(18) Yu Yang Jun (渔阳郡)===============
Mi Yun Xian, Hebei province (密云县﹐河北省)

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

(20) Liao Dong Jun (辽东郡)===========
Liao Yang Xian, Liaoning province (辽阳郡﹐辽宁省)

(21) Liao Xi Jun (辽西郡)============
Yi Xian Liaoning province (义县﹐辽宁省)

(22) Ju Lu Jun (巨鹿郡)====================
Ping Xiang Xian, Hebei province (平乡县﹐河北省)

(23) Han Dan Jun (邯郸郡)===============
Han Dan Xian, Hebei province (邯郸县﹐河北省)

(24) Dong Jun (东郡)================
Pu Yang Xian, Hebei province (濮阳县﹐河北省)

(25) Lang Ye Jun (琅琊郡)===================
Zhu Cheng Xian, Shandong province (诸城县﹐山东省)

(26) Si Shui Jun (泗水郡)==============
Pei Xian, Jiangsu province (沛县﹐江苏省)

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

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

(29) Nan Hai Jun (南海郡)======================
Guang Zhou City, Guangdong province (广州市﹐ 广东省)

(30) Qi Jun (齐郡)========================
Lin Zi Xian, Shandong province (临淄县﹐山东省)

(31) Xue Jun (薛郡)=========================
Teng Xian, Shandong province (滕县﹐山东省)

(32) Dang Jun (砀郡)========================
Dang Shan Xian, Jiangsu province (砀山县﹐ 江苏省)

(33) Qi Jun (蕲郡)=================
Su Xian, Anhui province (宿县﹐安徽省)

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

(35) Ying Chuan Jun (颍川郡)========
Yu Xian, Henan province (禹县﹐河南省)

(36) Nan Yang Jun (南阳郡)=================
Nan Yang Xian, Henan province (南阳县﹐河南省)

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

(38) Hui Ji Jun (会稽郡)===============
Wu Xian, Jiangsu province (吴县﹐江苏省)

(39) Zhang Jun (鄣郡)========================
Chang Xing Xian, Zhejiang province (长兴县﹐浙江省)

(40) Chang Sha Jun (长沙郡)================
Chang Sha Xian, Hunan province (长沙县﹐湖南省)

(41) Gui Lin Jun (桂林郡)===================
Gui Lin Xian, Guangxi province (桂林县﹐广西省)

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.  —> Even right now, China has a lot of dialects. But they have the same ONE written language. Thanks to Qin Shihuang who standardize the written language, and also weight measurement, etc. He is indeed a brilliant man with a great vision. Just imagine if he didn’t standardized the language, perhaps the history will never be the same. 

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 (汉朝 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 (漓江 )in present day Guangdong province 广东省). When this canal was completed, boats could sail from Chang Jiang (长江 or The Yangtze River) to the present day city of Guangzhou (广州) 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 广州市 Guangdong province 廣東省), one to Tancheng (鐔城 in present near Guilin city 桂林市 in Guangxi province (广西省), 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 (鄱阳湖) 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 万里长城 ” (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 Gao (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 (赵高) 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 odor. Finally they returned to the capital with the hearse of the First Emperor 
(始皇帝).  –》
Reading this part is always makes me sad, but I can’t help thinking of the biggest irony of the life of Qin Shihuang. He was a smart and a great man, but then he’s just a mortal man. When he died, he just died and helpless. His wills was forged by his prime minister and eunuch. And the son who was capable and was so loved by him, committed suicide thinking of his father wanted his death. And the idiot incapable son was then replaced him and made the empire collapsed.  He spent fortunes to find the immortal elixir to make him immortal, but then it’s all useless. He even couldn’t be buried with a proper body. His body was already decaying when they arrived in Xianyang, not to mention because it’s a long way, but also  because he died in a humid summer time. 

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 (骊山in the southeast of Lintong county 临潼县in Shaanxi province).

The Second Emperor feared that General Meng Tian (蒙恬), who was the supervisor of Fu Su (扶苏), 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.

I will write the history of Qin Erhuangdi Huhai later. I really hate this idiot loser! But then, perhaps…it’s all because Qin Shihuang had to reap what he sow. Although he had a good intention, built the great wall to protect the country, etc. But he did all that with the sacrifice of  millions peoples lives. I’m sure a lot of his people cursed him day and night for what he did. He’s still one of my favorite Chinese emperors though! 


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