The First Emperor: The Man Who Made China – Part 6/9

The totalitarian philosophy in the new Chinese empire was called legalism. There are rules that govern every part of every citizen’s daily life with the punishment spelled out. Physical punishment could mean mutilation. For example, if two are caught having sex, they will be beheaded. Every aspect of private life is part of Qin law.

In 220 BC, Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi goes on an inspection tour of his empire.  With the major wars over, millions of troops are put to work finishing the Great Wall of China to stop the nomadic tribes to the north from raiding into China, which they have done for centuries.

The Great Wall of China is the greatest engineering project of the ancient world. It is thirty feet high and more than three thousand miles long. At one point, over a million people are working on the wall and about a quarter of them will die.

The emperor makes more demands. He sends hundreds of thousands to build a tomb that fits his rank as the first divine emperor of China. The burial mound, larger than the largest pyramid in China, is at the center of an above ground and underground city. His tomb is made of bronze surrounded by mercury rivers and oceans.

Recently, using ground penetrating radar and other instruments, a three dimensional model is built of the underground complex.

Go to Part 7 for the Man Who Made China or return to Part 5

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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