Qin Shi Huang

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I have collected all the writings of the Empire and burnt those which were of no use.

Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇, literally Qin Initial Emperor) (259 BC – 210 BC) was the first Emperor of China and the foundation of Qin dynasty.


  • 天下共苦戰鬥不休,以有侯王。賴宗廟,天下初定,又復立國,是樹兵也,而求其寧息,豈不難哉!
  • I have collected all the writings of the Empire and burnt those which were of no use.
    • As quoted in The Tyrants: 2500 Years of Absolute Power and Corruption (2006) by Clive Foss, p. 10, ISBN 1905204965

Quotes about Qin Shi Huang

  • Ch'in Shih-huang is going to die!
    He opened my door,
    And sat on my floor,
    He drank my gravy,
    And wanted some more.
    He sipped my wine,
    And couldn't tell what for;
    I'll bend my bow,
    And shoot him at the wall.
    When he arrives at Shach'iu,
    Then he is going to fall!
    • "Ballad that the oppressed people of China composed" expressing "great delight" at the news of Qin Shi Huang's death, "the builder of the Great Wall and the tyrant, who, while he lived, made 'libellous thoughts in the belly' punishable by death, burned the Confucian books and buried hundreds of Confucian scholars alive", as reported and quoted in Lin Yutang's A History of the Press and Public Opinion in China (1936), p. 23, and in The Importance of Living (1937), pp. 39–40.
  • Qin Shi Huang, also called Shi Huangdi ['First Emperor'] unified China, laying the foundations for what became a vast and enduring state. He founded the short-lived Qin [pronounced 'chin'] Dynasty whose name is the origin of 'China.' He created a centrally-controlled, efficient administration, bound his realm together with new road and canal systems, and defended it with long walls. Yet he ruled with extraordinary brutality.
    • Clive Foss, The Tyrants: 2500 Years of Absolute Power and Corruption, London: Quercus Publishing, 2006, ISBN 1905204965, p. 148
  • Qin Shi Huangdi created the first unified Chinese empire that emerged from the “Warring States Period’. By 221 Bc he had successfully destroyed the last remaining rival kingdoms within China and made himself supreme ruler: the First Emperor. A remarkable, ruthless statesman and conqueror, of manic gifts, haunted by madness, sadism and paranoia, Qin Shi Huangdi’s reign quickly degenerated into a brutal and bloody tyranny. His reputation in China has always been that of a tyrant, but it was Chairman Mao Zedong, another monstrous dictator, who associated himself with the ‘First Emperor’ and promoted him as his glorious precursor.
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