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. trans. Qin First 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!
    • The reason why All-under-Heaven suffers bitterly from endless wars is because of the existence of feudal lords and kings. A reliance on ancestral temples initially brought stability, but the revival of states results in the spread of soldiers. Doing so will never bring about stability!
  • 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[edit]

  • 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.

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