Records of the Grand Historian: Qin Dynasty
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Sima Qian (145?-90? BCE) was the first major Chinese historian. His Shiji, or Records of the Grand Historian, documents the history of China and its neighboring countries from the ancient past to his own time. These three volumes cover the Qin and Han dynasties.
centuries, this is essentially the administrative system that has remained in effect in China down to the present time. A third process characteristic of the Qin, which began at the urging of the Legalist statesman Wei Yang, or Lord Shang, and is described in his biography below, was the promulgation of a code of laws to replace the largely unwritten complex of customs and rites that had governed the people in the past and continued to do so in the other feudal states. Qin’s laws are noted for
and workmen assigned to supply dirt for the mound at Mt. Li. The project at Mt. Li has been carried to completion, and if we do not now finish construction of the palace at Epang, it will appear as though the former emperor was mistaken in his undertakings.” Work was accordingly resumed on the Epang Palace, while on the foreign front efforts were continued to subdue the barbarians on the four borders, all as the First Emperor had originally planned. Fifty thousand crossbowmen were called up from
hegemon. It seems as though he would like to try it out. If he will see me once more, I will know what to say this time!” When Yang appeared for another interview, the duke talked with him, inching forward until before he knew it he was kneeling on the very edge of his mat. They talked for several days without tiring. Jing Jian said, “How did you manage to impress our ruler so? He is overjoyed!” Gongsun Yang said, “I discoursed to the ruler on the ways of the emperor and the king, such as were in
mountain caves, to nourish the aged and protect the orphaned, to show respect to fathers and elder brothers, promote men of merit, and honour those of virtue. Then you may hope for some measure of safety. “And yet you go on coveting the wealth of Shang and Yu, exploiting your favoured position to dictate the ways of Qin, and thereby nourishing the hatred of the hundred families. If one morning the ruler of Qin should take leave of his guests and no longer appear at court, the state of Qin will
personally requested you to become prime minister of Yan, but you are unwilling to go. I do not know how far your lordship will get before the order comes for your death!” Zhang Tang said, “At your suggestion, young man, I believe I will go,” and he ordered his baggage for the journey. On the day of his departure, Gan Luo said to his master, the marquis of Wenxin, “If you will lend me five carriages, I would like permission to go to Zhao and make a report on Zhang Tang’s behalf.” Lü Buwei went to