The Terra Cotta Army: China's First Emperor and the Birth of by John Man

By John Man

The Terra Cotta military is among the maximum archaeological discoveries ever made. Over seven thousand life-size figures of warriors and horses have been interred within the mausoleum of the 1st emperor of China—and every one determine used to be separately carved.
Weaving jointly heritage and a first-hand account of his stories in China, John guy tells the attention-grabbing tale of the way and why those staggering figures have been created within the 3rd century BC, and the way they've got turn into an emblem of China’s heritage, tradition, and society.

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But the outlines carry conviction. Bear in mind this is deceit on a huge scale. The queen has her own palace, staffed by hundreds. Lao Ai himself, now in a position to exert great influence, acquires a retinue of 1,000 retainers, all hoping for advancement. The affair continues for many years, with the queen bearing Lao Ai two sons, who thus became half-brothers and possible heirs of the teenaged King Zheng, the future First Emperor; and Zheng is still being advised by his mentor, Lü Buwei, his mother’s ex-lover and – according to word on the street – his father.

The least a man can achieve is to bring no shame on his ancestors, or himself. Below such a person, he writes, is one who is bound with ropes, and below him, in a descending 4 Included as an appendix in Burton Watson’s fine translation, Records of the Grand Historian: Qin Dynasty. 23 ORIGINS sequence of degradation, are the prisoner, the fettered, the beaten, the shaven-headed, the manacled and the mutilated. Finally, lowest of all, is the eunuch. ‘Alas! Alas! A man like myself – what can he say?

Power made the First Emperor a terrifying figure. He seems to have been physically unattractive – high pointed nose, slit eyes, pigeon breast, stingy, cringing, graceless. Traditional portraits of him don’t conform to this lean and hungry image, showing him as bearded, bulky, and always 16 THE GRAND HISTORIAN’S HIDDEN AGENDA wearing headgear like a mortarboard with tassels dangling down the front to hide his semi-divine features from mortal gaze. It’s all totally inauthentic, of course, since there were no contemporary portraits; but as with Christ, Genghis Khan and alien abductors, there arose an accepted, iconic version of what he was supposed to look like.

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