Friday, February 09, 2007

The Emperor? Of Course You People Know About the Emperor

You guys sent me some really fascinating e-mail about the first Emperor of Qin.

Just typing that last sentence made me laugh out loud. There is nothing I can write about that you guys can't make more interesting.

First off, from Angus Cepka, a note about the Emperor's tomb:
Having been to Xian and seen the Terracotta Army, I can attest to its greatness, but what you may not know is that a few hundred feet away from the terracotta army is Qin Shi Huang’s tomb. It is a large hill which you can walk to the top of. It remains unexcavated. The most interesting thing about the tomb is the description offered by Sima Qian (perhaps China’s most famous historian, active in the Han Dynasty, the one right after the first emperor). He described how the tomb has an entire map of China within with rivers made from flowing mercury. In addition it is suggested that perhaps the emperor had his treasury buried along with him. Limited information about the tomb can be found here. If you have further interest, I would recommend the Discovery Channel documentary The First Emperor: The Man Who Made China.

Next, from Gary Theis:
I'm in Singapore, and there was a docudrama on Emperor Qin Shi Huang's life here a few months back on our ChannelNewsAsia. Their take on his accumulation of troops was that he was paranoid that all of the people he had conquered/slaughtered in the past would be waiting for him when he died. So, in his mercury-poisoned state (some medicine he was supposedly regularly taking to extend his life was mercury-based) in his later years, he felt that having an army of his own in the afterlife would be the only thing that saved him from the vast numbers of people who would inevitably be seeking vengeance.

Then, from Guitar Hero wiz John Harwood, comes a link to an article titled "Nine major enigmas of Qin Shihuang Mausoleum." It's full of interesting information and you can read it here.

Finally, from Chris Bartlett:
Also of note is the fact that the Terracotta Army Wonder in Rise of Nations is the single coolest RTS wonder of all time.

It's function? Spawning terracotta soldiers. It spawns a foot unit every thirty seconds for every infantry unit under your control.

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