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Published: 27 August 2009

208 Pages | 1 map


ISBN: 9780199574391

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The First Emperor

Selections from the Historical Records

Sima Qian
Raymond Dawson and Preface by K. E. Brashier

Oxford World's Classics

  • A unique selection from the foremost ancient Chinese historian Sima Qian's Historical Records of the period covering the Qin dynasty which unified China in 221 BC and created the empire that lasted until 1911. The tomb of the First Emperor, founder of the dynasty, was guarded by the famous terracotta warriors.
  • Contents cover the birth of the First Emperor, the assassination attempt on his life, an account of Qin's Chief Minister and short biography of the builder of the Great Wall, a history of the years immediately after unification, religious practices and the story of one of the rebels who toppled the dynasty. Highly anecdotal, the book has plenty of sex, bawdy humour, violence, intrigue and grandeur.
  • Fluent and attractive translation by one of the foremost scholars of Classical Chinese, Raymond Dawson, with an interesting introduction and unobtrusive notes.
  • New preface updates the archaeological finds and shows how they help us understand and appreciate Sima Qian's detail.
  • Up-to-date bibliography, map, and index.

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