In Chinese folklore the first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, is never presented as a hero. Instead he is always presented as villain who is undone by his own arrogance and impiety. He is often introduced in folk tales as the "Wicked Emperor Qin Shi Huang". However, historians believe that many of the most salacious stories about China's first emperor may have been exaggerated or invented by later writers who did not care for his preferred philosophy. Has one of China's most significant figures been the victim of fake history? Tune in and find out how ghost tablets, huge dongs, and a philosophy more Machiavellian than Machiavelli all play a role in the story.
If you were going to make a list of the most historically influential people to have have ever lived, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, should probably be in the top 10. In the mid 2nd century BC, the ruler of the State of Qin embarked on series of conquests that would unite China after centuries of discord. But despite this impressive achievement, the first emperor has been saddled with a particularly nasty historical reputation. Even the ancient Chinese historians did not remember him fondly. Does he really deserve this vicious reputation, or has he been the victim of fake history? Tune-in and find out how a scheming merchant, a castrated historian, and 8000 clay soldiers all play a role in the story.