January 23, 2012
Qin Shihuangdi, born Ying Zheng was one of the most influential rulers of all China. It is believed that Shihuangdi was father by one of two men, Zichu a son of the king of Qin at the time. Zichu was sent as a hostage to the state of Zhao during a dispute between the two kingdoms (Lindesay p. 4). Eventually Zichu was allowed to live freely in Zhao. There he became acquainted with a rich, but conniving merchant named Lu Buwei, who had a concubine. When Zichu became interested in the concubine, Lu Buwei stepped aside and eventually helped them escaped to Qin where Zichu shortly became king (Lindesay p. 4). Shortly after arriving in Qin, Ying Zheng (later to become Shihaungdi) was born. It was never revealed whether Zichu or Lu Buwei was his father. At only thirteen Shihuangdi took control of the Qin Dynasty, which was a start of a great rule for the young emperor. Many accomplishments were accredited to his rule, The Great Wall, a road system throught the kingdom, a written script that unified all of China, and of course his mystifying tomb that contain life-sized soldiers of the Terra Cotta Army. Many theories surround his tomb. Probably one of the most fascinating archaeological discoveries was his tomb with over 6,000 life-size soldiers buried with the emperor. One theory that could be believable was that he feared death, therefore he was always in search of immortality. In seeking immortality Shihaungdi made at least three pilgrimages to Zhifu Island seeking immortality. In one case of he sent Xu Fu, a Zhifu islander, with ships carrying hundreds of men and women in search of the mystical Penglai mountain (Wintle p. 61, p. 71). Penglai mountain was said to be the home for the Eight immortals and the 1,000 year old magician Anqi Sheng who Shihaungdi supposedly met while traveling, invited him to seek him there (Pregadio p. 199). The people that was sent on the voyage never...