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Chinese History - Qin Empire Government, Administration, and Law

Periods of Chinese History
Ying Zheng, the King of Qin, assumed for the first time the title of August Emperor, Huangdi 皇帝. The whole empire was divided into commanderies (jun 郡), administered by a civil governor (shou 守), a military commander (wei 尉) and an imperial inspector (jianyushi 監御史). The commanderies were divided in counties (xian 縣), administered by a magistrate (ling 令). The writing system, especially the shape of characters, was reformed and resulted in the so-called Small Seal Script (xiaozhuanti 小篆體). The administrative and penal code (lüling 律令) was spread throughout the country, and standards (fadu 法度) like weights, measures and currency should be used in the whole empire. Highways were built (like the Roman viae), and general Meng Tian 蒙恬 had the order to build the Great Wall (Changcheng 長城) to repell the nomadic Xiongnu 匈奴 tribes. The First Emperor moved thousands of families to his capital, build himself the great imperial Ebang-Palace (not: Afang!) 阿房宮 and let himself be buried in a gigantic tomb with a terracotta army to protect him. During his reign, the emperor spent much time to inspect the empire (xunxing 巡行) and climbed Mount Taishan 泰山 to perform the fengshan 封禪 sacrifice to Heaven and Earth.

Sources: Charles O. Hucker (1985). A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China. Stanford, Ca.: Stanford University Press.
Tong Jianyin 佟建寅, Shu Xiaofeng 舒小峰 (1994). Baijuanben Zhongguo quanshi 百卷本中國全史, Zhongguo Qin Han zhengzhi shi 中國秦漢政治史. Beijing: Renmin chubanshe.
Denis Twitchett, Michael Loewe (1986). The Cambridge History of China., Vol. 1. The Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 B.C.-A.D. 220. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

October 30, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail

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