Friday, January 7, 2011

An Army On Parade For 2000 Years Part.II

His army accompanied him in death, molded in terracotta and armed with real bows, spears, and ge- Chinese halberds. They were buried in three in three shallow pits, lined with timbers and floored with tiles. When the rebel army set fire to the pits, the timber chambers collapsed, imprisoning the warriors for more than 2000 years. In March 1974, peasants digging wells in the Linton district came upon fragments of the life size terracotta figures. Archaeologists went on to discover the ancient pits.
The author of this extraordinary city of the dead, Zheng, ruler of Qin, was born in 259 BC into a period of great change. Qin was a feudal state in which a hereditary aristocracy wielded local power. Since the 8th century BC, neighboring powers had been fighting over land and shifting their allegiances. These territories became known as the Warring states.
In the 4th century BC, an outstanding political theorist, Lord Shang, became chief minister of Qin. On his advice, the state was transformed into a bureaucracy in which officials were appointed by, and answerable to, the king. Shang was a leading exponent of Legalism, an ideology based on the belief that man is intrinsically selfish, and cannot be expected to respect his leaders, and live in harmony without firm state coercion. The philosophy was put into practice through a strict code of laws and well defined systems of reward and punishment
Agricultural productivity was rewarded and commerce encourage by state regulation and standardized weights and measures. Peasants were freed of their serf status and their obligation to the now abolished nobility.


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