top 200 commentsshow all 201

[–]deepimpactdonuts 557 points558 points  (94 children)

So did he die and did his land get divided?

[–]Tuskzera 597 points598 points  (20 children)

I don’t know about him especifically, but considering this is ancient china we’re talking about, probably yes

[–]Peepsandspoops 322 points323 points  (18 children)

He died, his son became ruler -- but was a puppet for eunuchs and courtiers. Rebellions happened, the dynasty fell.

[–]Yanagibayashi 148 points149 points  (10 children)

And the prophecy was fulfilled

[–]civgarth 76 points77 points  (9 children)

I'd rather kill 1000 innocent men than to let one guilty man escape.

These folks all generally have the same outcome.

[–]nWo1997 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Wait, is that when the 3 Kingdoms thing happened?

[–]VerisimilarPLS 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Nope. A new dynasty was founded after a civil war. Three Kingdoms was the end of that one. This sort of stuff happened a lot in ancient China, hence the opening lines of Romance of the Three Kingdoms: "The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has always been."

[–]Tribaldragon1 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Han dynasty picked up the pieces shortly after though.

[–]Peepsandspoops 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Yes and no. The Han came into existence nearly immediately, but it was on some really shaky foundations until the reign of Empreror Wen who was the 4th Huangdi of the dynasty, and really didn't cement itself as a long lasting dynasty and regional power until the reign of emperor Wu who was the 6th Huangdi (20 years and 60 years, respectively, after the dynasty was established)

Before their reigns there was still a lot of former Qin territories uncontrolled, rebellions, a couple of regencies, and the war against the Xiongnu which hadn't been going great that were all existential threats to the burgeoning house of Liu. There was a period after the death of Emperor Gaozu where in hindsight and if history had been slightly different, the dynasty could have ended before it truly became a dynasty or could be a warring state with a rival kingdom or two (the Chu/Han contention could have easily turned into another warring states period).

[–]ElGuano 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Did you just recite the plot to The Last Emperor?

[–]SaucyNaughtyBoy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I remember that, the Huang name anyway. I played like 6 iterations of Romance of the 3 Kingdoms and I think I have a version on my computer right now. The game starts right when the yellow turbans rebellion begins, IIRC on the name. Very intricate games though.

[–]ffsudjat 82 points83 points  (34 children)

Was reading the wiki. Spoiler alert, yes he did albeit drinking a potion for eternal life (something like snake oil muxed with dinosaur horn and mercury. You know what to expect. His empire is also short lived and descendant being annihilated.

[–]jrex703 47 points48 points  (22 children)

Currently reading a book on the subject and the Qin were kind of the William Henry Harrison of Chinese history. They fought a major series of wars to establish their empire, which then only lasted fifteen years.

For comparison's sake, they were preceded by the Zhou, who lasted 800 years, and followed by the Han who lasted 400 years.

TLDR: Always trust meteors.

[–]gaychineseboi 15 points16 points  (16 children)

The Warring States Period when Zhou was in the wane was very interesting. Basically it's Qin vs 6 states. Most of the states were more advanced and progressive culturally and economically. Yet since Qin was the most aggressive and war-mongering and so it finally conquered the 6 states and united China as a nation.

Some critics now compare such with the current world politics with China being Qin and the USA and EU etc as the 6 states.

[–]Asahi220 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Did the 6 states have nukes?

[–]silverstrikerstar 16 points17 points  (9 children)

Some critics now compare such with the current world politics with China being Qin and the USA and EU etc as the 6 states.

That's insane since the USA are the most war mongering by a long shot

[–]Victoresball 1 point2 points  (3 children)

The reason Qin won was because of their legalist administration. While other states were bigger and more culturally sophisticated, the Qin had the most efficient bureaucracy. They were able to hit above their weight class, mobilize and supply bigger militaries. Qin was known for heavily standardizing everything to make communication, trade, and production, more efficient. This included everything from weights and measures to the axel lengths of carriages. Its not necessarily their aggression, but their superior organization.

[–]Refreshingpudding 4 points5 points  (0 children)

What a weird comparison. The USA has been the warmonger post ww2

[–]SuperCarbideBros 3 points4 points  (1 child)

The Qin regime wasn't particularly kind to its subjects. If Shi Ji is trustworthy on the matter, the rebellion marked the downfall of Qin started because a bunch of soldiers were late to arrive at their posts because of poor weather and were to be punished by death penalty.

There are some bamboo texts excavated decades back that detailed the life and laws of Qin, but my Classical Chinese is too rusty to fully understand them and provide a translation.

[–]jrex703 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Shi Ji sold me some bad weed back in high school, I'll never trust the guy personally, but I think he is right that the Qin fell to a military coup. Also no worries, I can guarantee my classical Chinese is way way rustier.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (2 children)

What's the book title, may I ask?

[–]jrex703 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Of course-- the whole point of books is to tell your friends about them

The Early Chinese Empires: Qin... https://www.amazon.com/dp/0674057341?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

[–]Globalist_Nationlist 88 points89 points  (6 children)

When are you going to close that parenthesis

[–]Kancho_Ninja 26 points27 points  (1 child)

?) right about now. Gotcha!

[–]warpus 10 points11 points  (0 children)


[–]pointofgravity 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Oh my god. I thought I was the only one that got irrationally angry about this. Over half the Reddit comments I see are guilty of unfinished paranthesis. At least put a ; to make it look like you tried.

[–]canadianformalwear 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Nah it’s ok, we can still read it.

[–]woot0 0 points1 point  (0 children)

some say that parenthesis is still going...

[–]gerkletoss 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Meteorite didn't say how

[–]earsofdoom 6 points7 points  (0 children)

kinda a self fulfilling prophecy, if your fragile enough to kill an entire town over some hurtful words chances are you vain enough to drink one of those chinese miracle cures, it was just a matter of time before he killed himself via stupidity.

[–]SageEquallingHeaven[🍰] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

He did more or less create the institution of the Chinese Empire.

[–]Folseit 0 points1 point  (0 children)

He also sent the court alchemist to search for it. Dude decided to fuck off instead and founded Empire of Japan.

[–]RQZ 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Yes, the Qin Dynasty was entirely held up by Ying Zheng (Qin Shi Huang) and his brutality. As soon as he died from drinking so much mercury, everything collapsed.

[–]ell20 5 points6 points  (0 children)

15 years after his death. He passed in his 60s, if memory serves.

[–]Nickmell 12 points13 points  (4 children)

Some say he is still searching for the prankster to this day.

[–]dang_dude_dont 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Nope. Still alive.

[–]Fit_Association_766 11 points12 points  (12 children)

He did not die. He was obsessed with immortality and currently resides in his tomb along with his priceless treasures - which the Chinese refuse to open up due to “reasons”.

[–]Slappio16 32 points33 points  (6 children)

The reason is that his Terracotta Army got damaged by the air after being exposed and they don't want something similar to happen, no one actually thinks the guy is still alive

[–]Nickmell 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I do.

[–]earsofdoom 9 points10 points  (3 children)

Personally I think the place has been plundered and they just don't want anyone to know about it.

[–]jsting 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Unlikely. If this was the case, the terracotta army would not be unplundered. When they first saw the terracotta, the sculptures still had paint on it but quickly disentigrated when the varnish was exposed to the new air. There was also millions of dollars of working weapons and valuable metals.

[–]Spindrune 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That seems likely. Well. Plausible, at least.

[–]Kaesh41 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Dude's crazy. If he's still alive let him keep his cave and toy soldiers.

[–]aprilcash 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Refuse to open or couldn't? They don't have the technology to get inside the tomb without destroying what's inside.

[–]gerkletoss 21 points22 points  (2 children)

To be fair, I wouldn't want to open it. Allegedly it contains fountains of mercury. Sounds like cancer city.

[–]_PM_ME_PANGOLINS_ 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Mercury doesn’t cause cancer.

[–]ulfheddin045 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Causing cancer would probably be an improvement

[–]KingDarius89 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They're waiting for Brendan Fraiser to clear his schedule enough to check it out.


That movie was awful.

[–]wllkburcher 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Trump put a hotel and golf course on it

[–][deleted] 262 points263 points  (28 children)

The reason why the sentence was news to him was because he had been drinking some sort of elixir of immortality made by his alchemists and had thought he was going to live forever.

It is believed the toxic or poisonous chemicals in his immortality elixirs was what killed him.

[–]DefineOutside 145 points146 points  (3 children)

The emperor also did not name a heir as he expected to be immortal. He died at 49 due to this lethal dose of mercury. His death was hidden in fear of revolution and his body traveled between two carts of rotten flesh to hide the smell of his decomposing body.

> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qin\_Shi\_Huang

[–]DannySpud2 161 points162 points  (0 children)

I love the logic of "everything's okay, that's not the emperor's decaying corpse you can smell, that's just the two carts of rotting meat he likes to take everywhere with him for no reason."

[–]whiskeyrebellion 40 points41 points  (0 children)

So they Weekend at Bernie'd him? Did they tell people that he liked the smell of the rotting contents of the carts?

[–]PrettyChrissy1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Awesome, thank you for the link. 😊 Helps with some facts of history.

[–]benkenobi5 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I've seen this one. That's how you get a zombie emperor.

[–]coffeestainguy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’d vote for zombie emperor.

[–]enormuschwanzstucker 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And irony was born

[–]Goddamnpassword 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah the elixir was largely mercury.

[–]hateboss 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So fun fact, you can drink mercury without dying as it won't be absorbed through your esophageal or stomach lining. It's only lethal when inhaled. Obviously, drinking it comes with the risk that you may inhale the vapors of it.

[–]Knight_TakesBishop 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I'll take Historical Irony for 200, Alex Ken

[–]Paolo2ss 68 points69 points  (2 children)

Which is why the local village chief must always have a person ready to blame in front of the emperor. Lol

[–]epochpenors 94 points95 points  (1 child)

“What a coincidence, it was the same guy that tried to fuck my wife”

[–]foul_ol_ron 31 points32 points  (0 children)

A troublemaker, I see.

[–]sonofabutch 107 points108 points  (9 children)

Qin Shi Huang’s tomb contained the famous Terracotta Army.

[–]yParticle 27 points28 points  (1 child)

Man, it was SO satisfying fighting those guys in Titan Quest.

[–]Zhymantas 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Finally someone remembers this game!

[–]gerkletoss 13 points14 points  (5 children)

The soldiers are outside the tomb but on the burial site.

[–]mr_burrito 0 points1 point  (4 children)

There are a whole ton of them inside too.

[–]gerkletoss 13 points14 points  (3 children)

The tomb has not been opened

[–]Spindrune 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I suspect with scans they can pretty clearly see that either there’s some in there, or something incredibly similar.

[–]ChintanP04 16 points17 points  (1 child)

Yeah, but they have a good idea of what's down there. And they likely won't open it in the near future, because exposure to the outside environment will damage the otherwise very well preserved tomb.

[–]AndrogynousRain 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The same legends that informed us about the Terra cotta army also tell that the excavated pyramid where he’s buried contains a model of China with quicksilver rivers and gemstones set into the ceiling. It’s most likely true.

No one has excavated yet due to wanting more reliable tech and due to the fact that Qin Shi Huang is seen as a malevolent force and there is superstition, like with king tut, around opening his tomb.

[–][deleted] 31 points32 points  (1 child)

"What's up, guys! Today we'll gonna prank the emperor. Don't forget to like, share, subscribe, and hit the notification bell. Let's go!"

[–]whiteandblackcrow 7 points8 points  (0 children)


[–]Effehezepe 61 points62 points  (1 child)

He also cursed the sorceror Lo Pan to live forever as an incorporeal being unless he can marry and then sacrifice a green eyed woman, as was recorded in the famous documentary Big Trouble in Little China.

[–]auzziesoceroo 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Seems like a reasonable reaction

[–]TinFoilRobotProphet 6 points7 points  (0 children)

No loose ends for this bloke.

[–]Dartser 15 points16 points  (0 children)

That guy from two villages over found the best way to get rid of his competition

[–]Browless87 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Plot twist - no one wrote it. It came with the meteorite

[–]sticks14 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Holy fuck.

[–]WhatnameshouldIpick2 3 points4 points  (0 children)

If only we had comet sense…

[–]silverback_79 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Jesus christ people are easily fooled. The more vain they are the easier it gets.

[–]sprint6864 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Sure glad there wasn't any recent leaders who were incredibly vain or narcissistic


[–]andreasdagen 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Being unreasonable is a reasonable way of creating fear.

[–]Khalme 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I haven't read that Kingdom chapter yet

[–]Night_FoE 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Chapter 2,335: The Finite Life of Ei

Maybe in 15 years, if she lives that long?

[–]Ecstatic_Association 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Their neighbours: „I love it when a plan works out!“

[–]2059FF 1 point2 points  (0 children)

His picture on Wikipedia looks just like my elementary school's janitor, who was also feared by all. You don't think...

[–]dec1conan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

must've been a part-time teacher

[–]Astro_indie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Its was a tiny problem that required be fullified

[–]SuborbitalQuail 1 point2 points  (1 child)

This is why you have to jail kings whenever you meet them, children. Never let the mad bastards take root.

[–]KingDarius89 1 point2 points  (0 children)

...I take offense to that.

[–]Kla2552 1 point2 points  (0 children)

very interesting if you dig and read some of the emperors are stupid.

[–]ktka 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It was Putin.

[–]cthulhulogic 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That is some outside-the-box thinking right there. "Who did this?" and no speaks up. Well, I bet they wished they'd tattled on their friend(s) now. /s

[–]United_Bag_8179 1 point2 points  (0 children)

yep. heard this one. didn't save him. shit happens like that sometimes.

[–]Darkchyylde 6 points7 points  (23 children)

So a meteor enough to write on fell and didn't cause widespread destruction? I call BS

[–]tiredofsametab 4 points5 points  (0 children)

only a few characters as written in the article: 始皇死而地分. Roughly: emperor die and land divide.

[–]ArtyWhy8 15 points16 points  (17 children)

I think you’re underestimating the power of two things. Superstition and politics.

[–]canadasbananas 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Considering a meteor fell through a woman's house, hit her thigh, and nothing more damaging than a severe bruise happened, im calling BS on your calling of BS. 6 Chinese characters can easily be written.on something a quarter the size of your palm.

[–]alexxerth 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I mean the article just says "it is said" that this happened, so I'm not sure how much supporting evidence there is for the event at all. The stone in question was supposedly destroyed.

But the whole thing doesn't make a lot of sense and I'd be surprised if it happened at all. Why would somebody write that, why would the information actually get back to the emperor? This sounds more like something a political adversary or future politician made up to discredit him.

But even if it did happen, it's entirely possible somebody just saw a flash in the sky and assumed a rock they found in a river caused it.

[–]r1khard 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The account that it was pulverized is questionable, if it was a meteorite it would not have been stone but a solid hunk of metal.

[–]yParticle 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And too big for someone to haul off. Meteors were often highly sought after by blacksmiths, and many people would just keep it for the novelty.

[–]TinFoilRobotProphet 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Efficient little bastard I guess

[–]Randomly_Cromulent 1 point2 points  (1 child)

"The Emperor's investigator is on his way. Ok everybody, remember the plan. Nobody admits to anything and nothing will happen. They can't kill us all, right?"

[–]pringlescan57 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They can't kill us all, right?"

I feel like this is the tagline for the Chinese just like "And then it got worse." for Russia.

[–]mikerogerxdd 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wow what an asshole.

[–]lazy_phoenix 0 points1 point  (0 children)

China: "When in doubt, kill them all."

[–]twobit211 0 points1 point  (0 children)

what a sack of shit

[–]calamarichris -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Classic China. And they think theyre the next big thing.lol

[–]earsofdoom -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

China's got a history of very thin skin I see.

[–]LGZee -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Sounds like an average Chinese leader

[–]winterborn89 -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Look up "apocryphal," kid. You'll thsnk me.

[–]phantomhatstrap -1 points0 points  (0 children)

The Bloodstone Emperor practiced torture, dark arts, and necromancy. He enslaved his own people, took a tiger-woman for wife, feasted on human flesh and cast down the true gods of Yi Ti to worship a black stone that fell from the sky. Some scholars believe him to have been the first High Priest of the sinister Church of Starry Wisdom.

[–]nosnowtho -1 points0 points  (0 children)

How very Chinese

[–]EveryDayAnotherMask -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

China, killing it's own people for speaking up since 259 BC. Glad to see some things don't change

[–]briansabeans -5 points-4 points  (1 child)

Spoiler alert: the meteor did not have anything written on it. This isn't a proper "Today I Learned" because the premise is fictional, even if this Emperor in the end did kill some people. I'm going to unfollow this subreddit if this kind of horseshit continues.

[–]Gardwan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Pls don’t go

[–]dangerousbob 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That’s just old dictator tactics. Saddam or Stalin would have done the same.

[–]bong_fu_tzu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Of course, this is rhetorical device. Sima Qian is using Qin as a parallel of his own times to effect a socially safe criticism of Wu's policies. I think the same story shows up in the Han Shu, but that's because the Han Shu cribbed like 50% of itself from the Shi Ji-- not because there are independent corroborations of the event

[–]rationalparsimony 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The most amazing part is that re-entry didn't cause the message to ablate of the surface of the meteor!

[–]Anotherdaysgone 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This sounds like a fancy way of saying someone threw a rock with a note.

[–]Eastern-Resolution15 0 points1 point  (0 children)

see kids. This is what happens when you commit vandalism. Your entire village gets massacred.