First Emperor of China. Born to the ruling Ying clan, he was Prince Zheng until his ascension to the throne of Qin in 247 BC at age 12. A regent ruled in his place until he staged a palace coup at age 21. He reined as king of Qin during the end of the Zhou Dynasty, when several states were struggling for dominion. It was his armies who were victorious during the final campaigns of 221 BC, and having defeated the other states and unified China, he declared himself Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty. Over the next decade, he maintained a tightly autocratic rule over his empire, and instigated numerous reforms, including standardizations of law, government, language, money and measurements, as well as starting massive construction projects including roads, palaces and the initial stages of the Great Wall of China. He boosted his military forces, continuing to conquer new territories. He died in 210 BC, perhaps the result of poisoning from mercury-containing pills that were intended to make him immortal. He was buried in a massive pyramid-shaped mausoleum that has yet to be excavated. Today he is revered as the unifier of China.
Bio by: Chris Nelson
Qin Er Shi