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Books About the Qin Dynasty

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Book Categories: Shi Huangdi, Terracotta Army, Great Wall, Children's Books, DVDs, Chinese History, Ancient China

Books About the First Emperor and Qin China

The First Emperor of China by Jonathan Clements. Exposes the intrigues and scandals of the first emperor's family - his mother's plot to overthrow him, a revolt led by his stepfather, and the suspicious death of his half-brother - and provides a terrifying glimpse of daily life in a land under absolute rule.

The First Emperor: Selections From the Historical Records by Sima Qian, translated by Raymond Dawson. Sima Qian, the most famous Chinese historian, describes the First Emperor's birth and the often brutal events that led to the founding of the Qin dynasty. He recounts the building of the Great Wall, the "burning of the books," and the construction of the emperor's magnificent tomb.

The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army by Jane Portal. In richly illustrated chapters, experts describe the Qin dynasty's rise and military conquest of China, and the first emperor's achievements and legacy.

China's First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors by Frances Wood. Unifier or destroyer, law-maker or tyrant? This book describes the life and times of one of the most important men in Chinese history.

The Cambridge History of China, Volume 1: The Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 B.C.-A.D. 220, edited by Michael Loewe and Denis C. Twitchett. Begins with the establishment of the Ch'in empire in 221 BC and ends with the abdication of the last Han emperor in AD 220. Intended for the general reader as well as the specialist.

The First Emperor of China by Catherine Pagani. Biography of Shi Huangdi. Out of print, but sometimes available at Alibris.

Tales of Emperor Qin Shihuang compiled by Yuan Yang and Xiao Ding. Some of the stories in this book come from historical records, and some are based on popular legends, adding highly colored details for a comprehensive look at Qin Shihuang and his world. From Alibris.

More Books About the Emperors of China

Terracotta Army

The Terra Cotta Army: China's First Emperor and the Birth of a Nation by John Man. The construction and modern discovery of the Terracotta Army and how it became a symbol of China's history, culture and society.

The Eternal Army: The Terracotta Army of the First Chinese Emperor edited by Roberto Ciarla, photos by Araldo De Luca. What sort of ruler was Qin Shi Huang? Why was his tomb guarded by 7,000 statues? This book explores the emperor's life and times.

The Qin Terracotta Army: Treasures of Lintong by Zhang Wenli. This book, produced under the auspices of the Chinese government, provides an overview of one of archaeology's most stunning discoveries. Illustrated in color with detailed captions.

China's Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor's Legacy by Liu Yang. Examines the period of Chinese history preceding the First Emperor's reign (246-210 BCE) and his establishment of the Qin empire and dynasty in 221 BCE. Published to accompany museum exhibitions.

The Terracotta Army of the First Emperor of China by William Lindesay and Guo Baofu. Relates the amazing story of the army of the terracotta soldiers that were buried with China's first emperor and not discovered until 1974. Includes photos and diagrams.

The Terracotta Warriors: The Secret Codes of the Emperor's Army by Maurice Cotterell. The author claims China's first emperor "was a keeper of the sacred solar science of the ancients."

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall: From Beginning to End by William Lindesay and Michael Yamashita, photographs by Michael Yamashita. This book offers a comprehensive history that proceeds dynasty by dynasty through its construction; debunks myths; and includes 160 photos.

The Great Wall: China Against the World, 1000 BC - AD 2000 by Julia Lovell. The story of the Wall winds through that of the Chinese state, through the lives of the millions of individuals who supported, criticized, built, and attacked it.

The Great Wall: The Extraordinary Story of China's Wonder of the World by Joh Man. The author traveled the entire length of the Great Wall and delved into Chinese history to find the truth behind the legend.

The Great Wall of China: From History to Myth by Arthur Waldrun. Reveals the reasons the Great Wall was built and its profound implications for life under the Ming dynasty.

Children's Books

Emperor Qin's Terra Cotta Army by Michael Capek. Nonfiction for children ages 9 to 12.

Terra-cotta Soldiers: Army of Stone by Arlan Dean. About the 7,000 life-sized terra-cotta soldiers and horses found near the tomb of China's first emperor. For children ages 9 to 12.

Emperor's Silent Army by Jane O'Connor. Children's book about the terracotta warriors. For ages 9 to 12.

Qin Shi Huangdi by Peggy Pancella. Biography of China's first emperor for children ages 9 to 12.

The Great Wall by Elizabeth Mann, illustrated by Alan Witschonke. Includes photographs and a clearly related history of the Great Wall. For children ages 9-12.

The Great Wall of China by Kate Riggs. Nonfiction for children ages 4-8.

The Emperor's Army: A Mathematical Adventure by Virginia Walton Pilegard, illustrated by Adrian Tans. Fiction. In ancient China, a scholar and his son learn about the terra-cotta army the emperor has made to guard his grave. For children ages 4 to 8.


Movies & Documentaries About Shi Huangdi

These DVDs are formatted for North American audiences.

The Emperor and the Assassin. 1999 Chinese movie (with English subtitles) about the First Emperor, Qin Shihuang, who built the Great Wall and was buried with an army of terra-cotta soldiers.

The Emperor's Shadow. A 1996 Chinese movie about the First Emperor, also with English subtitles.

Treasure! Tomb of the Terra Cotta Warriors. They are one of the most surprising and important discoveries in history but does this ancient army guard an even more incredible treasure?

In Search of History: The Great Wall. Under Shih Huang Ti, China turned inward, protecting itself behind the famous Great Wall. But was he really trying to protect his kingdom, or was he concerned with preserving his own place in history?

Modern Marvels: The Great Wall of China. How was the Great Wall constructed? And was it truly, as legend has it, a wellspring of bloodshed, madness, and death? Modern engineers and historians examine the wall's mysteries.

The First Emperor of China. A 1989 IMAX film, narrated by Christopher Plummer. It dramatizes the emperor's life and includes the first documentary footage of Qin's life-sized terra cotta army.

More Chinese Royalty Videos & DVDs
Other Royal Movies and Documentaries


Computer Games

Prince of Qin. In this computer RPG (role-playing game), you play the first emperor of China's son Fu Su as he tries to claim his throne. The game's Chinese developer, Object Software, also created Fate of the Dragon, a real-time strategy game which takes place after the collapse of the Eastern Han Dynasty in 2nd century China. For Windows computers.

More Games Based on Chinese History

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Related Topics

Chinese Royal History
The Xiongnu & The Huns
Royalty in Asia
World Royal History


Other Websites

The First Emperor of Qin
Great Wall Visible in Space Photo
Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses
Unearthing the Army of Emperor Qin
Terra Cotta Warriors Unearthed (photos)



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