The defeat of the mainland by Qin Shi Huang, unification of the world, and the establishment of the Qin Dynasty is one of the most important historical milestones in Chinese history. So, how was the Qin Dynasty able to end hundreds of years of turmoil during the Warring States period and open a new chapter in history?
To this question, historians have given many answers based on analysis of different angles and aspects, including economic development, reform of Thuong Thuong (the prime minister of Qin), state social transformation…
However, there is a mystery that is rarely mentioned is the prediction that historian Sima Thien has mentioned many times in “History”. This prediction is said to foretell the unification of the Qin Dynasty.
The first time, according to the records of Sima Thien, in 274 BC, the second year of the reign of Chu Liet Vuong (the 34th king of the Zhou Dynasty), Thai Shi Dam, the Zhou Dynasty official, spoke to the monarch. The 29th of the Qin state was Qin Hien Cong, saying: “The Zhou Dynasty and the Qin state first merged and then separated again, after 500 years of separation, then reunited, when 17 years of union, a hegemony appeared”.
Qin Shi Huang was the first emperor in Chinese history.
This saying predicts that the Qin state will appear a hegemony, or that the Qin people will unify the world. Since then, this prediction has also been secretly passed down through the Qin kings.
According to the will of heaven, Qin Shi Huang was born according to his destiny, then he made great achievements in unifying the Jiangshan, becoming the first emperor in Chinese history.
The second time, the above prediction was mentioned in “Qin Ban Ji” in the 11th year of Qin Hieu Cong’s reign. For the third time, historian Sima Thien mentioned this prediction in “History – Phong Thien Thu”. For the fourth time, prophecy is once again mentioned in “History – Lao Tzu, Han Fei’s story”.
The four mentions of Sima Thien’s prediction of the appearance of a hegemony in the Qin state, unifying the world, can show the unusual intentions of this famous historian.
Decoding the prediction related to Qin Shi Huang
The first half of the above prediction is “The Zhou Dynasty and the Qin state first merged and then separated”. The meaning of this half sentence is to say that the state of Qin was founded by the Zhou Dynasty. Accordingly, Qin Fei Tu, the founding monarch of the Qin state, was the son of a mandarin serving the Western Zhou Dynasty. Later, Qin Fei Tu was appointed by Chu Hieu Vuong, the 8th king of the Zhou Dynasty, to a small fief in Qin, also known as Qin Doanh.
It wasn’t until the reign of Qin Tuong Cong, the 6th king of the Qin state, that the Zhou Dynasty was officially named a vassal, which was the state of Qin.
“Lying 500 years and meeting again”, corresponding to 500 years after Chu Binh Vuong (the 13th king of the Zhou Dynasty) moved the capital to the east (779 BC), the power of the Zhou dynasty gradually decreased. From the Binh Vuong period onwards, the kings of the Zhou dynasty ruled only in name, while the real power rested in the hands of powerful vassals.
In 256 BC, Qin Zhaoxiang, the 33rd king of the Qin state, sent a general to bring an army to attack Western Zhou, arresting Chu Nuan Vuong (the 37th king of the Zhou dynasty) at night to Xianyang, the capital of the Qin state. Warring States period. Seven years later, in 249 BC, Qin Trang Tuong Vuong (the 35th king of the Qin state) sent La Buwei to bring 100,000 troops to attack Dong Zhou, from which the Zhou dynasty died.
The fact that Qin Shi Huang defeated the six vassal states and unified the country, seems to have been predicted long ago.
From 256 BC to 238 BC, Qin Shi Huang (36th king of the Qin state) officially regent after ascending the throne of Qin for 9 years, which is about 17 years. It was at this time that Qin Shi Huang put down the Lao Ai rebellion, wiped out the forces of La Bu Vi and monopolized power.
The supreme power of the Qin state at that time was in the hands of Qin Shi Huang. According to the latter part of the above prediction, 17 years later, the Qin kingdom will appear as a hegemon. That person was Qin Shi Huang. It was from the moment when Qin Shi Huang held great power in his hand that the ambition to unify the world gradually opened.
In 238 BC, in the ancient capital of Ung Chau, the 22-year-old Qin Shi Huang was crowned and officially regent. According to Historical Records – Qin Shi Huang, after the regent, Qin Shi Huang accelerated his ambition to destroy 6 vassal countries. Qin Shi Huang’s strategy was to attack nearby countries, then attack distant countries, especially concentrating forces and destroying each part. Accordingly, the state of Qin annexed the state of Zhao first, then Wei, to the south was Han, and finally attacked the countries of Yen, Chu and Qi.
By 221 BC, all six vassal states had been completely defeated. That same year, Shen Shui Huang proclaimed himself Emperor Shi Huang, the first emperor in Chinese history.
From the official regency until the completion of the hegemony of unifying the world, it took less than 20 years for Qin Shi Huang.
From the above analysis, it can be seen that the accuracy of the prediction that has been repeated by historian Sima Thien many times is terrible. However, from the point of view of modern historians, it does not matter whether or not this prediction exists. Because it is interesting that this prediction reflected the feelings of the people at that time wishing for reunification after hundreds of years of division and constant war.
Article referenced source: Sohu, Toutiao, 163