By Cindy Jenson-Elliott
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Extra resources for Ancient Chinese Dynasties
Among his writings are lists of products available to buyers all along the route. These included “Slavonian squirrels, martins and finches, goat skins and ram skins, dates, filberts, walnuts, salted sturgeon tails . . round pepper, ginger . . raw silk, saffron, clove-stalks and cloves, nutmegs, spike, cardamoms . . ”20 49 Muslims from central Asia were important to keeping trade flowing along the Silk Road. They imported such goods as jewels, carpets, spices, and even camels, and they carried away luxury items such as silk, porcelain, and lacquerware.
Together, these changes had the effect of taking power away from the nobility and putting power, wealth, and loyalty firmly in the hands of a centralized government. The age of bureaucracy had begun. Over ten years, Shang’s reforms led to increased wealth, prosperity, and power in Qin. And with its increased power, Qin began a military campaign to conquer its neighbors. Qin Expands Qin’s adoption of Shang’s legalist guidance set it apart from the other states of the period. In fact, other states roundly criticized Qin for its lack of culture, a cornerstone of Confucian societies.
Obsessed with a desire to find the secrets of immortality, in 212 BCE the emperor ordered the construction of his own tomb, an enormous underground building populated by an army of seven thousand life-size terra-cotta clay soldiers. He also ordered expeditions to islands said to be populated by immortals in hopes of finding elixirs that could prolong his life. Despite his efforts, he died on just such an expedition in 210 BCE. When Qin Shi Huangdi’s son was crowned as the second emperor, discontent arose throughout the empire.