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Terra cotta chariot horses from the excavated Emperor Qin Shihuang Mausoleum
 

King Zheng was born in 259 and died in 210 B.C. at age 50.  After having annexed six other independent kingdoms of the Warring States Period, in 221 B.C. he founded the first unified feudal empire in Chinese history and began the Qin Dynasty.  He proclaimed himself "Shihuang Di", meaning, "the First Emperor".  Though the dynasty lasted only 15 years, many of the institutions of later Chinese imperial governments first took shape in this period.