Terra cotta chariot horses from the excavated Emperor Qin
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