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Encyclopedia > Li Si

Li Si (Chinese: 李斯; Pinyin: Lǐ Sī; Wade-Giles: Li Ssu) (ca. 280 BC - September or October 208 BC) was the influential Prime Minister (or Chancellor) of the feudal state and later of the dynasty of Qin, between 246 BC and 208 BC. A famous Legalist, he was also a notable calligrapher. Li Si served under two rulers: Qin Shi Huang, king of Qin and later First Emperor of China -- and his son, Qin Er Shi. A powerful minister, he was central to the state's policies, including those on military conquest, draconian centralization of state control, standardization of weights, measures and the written script, and persecution of Confucianism. Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: 汉语拼音; Traditional Chinese: 漢語拼音; Pinyin: HànyÇ” PÄ«nyÄ«n), also known as scheme of the Chinese phonetic alphabet (Simplified Chinese: 汉语拼音方案; Traditional Chinese: 漢語拼音方案; Pinyin: HànyÇ” PÄ«nyÄ«n fāngàn), while pin means spell(ing) and yin means sound(s)), is a system of romanization (phonemic notation... Wade-Giles, sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration) system for the Chinese language based on Mandarin. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 330s BC 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC - 280s BC - 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 285 BC 284 BC 283 BC 282 BC 281 BC 280 BC 279 BC 278 BC 277... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC - 200s BC - 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC 160s BC 150s BC Years: 213 BC 212 BC 211 BC 210 BC 209 BC - 208 BC - 207 BC 206 BC... Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. ... Qin, Qín or Chin (Wade-Giles) can refer to. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC - 240s BC - 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC Years: 251 BC 250 BC 249 BC 248 BC 247 BC - 246 BC - 245 BC 244 BC... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC - 200s BC - 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC 160s BC 150s BC Years: 213 BC 212 BC 211 BC 210 BC 209 BC - 208 BC - 207 BC 206 BC... Legalism, in the Western sense, is an approach to the analysis of legal questions characterized by abstract logical reasoning focusing on the applicable legal text, such as a constitution, legislation, or case law, rather than on the social, economic, or political context. ... Calligraphy (from Greek καλλι calli beauty + γραφος graphos writing) is the art of decorative writing. ... Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇; Hanyu Pinyin: Qín Shǐ Huáng; Wade-Giles: Chin Shih-huang) (November / December 260 BCE – September 10, 210 BCE), personal name Zheng, was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247 BCE to 221 BCE, and then the first emperor of a unified China... Qin Er Shi (229 BC - beginning October 207 BC), literally Second Emperor of Qin Dynasty, personal name Huhai, was emperor of the Qin Dynasty in China from 210 BC until 207 BC. Qin Er Shi was the son of Qin Shi Huang (the First Emperor of Qin), but he was... Confucianist temple Thian Hock Keng in Singapore Confucianism (Chinese: å„’å­¦, Pinyin: Rúxué‚ [ ] , literally The School of the Scholars; or, less accurately, 孔教 Kŏng jiào, The Religion of Confucius) is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of the early Chinese sage Confucius. ...


Li Si was originally from the kingdom of Chu. When he was young, he was a minor official in that country. State of Chu (small seal script, 220 BC) Chu (楚) was a kingdom in what is now southern China during the Spring and Autumn period (722-481 BCE) and Warring States Period (481-212 BCE). ...


Li Si, like Hán Fēi, was a disciple of Xunzi. One of Li Si's most famous prose works, In Advice Against the Driving Away of Guest Immigrants (諫逐客書, Jian Zhu Ke Shu), was written in reaction to a vehement Qin edict to drive away all foreign immigrants from Qin territory. Traditional Chinese: 韓非 Simplified Chinese: 韩非 Pinyin: Hán FÄ“i Wade-Giles: Han Fei Han Fei (韓非) (c. ... Xunzi Xún Zǐ (荀子, or Hsün Tzu c. ...


A staunch believer in a highly bureacratic system, Li Si is considered to have been central to the efficiency of the Qin state and the success of its military conquest. He was also instrumental in systemizing standard measures and currency in post-unified China. He further helped systemize the written Chinese language by promulgating as the imperial standard the small seal script(小篆) which had been in use in the state of Qin all along. In this process, variant graphs within the Qin script were proscribed, as were variant scripts from the different regions which had been conquered. Contrary to popular belief, though, Li Si did not "invent" small seal script. Engraving referring to standard weights for balance Xiaozhuan (小篆), or Hsiao-chuan was the title of a work on Chinese characters compiled by Li Si during the reign of the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. ...


According to the Shi Ji, Li Si was responsible for the death of Han Fei. A minor prince in the state of Han, Han Fei was an excellent writer whose essays reached the attention of the king of Qin. When Qin made war on Han, Han Fei was dispatched as a diplomatic envoy to Qin. Li Si, who envied Han Fei's intellect, persuaded the Qin king that he could neither send Han Fei back (as his superior ability would be a threat to Qin) nor employ him (as his loyalty would not be to Qin). As a result, Han Fei was imprisoned, and Li Si convinced him to commit suicide by poisoning. The Records of the Grand Historian or the Records of the Grand Historian of China was the magnum opus of Sima Qian, in which he recounted Chinese history from the time of the mythical Yellow Emperor until his own time. ...


According to Sima Qian, Li Si persuaded Qin Shi Huang to suppress intellectual dissent, and when Confucian scholars protested, 460 of them were buried alive. Li Si himself penned the edict in 214 BC which ordered widespread destruction of historical records and literature in 213 BC, including key Confucian texts, which he thought detrimental to the welfare of the state. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Confucianism (儒家 Pinyin: rújiā The School of the Scholars), sometimes translated as the School of Literati, is an East Asian ethical, religious and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of Confucius. ...


When Qin Shi Huang died while away from the capital, Li Si and the chief eunuch Zhao Gao suppressed the late emperor's choice of successor, causing him to commit suicide, and installing another crown prince in his place, Qin Er Shi(秦二世, 贏胡亥). During the tumultuous aftermath, Zhao Gao convinced the new emperor to install his followers in official positions. When his power base was secure enough, Zhao Gao then had Lǐ Sī killed in 208 BC in a grisly manner -- being cut in half in public. Qin Er Shi then turned against Zhao Gao, who in turn killed the emperor in 207. The next emperor(子嬰) then killed Zhao Gao, and then killed himself as the dynasty collapsed. Zhao Gao 趙高 (died end of October 207 BC) was the chief eunuch during the Qin Dynasty of China, who played an instrumental role in the downfall of the Qin Dynasty. ...


See also

To burn the classics and to bury the scholars (焚书坑儒) refers to a policy in the Qin Dynasty. ...

References

  • Levi, Jean (1993). Han fei tzu (韓非子). In Loewe, Michael (ed., 1993). Early Chinese Texts: A Bibliographical Guide, pp.115-116. (Early China Special Monograph Series No. 2), Society for the Study of Early China, and the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, ISBN 1-55729-043-1.
  • Michael, Franz (1986) China through the Ages: History of a Civilization. pp.53-67. Westview Press; SMC Publishing, Inc. Taipei. ISBN 0-86531-725-9; 957-638-190-8 (ppbk).
  • Nivison, David S. (1999). The Classical Philosophical Writings, pp. 745-812. In Loewe, Michael & Shaughnessy, Edward L.. The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221 B.C.. Cambridge University Press.
Preceded by:
Lü Buwei
Prime Minister of Qin
246 BC–203 BC
Succeeded by:
Zhao Gao

  Results from FactBites:
 
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Li Si (699 words)
According to the Shi Ji, Li Si was responsible for the death of Han Fei.
Li Si, who envied Han Fei's intellect, persuaded the Qin king that he could neither send Han Fei back (as his superior ability would be a threat to Qin) nor employ him (as his loyalty would not be to Qin).
Li Si himself penned the edict in 214 BC which ordered widespread destruction of historical records and literature in 213 BC, including key Confucian texts, which he thought detrimental to the welfare of the state.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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