Ten Crimes of Qin

Confucian historians condemned the emperor Qin Shi Huang in the Ten Crimes of Qin, a list that was compiled to highlight his tyrannical actions. The famous Han poet and statesman Jia Yi concluded his essay The Faults of Qin (zh:过秦论) with what was to become the standard Confucian judgment of the reasons for Qin's collapse. Jia Yi's essay, admired as a masterpiece of rhetoric and reasoning, was copied into two great Han histories and has had a far-reaching influence on Chinese political thought as a classic illustration of Confucian theory. He explained the ultimate weakness of Qin as a result of its ruler's ruthless pursuit of power, the precise factor which had made it so powerful; for as Confucius had taught, the strength of a government ultimately is based on the support of the people and virtuous conduct of the ruler. [1]


  1. William Thedore de Bary, ed. Sources of Chinese Tradition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1st ed. 1960) pp. 228-231
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