jan 1, 206 BC - Chinese works of antiquity
Many collections of records were destroyed in the course of wars or were purposely purged when rulers were replaced or when governments fell. In ancient China, for example, the emperor Shih huang-ti, a member of the Ch’in dynasty and ruler of the first unified Chinese empire, ordered that historical records other than those of the Ch’in be destroyed so that history might be seen to begin with his dynasty. Repression of history was lifted, however, under the Han dynasty, which succeeded the Ch’in in 206 bc; works of antiquity were recovered, the writing of literature as well as record keeping were encouraged, and classification schemes were developed.
Added to timeline: