jul 20, 260 BC - "BURNING OF BOOKS AND BURYING OF SCHOLARS"
Following the Warring States Period in China, emperor Shi Huangdi emerged as the first ruler of the Qin Dynasty. He saw this dynasty as the birth of a new China, and wanted to destroy all of the records predating unification. Shi Huangdi's chancellor, Li Si, encouraged the burning of all records other than those of the Qin Dynasty. Shi Huangdi agreed on this course, and all records from schools of thought other than the legalist school (of which Li Si was a figurehead) were burned. This story is preserved as told by the Chinese chronicler from the first century BCE, Sima Quin. In his book, "Library: An Unquiet History," Matthew Battles attests that this history is "largely mythical" (Battles, 36), but its use as a support for the book burnings of the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960's is very telling.
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