The Great Wall of China (中国的长城)
1. Like a snake, it winds across China. From its starting point below sea level, it climbs west for nearly 1500 miles. This is the Great Wall of China. It is one of the engineering wonders of the world. Yet it was built 2200 years ago.
2. The story of the Great Wall is the story of Emperor Chin Shih-huang, who thought of it. And it is the story of millions of Chinese who worked and died to build it.
3. In 246 B.C., Chin, at the age of 13, became king of one of the many states in China. The states were warring with each other, the rulers fighting for power. Chin was ambitious. He set out to bind the states into an empire—his empire. By 221 B.C. he had succeeded.
4. Emperor Chin knew that the men he had defeated would want to overthrow him. So he brought 120,000 of the richest and most powerful to his capital. In a sense, they were prisoners. But Chin built palaces for them just like those they had left. They lived in glory as lord of his court.
5. The emperor's own palace was the largest and richest of all. It had thousands of rooms and separate apartments for the emperor's wives, some of the most beautiful women in the empire.