Dating guide for dummies
During this early evolution, the “Wall” was just a growing patchwork of walls used to separate rival territories.
The Great Wall as a concept didn’t come into existence until the 3 century BC, after the legendary Qin Shi Huang unified China in 221 BC—becoming the founder of the Empire and First Emperor of China.
ure you’ve seen photos…but the only way to really appreciate the Great Wall of China is to stand on its walls and stare in awe as it snakes across the Gobi Desert and China’s placid mountains like a majestic ridge-backed dragon.
Built by a succession of imperial dynasties over the last two millennia, the network of fortifications and towers has evolved over the centuries—defining and defending the outer reaches of Chinese civilization.
Mongols were able to regularly find ways of going around sections or through the walls—often by bribing officials and guards.
Genghis Khan was alleged to have said, ‘The strength of a wall depends on the courage of those who defend it.” In 1279, the Mongols completed their takeover, becoming the first (but not last) non-Chinese group to rule the whole of China. In 1644, the (non-Chinese) Manchurian army from the north marched to the Wall at the strategic pass called Shanhaiguan (the First Pass Under Heaven).
Of course, Chinese emperors had no way of knowing that, centuries later, China’s new invaders—the hairy barbarian Western powers—wouldn’t be coming from the north.During his famous visit to the Great Wall in 1972, Richard Nixon (in a Bush Jr–esque moment of eloquence) stated: “.” And he was right—the Great Wall of China is undoubtedly one of the ancient world’s most amazing feats of engineering.To the Chinese, the Great Wall is known as “Wan Li Chang Cheng” (万里长城 ), or literally, “Long Wall of Ten Thousand Li” (“li” being a measure of distance about 500m or about a third of a mile).On the other hand, a number of Chinese intellectuals have pointed to the Wall as a symbol of what’s wrong with China – that it’s too conservative, focused on past glory days, and tends to look inward rather than outward.Similarly, others see it as symbolic of the long-time Chinese practice of trying to keep out foreign cultures and influence, rather than absorbing and learning from them.