Qin Shi Huang became the first emperor of China in 221 BC, uniting China for the first time.

Qin Shi Huang was obsessed with the possibility of attaining eternal life. To this end, he employed alchemists to concoct an elixir of youth. Ironically,

his death in 210 BC was probably caused by drinking one of these potions, which apparently contained dangerously high quantities of mercury.

To secure his place in the afterlife, he already ordered the creation of the famous terracotta army.

the great world history book stephan dinkgreve chinese alchemy qin shi huang di elixir of immortality mercury

"The Great World History Book"