Inscriptions from the Stele of Mount Yi

After Xu Xuan Chinese

Not on view

In 219 B.C., on the first of many inspection tours of his vast empire, the First Emperor of Qin visited Mount Yi. He ordered that a stele be erected there, and calligraphed with a text in the newly standardized script. The text praises the emperor for bringing peace to the world by defeating Qin’s six rival states and unifying them under his rule. Although the stele was destroyed by fire during the Tang dynasty (618–907), the inscription was passed down by scholars; the present rubbings were taken from a stele that dates from the tenth century A.D. While the calligraphic style is of that era, the balanced structure and relatively uniform size of the characters derive from the seal script established by the Qin, echoing the glorious tradition of this mighty but short-lived state.

#203. Stele on Mount Yi, Shandong

Inscriptions from the Stele of Mount Yi, After Xu Xuan (Chinese, 916–991), Modern rubbings; ink on paper, China

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