Queen Elizabeth I, c. 1600. National Portrait Gallery, London.

Queen Elizabeth I, c. 1600. National Portrait Gallery, London. 

Politics

Volume V, Number 4 | fall 2012

Miscellany

The first ruler of a unified Chinese empire and father of the Great Wall, Emperor Shihuangdi commissioned a twenty-square-mile mausoleum, which took around 700,000 laborers more than thirty-five years to complete. Inside, there were about eight thousand terracotta soldiers, seventy burial sites, a zoo, and weapons triggered to go off in case of robbers. The chief craftsmen, it is believed, were also buried there to prevent them from betraying construction secrets.

Politics, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

—Ambrose Bierce, 1906