Ying Zheng was crowed King of Qin as a child, in what is now western China. From that beginning he was to grow to rule all of the kingdoms, defeating six rival kings. That was an immense task creating a huge unified country that has on average accounted for a quarter of the world’s trade down the centuries. Under Zheng the Great Wall of China was built and a massive tomb constructed for his burial. A belief in mythical properties of mercury may have led to madness and death but there are still so many mythical qualities to Zheng’s life that the separation of fact and fiction is difficult. He burned books and destroyed kingdoms to create a unified China. Everything he did was on an epic scale.