Thursday, 9 December 2010
Viewing objects from the time of Qin Shihuang (259-210 BCE) at the Art Gallery of NSW over the weekend I was reminded that the lessons of history are forever repeated. At the end of the exhibition hangs a quote from the Han Dynasty poet and statesman Jia Yi (201-169 BCE) about the Qin empire:
"Qin, beginning with an insignificant amount of territory, reached the power of a great state and for a hundred years made all the other great lords pay homage to it. Yet after it had become master of the whole empire...its ruler died by the hands of men...why? Because it had failed to rule with humanity and righteousness and to realize that the power to attack and the power to retain what one had thereby won, are not the same".