Lime of Ten-Thousand Yearsand the Town of Yanjing
There was no time when thestate of Yan started to build the Great wall,so the stones and bricks of thewall were laid and plastered with clay.According to legend,the king of thestate of Yan ordered not to stop the construction even in winter in order torace against time so as to accomplish the task ahead of schedule.Owing tosevere cold weather,the artisans needed hot water to mix it with the mud.Theycarried a large wok to the construction site,propped it up with three pieces ofstone,adding firewood to boil hot water.As time went by,finally the wok wasunexpectedly burned with a big hole,and the full wok of boiling water draineddown and extinguished the fire under the wok.The artisans accidentallydiscovered that when water spilled on the supporting piece of stone,the hotstones exploded and there left a lot of white powder.One artisans had whitepowder mixed with water and found thatit was moister than the mud and sticky,so he plastered it on the stone bars andcracks between the blocks.As a result,the joints of the stones and bricksplastered with the white powder were much more solid as compared with that ofthe mud.Since then,the people of Yan began burning lime and used it to plasterthe wall seam.
Later,Emperor Qin Shihuangunified China,he followed the example of state of Yan in building the GreatWall.When the construction started,he ordered the people originally from Yan todo the work of the burning lime.Wherever the Great Wall was built,where the limewould be burnt on the hillside and it turned out that the lime quality was verygood,later known as “Lime of Ten-Thousand Years”.meaning that the lime willnever degenerate over the years.After the construction of the Great Wall wascompleted,Qin Shihuang had a town built for Yan people to live and named it“Yanjing”,which is now Beijing due to the contribution made by the Yan peoplein burning the lime.
Meng Tian,the General whoCommanded the Constuction of the First Ten-Thousand-Li Graet Wall
Meng Tian,a well-knowngeneral during the Qin Shihuang years,was responsible for the construction ofthe first Ten-Thousand-Li Great Wall.Born in the family of a militaryofficer.and deeply influenced by the family environment since childhood,hecultivated a high military accomplishment,determining to charge forward and toserve his country.Designated as a general of the Qin Dynasty in 221 B.C.,MengTian commanded his army to attack the state of Qi,and succeeded in occupyingLinzi,the capital of the Qi.He soon became the confident general of the firstemperor as a result of his outstanding military accomplishment.
After Qin Shihuang unifiedthe whole country,Meng Tian repeatedly led his troops to beat the Huns,keepingthe enemy thousands of miles away.Since then,he continued to hold fast to theborder areas by resisting the cavalry of the Huns with walls.He mobilizedhundreds of thousands of troops and people to build the Great Wall and had thenorth side of the protective walls built by the state of Qin,Zhao,Yan connectedtogether,renovated and consolidated again.Meanwhile,he set up 44 counties allngthe Hetao area of the Yellow River,established a series of administrativeagencies in control of border defense,and made great efforts in the developmentof the economy.All these measures had played a positive role in strengtheningthe border defense.So it can be said Meng Tian was the first developer innorthwest China.
Meng Jiangnv’s BitterWailing
As an amazing huge andmagnificent construction, the Great Wall stretches thousands of miles windingon the top ridges of the mountains, crossing grasslands and Gobi deserts.Relying solely on the manpower, having the huge and heavy stones transportedfrom the foot of the mountains to the summit, and then have them built into thesolid walls, one can imagine how many tragic stories had taken place there.Among them, the most widely circulated story in China is “Meng Jiangnv’s BitterWailing”.
According to legend, thestory took place in Qing Dynasty. Meng Jiangnv and Fan Qiliang fell in lovewith each other and they were getting ready to select an auspicious day to getmarried. However, on the same day of their marriage, Fan Qiliang, the groom,was taken away by a few runners to serve as civilian labors to build the GreatWall. More than a year had passed and there was no news at all about FanQiliang. Meng Jiangnv became quite worried and decided to look for her husband.
Having made a long arduousjourney and experienced innumerable dangers and hardships, Meng Jiangnv finallyfound the place where the Great Wall was under construction. To her greatsurprise, she was told that her husband had already been exhausted to death andburied under the Great Wall, even his bones of dead body could not be found.The news hit her like a thunderbolt from the clear sky, Meng Jiangnvimmediately burst out crying and her tears were gushing out like a spring. Herbitter wailing was so loud that had shaken the sections of the Great Wall tocollapse one after another. Wherever she cried the wall collapsed immediatelyuntil the dead body of her husband revealed under the Great Wall. After buriedher husband, Meng Jiangnv threw herself into the rolling Bohai Sea.
An Account of the GreatWall in Ancient Times by Westerners
Since the 16th century,somewesterners came to China one after anther and The Great Wall had gradually beenrecorder by the westerners.According to research,the earliest account of theGreat Wall was done by Pereira,a Portuguese who said in his book:There is an extremely sturdy wall where the emperor has alarge number of soldiers placed in the fortresses with a length that people canwalk as long as a month.In 1575,Mr.Rada,the Spainish envoy,came to China andonce praised:”The magnificent frontier wall built in the north side of China isone of the world famous construction projects”.In 1793,British artist Alexanderengraved the Great Wall on a piece ofwork,making the magnificent Great Wall first appeared in the Westernpaintings.The Great Wall gradually lost its defensive role in the QingDynasty,mainly used for tourism.The British envoy Anderson once describes inhis book to China:”One (the QingGovernment )official,who has joint us walking along the wall,said thataccording to his country’s historical record,the construction of the Great Wallwas completed over two thousand years ago.That was several centuries before theyear when Christ was born.”The Great Wall of China was widely known to theWesterners after 19th century.