The tiger tally (Cont’d 1)

The right half was kept by the Emperor. The left half was given to the commander at the battlefield. When a messengerʼs piece fitted the commanderʼs, it proved that his message came directly from the Emperor and must be obeyed at once.

The tiger tally

The tiger tally was a traditional token by which the Emperor transferred his power . Forged in bronze in the shape of a tiger, it had two halves.

Death of The First Emperor (Cont’d 5)

They sent a false letter to Prince Fu ordering him to commit suicide. The letter was sealed with the Emperor’s seal as if it had come from him. Their messenger rode day and night and arrived at the Great Wall. To prove who he was, he gave Prince Fu the matching half of a tiger tally.

Death of The First Emperor (Cont’d 4)

The letter was sealed but not yet given to the messenger when the Emperor died. Eunuch Zhao persuaded Prime Minister Li to destroy the letter. They kept the Emperorʼs death a secret and began to conspire with his weak-willed younger son, Prince Hu.

Death of The First Emperor (Cont’d 3)

He ordered Eunuch Zhao Gao to write to his elder son, Prince Fu Su, and tell him he must hurry to the capital and be ready to bury the Emperorʼs body in the tomb. At that time, Prince Fu was building the Great Wall in the north with 300,000 troops under his command.