In the Qin Dynasty, a good-hearted and beautiful girl named Meng Jiang Nv, one day, when she was doing housework in her courtyard, suddenly she discovered a man was hiding below the grape rack. She was so afraid and she wanted to shout aloud, but the young man waved his hands and asked for help, "Don't yell please, and save me ! My name is Fan Xiliang. I am here to seek refuge." At that time Qinshihuang Emperor was building the Great Wall and he deployed troops to catch civilian young men to help to complete the gigantic project. Many workers were tired or starved to death. Meng Jiang Nv agreed to save him. She knew that he was a handsome and well-learnt gentleman. She had the feeling of adoration of him and he loved the girl too. So in love and they asked for their parents' consent, they were to be married.
On the day of wedding, red lanterns and beautiful decorations were in Meng's family. Happy guests were crowded in the dining hall. When the darkness came, all the guests returned home. When Fan Xiliang and Meng Jiang Nv wanted to get into their bridal chamber they heard the flying noise of chicken and the barking sound of dogs. The ferocious soldiers entered their house. They didn't say anything, they just arrested Fan in locks. He was transferred to the Great Wall construction site to do harsh labor work.
Heartbreaking sadness was fully filled the heart of Meng Jiang Nv. She missed her husband very much. She thought that instead of staying at home to wait the news of him, she would like to search him in the construction site. She tidied up her baggage and set out to the Great Wall.
On the road, she weathered many hardships because of dangerous landscape and harsh climate, but she didn't cry and feel pain. The spirit of love had supported her physically and psychologically. She reached the construction site. But she had still to find him in every small site. For a long time she couldn't find him. At last, she asked a migrant worker, "Is Fan Xiliang here ?". "Yes, he is here and is a new comer." He answered. "Where is he now ? " "He is dead, and his corpse is buried under the foot of the wall !" Unfortunately, that was the final answer.
It was like a big thunder in the sky. Meng Jiang Nv didn't see anything but darkness ! She suddenly burst into tears. She cried mournfully for three whole days and nights. The heaven was moved by her tears. The sky turned dark and the wind grew strong. A part of the Great Wall was collapsed and the body of Fan Xiliang appeared. The tears of Meng Jiang Nv dropped on the distorted face of her beloved husband ! Meng had finally seen Fan Xiliang but he didn't see her, because he was killed by Qinshihuang.
The Defense Function of the Great Wall
Actually the Great Wall was formed by castles and fortresses. These defensive constructions had been used since the late primitive society period in China. Their preventive effectiveness was recognized in the feudal era. The rudiment of the Great Wall was appeared in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC – 476 BC), the best part was the Square Wall of Chu State in what now we called Henan Province. When later in the Warring States Era, walls were built in the western part of Wei State and Zhangshui (漳水) area of Zhao State. At that time these defense walls had provided great functions to bar the enemies.
The construction of the Great Wall was vital for the building up and expansion of the Qin's territory. It isn't difficult to see that without the Great Wall, the Qin would have to deploy large military forces to the north to prevent the Hun army's harassment, and they would be so tired to beat the six states in order to unify the Chinese land. The Wall area just needed much less number of soldiers to guard that this could enough to avoid the Huns' entering.
The Great Wall of Zhao State was built of earth but not quite strong. The Zhao's army often failed to expel the Huns though their forces were quite powerful. At the time of Zhao Dao Xiang Emperor (赵悼襄王, reigned 236 BC – 224 BC), his forces had failed again. General Li Mu (李牧) was ordered to defend the north. Li provided the best possible food for the soldiers, beef was the main diet. "When the Huns want to loot, all the soldiers have to make all the cattle and horses into safe area of the Wall, and kill the looters !" He commanded. The Huns didn't find anything they wanted when they came, so they fled back. But this still not defeated the barbaric army after all. A few years later, Li chose best chariots, war horses and tough soldiers, and trained them. At last they beat the Huns and other northern tribes.
In early Han Dynasty, the Huns took the advantages of the civil wars fought in China and the badly repaired Great Wall to invade the nation. They killed and looted a lot in the south of the Wall. But the Han's emperors had adopted appeasement policies and betrothed a Han princess to the Hun King Chanyu, as well as contributed gifts to the nomadic race. Later, capable generals Cheng Bushi, Li Guang and Huo Qubing, to name a few, had successfully expelled the Huns from the Chinese soil. The historical function of military defense of the Great Wall had come to an end when the Han Wu Emperor (156 BC – 87 BC) drove out the Hun forces to the north of the desert, the repair of Qin's Great Wall and the building of the Outer Great Wall.
Writer: David from Seeraa International
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