Twelve Metal Colossi

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Dates of Conquered States
Year Event
230 BCE
  • Han was conquered by Qin.
228 BCE
  • Zhao was conquered by Qin.
225 BCE
  • Wei was conquered by Qin.
223 BCE
  • Chu was conquered by Qin.
222 BCE
  • Yan and Dai were conquered by Qin.
  • Wuyue was conquered by Qin.
221 BCE
  • Qi surrendered to Qin.
  • China was unified under the Qin dynasty.

12 Jin Ren (Chinese:) were twelve huge bronze Colossi made after 221 BCE by the order of Shihuangdi, the first Emperor of China. During the Qin's wars of unification, Shihuangdi defeated the six major states of China: the Han, the Zhao, the Wei, the Chu, the Yan, and the Qi. After the wars, he collected the weapons of the conquered states and had them cast into statues.[1]


Dong Zhuo, in his efforts to finance a personal castle in Mei County near Chang'an, around 190 CE melted bronze items such as bells and statues, including nine of the Colossi,[2] and recast them into coins. This influx of bronze coins flooded the market and caused a serious inflation, rendering the currency useless.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 收天下兵,聚之咸阳,销以为钟镣,金人十二,各重千石,置廷宫中.Records of the Grand Historian (rendering: collect the weapons of tianxia, to amass them to Xianyang, melt them to cast 12 colossus, each weighs thousand Dan (mass unit), and put them in the palace)
  2. ^ 西汉五铢