Saturday, May 26, 2007

Museum Warriors & Museum Wars

Not expecting to travel abroad any time soon, you can imagine my glee when I heard recently that some of the 8,000+ famous terracotta warriors buried with China's 1st emperor (Ch’in Shih Huang-Ti, after whom "China" gets its name) were scheduled to visit me soon!

OK, so they're not coming to visit me personally, but they will be at The Bowers Museum in nearby Santa Ana this time next year (May 18th to October 12th). Then they'll travel to High Museum of Art in Atlanta (11-2008 to 4-2009) & The Houston Museum of Natural Science (5-2009 to 9-2009).

According to the press release issued by The Bowers, the exhibition is titled, Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China's First Emperor, & will be:

"...the largest & most noteworthy collection of objects ever to travel from what many believe is the most significant archaeological discovery of the 20th century. The exhibition of 120 objects will include 20 life-sized terra cotta figures & feature new discoveries of court officials, acrobats, & generals. Equally exciting & probably most dramatic are the inclusion of 2 recently discovered, half-sized bronze chariots & life-sized bronze animals that were found in what would have been gardens within the tomb complex belonging to China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang (259-210 BC)."

Acrobats? Interesting! Possibly an ancient Chinese rendition of the Quidam Banquine act--Imperial version!

I've been meaning to check the etymology & definition differences between "emperor" & "king", & this is a grand opportunity.

"King" came from the Germanic word for "head of a kin"--the ruler of a nation or state.

"Emperor" is essentially Old French for "empire ruler" via Latin for "in prepare"--the guy responsible for battle preparations--a commander-in-chief.

Of course the big news this year (especially this week) for museums is the grand opening--in front of God & everyone on May 28th (Memorial Day)--for The Creation Museum, built by the Answers in Genesis organization.

Interesting coincidence--the slogan they chose is: "Prepare to believe."

Since their primary goal is, "Exalt Jesus Christ as Creator, Redeemer & Sustainer", & considering the hordes of vehemently atheistic academicians & closed-minded Evolution adherents in the world who want their religion to dominate the masses (& for the most part, they've succeeded in institutionalizing it), a better slogan would've been "Prepare for battle."

From her historical origins, China had a monotheistic worship of a heavenly emperor referred to by their words "Shang-Ti" (lit. "Above-Sovereign"; alt. "Shangdi").

After conquering all of China’s separate warring states, radical earthly Emperor Ch’in/Qin declared himself to be the first universal emperor, & began to do away with the 2,000-year-old worship of Shang-Ti by blending in Taoism. He completed the 1,500-mile Great Wall, built roads & canals, standardized weights & measures, & standardized the style of their writing system. But he is also sadly notorious for burying alive hundreds of Confucian scholars & destroying the ancient writings. These terracotta soldiers accompanied him in his elaborate tomb for protection from the spirits of those he killed while building the Great Wall.

Any of that sound familiar? Consider King Hezekiah several centuries earlier, who built Jerusalem's so-called Broad Wall & famous tunnel, standardized weights & measures, & assembled scholars to make copies (i.e., preserve--not destroy) the writings of his predecessors. Chances are good that he rewarded them rather than killed them. He was definitely not buried in an elaborate tomb with terracotta warriors; but throughout Judah & northwestern Israel, one can still find remnants of his terracotta artifacts that may indicate his restored worship of the one true Universal Emperor.

Song of the week: "Tyrant" by Judas Priest (click the song title to visit Amazon; click here for a 29-second sample; 361kb).
G.M. Grena (proud contributing supporter & charter member of the Creation Museum)

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