One Character Worth A Thousand Pieces of Gold | Ancient Chinese Culture

One Character Worth A Thousand Pieces of Gold


One character is worth a thousand pieces of gold, can’t believe that? It is true as it really happened in the Chinese history.

During the Warring States Period (475 BC to 221 BC), there was a famous politician called Lu Buwei. Though he was one of the most powerful men in the state of Qin, he was always looked down by others due to his humble birth.

One of his followers suggested him to compile a good book as many people in history enjoyed eminent fame because they wrote famous books. Lu adopted his advice and invited about 3,000 scholars from all over China to help him with his book. He asked them to write down everything they knew and then collected all the writings in the book which was named Mr. Lu’s Spring and Autumn Annals by Lu. Its Chinese name is Lu Shi Chun Qiu,also known as the Spring and Autumn Annals of Master Lu.

When the book was completed, he hung it on the city wall and declared that anybody able to add or delete one character in the book, he would be rewarded with a thousand pieces of gold. Soon, he and his book became well known. However, no one dared to revise the book or claim the reward.

Now, the expression “one character worth a thousand pieces of gold,” refers to well-written or very important piece of literature.

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