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Detail of Qin Shi Huang's imperial tour across his empire. Depiction in an 18th century album.

How the Search for Immortality Killed the First Emperor of China

No man had ever risen as high as Qin Shi Huang. He was the first emperor of China - the first man to conquer its seven kingdoms and rule them all. There was only one threat left for him to overcome:...
 A Ming silk tapestry depicting Dongfang Suo stealing a Peach of Immortality.

Reserved for the Gods: Only Two Humans Have Tasted the Chinese Peaches of Immortality

You may have heard of the golden apples of Greek myth, but do you know of the Chinese Peaches of Immortality? These sacred fruits have become symbols that continue to hold significance at yearly...
A bottle of an elixir.

Seeking Life but Finding Death: Deadly Chinese Elixirs of Immortality

The elixir of immortality (known also as the ‘elixir of life’) is a legendary substance found in many ancient cultures. This elixir is expected to grant eternal life to the person who consumes it...
Top image: A woman in traditional Chinese dress. Source: CC0

When Concubines Fought Back: The Plot to Eliminate a Mad and Sadistic Emperor

The Renyin Plot was an assassination attempt carried out on the sadistically violent Jiajing Emperor, who was the ruler of China’s Ming Dynasty during the 16th century. The assassins almost succeeded...
The Persian War Machine: The Immortals – Part II

The Persian War Machine: The Immortals – Part II

The Persian war machine made empires beforehand look miniature. The Persians were able to take the best from all over the Near East and turn it into a force that could not be defeated for many...
The Immortals – A Continuation of Myths and Legends

The Immortals – A Continuation of Myths and Legends

Uruk from Mesopotamia was probably the first legendary immortal. He was believed to have been a “regular” individual who simply could not die. However, mythology suggests that immortals and observers...
The Enigmatic Comte Saint Germaine

The Historical Count of Saint-Germaine: Elusive, Enigmatic and Eternal

The Count of Saint-Germaine is undoubtedly one of the most enigmatic characters from history. Considered by many to be either immortal or continuously reincarnated, he survives in all accounts as a...
Illustration of Koshchey (Koshei) the Deathless, riding his magical steed.

A Slavic Legend of Immortality: Koschei, the Deathless

A figure from Slavic folklore, Koschei the Deathless was known for his titular characteristic: his inability to die. What is most interesting about this figure, however, is that his immortality was...