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from Wikipedia Xianyang:
Xianyang (simplified Chinese: 咸阳; traditional Chinese: 咸陽; pinyin: Xiányáng; Sienyang; Hsienyang) is a city in Shaanxi province, near Xi'an. The population is around 1,000,000.
It was the capital of the state of Qin during the Warring States Period in Chinese history, and remained capital during the short-lived Qin Dynasty. It was located in the modern day Shaanxi province on the northern bank of the Wei River, on the opposite side of which Liu Bang would later build the Han Dynasty capital of Chang'an once he became emperor. The city site was located a few kilometers away from present-day Xi'an, to the northwest of it.
The First Emperor Qin Shi Huang had a lavish mausoleum built near the capital, complete with his Terracotta Army. This and other large undertakings required enormous levies of manpower and resources, not to mention repressive measures, which eventually led to the fall of the Qin Dynasty and with it the original city of Xianyang.
Shortly after the First Emperor's death in 210 BC revolts erupted. At the beginning of December 207 BC, then King of Qin Ziying surrendered to rebel leader Liu Bang. Liu Bang went on to capture Xianyang, but was forced to hand it over to another rebel leader, Xiang Yu, whose army greatly outnumbered Liu Bang's. Xiang Yu then killed Ziying and burned Xianyang, thereby forever robbing humanity of some unique copies of many "forbidden books" in the royal library.
In 202 BC, after defeating Xiang Yu, Liu Bang built a new city near the old Xianyang and named this new capital Chang'an.