Date of birth unknown; died 208 B.C. Statesman of ancient China. First adviser to the Ch’in emperor Shih Huang-ti (221–210 B.C.).
Li Ssu carried out reforms to strengthen imperial authority. He helped standardize the system of pictorial writing. Li Ssu was an opponent of Confucianism (in 213 B.C., on his initiative, Confucianist literature was burned and 460 scholars were buried alive). He was a supporter of the legalist school. During the reign of Erh Shih-huang (209–207 B.C.), as a result of court intrigues, he was slandered by rivals and publicly executed.