Sima Qian cover

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Sima Qian

Chinese historian and writer

-145   -   -86

country of citizenship: Western Han Dynasty, People's Republic of China
occupation: historian, poet, writer, astrologer

Ebooks: on Wikisource

Sima Qian ([sɨ́mà tɕʰjɛ́n]; Chinese: 司馬遷) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty (206 BC – AD 220). He is considered the father of Chinese historiography for his Records of the Grand Historian, a Jizhuanti-style (history presented in a series of biographies) general history of China, covering more than two thousand years from the Yellow Emperor to his time, during the reign of Emperor Wu of Han, a work that had much influence for centuries afterwards on history-writing not only in China, but in Korea, Japan and Vietnam as well. Although he worked as the Court Astrologer (Tàishǐ Lìng 太史令), later generations refer to him as the Grand Historian (Tàishǐ Gōng 太史公) for his monumental work; a work which in later generations would often only be somewhat tacitly or glancingly acknowledged as an achievement only made possible by his acceptance and endurance of punitive actions against him, including imprisonment, castration, and subjection to servility.
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