First Chinese Historian To Separate History From Astrology

Sima Qian ([sima tchjen] Traditional Chinese: Si Ma Qian Si Ma Qian; simplified Chinese: Si Ma Qian Pinyin: Sima Qian; c. 140 -. the year 86 BC) is a Chinese historian from his time in the first Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 220). He is often referred to as the founder of Chinese historiography because of the Records of the Grand Historian General History of China that spans more than two thousand years starting from the time of the mythical Yellow Emperor and the establishment of the very first Chinese state up to the Sima Qian’s reigning the Emperor Wu from Han.

Make sure that you match each discipline to the right historian. The tiles Herodotus Gerda Hedwig Learner Sima Quan Ibn Khaldun Simon Schama Pairs wrote the history of the Arabs and Berbers from North Africa. Berbers of North Africa arrowBoth first Chinese historian to distinguish his work from astrology. ArrowBoth also published several books on culture and intellectual the history of China.

Who was the first to say that all History Was A History Of Thought?


Sima Qian fulfilled some part of his responsibilities as a father by honoring his father’s last desire to “continue the ancestors’ stories” by collecting the stories they’d gathered. In addition, Sima Qian was able to bring back to life a variety of extraordinary people or women who were from in the Central States.


Sima Qian was the son of Sima Tan, the grand historian (sometimes translated as “astronomer royal”) in the Han court in the period 140-110 BCE.

The other duties of the grand historian included accompanying the Emperor for important ceremonies and recording the daily happenings at the court as well as around the country. According to his own account that he was ten years old when he began his career. 10 Sima was competent to “read the writings of the past” and was thought to be a scholar with potential. 5 Sima was raised in an Confucian setting and Sima always saw his work in the past as a sign of Confucian devotion towards his dad. [5]

Sima was dedicated to his father and developed his own interests in academics. He certainly was educated and probably engaged in his academic pursuits outside of the confines of school.

When Sima Tan first told his son about the project is not clear. Based on Sima Qian’s story, it was the time his father passed away that Sima Qian was asked to finish the task.

At the same in the same period, Sima Qian began to take on the unfulfilled dream that his dad had to create a complete history of the Chinese historical past. His desire was supported by his belief that during the reign of Wudi the Han had reached a point of accomplishment that should be preserved for posterity.

Writing history blends eyewitness stories or accounts and interpretations of the author, as well as the author’s filtering of facts. It is a combination of the biographies of notable figures with regional chronology. Certain historians, such as Sima Qan as well as Herodotus the Greek historian who was the father of modernity have extensive travel included in their studies.


The style and format of Chinese historical writings changed throughout time the Sima Qian’s Shiji has been the standard for general style and quality of the writings. It is not just result of the fact that Chinese historical style has been codified by the 2nd dynasty of era in the work of Ban Gu, Han Shu (“History of Han”) However, historians consider the work of Sima Qian as the basis for their own and as the “official form” of the historical writings of China.

It is believed that the Shiji is his greatest claims to fame. There have, naturally numerous histories prior to Sima Qian’s time. The keeping of court documents was an established custom during older dynasties. One such work, called the Chunqiu (“Spring as well as Autumn [Annals”Spring and Autumn” [Annals”) in the Petty State of Lu is believed to be part of Confucius.

The Han Dynasty succeeded the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE) which was triumphantly emerging from the period of chaos that was known as the Warring States Period (c. 481-221 BCE) and also the prior Spring and Autumn Period (c. 774-774 BCE) that saw the steady decline of Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE). The Zhou was the successor to in the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1046) BCE which were the first to establish the system of writing.

Zhou was a perfect illustration of a notion Sima Qian believed in regarding the dynastic transition as Frances Wood, curator of the Chinese collection of the British Library, explains.

“He presented the notion… the idea that families begin with a noble and morally upright leader, and proceed through a succession of rulers, until they get to a bad final leader, and then he becomes morally corrupt that he is thrown out.”

Literary Figure

Sima Qian was also the first to introduce an innovative approach to writing historical texts. The Shiji’s language Shiji was informal, humorous, and full of variation. This was an original method of writing in the era and has been regarded as the most prestigious quality of the classical Chinese writing. Even Lu Xun described Shiji as “the first and the last major work by historians, poetry of Qu Yuan with no rhyme.”

The primary work in Chinese culture are referred to in the form of The Four Books and Five Classics:

  • Book of Rites Book of Rites
  • It is the Spring and Autumn Annals
  • “The Doctrine of the Mean
  • The Classics of History
  • Rites of the Classics Classics of Rites
  • An Analect of Confucius
  • The Classics of Poetry
  • Mencius’ Works Works of Mencius
  • The I-Ching


Sima Qian is significant not just for his work as a historian, but as an expert in the racy, flexible Chinese prose. Sima Qian had a profound influence on the later writers, and particularly on the first fiction writers and narrative fictional works. Since Sima Qian’s time, his work has been regarded as the greatest historic masterpiece of Chinese,

In the year 2000, China has reopened its national museum which is hailed as the largest museum in one location. It’s hugely popular however it demonstrates how much history can be an assemblage for China’s rulers. They omit the parts which do not give their country any credit, and as experts in selective memory, they celebrate the events they’re proud of.

Sima Qian didn’t attempt to create “objective” history , but was a clear exemplar of his historical didactic Chinese tradition of the study of history. He makes moral judgements about his characters. He also tries to classify them as types, capturing the most exemplary actions of a person in one chapter as well as his bad deeds in another chapter.


Sima Qian, and the father of Sima Qian, Sima Tan, were both court Astrologers (taishi) during the Former Han dynasty. In the time of Sima Qian the astrologer held an important position, accountable in interpreting and predicting the direction of government by the influences on and the influence of the Sun, Moon, and stars, along with other phenomena such as solar eclipses and earthquakes and earthquakes.


Sima Qian compiled a handwritten replica of the Records which were deposited in the library of the Imperial Library in Chang’an while keeping the actual in his house. Following it was his demise, the book was secured by his daughter Sima Ying, who feared it was destroyed by the Emperor Zhao (r. from 87 to 74 BCE).

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