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Worlds of Bronze and Bamboo Sima Qian's Conquest of History

by Grant Hardy

  • ISBN: 9780231113045
  • ISBN10: 0231113048

Worlds of Bronze and Bamboo Sima Qian's Conquest of History

by Grant Hardy

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 07/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780231113045
  • ISBN10: 0231113048
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Description: Sima Qian (c. 100 B.C.E.) Was China's first historian, with the title of Grand Astrologer at the court of Emperor Wu during the Han dynasty. His Ship (published for Columbia in a translation by Burton Watson as Records of the Grand Historian) has been an enormously influential resource to historians, literary scholars, philosophers, and many others seeking an understanding of early Chinese history. In "Worlds of Bronze and Bamboo," Grant Hardy presents convincing evidence that the Shiji is quite unlike such Western counterparts as the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides, for, Hardy argues, Sima Qian's work seeks not only to represent but to influence the world in a manner based on dynastic concepts of sageliness and Confucian order.

Although many scholars have sought close parallels between Sima Qian and the Greek historians -- either criticizing the work as if Western model of historical interpretation could be used as a template to read it or overemphasizing its "objectivity" to align it with these models -- Hardy contends that the Chinese historian never intended to produce a consistent, closed interpretation of the past Instead he sought to represent the open-endedness of the world around him.

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