Herodotus and Sima Qian: The First Great Historians of Greece and China
First Edition   ©2010

Herodotus and Sima Qian: The First Great Historians of Greece and China

A Brief History with Documents

Thomas R. Martin (College of the Holy Cross)

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-41649-0; ISBN-13: 978-0-312-41649-2; Format: Paper Text, 162 pages

List of Illustrations
PART ONE. INTRODUCTION: Inventing History Writing in
  Greece and China
The Life of Herodotus (ca. 484-ca. 414 BCE)
Herodotus’ Historical Work, The Histories
Greek History Writing Before Herodotus
The Form and Content of Herodotus’ Historical Work
       Length and Complexity of the Narrative
      Objectivity of Evidence and Subjectivity of Interpretation
The Life of Sima Qian (ca. 145-ca. 86 BCE)
Sima Qian’s Historical Work, The Records of the Historian
Chinese History Writing Before Sima Qian
The Form and Content of Sima Qian’s Historical Work
      Five-Part Structure of the Narrative
      Moral Judgments
Conclusions: Comparing Why Herodotus and Sima Qian
  Wrote History
Translated selections from Herodotus, The Histories
 1. How Asia and Europe Became Enemies: The Story of
       Croesus (sixth century BCE)
 2. How Others Live: The Customs of the Persians, the
       Egyptians, the Massagetai, and the Scythians
 3. Roping Asia to Europe: The Persian Invasion of
       Greece (480 BCE)
 4. Death Before Dishonor: The Battle of Thermopylae and the
       Story of the 300 (480 BCE)
 5. Retribution and Justice: Artemisia’s Advice and Hermotimus’
       Revenge (480 BCE)
 6. Ending Stories: Cruelty and Revenge on Both Sides
       (479 BCE)
Translated selections from Sima Qian, Shiji
 7. Castration as the Price of Writing History: Sima Qian’s
       Autobiographical Letter to Ren An
 8. The First Emperor of China (259-210 BCE): The Basic Annals
       of the Qin Dynasty
 9. Born from a Dragon: The Origins of Gaozu, founder of the
       Former Han Dynasty (206 BCE-9 CE)
 10. A Woman in Power: Empress Lü (ruled 188-180 BCE)
 11. Heroic Hermits: The Biographies of Bo Yi and Shu Qi
 12. Arts of War: The Biographies of Sun Zi Wu and Sun Bin
 13. Imperial Assassin: The Biography of Jing Ke
 14. How Others Live: The Customs of the Xiongnu
    Chronologies of the Lives and Works of Herodotus and
      Sima Qian
    Questions for Consideration
    Selected Bibliography