Sima Qian’s Life Events and Intelligence Reflected on his Works

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Sima Qian was a writer and astrologer of Han dynasty. Han dynasty was a highly structured society, and people were classified into three classes. The emperors were at the higher level than all three classes, and had absolute power when the dynasty began. However, the emperor guradually began to lose power as the wards and rebellions. Sima Qian lived life in the middle of Han dynasty while the structure of the society was about to corrupt. Sima Qian’s works are still highly rated and are used in literary and historical textbooks. His works are valued even today, since his works cover the historical figures, which were not covered by the writers before then, and also uses literary techniques that have been used from then on. Looking at his works, one can explore the individuals that were not given spotlights at the time, such as Jing Ke, Bo Yi and Shu Qi, who have failed at their tasks or their duties, not to mention the rulers who come before his time. His works are large in knowledge, depth and volume. Since his works are abnormally high in quality, one can also conclude his values on certain things. In this paper, I will illustrate how his personal life had affected his work, and how one can analyze his intelligence from his work. First of all, Sima Qian’s works reflect his personal life, since one can spot on his Confucianism and his kind attention on those historians who failed. Sima Qian was born to an astrologer family. His father, Sima Tan served as the Court Astrologer. His duties included managing the imperial library and maintaining or reforming the calendar. Since his father started to train him at the age of ten, Sima Qian was well reserved and familiar with old writings. He was studying with Kong Anguo and Dong Zhong... ... middle of paper ... ...k. Historians of China and Japan. London: Oxford UP, 1961. Print. Durrant, Stephen W. The Cloudy Mirror: Tension and Conflict in the Writings of Sima Qian. Albany: State U of New York, 1995. Print. Martin, Thomas R. Herodotus and Sima Qian: The First Great Historians of Greece and China: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. Print. Owen, Stephen. An Anthology of Chinese Literature Beginnings to 1911. Boston: W. W. Norton &, 1997. Print. Takeda, Taijun. Shiba Sen Shiki no Sekai. Koudansha Bunko. 1959. Print. Tamura, Shuji. ”Shiba Sen- Shiki wo Donoyounishite Kaitaka.” Yuugen Gaisha Tamura Fudousan Kantei. Date not cited. Web. 16 April 2014. Shiba Ryotaro Memorial Museum. Shiba Ryotaro no Sekai. Shiba Ryotaro Memorial Museum. Date not cited. Web. 16 April 2014.

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