Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Records of the Grand Historian: Qin Dynasty” as Want to Read:
Records of the Grand Historian: Qin Dynasty
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Records of the Grand Historian: Qin Dynasty

by
4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  76 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Sima Qian (145?-90? BCE) was the first major Chinese historian. His "Shiji," or "Records of the Grand Historian," documents the history of China and its neighboring countries from the ancient past to his own time. These three volumes cover the Qin and Han dynasties.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 15th 1996 by Columbia University Press (first published May 6th 1993)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Records of the Grand Historian, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Records of the Grand Historian

Unsavory Elements by Tom  CarterThe Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. BorosonThe Art of War by Sun TzuWild Swans by Jung ChangLife and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng
China for the non-Chinese
59th out of 85 books — 28 voters
Tao Te Ching by Lao TzuThe Art of War by Sun TzuWild Swans by Jung ChangBalzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai SijieMonkey by Wu Cheng'en
Chinese Literature
137th out of 167 books — 85 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 357)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Zach
Aug 04, 2013 Zach rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, classics
The whole work was interesting, but the letter in his own hand about how the Grand Historian chose the humiliation of castration rather than nobly committing suicide in order to finish his history was the most moving.
Helmut
Mar 01, 2013 Helmut rated it really liked it
Shelves: china
Das Geschichtswerk des antiken China

Das "Shi Ji", hier als "Records of the Grand Historian" präsentiert, ist mit die wichtigste Quelle für Informationen über das antike China vor und während der Han-Dynastie. Ganz gemäß dem Temperament der konfuzianischen Chinesen mit ihrer Vergangenheitsfixierung werden hier detaillierte Informationen, die auch den neuesten archäologischen Forschungen standhalten, über Personen und Begebenheiten festgehalten.
In diesem Band sammelt Übersetzer Burton Watson die K
...more
Donna
Jul 14, 2012 Donna rated it it was ok
The "basic annals" chapters were tedious. The various biography chapters were quite interesting.

# 18 of 133 on Clifton Fadiman's New Lifetime Reading Plan
Harry
May 31, 2016 Harry added it
" It is the nature of every man to love life and hate death, to think of his parents and look after his wife and children. Only when he is moved by higher principles is this not so. Then there are things that he must do. Now I have been most unfortunate, for I lost my parents very early. With no brothers or sisters, I have been left alone and orphaned. And you yourself, Shaoqing, have seen me with my wife and child and know I would not let thoughts of them deter me. Yet the brave man does not ne ...more
Eadweard
In-depth look into the rulers of Qin and the expansion of the state. If you enjoy ancient chinese history, you've probably heard of Sima Qian. This book starts with an ancient mythological account of the ancestors of the rulers Qin, then continues with the Spring & Autumn, Warring States periods, the unification of China and ends with the disintegration of the Qin empire. The most enjoyable part for me was the biography section, biographies of famous statesmen and generals that helped the st ...more
jersey9000
Apr 10, 2011 jersey9000 rated it it was amazing
One of the greatest history texts ever- also one of the first. Is it better than Herodotus? I dunno, but it sure has many more beheadings.
Dayla
Aug 12, 2014 Dayla rated it liked it
Shelves: ancient-history
I was not looking forward to reading this book, but once I fell into the rhythm, it got better. The essence of the book is the Qin Dynasty. (I have no idea how to pronounce "Qin," but that really doesn't matter.)

Basically, the Qin Dynasty started with the First Emperor who had troubles, like trying to get the feudal people to cooperate, and then when he signs a peace treaty, the Feudals completely re-align themselves with people of the North. So that caused more fighting. Then the Second Emperor
...more
Becky
Jun 16, 2015 Becky rated it it was amazing
In the end, I am so glad I read this. Of course I missed tons of details but I caught some - like the practice was to avoid besmirching the honor of a powerful leader who wanted to punish you for your shortcomings - so they send you a sword and a "do the right thing" message and fully expect you to kill yourself. Also, the person being sentenced will find their own reason for why they should die, I suppose as a way to make their peace with it?

Often while I have been reading this, I've thought, i
...more
Adam K.
I just couldn't finish this. I'm sure it holds rich delights for students of ancient Chinese history, as recorded by a noted ancient Chinese historian, but I just found it too dry. I did admire the way Sima Qian editorialized on various aspects of Qin history, stepping into the facts and histories and making personal observations, but mostly I just got lost in the names and details, which hit the reader like a tsunami. I would enjoy something that breathed a little more, allowed me to get more i ...more
Markus Sakoschek
Jan 09, 2016 Markus Sakoschek rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic-fictions
Fantastic history, too little known,
reveurdart
reveurdart marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2016
Aprilleigh
Aprilleigh marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2016
Richard
Richard marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2016
Graham
Graham rated it it was amazing
Sep 16, 2016
Robert  Ford
Robert Ford marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2016
Alex
Alex rated it liked it
Sep 11, 2016
Amazing Titicaca
Amazing Titicaca rated it did not like it
Sep 06, 2016
Amazing Titicaca
Amazing Titicaca rated it did not like it
Sep 06, 2016
Sophie White
Sophie White rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2016
George LeS
George LeS rated it it was amazing
Sep 04, 2016
Marko
Marko rated it it was amazing
Sep 02, 2016
Ricky Munoz
Ricky Munoz marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2016
Ryan
Ryan marked it as to-read
Aug 26, 2016
BookDB
BookDB marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2016
Alex
Alex marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2016
Dennis Murphy
Dennis Murphy rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2016
Emily
Emily marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2016
Kiri
Kiri marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2016
Daniel
Daniel marked it as to-read
Aug 13, 2016
Jacob Thommesen
Jacob Thommesen marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch
  • Mencius
  • Selected Stories
  • The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei: Vol. One: The Gathering
  • The Peony Pavilion: Mudan ting
  • Poems of the Masters: China's Classic Anthology of T'ang and Sung Dynasty Verse
  • The Scholars
  • The Debt of Tears (The Story of the Stone #4)
  • The Loom of Time: A Selection of His Plays and Poems
  • The Book of Songs: The Ancient Chinese Classic of Poetry
  • Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
  • Daily Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276
  • Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio
  • The Death of Woman Wang
  • The Selected Poems
  • Fourteen Byzantine Rulers: The Chronographia of Michael Psellus
5870
Sima Qian (Szu-ma Chien; 司馬遷 c. 145 or 135 BC – 86 BC) was a Chinese historian of the Han dynasty. He is considered the father of Chinese historiography for his work, the Records of the Grand Historian, a Jizhuanti-style (纪传体) 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. Although he worked as the Court A ...more
More about Sima Qian...

Share This Book