Records of the Grand Historian

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"Shi Ji" redirects here. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_0

For the Three Kingdoms period general, see Shi Ji (Three Kingdoms). Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_1

For the goddess, see Shiji Niangniang. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_2

Records of the Grand Historian_table_infobox_0

Records of the Grand HistorianRecords of the Grand Historian_table_caption_0
AuthorRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_0_0_0 Sima QianRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_0_0_1
Original titleRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_0_1_0 太史公書 (Tàishǐgōng shū)

史記 (Shǐjì)Records of the Grand Historian_cell_0_1_1

CountryRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_0_2_0 Western Han ChinaRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_0_2_1
LanguageRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_0_3_0 Classical ChineseRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_0_3_1
SubjectRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_0_4_0 Ancient Chinese historyRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_0_4_1

Records of the Grand Historian_table_infobox_1

Records of the Grand HistorianRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_0_0
Traditional ChineseRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_1_0 Records of the Grand Historian_cell_1_1_1
Simplified ChineseRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_2_0 Records of the Grand Historian_cell_1_2_1
Literal meaningRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_3_0 "Scribal Records"Records of the Grand Historian_cell_1_3_1
TranscriptionsStandard MandarinHanyu PinyinShǐjìWade–GilesShih-chiIPA[ʂɨ̀.tɕîWuRomanizationSy-ciYue: CantoneseYale RomanizationSí-geiJyutpingSi-geiIPA[sǐː kēiSouthern MinHokkien POJSú-kìMiddle ChineseMiddle Chineseʂí-kìOld ChineseBaxter–Sagart (2014)s-rəʔ C.krəʔ-sRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_4_0
TranscriptionsRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_5_0
Standard MandarinRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_6_0
Hanyu PinyinRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_7_0 ShǐjìRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_7_1
Wade–GilesRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_8_0 Shih-chiRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_8_1
IPARecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_9_0 [ʂɨ̀.tɕîRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_9_1
WuRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_10_0
RomanizationRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_11_0 Sy-ciRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_11_1
Yue: CantoneseRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_12_0
Yale RomanizationRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_13_0 Sí-geiRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_13_1
JyutpingRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_14_0 Si-geiRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_14_1
IPARecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_15_0 [sǐː kēiRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_15_1
Southern MinRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_16_0
Hokkien POJRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_17_0 Sú-kìRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_17_1
Middle ChineseRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_18_0
Middle ChineseRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_19_0 ʂí-kìRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_19_1
Old ChineseRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_20_0
Baxter–Sagart (2014)Records of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_21_0 s-rəʔ C.krəʔ-sRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_21_1
Alternative Chinese nameRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_22_0
Traditional ChineseRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_23_0 太史公書Records of the Grand Historian_cell_1_23_1
Literal meaningRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_24_0 "Records of the Grand Historian"Records of the Grand Historian_cell_1_24_1
TranscriptionsStandard MandarinHanyu PinyinTàishǐgōng shūYue: CantoneseYale RomanizationTai sí gōng syūJyutpingTai si gong syuSouthern MinHokkien POJThài-sú-kong suMiddle ChineseMiddle Chinesetʰài ʂí kuwng shoOld ChineseBaxter–Sagart (2014)*l̥ˤat-s s-rəʔ C.qˤung s-taRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_25_0
TranscriptionsRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_26_0
Standard MandarinRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_27_0
Hanyu PinyinRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_28_0 Tàishǐgōng shūRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_28_1
Yue: CantoneseRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_29_0
Yale RomanizationRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_30_0 Tai sí gōng syūRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_30_1
JyutpingRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_31_0 Tai si gong syuRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_31_1
Southern MinRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_32_0
Hokkien POJRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_33_0 Thài-sú-kong suRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_33_1
Middle ChineseRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_34_0
Middle ChineseRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_35_0 tʰài ʂí kuwng shoRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_35_1
Old ChineseRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_36_0
Baxter–Sagart (2014)Records of the Grand Historian_header_cell_1_37_0 *l̥ˤat-s s-rəʔ C.qˤung s-taRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_1_37_1

The Records of the Grand Historian, also known by its Chinese name Shiji, is a monumental history of ancient China and the world finished around 94 BC by the Western Han Dynasty official Sima Qian after having been started by his father, Sima Tan, Grand Astrologer to the imperial court. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_3

The work covers the world as it was then known to the Chinese and a 2500-year period from the age of the legendary Yellow Emperor to the reign of Emperor Wu of Han in the author's own time. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_4

The Records has been called a "foundational text in Chinese civilization". Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_5

After Confucius and the First Emperor of Qin, "Sima Qian was one of the creators of Imperial China, not least because by providing definitive biographies, he virtually created the two earlier figures." Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_6

The Records set the model for the 24 subsequent dynastic histories of China. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_7

In contrast to Western historical works, the Records do not treat history as "a continuous, sweeping narrative", but rather break it up into smaller, overlapping units dealing with famous leaders, individuals, and major topics of significance. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_8

History Records of the Grand Historian_section_0

Further information: Chinese historiography Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_9

The work that became Records of the Grand Historian was begun by Sima Tan, the Grand Astrologer (Taishi 太史) of the Han dynasty court during the late 2nd century BC. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_10

Sima Tan drafted plans for the ambitious work and left behind some fragments and notes that may have been incorporated into the final text. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_11

After his death in 110 BC, the project was continued and completed by his son and successor Sima Qian, who is generally credited as the work's author. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_12

The exact date of the Records's completion is unknown, but it is certain that Sima Qian completed it before his death about 86 BC, with one copy residing in the imperial capital of Chang'an (modern Xi'an) and the other copy probably being stored in his home. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_13

The original title of the work, as given by the author in the postface is Taishigongshu (太史公書), or Records of the Grand Historian, although it was also known by a variety of other titles, including Taishigongji (太史公記) and Taishigongzhuan (太史公傳) in ancient times. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_14

Eventually, Shiji (史記), or Historical Records became the most commonly used title in Chinese. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_15

This title was originally used to refer to any general historical text, although after the Three Kingdoms period, Shiji gradually began to be used exclusively to refer to Sima Qian's work. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_16

In English, the original title, Records of the Grand Historian is in common use, although Historical Records, The Grand Scribe's Records, and Records of the Historian are also used. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_17

Details of the Records' early reception and circulation are not well known. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_18

A number of 1st century BC authors, such as the scholar Chu Shaosun (褚少孫; fl. 32–7 BC), added interpolations to the Records, and may have had to reconstruct portions of it: ten of the original 130 chapters were lost in the Eastern Han period (AD 25–220) and seem to have been reconstructed later. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_19

Beginning in the Northern and Southern dynasties (420–589) and the Tang dynasty (618–907), a number of scholars wrote and edited commentaries to the Records. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_20

Most 2nd millennium editions of the Records include the commentaries of Pei Yin (裴駰, 5th century), Sima Zhen (early 8th century), and Zhang Shoujie (張守節, early 8th century). Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_21

The combined commentaries of these three scholars is known as the Sanjiazhu (三家注, "commentaries of the three experts"). Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_22

The primary modern edition of the Records is the ten-volume Zhonghua Book Company edition of 1959 (revised in 1982), and is based on an edition prepared by the Chinese historian Gu Jiegang in the early 1930s and includes the Sanjiazhu. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_23

Manuscripts Records of the Grand Historian_section_1

There are two known surviving fragments of Records manuscripts from before the Tang dynasty, both of which are preserved in the Ishiyama-dera temple in Ōtsu, Japan. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_24

Portions of at least nine Tang dynasty manuscripts survive: three fragments discovered among the Dunhuang manuscripts in the early 20th century, and six manuscripts preserved in Japanese temples and museums, such as the Kōzan-ji temple in Kyoto and the Tōyō Bunko museum in Tokyo. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_25

A number of woodblock printed editions of the Records survive, the earliest of which date to the Song dynasty (960–1279). Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_26

Contents Records of the Grand Historian_section_2

See also: List of Records of the Grand Historian chapters Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_27

In all, the Records is about 526,500 Chinese characters long, making it four times longer than Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War and longer than the Old Testament. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_28

Sima Qian conceived and composed his work in self-contained units, with a good deal of repetition between them. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_29

His manuscript was written on bamboo slips with about 24 to 36 characters each, and assembled into bundles of around 30 slips. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_30

Even after the manuscript was allowed to circulate or be copied, the work would have circulated as bundles of bamboo slips or small groups. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_31

Endymion Wilkinson calculates that there were probably between 466 and 700 bundles, whose total weight would have been 88–132 pounds (40–60 kg), which would have been difficult to access and hard to transport. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_32

Later copies on silk would have been much lighter, but also expensive and rare. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_33

Until the work was transferred to paper many centuries later, circulation would have been difficult and piecemeal, which accounts for many of the errors and variations in the text. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_34

Sima Qian organized the chapters of Records of the Grand Historian into five categories, which each comprise a section of the book. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_35

Records of the Grand Historian_description_list_0

  • Basic Annals: The "Basic Annals" (běnjì 本紀) make up the first 12 chapters of the Records, and are largely similar to records from the ancient Chinese court chronicle tradition, such as the Spring and Autumn Annals. The first five cover either periods, such as the Five Emperors, or individual dynasties, such as the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties. The last seven cover individual rulers, starting with the First Emperor of Qin and progressing through the first emperors of the Han dynasty. In this section, Sima chose to also include de facto rulers of China, such as Xiang Yu and Empress Dowager Lü, while excluding rulers who never held any real power, such as Emperor Yi of Chu and Emperor Hui of Han.Records of the Grand Historian_item_0_0
  • Tables: Chapters 13 to 22 are the "Tables" (biǎo 表), which are one genealogical table and nine other chronological tables. They show reigns, important events, and royal lineages in table form, which Sima Qian stated that he did because "the chronologies are difficult to follow when different genealogical lines exist at the same time." Each table except the last one begins with an introduction to the period it covers.Records of the Grand Historian_item_0_1
  • Treatises: The "Treatises" (shū 書, sometimes called "Monographs") is the shortest of the five Records sections, and contains eight chapters (23–30) on the historical evolution of ritual, music, pitch pipes, the calendar, astronomy, sacrifices, rivers and waterways, and financial administration.Records of the Grand Historian_item_0_2
  • Hereditary Houses: The "Hereditary Houses" (shìjiā 世家) is the second largest of the five Records sections, and comprises chapters 31 to 60. Within this section, the earlier chapters are very different in nature than the later chapters. Many of the earlier chapters are chronicle-like accounts of the leading states of the Zhou dynasty, such as the states of Qin and Lu, and two of the chapters go back as far as the Shang dynasty. The later chapters, which cover the Han dynasty, contain biographies.Records of the Grand Historian_item_0_3
  • Ranked Biographies: The "Ranked Biographies" (lièzhuàn 列傳, usually shortened to "Biographies") is the largest of the five Records sections, covering chapters 61 to 130, and accounts for 42% of the entire work. The 69 "Biographies" chapters mostly contain biographical profiles of about 130 outstanding ancient Chinese men, ranging from the moral paragon Boyi from the end of the Shang dynasty to some of Sima Qian's near contemporaries. About 40 of the chapters are dedicated to one particular man, but some are about two related figures, while others cover small groups of figures who shared certain roles, such as assassins, caring officials, or Confucian scholars. Unlike most modern biographies, the accounts in the "Biographies" give profiles using anecdotes to depict morals and character, with "unforgettably lively impressions of people of many different kinds and of the age in which they lived." The "Biographies" have been popular throughout Chinese history, and have provided a large number of set phrases still used in modern Chinese.Records of the Grand Historian_item_0_4

Style Records of the Grand Historian_section_3

Unlike subsequent official historical texts that adopted Confucian doctrine, proclaimed the divine rights of the emperors, and degraded any failed claimant to the throne, Sima Qian's more liberal and objective prose has been renowned and followed by poets and novelists. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_36

Most volumes of Liezhuan are vivid descriptions of events and persons. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_37

Sima Qian sought out stories from those who might have closer knowledge of certain historical events, using them as sources to balance the reliability and accuracy of historical records. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_38

For instance, the material on Jing Ke's attempt at assassinating the King of Qin incorporates an eye-witness account by Xia Wuju (夏無且), a physician to the king of Qin who happened to be attending the diplomatic ceremony for Jing Ke, and this account was passed on to Sima Qian by those who knew Xia. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_39

It has been observed that the diplomatic Sima Qian has a way of accentuating the positive in his treatment of rulers in the Basic Annals, but slipping negative information into other chapters, and so his work must be read as a whole to obtain full information. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_40

For example, the information that Liu Bang (later Emperor Gaozu of Han), in a desperate attempt to escape in a chase from Xiang Yu's men, pushed his own children off his carriage to lighten it, was not given in the emperor's biography, but in the biography of Xiang Yu. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_41

He is also careful to balance the negative with the positive, for example, in the biography of Empress Dowager Lu which contains startling accounts of her cruelty, he pointed out at the end that, despite whatever her personal life may have been, her rule brought peace and prosperity to the country. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_42

Source materials Records of the Grand Historian_section_4

Sima's family were hereditary historians to the Han emperor. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_43

Sima Qian's father Sima Tan served as Grand Historian, and Sima Qian succeeded to his position. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_44

Thus he had access to the early Han dynasty archives, edicts, and records. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_45

Sima Qian was a methodical, skeptical historian who had access to ancient books, written on bamboo and wooden slips, from before the time of the Han dynasty. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_46

Many of the sources he used did not survive. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_47

He not only used archives and imperial records, but also interviewed people and traveled around China to verify information. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_48

In his first chapter, "Annals of the Five Emperors," he writes, Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_49

The Grand Historian used The Annals of the Five Emperors (五帝系諜) and the Classic of History as source materials to make genealogies from the time of the Yellow Emperor until that of the Gonghe regency (841-828 BC). Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_50

Sima Qian often cites his sources. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_51

For example, in the first chapter, "Annals of the Five Emperors", he writes, "I have read the Spring and Autumn Annals and the Guoyu." Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_52

In his 13th chapter, "Genealogical Table of the Three Ages," Sima Qian writes, "I have read all the genealogies of the kings (dieji 諜記) that exist since the time of the Yellow Emperor." Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_53

In his 14th chapter, "Yearly Chronicle of the Feudal Lords", he writes, "I have read all the royal annals (chunqiu li pudie 春秋曆譜諜) up until the time of King Li of Zhou." Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_54

In his 15th chapter, "Yearly Chronicle of the Six States," he writes, "I have read the Annals of Qin (qin ji 秦記), and they say that the Quanrong [a barbarian tribe] defeated King You of Zhou [ca 771 BC]." Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_55

In the 19th chapter, he writes, "I have occasion to read over the records of enfeoffment and come to the case of Wu Qian, the marquis of Bian...." (The father of Marquis Bian, Wu Rui, was named king (wang) of Changsha in Hunan for his loyalty to Gaozu. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_56

See article on Zhao Tuo). Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_57

In his chapter on the patriotic minister and poet Qu Yuan, Sima Qian writes, "I have read [Qu Yuan's works] Li Sao, Tianwen ("Heaven Asking"), Zhaohun (summoning the soul), and Ai Ying (Lament for Ying)". Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_58

In the 62nd chapter, "Biography of Guan and of Yan", he writes, "I have read Guan's Mu Min (牧民 - "Government of the People", a chapter in the Guanzi), Shan Gao ("The Mountains Are High"), Chengma (chariot and horses; a long section on war and economics), Qingzhong (Light and Heavy; i.e. "what is important"), and Jiufu (Nine Houses), as well as the Spring and Autumn Annals of Yanzi." Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_59

In his 64th chapter, "Biography of Sima Rangju", the Grand Historian writes, "I have read Sima's Art of War." Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_60

In the 121st chapter, "Biographies of Scholars", he writes, "I read the Imperial Decrees that encouraged education officials." Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_61

Sima Qian wrote of the problems with incomplete, fragmentary and contradictory sources. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_62

For example, he mentioned in the preface to chapter 15 that the chronicle records of the feudal states kept in the Zhou dynasty's archive were burnt by Qin Shi Huang because they contained criticisms and ridicule of the Qin state, and that the Qin annals were brief and incomplete. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_63

In the 13th chapter he mentioned that the chronologies and genealogies of different ancient texts "disagree and contradict each other throughout". Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_64

In his 18th chapter, Sima Qian writes, "I have set down only what is certain, and in doubtful cases left a blank." Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_65

Reliability and accuracy Records of the Grand Historian_section_5

Scholars have questioned the historicity of legendary kings of the ancient periods given by Sima Qian. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_66

Sima Qian began the Shiji with an account of the five rulers of supreme virtue, the Five Emperors, who modern scholars, such as those from the Doubting Antiquity School, believe to be originally local deities of the peoples of ancient China. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_67

Sima Qian sifted out the elements of the supernatural and fantastic which seemed to contradict their existence as actual human monarchs, and was therefore criticized for turning myths and folklore into sober history. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_68

However, according to Joseph Needham, who wrote in 1954 on Sima Qian's accounts of the kings of the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–c. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_69

1050 BC): Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_70

While some aspects of Sima Qian's history of the Shang dynasty are supported by inscriptions on the oracle bones, there is, as yet, no clear corroborating evidence from archaeology on Sima Qian's history of the Xia dynasty. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_71

There are also discrepancies of fact such as dates between various portions of the work. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_72

This may be a result of Sima Qian's use of different source texts. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_73

Transmission and supplementation by other writers Records of the Grand Historian_section_6

After ca. 91 BC, the more-or-less completed manuscript was hidden in the residence of the author's daughter, Sima Ying (司馬英), to avoid destruction under Emperor Wu and his immediate successor Emperor Zhao. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_74

The Shiji was finally disseminated during the reign of Emperor Xuan by Sima Qian's grandson (through his daughter), Yang Yun (楊惲), after a hiatus of around twenty years. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_75

The changes in the manuscript of the Shiji during this hiatus have always been disputed among scholars. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_76

That the text was more or less complete by ca. 91 BC is established in the Letter to Ren'an (報任安書), composed in the Zhenghe (征和) era of Emperor Wu's reign. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_77

In this letter, Sima Qian describes his work as "spanning from the time of the Yellow Emperor to the present age and consisting of ten tables, twelve basic annals, eight treatises, thirty chapters on hereditary houses, and seventy biographies, together totaling 130 chapters." Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_78

These numbers are likewise given in the postface to Shiji. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_79

After his death (presumably only a few years later), few people had the opportunity to see the whole work. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_80

However, various additions were still made to it. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_81

The historian Liu Zhiji reported the names of a total of fifteen scholars supposed to have added material to the Shiji during the period after the death of Sima Qian. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_82

Only the additions by Chu Shaosun (褚少孫, c.105 - c.30 BC) are clearly indicated by adding "Mr Chu said," (Chu xiansheng yue, 褚先生曰). Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_83

Already in the first century AD, Ban Biao and Ban Gu claimed that ten chapters in Records of the Grand Historian were lacking. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_84

A large number of chapters dealing with the first century of the Han dynasty (i.e. the 2nd century BC) correspond exactly to the relevant chapters from the Book of Han (Hanshu). Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_85

It is unclear whether those chapters initially came from the Shiji or from the Hanshu. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_86

Researchers Yves Hervouet (1921-1999) and A.F.P. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_87 Hulsewé argued that the originals of those chapters of the Shiji were lost and they were later reconstructed using the corresponding chapters from the Hanshu. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_88

Editions Records of the Grand Historian_section_7

The earliest extant copy of Records of the Grand Historian, handwritten, was made during the Southern and Northern Dynasties period (420 – 589 AD). Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_89

The earliest printed edition, called Shiji jijie (史記集解, literally Records of the Grand Historian, Collected Annotations), was published during the Northern Song dynasty. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_90

Huang Shanfu's edition, printed under the Southern Song dynasty, is the earliest collection of the Sanjiazhu commentaries on Records of the Grand Historian (三家注, literally: The Combined Annotations of the Three Experts). Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_91

In modern times, the Zhonghua Book Company in Beijing has published the book in both simplified Chinese for mass consumption and traditional Chinese for scholarly study. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_92

The 1959 (2nd ed., 1982) Sanjiazhu edition in traditional Chinese (based upon the Jinling Publishing House edition, see below) contains commentaries interspersed among the main text and is considered to be an authoritative modern edition. Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_93

The most well known editions of the Shiji are: Records of the Grand Historian_sentence_94

Records of the Grand Historian_table_general_2

YearRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_2_0_0 PublisherRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_2_0_1 Printing techniqueRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_2_0_2 NotesRecords of the Grand Historian_header_cell_2_0_3
Southern Song dynasty (1127 – 1279)Records of the Grand Historian_cell_2_1_0 Huang ShanfuRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_2_1_1 Block-printedRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_2_1_2 Abbreviated as the Huang Shanfu edition (黄善夫本)Records of the Grand Historian_cell_2_1_3
Ming dynasty, between the times of the Jiajing and Wanli Emperors (between 1521 and 1620)Records of the Grand Historian_cell_2_2_0 The Northern and Southern Imperial AcademyRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_2_2_1 Block-printedRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_2_2_2 published in 21 Shi. Abbreviated as the Jian edition (监本)Records of the Grand Historian_cell_2_2_3
Ming dynastyRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_2_3_0 Publisher: the bibliophile Mao Jin (毛晋), 1599 – 1659) and his studio Ji Gu Ge (汲古閣 or the Drawing from Ancient Times Studio)Records of the Grand Historian_cell_2_3_1 Block-printedRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_2_3_2 Published in 17 Shi. Abbreviated as the Mao Ke edition (毛刻本) or the Ji Gu Ge edition (汲古閣本)Records of the Grand Historian_cell_2_3_3
Qing dynasty, in the time of the Qianlong Emperor (1711 – 1799)Records of the Grand Historian_cell_2_4_0 Wu YingdianRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_2_4_1 Block-printedRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_2_4_2 Published in the Twenty-Four Histories, abbreviated as the Wu Yingdian edition (武英殿本)Records of the Grand Historian_cell_2_4_3
Qing dynasty, in the time of the Tongzhi Emperor (1856 – 1875)Records of the Grand Historian_cell_2_5_0 Jinling Publishing House (in Nanjing)Records of the Grand Historian_cell_2_5_1 Block-printedRecords of the Grand Historian_cell_2_5_2 Proofreading and copy editing done by Zhang Wenhu. Published with the Sanjiazhu commentaries, 130 volumes in total. Abbreviated as the Jinling Ju or Jinling Publishing edition (金陵局本)Records of the Grand Historian_cell_2_5_3

Notable translations Records of the Grand Historian_section_8

English Records of the Grand Historian_section_9

Records of the Grand Historian_unordered_list_1

  • Watson, Burton, trans. (1961). Records of the Grand Historian of China. New York: Columbia University Press.Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_5
    • Second edition, 1993 (Records of the Grand Historian). Translates roughly 90 out of 130 chapters.Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_6
  • Yang Hsien-yi and Gladys Yang (1974), Records of the Historians. Hong Kong: Commercial Press.Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_10
    • Reprinted by University Press of the Pacific, 2002. Contains biographies of Confucius and Laozi. ISBN 978-0835106184Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_11
  • Raymond Stanley Dawson (1994). Historical records. New York: Oxford University Press.Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_12
    • Reprinted, 2007 (The first emperor : selections from the Historical records). Translates only Qin-related material. ISBN 9780199574391Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_13
  • William H. Nienhauser, Jr., ed. (1994– ). The Grand Scribe's Records, 9 vols. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Ongoing translation, and being translated out of order.Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_14
    • I. The Basic Annals of Pre-Han China (2018), ISBN 978-0-253-03855-5.Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_15
    • II. The Basic Annals of the Han Dynasty (2018), ISBN 978-0-253-03909-5.Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_16
    • V. part 1. The Hereditary Houses of Pre-Han China (2006), ISBN 978-0-253-34025-2.Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_17
    • VII. The Memoirs of Pre-Han China (1995), ISBN 978-0-253-34027-6.Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_18
    • VIII. The Memoirs of Han China, Part I (2008), ISBN 978-0-253-34028-3.Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_19
    • IX. The Memoirs of Han China, Part II (2010), ISBN 978-0-253-35590-4.Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_20
    • X. The Memoirs of Han China, Part III (2016), ISBN 978-0-253-01931-8.Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_21
    • XI. The Memoirs of Han China, Part IV (2019), ISBN 978-0-253-04610-9.Records of the Grand Historian_item_1_22

Non-English Records of the Grand Historian_section_10

Records of the Grand Historian_unordered_list_2

  • (in French) Chavannes, Édouard, trans. (1895–1905). Les Mémoires historiques de Se-ma Ts'ien [The Historical Memoirs of Sima Qian], 6 vols.; rpt. (1967–1969) 7 vols., Paris: Adrien Maisonneuve. Left uncompleted at Chavannes' death. William Nienhauser calls it a "landmark" and "the standard by which all subsequent renditions... must be measured."Records of the Grand Historian_item_2_23
  • (in French) Chavannes, Édouard, Maxime Kaltenmark , translators. (2015) Les Mémoires historiques de Se-Ma Ts'ien [The Historical Memoirs of Sima Qian], 9 vols.; Éditions You Feng, Paris. This is the completed full translation of the ShijiRecords of the Grand Historian_item_2_24
  • (in Russian) full translation in 9 vols: Vyatkin, Rudolf V., trans. . Istoricheskie Zapiski (Shi-czi) [Исторические записки (Ши-цзи)], 8 vols. Moscow: Nauka (1972–2002); 9th volume: Vyatkin, Anatoly R., trans. (2010), Moscow: Vostochnaya literatura. This is the first complete translation into any European language.Records of the Grand Historian_item_2_25
  • (in Mandarin Chinese) Yang, Zhongxian 杨钟贤; Hao, Zhida 郝志达, eds. (1997). Quanjiao quanzhu quanyi quanping Shiji 全校全注全译全评史记 [Shiji: Fully Collated, Annotated, Translated, and Evaluated], 6 vols. Tianjin: Tianjin guji chubanshe.Records of the Grand Historian_item_2_26
  • (in Mandarin Chinese) Xu, Jialu 许嘉璐; An, Pingqiu 安平秋, eds. (2003). Ershisishi quanyi: Shiji 二十四史全译:史记, 2 vols. Beijing: Hanyudacidian chubanshe.Records of the Grand Historian_item_2_27
  • (in Japanese) Mizusawa, Toshitada 水澤利忠; Yoshida, Kenkō 吉田賢抗, trans. (1996–1998). Shiki 史記 [Shiji], 12 vols. Tokyo: Kyūko.Records of the Grand Historian_item_2_28
  • (in Danish) Svane, Gunnar O., trans. (2007). Historiske Optegnelser: Kapitlerne 61-130, Biografier 1-70. Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag.Records of the Grand Historian_item_2_29
  • (in German) Gregor Kneussel, Alexander Saechtig, trans. (2016). Aus den Aufzeichnungen des Chronisten, 3 vols. Beijing: Verlag für fremdsprachige Literatur (Foreign Languages Press); ISBN 978-7-119-09676-6.Records of the Grand Historian_item_2_30

See also Records of the Grand Historian_section_11

Records of the Grand Historian_unordered_list_3


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Records of the Grand Historian.