Sima Qian: China's 'grand historian'
Speaking truth to power has always been a high-risk strategy in China. Its rulers tend to prefer flattery, and writers who forget this do so at their peril. China's "grand historian" - 2,000 years ago - was one of many who have paid a terrible price.
"Among defilements, none is so great as castration. Any man who continues to live having suffered such a punishment is accounted as a nothing."
The man who wrote those words is by no means a nothing today. In a nation obsessed by its history, Sima Qian was the first and some say the greatest historian....
comments powered by Disqus
- King Tut had overbite, club foot because his parents were brother and sister
- Prehistoric humans were far smarter than previously assumed
- Priests race to save manuscripts from jihadists in Iraq
- Where Mud Is Archaeological Gold, Russian History Grew on Trees
- Conflict Uncovers a Ukrainian Identity Crisis Over Deep Russian Roots
- Highlights of the recent Oral History Association Meeting
- Rick Perlstein response to Sam Tanenhaus's complaint that he's an aggregator
- Thai historian faces charges for daring to challenge a story about a royal king
- It's Rick Perlstein vs. Judith Stein in a Three Round Fight
- Park Honan, a Biographer of Authors, Is Dead at 86