Grand Scribe's Records: Volume II

Grand Scribe's Records: Volume II : The Basic Annals of the Han Dynasty

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This second volume of the ongoing annotated translation of Ssu-ma Ch'ien's Shi chi(The Grand Scribe's Records), widely acknowledged as the most important early Chinese history, contains the "basic annals" of five early Han-dynasty emperors. The annals trace the first century of Han rule (206 BC to ca. 100 BC) in a year-by-year account that focuses on imperial activities. In The Grand Scribe's Records, Ssu-ma Ch'ien revitalised the style of the annals he had written for previous rulers. Here are accounts of the peasant who founded the dynasty, Liu Pang, a man noted as much for his licentiousness as he was his ruthless political instinct, and of his cruel wife, Empress Lu, who murdered her chief rival for Liu Pang's affections in the most gruesome manner. The annals of two relatively undistinguished emperors follow. The volume concludes with Ssu-ma's depiction of perhaps the greatest ruler of the Han, Emperor Wu, told within the context of his delusive attempts to find a means to achieve immortality. When completed this translation will bring all 130 chapters of the Shih chi into English. Volumes 1 and 7 were published by Indiana University Press in 1994.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 414 pages
  • 167.6 x 244.9 x 29.5mm | 730.3g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • annotated edition
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0253340225
  • 9780253340221
  • 531,200

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About Ssu-Ma Ch'ien

Ssu-ma Ch'ien (145-ca. 86 B.C.), China's greatest historian and an important official in the Han dynasty, compiled the history of his culture from its beginnings through the end of the second century B.C.William H. Nienhauser, Jr., editor and co-translator, is Halls-Bascom Professor of Classical Chinese Literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1979 he helped found the journal Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR) and has edited it since. He has published a number of articles and books on traditional Chinese literature, including The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature (two volumes, Indiana University Press, 1985; 1998)

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