Records of the Grand Historian: Qin dynasty, Volume 1

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Columbia University Press, 1993 - History - 243 pages
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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

This book contains selected translations from the Qin dynasty compendium written by china's first historian. The book starts with annals, which are rather dry year-by-year accounts of political events ... Read full review

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The overall translation closely followed the Classical Chinese, but in certain sections the translation tend to sway. Such as the translation of the name/surname. In some parts, the first character of the name has been translated into the clan name, which was not the case in the classical Chinese. There were also sections where the topic was incorrect which makes the whole sentence sound odd (classical Chinese has the tendency to omit the topic).
Overall, I still believe it is an excellent translation. It has many helpful footnote which you cannot find in the modern Chinese translation. It is a good comparison (if you know Chinese), and certainly a must read!


The Basic Annals of Qin
The Basic Annals of The First Emperor of the Qin
Reflections on the Rise of the Qin
The Biography of Lord Shang
The Biographies Of Shuli Zi and Gan Mou
The Biography of the Marquis of Rang
The Biographies of Bai Qi and Wang Jian
The Biographies of Fan Ju and Cai Ze
The Biographies of The Assassinretainers Excerpt
The Biography of Li Si
The Biography of Meng Tian
The Biographies of Wits and Humorists Excerpt
Shi ji 48 The Hereditary House of Chen She
Sima Qians Letter to Ren An

The Biography of Lu Buwei

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About the author (1993)

Burton Watson is one of the world's best-known translators from the Chinese and Japanese. His translations include The Lotus Sutra, The Vimalakirti Sutra, Ryokan: Zen Monk-Poet of Japan, Saigyo: Poems of a Mountain Home, and The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: From Early Times to the Thirteenth Century, all published by Columbia.

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