Sima Qian A Confucian

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Sima Qian was a great historian for China during the Han Dynasty (141 - 87 BCE). Under Emperor Wu, he is credited with creating China’s first detailed and compiled history book. He lived from 145 to 86 BCE and made many great accomplishments in his life. His most notable accomplishment was writing a history book called Records of the Grand Historian, without this book the past would have disappeared with the people that lived it. The question that I’m going to be answering in this paper is would you call Sima Qian a Confucian. I believe, yes, he was a Confucian. He believes in the Confucian ideals of Filial Piety, how a gentleman should conduct himself and how a country should be governed. Throughout this paper I will explain the values that …show more content…
Confucius says, “If a person acts with reverence, he will not be insulted. If he is generous, he will win over the people. If he is truthful, he will be trusted by people. If he is diligent, he will have great achievements. If he is kind, he will be able to influence others.” (Confucian Teachings, p 19).
According to Confucius, Filial Piety is respecting your parents before and after their death. It is important to learn from your parents and “model yourself on the memory of their behavior” (Confucian Teachings, p 20).
Confucius speaks on governing, he says “lead them by the means of virtue and regulate them through rituals and they will have a sense of shame and moreover have standards”
(Confucian Teachings, 21). Confucius believes small mistakes should not be dwelled on but forgiven. People should be promoted based on talent and worthiness. (Confucian Teachings, p21).
Confucius traveled all across China through his life. He searched for people to follow his beliefs. Unfortunately, Confucius never saw his teaching widely adopted in his lifetime. It wasn’t until years after his death that his teachings became popular and were most recognized during the Han, Tang and Song
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Qian’s father, Sima Tan, was the Grand Astrologer for the court of Emperor Wu. The Grand Astrologer is responsible for “observation of natural occurrences, record keeping, calendar making, and different forms of divination” (Violatti). On his deathbed Sima Tan says to his son, “I am dying. You must become the Grand Astrologer, and as the Grand Astrologer do not forget that which I have desired to set in order and write [...] The feudal lords have joined together, but their scribal records have been scattered and discontinued. Now the Han has risen and all the world is united under one rule, yet as Grand Astrologer I have not set in order and recorded the glorious sovereigns, worthy rulers, loyal ministers, and gentlemen who died for righteousness. I am fearful that the historical writings of the world will be discarded. You must bear this in mind.” (Violatti). Qian then becomes the Grand Astrologer and continues his father’s work on the Records of the Grand

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