The Grand Scribe's Records, Volume X

The Grand Scribe's Records, Volume X

Volume X: The Memoirs of Han China, Part III
Ssu-ma Ch'ien, edited by William H. Nienhauser, Jr., translated by Chiu Ming Chan, Hans van Ess, William H. Nienhauser, Jr., Thomas D. Noel, Marc Nürnberger, Jakob Pöllath, Andreas Siegl and Lianlian Wu
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/06/2016
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-01931-8
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In The Grand Scribe’s Records: Volume X, readers can follow Ssu-ma Qian’s depiction of the later years of the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han (r. 140–87 BC). The volume begins with four chapters describing the Han’s attempts to subdue states north, east, south and west of the empire. The subsequent long biography of Ssu-ma Hsiang-ju (179–117) presents one of the era’s major literary figures who came to oppose the Emperor’s expensive military campaigns against these states. It is followed by an equally extended portrayal of Liu An (d. 122), King of Huai-nan, who was seen as an internal threat and forced to commit suicide. The final chapters recount narratives of the ideal officials (all predating the Han) and the Confucians the Emperor championed.

Author Bio

Ssu-ma Ch’ien (145–ca. 86 BC) served for several decades as a high official at the court of the Han Emperor Wu around the year 100 BC. As China’s greatest historian, he overcame political and personal conflicts to complete this huge narrative account of ancient China, from its beginnings through the end of the second century BC.

William H. Nienhauser, Jr., is Halls-Bascom Professor of Classical Chinese Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature (two volumes, Indiana University Press, 1985, 1998), (as translator) Chinese Literature, Ancient and Classical by André Lévy (Indiana University Press, 2000), and (as editor and translator) the previous six volumes of The Grand Scribe’s Records. He is a founding editor of the journal Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR).


“The significance of Nienhauser’s contribution cannot be overstated. The Shiji is one of the cornerstones of early Chinese history, and giving students and scholars access to fully annotated translations is an achievement that will endure for many generations.”
 — China Review International

“This volume is a highly valuable addition to this well-established series. When read against the original text of the Shiji, these translations, the notes, and all the other material provided by the translators and the editor will serve as inspiring points of departure for further explorations in the wider field of Chinese history and literature.”
 — Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

“The English translation has been done meticulously, with full scholarly apparatus. . . . These volumes are essential library additions.”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

On Using This Book
Weights and Measures (Lu Zongli)
List of Abbreviations

Memoir 53 The Southern Yüeh
Memoir 54 The Eastern Yüeh
Memoir 55 Ch’ao-hsien
Memoir 56 The Southwestern Barbarians
Memoir 57 Ssu-ma Hsiang-ju
Memoir 58 Huai-nan and Heng-shan
Memoir 59 The Officials Who Follow Reason
Memoir 60 Chi and Cheng
Memoir 61 The Confucian Scholars

Frequently Mentioned Commentators
Selected Recent Studies of the Shih chi