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Histories in China

Histories in China. The Chinese reverence for antiquity, ancestors, and precedent produced, as early as the Han dynasty (206 BCE–221 CE), not only Grand Historians as court officials, but also systematically organized histories which acquired a canonical status. Shih chi (Records of the Historian) set the pattern: it was begun by Ssu-ma Tʾan (d. 110 BCE) and completed by his son, Ssu-ma Chʾien (145–90 BCE). The historical work was continued by Pan Piao (3–54 CE) and his son Pan Ku (32–92), in Han shu (History of the Han). In this, they extended the Discourses to include punishments and laws, state sacrifices, geography, drainage of land, and literature. Subsequent Grand Histories followed these basic patterns.

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