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Herodotus and Sima Qian


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Table of Contents

PART I: INTRODUCTION: Inventing History Writing in Greece and China.- PART II: THE DOCUMENTS.- Herodotus, The Histories.- How Asia and Europe Became Enemies: The Story of Croesus.- How Others Live: The Customs of the Persians, Egyptians, Massagetai, and Scythians.- Roping Asia to Europe: The Persian Invasion of Greece.- Death before Dishonor: The Battle of Thermopylae and the Story of the Three Hundred.- Human Wisdom and Divine Vengeance: Artemisia's Advice and Hermotimus's Revenge.- Ending Stories: Cruelty and Revenge on Both Sides.- Sima Qian, The Records of the Historian.- Castration as the Price of Writing History: Sima Qian's Autobiographical Letter to Ren An.- The First Emperor of China: The Basic Annals of the Qin Dynasty.- Born from a Dragon: The Origins of Gaozu, founder of the Former Han Dynasty.- A Woman in Power: Empress Lu.- Heroic Hermits: The Biographies of Bo Yi and Shu Qi.- Arts of War: The Biographies of Sun Wu and Sun Bin.- Imperial Assassin: The Biography of Jing Ke.- How Others Live: The Customs of the Xiongnu.

About the Author

THOMAS R. MARTIN (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Jeremiah O'Connor Professor in Classics at the College of the Holy Cross, UK. He is the author of Sovereignty and Coinage in Classical Greece (1985) and Ancient Greece (2000), and he is a co-author of The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures (2009). He is also one of the originators of Perseus: Interactive Sources and Studies on Ancient Greece (

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