The Chinese Herodotus?
June 24, 2010 7:25 PM Subscribe
Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, Tacitus, and the rest of those familiar names are inextricably tied with the historical canon of classical "western" civilization. But who are the "eastern" equivalents?
posted by SpringAquifer to grab bag (22 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
My familiarity with the canon of classical eastern history is almost none. While I know the names of the ancient historians in the west, I wouldn't even recognize a single name from the east. Some Googling has brought up a few names, such as the classical Chinese historian Sima Qian, who wrote the Records of the Grand Historian between 109 BC and 91 BC. However, I'm sure that such an unfocused search will have left a lot of things out.
Who else is out there? Do we have much of their surviving works? Are those works as readily accessible in English as the western canon?
(Secondary question: Is there an eastern equivalent of someone like, say, Gibbon, who came much later to write a seminal work that's affected all later scholarship, but isn't exactly modern in the 20th-century sense?)