Sima Qian aspired to compile history and toured around China
Updated 22:02, 28-Oct-2021

As a key innovative cultural show produced by CMG, "China in the Classics" examines the stirring stories of ancient Chinese classics by selecting the most outstanding of these traditional cultural masterpieces and examining the creation process and core ideology in a form that combines cultural seminars, drama and visualization. It brings the ancient classics "alive," demonstrating Chinese wisdom, ethos and values implied in the ancient classics.

In this episode, contemporary reader Sa Beining travels to the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24) and sees Sima Qian proofreading "Records of the Grand Historian." He asks Sima Qian how he wrote this epic work. Sima Qian tells him about the history of the Sima family and his childhood experiences.

When Sima Qian grew up, he was ordered by his father to travel around. He re-examined the virtues of Emperor Shun, carried out research into the legend of Yu the Great, explored the story of King Gou Jian of Yue, followed in the footsteps of Confucius, considered Qu Yuan's patriotism, praised Xiang Yu for his bravery and reflected on his failure. Sima Qian's tour laid a solid foundation for his writing of "Records of the Grand Historian."

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