Shiji 史記 "Records of the [Grand] Scribe" is a very famous universal history of early China and the first of the official dynastic histories (zhengshi 正史). It is the first history of China written in a biographic-thematic style (jizhuanti 紀傳體), in which biographies of different type, treatises and tables are combined.
The original name of the book was Taishigong shu 太史公書 "The book of the Master Grand Scribe" or Taishiji 太史記 "Records of the Grand Scribe". These titles are derived from the office the two compilers occupied, namely that of the official dynastic court scribes and astrologers (taishi 太史) of the Former Han dynasty 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE), Sima Tan 司馬談 (died ca. 110 BCE) and his son Sima Qian 司馬遷 (145–86 BCE, courtesy name Zizhang 子長). Sima Tan, who had access to the imperial library and the official documents stored there, planned to write a universal history but was not able to finish his work and entrusted the completion to his son.
The Shiji covers a very long time period, ranging from the age of the mythical Yellow Emperor 黃帝 (trad. r. 2697 – 2597 BCE), to the Xia 夏 (21th - 17th cent. BCE), Shang 商 (17th-11th cent. BCE), Zhou 周 (11th cent.-221 BCE) and Qin 秦 (221-206 BCE) dynasties, and end in the year 93 BCE. The main focus is on the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE) and the Qin and the early Han dynasties.
According to the postface (130 Taishigong zixu 太史公自序), the autobiography of Sima Qian, the book contains 130 juan, of which 12 juan are imperial annals-biographies (本紀 benji), 10 juan tables (表 ), 8 juan treatises (書 shu), 30 juan biographies of the houses of regional rulers of the Zhou period as well as of eminent persons (世家 shijia), and 70 juan normal and collective biographies (列傳 liezhuan).
The imperial annals are internally arranged like chronicles, where the most important events and edicts are recorded. For the oldest periods of time the dynasties are treated in one juan, while from the First Emperor of Qin 秦始皇 (r. 246/221–210 BCE; 6 Qin Shihuang benji 秦始皇本紀) on each person has his/her own imperial annals. Two surprises catch the reader concerning the imperial annals.
Firstly, after the downfall of the Qin dynasty there were several warlords contesting for emperorship. One of them was Liu Bang 劉邦 (Emperor Gaozu 漢高祖, r. 206/02 – 195 BCE), the eventual founder of the Han dynasty, and another was Xiang Yu 項羽, the "hegemonial king of West Chu" (Xichu bawang 西楚霸王), who at that time was a superior of Liu Bang, the king of Han. Although he eventually was the loser of the game Xiang Yu was nevertheless granted an own imperial biography (7 Xiang Yu benji 項羽本紀). This circumstance shows that historiography can also be truthful, as Xiang Yu was the more or less official ruler of China between 206 and 202 BCE (he appointed the various warlords to their royal territories), and not Liu Bang, but it also shows that Sima Qian did probably not favour Liu Bang as a person. Another rebel against the Qin dynasty, Chen She 陳涉, is granted a hereditary biography (48 Chen She shijia 陳涉世家), as if he had been a regional ruler.
Secondly, Emperor Hui 漢惠帝 (r. 195–188 BCE) is not granted an own imperial biography, but his reign is included in the biography of his mother (9 Lü taihou benji 呂太后本紀), Empress Dowager Lü 呂太后, who acted as regent during the reign of her son and continued to do so after his death and the subsequent reign of two infant emperors. Except Empress Wu Zetian 武則天 (r. 690–704), who founded her own dynasty during the Tang period 唐 (618-907), Empress Dowager Lü is so the only female person for which imperial annals were compiled in the dynastic histories.
The tables of the Shiji provide invaluable information about the mythical genealogies of the ancient emperors (13 Sandai shibiao 三代世表), the genealogy of the regional rulers during the Spring and Autumn 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE) and the Warring States periods, and the most important political events in that time (14 Shi'er zhuhou nianbiao 十二諸侯年表 and 15 Liuguo nianbiao 六國年表), the war between Liu Bang and Xiang Yu for the empire (16 Qin-Chu zhi ji yuebiao 秦楚之際月表), as well as the various princes and kings (17 Zhuhou wang nianbiao 諸侯王年表, 21 Wangzi houzhe nianbiao 王子侯者年表), noblemen (18-21 Gongchen houzhe nianbiao 功臣侯者年表) and highest officials (22 Jiangxiang mingchen nianbiao 將相名臣年表) of the early Han period.
The treatises give an overview of the most important matters of statecraft. Most of them served as models for the later dynastic histories, but the treatise of the offerings for Heaven and Earth (28 Fengshan shu 封禪書) is unique because very few emperors undertook the travel to the summit of Mt. Taishan 泰山. It occupies a very important place in the Shiji because Emperor Wu 漢武帝 (r. 141–87 BCE) had organized a huge state ceremony for this undertaking.
The shijia "biographies of hereditary houses" are in first instances the chronicles of the regional states of the Zhou period. Their titles normally include the founder of the house of a regional ruler, in most cases the person appointed as a regional ruler at the beginning of the Zhou period. For the regional state of Qi 齊 two biographies are presented (32 Qi Taigong shijia 齊太公世家 and 46 Tian Jingzhong Wan shijia 田敬仲完世家) because the house of Tian 田 usurped the throne of Qi, where the house of Jiang 姜 had ruled since the beginning of the Zhou period.
The chapters 50-52 and 58-60 are the biographies of imperial princes of the Han dynasty. Another category of persons for which hereditary biographies are written are the high ministers serving the Han dynasty in her founding period. Those were Xiao He 蕭何, Cao Shen 曹參, Zhang Liang 張良, Chen Ping 陳平, and Zhou Bo 周勃 (juan 53-57). Another hereditary biography is dedicated to the empresses and their kinsmen (49 Waiqi shijia 外戚世家). In this chapter the events under the reign of Empress Dowager Lü are narrated a second time, but the entries differ somewhat from that in her imperial biography. Another very important person, whose biography is reported in a hereditary biography, is Confucius (47 Kongzi shijia 孔子世家). Members of the imperial house of Han are partially to be found in hereditary biographies (50-52, 58-60), others in normal biographies (106, 118).
The biographies of "normal" persons are arranged chronologically and are either dedicated to one single person, as for instance that for the mighty minister of Qin, Sima Rangju (64 Sima Rangju liezhuan 司馬穰苴列傳), or as collective biographies to a group of persons who belong together, like the generals Bai Qi and Wang Jian (73 Bai Qi Wang Jian liezhuan 白起王翦列傳) or Mengzi 孟子 (Meng Ke 孟軻) and Xunzi 荀子 (Xun Qing 荀卿 or Xun Kuang 荀況), both thinkers of Confucianism (74 Mengzi Xun Qing liezhuan 孟子荀卿列傳).
The titles of the chapters do not always refer to all persons included, like chapter 63 Laozi Han Fei liezhuan 老子韓非列傳, which does not only deal with Laozi and Han Fei, but also presents the lives of Zhuangzi 莊子 (Zhuang Zhou 莊周) and Shen Buhai 申不害.
Very typical for the Shiji, and in consequence all official dynastic histories, are nevertheless the collective biographies of otherwise not very famous persons. Many of these were adopted as a model by later dynastic histories, like the collective biography of benevolent officials (119 Xunli liezhuan 循吏列傳), cruel officials (122 Kuli liezhuan 酷吏列傳), or the "forest of scholars" (121 Rulin liezhuan 儒林列傳) and diviners (128 Guice liezhuan 龜策列傳). Yet there are also many collective biographies uniquely to be found in the Shiji, like the "assassins" (86 Cike liezhuan 刺客列傳), "wandering knights" (124 Youxia liezhuan 游俠列傳), "flatterers" or "minions" (125 Ningxing liezhuan 佞幸列傳), "humorists" (126 Huaji liezhuan 滑稽列傳), or "profiteers" (129 Huozhi liezhuan 貨殖列傳).
A last group of "biographies" is to be mentioned. These are the "ethnographic" descriptions of foreign peoples and foreign countries, a genre imitated by all later dynastic histories. These chapters describe the Xiongnu (110 Xiongnu liezhuan 匈奴列傳), the Southern (113 Nanyue liezhuan 南越列傳) and Eastern Yue (114 Dongyue liezhuan 東越列傳), the Yi barbarians in the southwest (116 Xinan yi liezhuan 西南夷列傳), and the foreign countries of Korea (115 Chaoxian liezhuan 朝鮮列傳) and Dayuan (123 Dayuan liezhuan 大宛列傳).
For the compilation of the Shiji, father and son Sima made use of a vast treasury of sources. For the Spring and Autumn and the Warring states periods they used sources also otherwise known, like the Confucian Classic Chunqiu-Zuozhuan 春秋左傳, the Guoyu 國語 and Zhanguoce 戰國策, but also sources long since lost, like Chu-Han chunqiu 楚漢春秋 (fragmentarily suriving) or Shiben 世本, the latter being transmitted in several reconstructed versions. For contemporary events archival sources were at their disposal.
From the beginning the Shiji occupied an eminent position in historiography and was read by dozens of generations and imitated by later historians. After the death of Sima Qian it was his grandson Yan Yunzu 楊惲祖 who kept the original and helped distributing it. Nevertheless during the Later Han period 後漢 (25-220 CE) there were already 10 juan missing. Zhang Yan 張晏, who lived in the Cao-Wei empire 曹魏 (220-265), identified the missing chapters, namely the biographies of the emperors Jing 漢景帝 (r. 157–141 BCE) and Wu, the treatises on ritual, on music, and one on military (Bingshu 兵書, lost), a table on generals and counsellors-in-chief from the beginning of the Han period (Han xing yilai jiangxiang nianbiao 漢興以來將相年表, lost), and the biographies of the soothsayers (127 Rizhe liezhuan 日者列傳), the diviners (128 Guice liezhuan), the biography of Fu Kuan 傅寬 and Jin She 靳歙 (98 Fu Jin liezhuan 傅靳列傳), as well as that of the Three Princes (60 Sanwang liezhuan 三王世家).
Even earlier, some parts of the book were missing. Some were supplemented by Chu Shaosun 褚少孫 (fl. 48–7 BCE) and were not originally written by Sima Qian, at least not a part of the chapters. That a part of the missing chapters has indeed been added is clear from the words "Master Chu says" (Chu xiansheng yue 褚先生曰) that are inserted in the respective chapters.
There are three important commentaries (sanjia zhu 三家注) to the Shiji. These are Shiji jijie 史記集解 by Pei Yin 裴駰 (Liu-Song period 劉宋, 420-479), 80-juan long, Shiji suoyin 史記索隱 by Sima Zhen 司馬貞 (679-732), 30-juan long, and Shiji zhengyi 史記正義 by Zhang Shoujie 張守節 (late 7th century), with a length of 30 juan.
Although originally separately written they are normally inserted into the corresponding chapters of the main text. There are some newer commentaries of which the following shall be mentioned: Shiji zhiyi 史記志疑 by Liang Yusheng 梁玉繩 (fl. 1785) and 史記会注考証 by Takigawa Sukenobu 瀧川資言 (1865–1946), with a supplement by Mizusawa Toshitada 水澤利忠 (1918-?).
The bibliographic chapter of the Xintangshu 新唐書 lists a 130-juan long book called Xushiji 續史記 "Sequel to the Shiji", written by Han Wan 韓琬 (mid-7th cent.). Even if the title suggests that this book might be a continuation of Sima Qian's text, it is listed among the commentaries on the Shiji, and must thus have been a such.
The oldest surviving print was produced by Huang Shanfu 黃善夫 during the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279). This excellent print served as the origin for the Bona edition 百衲本 of the Commercial Press 商務印書館. Other good printings are the Nanbeijian 南北監 print of the twenty-one dynastic histories from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644), the print of the seventeen dynastic histories by the Jiguge Library 汲古閣, and the print of the twenty-four dynastic histories from the Hall of Military Glory (Wuyingdian 武英殿), the imperial library of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911).
In the 19th century the Jinling press 金陵書局 produced another print, based on Zhang Wenhu's 張文虎 (1808-1885) composition of different editions of the Shiji, based on Qian Taiji's 錢泰吉 (1791-1863) revision. This edition contains many printing errors. The Zhonghua Book Company 中華書局 published the common modern edition in 1959.
The oldest translation of parts of the Shiji was made by Édouard Chavannes, Les memoirs historiques de Se-ma Ts'ien (Paris: Leroux, 1895 ff.). Other translations were made by Burton Watson, Records of the Grand Historian (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), Yang Hsien-yi and Gladys Yang, Selections from Records of the Historian (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1979), and William H. Nienhauser (ed.), The Grand Scribe's Records (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994 ff., unfinished).Example Example Example Example Example
|1.-12. Benji 本紀 Imperial Annals-Biography 1-12|
|1.||1 五帝本紀 Wudi The Five Mythical Emperors|
|2.||2 夏本紀 Xia dynasty (20th-17th cent. BCE)|
|3.||3 殷本紀 Yin (Shang) dynasty (17th-11th cent.)|
|4.||4 周本紀 Zhou dynasty (11th cent.-221)|
|5.||5 秦本紀 Qin dynasty (pre-imperial)|
|6.||6 秦始皇本紀 The First Emperor of Qin (r. 246/221-206)|
|7.||7 項羽本紀 The hegemonial king Xiang Yu (r. 206-202)|
|8.||8 高祖本紀 Emperor Han Gaozu (r. 206/02-195)|
|9.||9 呂太后本紀 [Emperor Han Huidi (r. 195-188)] Empress Dowager Lü (r. 187-180)|
|10.||10 孝文本紀 Emperor Han (Xiao-)Wendi (180-157)|
|11.||11 孝景本紀 Emperor Han (Xiao-)Jingdi (r. 157-141)|
|12.||12 孝武本紀 Emperor Han (Xiao-)Wudi (r. 141-87 [only until 93])|
|13.-22. Biao 表 Tables 1-10|
|13.||1 三代世表 Genealogical tree of the Three Ages (Xia, Shang, Zhou)|
|14.||2 十二諸侯年表 Annual table of the 16 regional rulers (of the Spring and Autumn period)|
|15.||3 六國年表 Annual table of the 6 regional states (of the Warring States period)|
|16.||4 秦楚之際月表 Monthly table of the war between Chu and Han (206-202 BCE)|
|17.||5 漢興以來諸侯王年表 The imperial princes of Han|
|18.||6 高祖功臣侯者年表 The noblemen of early Han|
|19.||7 惠景閒侯者年表 The noblemen during the reigns of Huidi and Jingdi|
|20.||8 建元以來侯者年表 The noblemen since the reign-period Jianyuan (begin 140 BCE)|
|21.||9 建元已來王子侯者年表 The imperial princes since the reign-period Jianyuan|
|22.||10 漢興以來將相名臣年表 Persons in the highest state offices of Han|
|23.-30. Shu 書 Treatises 1-8|
|23.||1 禮書 Li Rites|
|24.||2 樂書 Yue Music|
|25.||3 律書 Lü Harmony and measurements|
|26.||4 曆書 Li Calendar|
|27.||5 天官書 Tianguan Astronomy|
|28.||6 封禪書 Fengshan The sacrifices to Heaven and Earth|
|29.||7 河渠書 Hequ Rivers and canals|
|30.||8 平準書 Pingzhun Equalizing agronomical matters|
|31.-60. Shijia 世家 Biographies of the Houses of Regional Rulers and Eminent Persons 1-30|
|31.||1 吳太伯世家 The house of Wu Taibo|
|32.||2 齊太公世家 The house of Qi Taigong|
|33.||3 魯周公世家 The house of Lu Zhougong|
|34.||4 燕召公世家 The house of Yan Zhaogong|
|35.||5 管蔡世家 The houses of Guan and Cai|
|36.||6 陳杞世家 The house of Chen and Qi 杞|
|37.||7 衛康叔世家 The house of Wei Kangshu|
|38.||8 宋微子世家 The house of Song Weizi|
|39.||9 晉世家 The house of Jin|
|40.||10 楚世家 The house of Chu|
|41.||11 越王句踐世家 The house of Goujian, King of Yue|
|42.||12 鄭世家 The house of Zheng|
|43.||13 趙世家 The house of Zhao|
|44.||14 魏世家 The house of Wei|
|45.||15 韓世家 The house of Han|
|46.||16 田敬仲完世家 The house of Tian Jingzhong, also called Wan|
|47.||17 孔子世家 Kongzi (Confucius)|
|48.||18 陳涉世家 Chen She|
|49.||19 外戚世家 Waiqi Empresses: Empress Lü 呂后, Empress Dowager Bo 薄太后, Empress Dowager Dou 竇太后, Empress Dowager Wang 王太后, Empress Wei 衛皇后, Empress Chen 陳皇后, Lady Wang 王夫人, Lady Li 李夫人, Ms Zhao called Lady Gouyi 鉤弋夫人趙氏|
|50.||20 楚元王世家 Prince Yuan of Chu|
|51.||21 荊燕世家 The houses of Jing [Liu Jia 劉賈] and Yan [Liu Ze 劉澤]|
|52.||22 齊悼惠王世家 Prince Daohui of Qi|
|53.||23 蕭相國世家 Prime minister Xiao He 蕭何|
|54.||24 曹相國世家 Prime minister Cao Shen 曹參|
|55.||25 留侯世家 [Zhang Liang 張良] Marquis of Liu|
|56.||26 陳丞相世家 Counsellor-in-chief Chen Ping 陳平|
|57.||27 絳侯周勃世家 Zhou Bo, Marquis of Jiang|
|58.||28 梁孝王世家 Prince Xiao of Liang|
|59.||29 五宗世家 Wuzong The Five Lines [of the five wives of Emperor Jing, i.e. his sons Liu De 劉德 (Prince Xian of Hexian 河間獻王), Liu E 劉閼 (Prince Ai of Linjiang 臨江哀王), Liu Rong 劉榮 (Prince Min of Linjiang 臨江閔王), Liu Yu 劉餘 (Prince Gong of Lu 魯恭王), Liu Fei 劉非 (Prince Yi of Jiangdu 江都易王), Liu Duan 劉端 (Prince Yu of Jiaoxi 膠西于王), Liu Pengzu 劉彭祖 (Prince Jingsu of Zhao 趙敬肅王), Liu Sheng 劉勝 (Prince Jing of Zhongshan 中山靖王), Liu Fa 劉發 (Prince Ding of Changsha 長沙定王), Liu Yue 劉越 (Prince Hui of Guangchuan 廣川惠王), Liu Ji 劉寄 (Prince Kang of Jiaodong 膠東康王), Liu Qing 劉慶 (Prince Gong of Liu'an 六安共王), Liu Cheng 劉乘 (Prince Ai of Qinghe 清河哀王), Liu Shun 劉舜 (Prince Xian of Changshan 常山憲王)]|
|60.||30 三王世家 The houses of the three princes [part of the sons of Emperor Wu, namely Liu Hong 劉閎 (Prince Huai of Qi 齊懷王), Liu Dan 劉旦 (Prince Ci of Yan 燕剌王) and Liu Xu 劉胥 (Prince Li of Guangling 廣陵厲王)]|
|61.-129 Liezhuan 列傳 Biographies and Collective Biographies 1-70|
|61.||1 伯夷列傳 Bo Yi|
|62.||2 管晏列傳 Guan Zhong 管仲 and Yan Ying 晏嬰|
|63.||3 老子韓非列傳 Laozi, [Zhuangzi 莊子, Shen Buhai 申不害,] and Han Fei|
|64.||4 司馬穰苴列傳 Sima Rangju|
|65.||5 孫子吳起列傳 Sunzi and Wu Qi|
|66.||6 伍子胥列傳 Wu Zixu|
|67.||7 仲尼弟子列傳 Zhongni dizi The disciples of Zhongni (Confucius)|
|68.||8 商君列傳 Lord Shang Yang 商鞅|
|69.||9 蘇秦列傳 Su Qin|
|70.||10 張儀列傳 Zhang Yi|
|71.||11 樗里子甘茂列傳 Chulizi, Gan Mao [and Gan Luo 甘羅]|
|72.||12 穰侯列傳 The Marquis of Rang [Wei Ran 魏冉]|
|73.||13 白起王翦列傳 Bai Qi and Wang Jian|
|74.||14 孟子荀卿列傳 Mengzi and Xun Qing (Xunzi 荀子)|
|75.||15 孟嘗君列傳 Lord Mengchang|
|76.||16 平原君虞卿列傳 Lord Pingyuan and Yu Qing|
|77.||17 魏公子列傳 The son of the Duke of Wei [Lord Xinling 信陵君]|
|78.||18 春申君列傳 Lord Chunshen|
|79.||19 范睢蔡澤列傳 Fan Ju and Cai Ze|
|80.||20 樂毅列傳 Yue Yi|
|81.||21 廉頗藺相如列傳 Lian Po and Lin Xiangru|
|82.||22 田單列傳 Tian Dan|
|83.||23 魯仲連鄒陽列傳 Lu Zhonglian and Zou Yang|
|84.||24 屈原賈生列傳 Qu Yuan and Master Jia Yi 賈誼|
|85.||25 呂不韋生列傳 Master Lü Buwei|
|86.||26 刺客列傳 Cike The Assassins [Cao Mo 曹沫, Zhuan Zhu 專諸, Yu Rang 豫讓, Nie Zheng 聶政, and Jing Ke 荊軻]|
|87.||27 李斯列傳 Li Si|
|88.||28 蒙恬列傳 Meng Tian|
|89.||29 張耳陳餘列傳 Zhang Er and Chen Yu|
|90.||30 魏豹彭越列傳 Wei Bao and Peng Yue|
|91.||31 黥布列傳 Qing Bu [i.e. Ying Bu 英布]|
|92.||32 淮陰侯列傳 The Marquis of Huaiyin (Han Xin 韓信)|
|93.||33 韓信盧綰列傳 Xin, King of Han, Lu Wan [and Chen Xi 陳豨]|
|94.||34 田儋列傳 Tian Dan|
|95.||35 樊酈滕灌列傳 Fan Kuai 樊噲, Li Shang 酈商, Teng Ying 滕嬰 (Xiahou Ying 夏侯嬰), and Guan Ying 灌嬰|
|96.||36 張丞相列傳 Chief counsellor Zhang Cang 張蒼|
|97.||37 酈生陸賈列傳 Master Li (Li Yiji 酈食其), Lu Jia [and Zhu Jian 朱建]|
|98.||38 傅靳蒯成列傳 Fu Kuan 傅寬, Jin She 靳歙 and [the Marquis of] Kuaicheng [Zhou Xie 周緤]|
|99.||39 劉敬叔孫通列傳 Liu Jing and Shusun Tong|
|100.||40 季布欒布列傳 Ji Bu and Luan Bu|
|101.||41 袁盎晁錯列傳 Yuan Ang and Chao Cuo|
|102.||42 張釋之馮唐列傳 Zhang Shizhi and Feng Tang|
|103.||43 萬石張叔列傳 Wan Shijun 萬石君, [Wei Wan 衛綰, Zhi Buyi 直不疑, Zhou Wen 周文,] and Zhang Shu|
|104.||44 田叔列傳 Tian Shu|
|105.||45 扁鵲倉公列傳 Pian Que and Master Cang|
|106.||46 吳王濞列傳 Liu Pi 劉濞, Prince of Wu|
|107.||47 魏其武安侯列 [Dou Ying 竇嬰], Marquis of Weiqi, and [Tian Fen 田蚡], Marquis of Wu'an|
|108.||48 韓長孺列傳 Han Changru|
|109.||49 李將軍列傳 General Li Guang 李廣|
|110.||50 匈奴列傳 The Xiongnu [barbarians]|
|111.||51 衛將軍驃騎列傳 Cavalry general Wei Qing 衛青|
|112.||52 平津侯主父列傳 [Gongsun Hong 公孫弘], Marquis of Pingjin, and Zhufu Yan 主父偃|
|113.||53 南越列傳 The Southern Yue [barbarians]|
|114.||54 東越列傳 The Eastern Yue [barbarians]|
|115.||55 朝鮮列傳 Korea|
|116.||56 西南夷列傳 The barbarians in the southwest|
|117.||57 司馬相如列傳 Sima Xiangru|
|118.||58 淮南衡山列傳 The [imperial princes] of Huainan [Liu Chang 劉長] and Hengshan [Liu Ci 劉賜]|
|119.||59 循吏列傳 Xunli The benevolent officials: Sunshu Ao 孫叔敖, Zichan 子產, Gong Yixiu 公儀休, Shi She 石奢, Li Li 李離|
|120.||60 汲鄭列傳 Ji An 汲黯 and Zheng Dangshi 鄭當時|
|121.||61 儒林列傳 Rulin The forest of scholars: Gongsun Hong 公孫弘, Master Shen (Shen Pei 申培), Yuan Gu 轅固, Han Ying 韓嬰, Fu Sheng 伏勝, Dong Zhongshu 董仲舒, Master Humu 胡毋|
|122.||62 酷吏列傳 Kuli Cruel officials: Hou Feng 侯封, Zhi Du 郅都, Ning Cheng 寧成, Zhou Yangyou 周陽由, Zhao Yu 趙禹, Zhang Tang 張湯, Yi Zong 義縱, Wang Wenshu 王溫舒, Yin Qi 尹齊, Yang Pu 楊僕, Jian Xuan 減宣, Du Zhou 杜周|
|123.||63 大宛列傳 The country of Dayuan|
|124.||64 游俠列傳 Youxia Wandering knights: Lu Zhujia 魯朱家, Guo Jie 郭解|
|125.||65 佞幸列傳 Ningxing Flatterers: Ji Ru 籍孺, Hong Ru 閎孺, Deng Tong 鄧通, Zhou Wenren 周文仁, Liu Yan 劉嫣, Li Yannian 李延年|
|126.||66 滑稽列傳 Huaji Humorists: Chunyu Kun 淳于髡, You Meng 優孟, You Zhan 優旃, Dongfang Shuo 東方朔|
|127.||67 日者列傳 Rizhe Soothsayers: Sima Jizhu 司馬季主|
|128.||68 龜策列傳 Guice Diviners|
|129.||69 貨殖列傳 Huozhi Profiteers: Fan Li 范蠡， Zigan 子贛, Bai Gui 白圭, Wushi Guo 烏氏倮, Mr and Ms Zhuo from Shu 蜀卓氏, Cheng Zheng 程鄭, Mr Kong from Wan 宛孔氏, Mr Bing from Lu 魯邴氏, Dao Xian 刀閒, Mr Ren from Xuanqu 宣曲任氏|
|130.||70 太史公自序 Taishigong zixu Postface and autobiography of the Grand Scribe [Sima Qian]|