Published: 2023-01-10
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Leadership analysis Economics Religion World
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1222 words
11 min read

In history, Herodotus and Sima Qian are two of the great authors who have documented quite expansive events that have transpired in the Eurasian continent. In this case, Herodotus documented on the historical happenings related to Greece and Persia while Sima Qian documented on the past incidents concerning the Chinese empire. It can be observed that the two classical historians existed in different states and yet wrote content on human history that is focused on mostly similar themes. Such took place in total disregard of the fact that they rooted in different geographical, historical, cultural, or even socio-economic backgrounds. Both Herodotus and Sima Qian are believed to be the first great historians to have existed. They wrote various aspect touching on human character, leadership, and historical events. Herodotus can be identified as a historian who majored on the classical Greece events of a region of 450 BCE, while Sima Qian majored on the Imperial Chinese historical events of 109 CE (Mittag, Achim, and FRITZHEINER MUTSCHLER, 28). It can also be seen that Herodotus documented on the histories regarding Persia, the Greco Roma Persian wars, as well as the alliances of the Greek city-states and their Achaemenid dynasty. Both of the historical authors present divine power in history regarding the ways they do things as a result of many reasons. They are well brought out in the subsequent paragraphs.

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First, they were able to put down in writing the historical occurrences which took place a long time ago. They did so in a manner which suggests unison spirit even though they came from entirely different backgrounds with different sets of the norms and standardized modes of doing things. In this way, Herodotus who hailed from Greece was able to document the historical happenings which transported in 450 BCE, a really long period ago, the content which has survived to date and has earned excellent appraisal from whoever comes across his historical records. He recorded on the Persian was the human spirits in different aspects, alongside presenting the seemingly predictable future in which the humans are likely to project their actions concerning the past and present recording of events. On the other hand, Sima Qian who hailed from the more significant part of China also documented the historical events stretching thousands of years. They include the leaderships and rulings of the Chinese empire kings, the wars which took place amongst the different societies, as well as the enduring human spirit in history to incept the right forms of living. Their documentation is to a greater extent commemorative of the ancient events which can be seen to be taking shape in the present lives of humans across the world, acting as educational as well as paving the way for the need to embrace the past events in order to shape the future ones rightly.

Additionally, Herodotus and Sima Qian present the role of divine power in the way they presented their cultural histories in different contexts. In this case, their actions were motivated by their geographical subscriptions which then resulted in different cultural contexts which they, coincidentally, wrote about, even though they never had to consult one another in their proceedings. They were then able to transmit their historical, cultural recordings down through generations, rooting form different contexts, alongside with the resultant human actions in such contextualized cultural orientations. They were able to emphasize various themes in unique ways (Torstendahl, Rolf, 36). However, they also had to emphasize on common themes quite vehemently such that one could imagine their exchange of the topics to put down on their historical books. It emerges that both Herodotus and Sima Qian put more emphasis on the need to honor the identity of the people, based on the cultural dictates of harmonious coexistence along centuries. However, they also presented the fact that the characters had different reactions based on their loss of honor as expected from their societies, the practice which they had been experiencing in their respective cultural backgrounds. It can, therefore, be seen that the two authors managed to present similar themes in their historical writings in disregard of their fact of rooting from different regions, a semblance which bears divinity in itself. The different reactions to the loss of honor can be seen in the historical texts of both the authors. For the case of Herodotus, there existed a character known as Aristodemus who was a Grecian soldier (Stuurman, Siep, 48). In this case, he reacted by lacking courage on the sight of people having received reproach as well as a disgrace when he had run away from a battle of Thermopylae. However, he had to work harder and reclaim hos original peaceful state by taking part in the battle of Plataea. He aimed at wiping away a real shame. On the other hand, Sima Qian documented an almost similar incident in history, related to the honor of a person. In this regard, there existed characters referred to as Liu Hui and Fan Yuqi who committed suicide having being dishonored (Burbank, Jane, and Frederick Cooper, 42). In the same vein, Sima Qian was expected to commit suicide having being imprisoned on the grounds of insubordination. Thus, the two authors present their divinity nature in the way they bring out topics touching on the cultural orientations of the people they interact with.

There is also an aspect of similarity in the way the authors behaved while composing their historical work presented in the books. It happened coincidentally which thus brings about a semblance of divinity in their actions. It can be observed that both authors were able to travel extensively during their times. It is from such actions that they were able to learn more from the outside worlds and hence base their histories n varied topics in the historical happenings. It led to both of the authors citing various dialogues in their texts, varied quotations, as well as the references of collective human knowledge. Such information was obtained from diverse sources resulting from extensive travels that they exhibited. It can also be observed that the two authors could acknowledge the superior effect of having to excerpt some sources directly from their original locations. The examples of some direct excerption of sources are the Spartans at the Thermopylae, or even the letter of Emperor Wen addressed to the chief of the area referred to as Xiongnu. Both authors, in their courses of traveling, meet J.G.A Pocock's historical requirement in history of addressing the past which has been vigorously contested for, in their records of historical happenings (Nienhauser, William. "Sima Qian and the Shiji, 26).

In conclusion, it can be seen that the historians, Herodotus, and Sima Qian, through their various actions and ways of doing things as exposed above, manage to present the role of divine power in history.

Works cited

Top of Form

Burbank, Jane, and Frederick Cooper. Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2010. Print.

Mittag, Achim, and FRITZHEINER MUTSCHLER. "Empire and humankind: Historical universalism in ancient China and Rome." Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37.4 (2010): 527-555.

Nienhauser, William. "Sima Qian and the Shiji." The Oxford History of Historical Writing: Volume 1: Beginnings to AD 600(2011): 463.

Stuurman, Siep. "Common humanity and cultural difference on the sedentary-nomadic frontier: Herodotus, Sima Qian, and Ibn Khaldun." Global intellectual history (2013).Bottom of Form

Torstendahl, Rolf. The rise and propagation of true professionalism. Routledge, 2014.

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