- Sima Guang
Sīmǎ Guāng (Zh-cw|c=司馬光/司马光|w=Ssu-ma Kuang, 1019-1086) was a Chinese historian, scholar, and high chancellor of the
Life, profession, and works
He was born in 1019 in present-day Yuncheng, Shanxi to a wealthy family, and obtained early success as a scholar and officer. When he was barely twenty, he passed the
Imperial examinationwith the highest rank of "jìnshì" (進士 "metropolitan graduate"), and spent the next several years in official positions.
In 1064, Sima presented to
Emperor Yingzong of Songa book of five volumes (), the "Liniantu" (歷年圖 "Chart of Successive Years"). It chronologically summarized events in Chinese historyfrom 403 BCE to 959 CE, and was something like a prospectus for sponsorship of his ambitious project in historiography. These dates were chosen because 403 BCE was the beginning of the Warring Statesperiod, when the ancient State of Jinwas subdivided, which eventually led to the establishment of the Qin Dynasty; and because 959 CE was the end of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Periodand the beginning of the Song Dynasty.
In 1066, he presented a more detailed 8-volume "Tongzhi" (通志; "Comprehensive Records"), which chronicled Chinese history from 403 BCE to 207 BCE (the end of the Qin Dynasty). The emperor issued an edict for compiling a groundbreaking
universal historyof China, granting full access to the imperial libraries, and allocating funds for all the costs of compilation, including research assistance by experienced historians such as Liu Ban (劉攽, 1022-88), Liu Shu (劉恕, 1032-78), and Fan Zuyu (范祖禹, 1041-98). After Yingzong died in 1067, Sima was invited to the palace to introduce his work in progress to Emperor Shenzong of Song. The new emperor not only confirmed the interest his father had shown, but proclaimed his favor by changing the title from "Tongzhi" ("Comprehensive Records") to the honorific " Zizhi Tongjian" ("Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government"). Scholars interpret this titular "Mirror" to mean a work of reference and guidance; indicating that Shenzong accepted Sima as his mentor in the science of history and its application to government. The emperor maintained his support for compiling this comprehensive history for decades until it was completed in 1084.
Such loyalty is notable, especially since Sima was a leader of the conservative faction at court, resolutely opposed to the reformist policies of Chancellor
Wang Anshi. Sima presented increasingly critical memorials to the throne until 1070, when he refused further appointment and withdrew from court. In 1071, he took up residence in Luoyang, where he remained with an official sinecure, providing sufficient time and resources to continue compilation. Indeed, though the historian and the emperor continued to disagree on policies, Sima's enforced retirement proved essential for him to fully complete his chronological history.
Sima Guang was also a
lexicographer(who perhaps edited the " Jiyun"), and spent decades compiling his 1066 "Leipian" (類篇; "Classified Chapters", cf. the Yupian) dictionary. It was based on the Shuowen Jiezi, and included 31,319 Chinese characters, many of which were coined in the Song and Tang Dynasty.
Sima Guang is best remembered for his "Zizhi Tongjian" masterwork, and
Rafe de Crespignydescribes him as "perhaps the greatest of all Chinese historians" Harvcol|de Crespigny|1973|p=65.
There is a folktale that Sima Guang broke a great ceramic container where a boy was drowning. It is called SIMA GUANG DA PO GANG, which could simply be a play on his name for rhyming.
Chancellor of China
History of the Song Dynasty
*Ji xiao-bin. (2005). "Politics and Conservatism in Northern Song China: The Career and Thought of Sima Guang (1019-1086)". Hong Kong: Chinese University Press. ISBN 962-996-183-0
*Pulleyblank, Edwin G. (1961). "Chinese Historical Criticism: Liu Chih-chi and Ssu-ma Kuang," in "Historians of China and Japan", William G. Beasley and Edwin G. Pulleyblank, eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 135-66.
* [http://www.anu.edu.au/asianstudies/decrespigny/HuanLing_index.html Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling] , "Zizhi Tongjian" Chapters 54-59 (157-189 BCE), translated and annotated by Rafe de Crespigny
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Sima Guang — Sīmǎ Guāng Sīmǎ Guāng tel que représenté dans le Wan hsiao tang Chu chuang Hua chuan（晩笑堂竹荘畫傳), publié en 1921 Sīmǎ Guāng (1019 1086) (chinois : 司馬光/司马光 ; Wade Giles : Ssu ma Kuang) était un historien et érudit chinois ainsi qu un… … Wikipédia en Français
Sīmǎ Guāng — tel que représenté dans le Wan hsiao tang Chu chuang Hua chuan（晩笑堂竹荘畫傳), publié en 1921 Sīmǎ Guāng (1019 1086) (chinois : 司馬光/司马光 ; Wade Giles : Ssu ma Kuang) était un historien et érudit chinois ainsi qu un homme d État de la… … Wikipédia en Français
SIMA GUANG — [SSEU MA KOUANG] (1019 1086) Un des grands lettrés de l’époque Song, historien et homme politique, contemporain de Wang Anshi, dont il fut un des ardents adversaires. Sima Guang a déjà une longue carrière administrative derrière lui quand son… … Encyclopédie Universelle
Sima Guang — Sima Guang, Ssu ma Kuang, chinesischer Staatsmann und Historiograph, * Xia (Provinz Henan) 1019, ✝ 1086; streng konfuzianisch gesinnter hoher Beamter und in der einflussreichen Position als Zensor Hauptgegner des Wang Anshi und seiner Reformen; … Universal-Lexikon
Sima Guang — Familienname: Sīmǎ (司馬) Rufname: Gu … Deutsch Wikipedia
Sima Guang — ▪ Chinese scholar Wade Giles romanization Ssu ma Kuang born Nov. 17, 1019, Guangzhou [now Guangshan, Henan province], China died 1086, Kaifeng, Henan scholar, statesman, and poet who compiled the monumental Zizhi tongjian (“Comprehensive … Universalium
Sima Shi — (chinesisch 司馬師), Großjährigkeitsname Ziyuan (chinesisch 子元; * um 208; † 255), war ein Beamter der Wei Dynastie zur Zeit der Drei Reiche im alten China. Im Jahre 249 stürzte er mit seinem Vater Sima Yi den Regenten des Wei Kaisers Cao… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Sima Zhao — (sitzend). Illustration einer Qing Ausgabe der Geschichte der Drei Reiche. Sima Zhao (chinesisch 司馬昭; * 211; † 265), Großjährigkeitsname Zishang (chinesisch 子上), war der Sohn von Sima Yi, dem Oberbefehlsh … Deutsch Wikipedia
Sima Shi — Naissance 208 (approximatif) décès 255 Xuchang(許昌) Noms Chinois simplifié 司马师 Chinois traditionnel 司馬師 … Wikipédia en Français
Sima Qian — (ca. 145 ndash;86 BC) was a Prefect of the Grand Scribes (太史令) of the Han Dynasty. He is regarded as the father of Chinese historiography because of his highly praised work, Records of the Grand Historian (史記), an overview of the history of China … Wikipedia