Sima Qian


Sima Qian (c. 145-90 BCE), speaking as Master Li (flourished 3rd century BCE)

“To a king the people are ‘heaven,’ and to the people food is ‘heaven.'”

  • From a speech delivered by Master Li in the Records of the Grand Historian (Shi Ji, 97) by Sima Qian. Translated by Burton Watson (Columbia University Press, 1993).

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