Sima Qian

Sima Qian (145-90 BCE)

“When a thing has reached its height it must begin to decay, and when an age has gone to one extreme it must turn again in the opposite direction; therefore we find periods of rude simplicity and periods of refinement alternating with each other endlessly.”

  • Records of the Grand Historian (Shi Ji 130) by Sima Qian. Translated by Burton Watson (Columbia University Press, 1993).

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