Cai Ze (recorded by Sima Qian)

Cai Ze (c. 3rd century BCE)

“‘The sun at its height moves on, the moon when it’s full starts to wane. Things when they flourish must decay.’ This is the constant rule of Heaven and Earth.”

  • From the Records of the Grand Historian (Shi Ji 79) by Sima Qian (c. 145-90 BCE). Sima Qian attributed this quote to Cai Ze, a minister in the ancient kingdom of Qin. The translation used here is by Burton Watson (Columbia University Press, 1993).

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