Book Review of Thomas R. Herodotus and Sima Qian:
He also states that the Persians have adopted Median attire 1. Herodotus does not provide a direct genealogical line leading from this dim and distant era into the historically clearer past. According to Herodotus it was not until the appearance of Cyrus the Great that the Persians acquired a visible profile and emerged from the shadows of history.
They thus came forth as actors in some of the monumental events in the history of Asia, involving several opposing and alternating imperial power factions, which were finally to merge within the imperium of Cyrus and his successors.
For these events the separation between an upper and a Herodotus and sima qian Asia, divided by the Halys River, plays an important part in the Histories. These territories had been occupied by Lydians and Assyrians in the past; with the decline of the Assyrians, the dominion was divided across upper Asia, with the Medes acting as the decisive force.
A territory of the Babylonians remains shadowy Bichler, b, pp. Herodotus presents Persian history as primarily the history of the Persian kings from Cyrus to Xerxes with some glimpses also of the time of Artaxerxes I Bichler, b, pp.
In the Histories we catch a glimpse of a Greek tradition of myths, in the presentation of which Herdodotus must have played an essential part.
Just as Hesiod F 35; R. Cepheus was presented as the father of Andromeda and father-in-law of Perseus. From the marriage of the latter, Perseus, the progenitor of the Persians, was said to have been born; and he was brought up by his maternal grandfather.
The nomoi of the Persians are treated in a minor logos Histories 1. They deny anthropomorphism, and they pay homage to the elements—sun, moon, earth, fire, water, and wind.
Later also Aphrodite Urania received sacrifices, a practice which could have been adopted from the Assyrians and Arabs. Herodotus says the Persians call this female goddess Mitra 1. He stresses the differences from Greek religious behavior, with the Persians exhibiting a natural and primeval form of religion.
The alleged denial of anthropomorphism has been questioned Jacobs, ; see also Schnapp, The sacrifices are in every respect opposite to Greek customs: He prays, not only for himself, but for all Persians and the king.
The Magus sings a theogony. Thereafter the sacrificer takes the flesh with him and does as he likes with it 1.
The Persians wait for the rising sun. Birthdays are celebrated with a special meal; on such occasions the richer people eat cow, horse, camel, and donkey meat. Again the difference in comparison with Greek customs is underlined.
Wine they like very much.
To vomit or to urinate in the presence of others is prohibited. They are used to negotiating while in a drunken condition, but the decision is confirmed when they are sober, and vice versa 1.
They also explain that in Persia no one becomes more than eighty years old. When two individuals meet, the greeting formula expresses their equal or inequal status. Herodotus underscores the differences in status among the Persians in various parts of his work.
The Persians are very willingly to adopt foreign customs. They eagerly adopt all enjoy-ments and pleasures they get acquainted with.
From the Greeks they learned paidophilia 1. While they regard fighting well in battle as the highest manly virtue, next to that, it is highy esteemed to have many children. Every year the king rewards the man who has the most children with a gift. The younger boys have no contact with their fathers; they grow up with their mothers 1.
With the topic of legitimate polygamy Herodotus touches upon an allegedly characteristic aspect of Persian life; it is ubiquitous in the Histories and has a vivid Wirkungsgeschichte Sancisi-Weerdenburg, ; Briant, ; Brosius, This is also true for the motif of the castration of young boys cf.
Concerning the historical background of the eunuchs, cf. Grayson, versus Deller, See further Briant,pp. The king is not allowed to have a Persian executed, and no Persian is allowed to do harm to his subjects. Each criminal case has to be checked accurately; and then punishment may be carried out only if the merits of a subject are considered to be less than his offences.In this accessible volume, Thomas Martin compares the writings of Herodotus in ancient Greece with those of Sima Qian in ancient China to demonstrate the hallmarks of early history writing.
Herodotus and Sima Qian has 23 ratings and 2 reviews. Ed said: The discipline or practice of writing history has a long, involved, and at times contr /5. HISTORY OF HISTORIANS Herodotus is the first writer to make a conscious attempt to discover and explain past events.
He is rightly known as the 'father of history'. Sima Qian and Chinese history: from the 2nd c. BC: The most ambitious undertaking of ancient history is achieved by a Chinese historian of the 2nd century BC, Sima Qian.
Aug 21, · Herodotus was born in about B.C. in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, a lively commercial center on the southwestern coast of Asia Minor. He came from a . Compare and contrast Herodotus' Scythian narrative, Sima Qian's Account of the Xiongnu, and Tacitus' Germania. How do Herodotus, Sima Qian, and Tacitus portray "others" or outsiders?
Do they emphasize particular features of "others" life, and if so why? Sima Qian (c. B.C.E.) was China's first historian—he was known as Grand Astrologer at the court of Emperor Wu during the Han dynasty—and, along with Confucius and the First Emperor of Qin, was one of the creators of imperial China.