Hello all. My name is Sima Dave, descendant and/or reincarnation of the Han Dynasty historian, Sima Qian. Sima Qian's priceless work documenting two thousand years of Chinese history until his own day in the mid-second century BC is our main source of information on East Asian civilization during this time, and because of which he is deserving of his title as The Grand Historian. It is my duty to make my ancestor and/or incarnate proud by living up to his legacy, and possibly even show him up by composing even better histories! Take that, you old geezer! I think I have a few advantages in my possession in order to take his "Grand" throne:
- First of all, Sima Qian had no choice but to write his histories on scrolls and scrolls of bamboo, which is rather unwieldy and doesn't travel well in large quantities. I, on the other hand have this thing called the interweb, and my histories can reach nearly every home between Beijing and Guangzhou in a matter of seconds! (Alas, just like in Sima Qian's day, the ability of my words actually reaching people in those areas depends on the cooperation, or lack thereof, of the Chinese government.) Also, Sima Qian's actual handbrushed histories have never been found, and all we have are reproductions from later dynasties. My histories will forever be archived until the end of time, right next to other nuggets of knowledge such as a directory of attractive women in television commercials, this study about a British gentleman who talks in his sleep, and a listing of every confounded thing William Shatner was ever in! Long live the interweb!
- Secondly, Sima Qian's histories focus solely on China. That's no fun! I bet you countless times people have read through his works and exclaimed, "That's nice and all, but I wonder what those French people were up to." I will broaden my horizons and attempt to cover fascinating moments in history from most every culture under the sun. Except for Polynesians...they really haven't done anything exciting ever...
- Thirdly, Sima Qian ended up in this thing called the Li Ling affair, where he defended a general who was condemned by the Emperor after losing a battle. The punishment for Sima Qian's brash behavior was three years of prison, plus castration. Ouch! I can ensure you folks at home that I am still properly equipped, and thus can provide much more manliness in my histories, which can only be a good thing.
- Finally, Sima Dave just rolls off the tongue better than Sima Qian. Just admit it, you don’t even know how to pronounce “Qian.” Heck, neither do I! I think one of those letters is silent…or there’s a ch sound in there somewhere…
So I hope you enjoy my histories more those from than some guy who lived Before Crullers (which is what BC stands for), and help me achieve my goal to become the one and only Grand Historian! Until then, I suppose I will have to live with my current title, which is none too flattering. It sounds as though I should be 3 for $1 at your local Shop Rite!
As stated above, I will be giving my account of great flashes in time from places all over the world! I have my own detailed list of important events in history that I plan to cover, but if you commoners have suggestions of items you would like me to discuss, I certainly would be open to that. You can post your comments on the blog, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you really want to grab my attention, donate to my coin purse with your suggestion using the wonderful Paypal button. Yet another advantage I have over the so-called Grand Historian! I certainly appreciate all donations, since they will be used to fund my secondary teaching certification so I can pass on my knowledge of the past to impressionable youngsters who can one day do my bidding...I mean...become successful museum curators and lawyers and such.
Anyway, happy history, folks! And remember, those who do not study the past are doomed! Or something like that.