The lecture discusses the biographies of five assassins in Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji史记). It examines the reasons for the inclusion and exclusion of certain assassins in Shiji, identifying some narrative strategies that are crucial to the Grand Historian’s historiography. In particular, the lecture will address the question regarding Sima Qian’s omission of a famous assassin Yao Li 要離 , whose name and portrait later appeared on the wall of the famous Wuliang Temple, where six rather than five assassins were honored.
Prof. Chi-hsiang Lee is Dean of the College of Humanities and Professor of History at the Fo Guang University in I-lan, Taiwan. He has published widely on ancient Chinese history and thought. His publications include two books on Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian), as well as several monographs titled Time, History, and Narrative: Reconsidering the Tradition of Chinese History (2001), The Development of Confucianism form Late Ming to Early Qing (1988), etc. His current projects examines the relationship between the study of Shiji and world sinology.