Visual Timeline: Sima Qian
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145 BCE - 86 CE: Life of Sima Qian, Grand Astrologer at the court of Emperor Wu of Han and author of China's first comprehensive work on historiography.
141 BCE - 87 BCE: Reign of Emperor Wu (Wu the Great), the most effective and influential of the Han monarchs.
126 BCE: Sima Qian tours China, interviews elders on historic events.
122 BCE: Sima Qian is attendant to WEmperor Wu Ti of the Han Dynasty, travels the country.
110 BCE: Sima Qian's father, Sima Tan, dies and asks him to complete his vision for the Records of the Grand Historian.
107 BCE: Sima Qian appointed to his father's position as Grand Historian and Court Astrologer.
99 BCE: Sima Qian falls from grace with Emperor Wu Ti and is sentenced to three years in prison and castration.
94 BCE: Sima Qian completes his masterpiece Records of the Grand Historian, a history of China from the earliest period to the Han Dynasty.
74 BCE - 48 BCE: Reign of the Han Emperor Xuan during which Sima Qian's grandson Yang Yun publishes the Records of the Grand Historian for the first time.