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Sima Qian (c. 145/135 BCE – 86 BCE) was a Chinese historian. He authored the Record of the Grand Historian, an influential historical account covering more than two thousand years of Chinese history from the time of the legendary progenitor, the Yellow Emperor in 2696 BCE, to his own time.[1]

Seeking to rise above the norms of mere documentation, he strove to uncover patterns in the development of human culture and societies, and his historiography was especially objective and well-sourced for its time.[1]

In 1511 or 1512, the Assassin Mentor Ezio Auditore da Firenze purchased a copy of this book from a book shop in Constantinople for the Galata headquarters' library.[2]

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