What were the expectations of truth and history in China during the transition from the Western Han (206 BC-AD 9) to the Eastern Hart (AD 26-220)? Although Han (206 BC-AD 220) historiography has recently attracted increased scholarly attention, little interest has been given to the theoretical views held by historians who occupied the intellectual milieu during and immediately after the Wang Mang (45 BC-AD 23) usurpation of the Western Han court. During this period, historiographical traditions were being codified into what became Standard Histories produced during each subsequent dynasty. In a rather informal approach to this lacuna, the following consideration consists of several reflections on the historiographical sensibilities of two Han historians, Ban Biao (AD 3-54) and his son, Ban Gu (AD 32-92). As my translation of Ban Biao's "Essay on Historography" demonstrates, one possible conclusion is that ancient Chinese history had a profoundly human element: It was centered less upon the precise details of human actions and more upon upon the greater truths--influenced by Confucian ideals of right and wrong--of human lives. History or Hermeneutic?