Whereas Sima's had been a universal history from the beginning of time down to the time of writing, his successor Ban Gu wrote an annals-biography history limiting its coverage to only the Western Han dynasty, the Book of Han (96 CE).
The Roman statesman Cato the Elder produced the first history in Latin, the Origines, in the 2nd century BC.
His near contemporaries Sima Tan and Sima Qian in the Han Empire of China established Chinese historiography with the compiling of the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian).
The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians have studied that topic using particular sources, techniques, and theoretical approaches.
Scholars discuss historiography by topic—such as the historiography of the United Kingdom, that of WWII, the British Empire, early Islam, and China—and different approaches and genres, such as political history and social history.