In ancient times, Chinese intellectuals believed that History contained all the necessary moral examples to guide society. Thinkers should seek, in the past, the answers to the political, strategic and cultural challenges. History was therefore the path to moral redemption. However, in the 3rd century BC, the thinker Hanfeizi – who sought to promote the political theory of the Legalist school – proposed that without abolishing altogether the past, it would be impossible to build a new society. This article seeks to understand Hanfeizi’s proposal of abolishing the past and reinventing history – and the consequences that it had for Chinese society and historiography.