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The Chinese Sky during the Han: Constellating Stars and Society
     

The Chinese Sky during the Han: Constellating Stars and Society

by Xiaochun Sun, J. Kistemaker
 

A reconstruction of the Chinese sky of two thousand years ago, based on analysis of the first star catalogue in China and other sources. Presented in six well-sized star maps for 100 BC, it is especially important for the history of astronomy. The Han sky, with five times more constellations than Ptolemy knew, reflects diverse human activities. The way in which

Overview

A reconstruction of the Chinese sky of two thousand years ago, based on analysis of the first star catalogue in China and other sources. Presented in six well-sized star maps for 100 BC, it is especially important for the history of astronomy. The Han sky, with five times more constellations than Ptolemy knew, reflects diverse human activities. The way in which constellations were grouped discloses a systematic cosmology, uniting universe and the state.
The work of the three Han schools is comparable to Ptolemy's Almagest. With three detailed Appendices on the constellations of the three schools, well illustrated to demonstrate the relation between sky and human society, this book is valuable not only for astronomy historians and sinologists, but in general for scholars interested in the ancient cultures of Asia.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'...excellent book, which provides one of the best accounts of early Chinese work on the sky in any Western language…'
Cheng-Yih (Joseph) Chen, ISIS, 2000.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789004107373
Publisher:
Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
02/01/1997
Series:
Sinica Leidensia Series , #38
Pages:
254
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Sun Xiaochun, Ph.D. (1993) in History of Science, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), Beijing, is Associate Professor of History of Chinese Astronomy at the CAS-Institute for the History of Natural Sciences in Beijing.
Jacob Kistemaker, Ph.D. (1945) in Physics, University of Leiden, was Professor of Physics at the Leiden University, founder and director of the FOM-Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam and curator of the Teyler Museum in Haarlem during 30 years. He is a member of the Academies of Science in Amsterdam, Brussels and Moscow.

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