The Chinese Sky during the Han: Constellating Stars and Society

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...

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2014 Hardback NEAR FINE Hardback, xiv, 254 pp. richly illustratedThis listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the ... publisher. Print on Demand title, produced to the highest standard, and there would be a delay in dispatch of around 15 working days. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

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

  • ISBN-13: 9789004107373
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/1997
  • 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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Table of Contents

Preface
Foreword
Acknowledgements
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Illustrations
Chronology of Chinese History
1 Introduction 1
2 Brief History of Chinese Constellations 15
3 Constellations of Shi Shi 37
4 Development by Gan Shi and Wuxian Shi 75
5 Philosophy of the Chinese Sky 95
6 Main Structures in the Sky and their Meanings 113
App. I The Constellations of Shi Shi 147
App. II The Constellations of Gan Shi 163
App. III The Constellations of Wuxian Shi 187
Bibliography 193
Index of Star Names 217
General Index 223
The Reconstructed Han Sky (epoch: 100 B.C.) 241
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