The Foundations of Celestial Reckoning: Three Ancient Chinese Astronomical Systems

The Foundations of Celestial Reckoning: Three Ancient Chinese Astronomical Systems

by Christopher Cullen

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781317327196
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 12/01/2016
Series: Scientific Writings from the Ancient and Medieval World
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 434
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Christopher Cullen is Emeritus Director of the Needham Research Institute, Emeritus Fellow of Darwin College, and Emeritus Honorary Professor of the University of Cambridge. He is editor of the Needham Research Institute Series (Routledge).

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. General Introduction

A. The world of early imperial China

B. What was a li 曆, and what did it do?

C. How did a li work?

D. Dates

E. How was a li calculated?

F. How were the data of a li determined?

G. A note on translating computational procedures

H. Arrangement of the text

I. Works consulted


Chapter 2. The Triple Concordance astronomical system: San tong li 三統曆

I. Introduction

A. An astronomical system and its creator

B. Structure of the system

C. Organisation of the text

D. Text used

II. Text, translation and comments

A. Concordance constants

B. Sequence Constants

C. The Five Pacers

D. Concordance Workings

E. Sequence Workings

F. Year Workings

G. [The Twelve Stations]

H. The 28 Lodges

I. [The Nine Roads]

J. [Concordances and Rule Heads]

K. APPENDIX 1: Intercalations in theory and practice


Chapter 3. The Han Quarter Remainder system: Han si fen li 漢四分曆

I. Introduction

A. The system and its background

B. Authorship of the text

C. Structure of the system

D. Organisation of the text

E. Methods of calculation

F. Text used

II. Text, translation and comments

A. Methods for [astronomical] systems

B. Basic solar and lunar constants

C. [Lunar eclipse constants]

D. Procedures for sun and moon

E. Planetary constants

F. Planetary Procedures

G. Planetary Motions

H. [Months, qi and lodges]

I. [The solar table]

J. The system origin

K. Discussion


Chapter 4. The Uranic Manifestation astronomical system: Qian xiang li乾象曆

I. Introduction

A. Liu Hong and his work

B. The historical background of Liu Hong’s work

C. The structure of the system

D. Organisation of the text

E. The question of ‘months’ and the finding of true lunar motion

F. Text used

II. Text, translation and comments

A. [System Origin]

B. [Basic solar and lunar constants]

C. [Predicting times of lunar and solar events]

D. [Predicting positions of sun and moon]

E. [Lunar eclipses]

F. [Predicting hexagrams and phases in effect]

G. [Finding times of day of events]

H. Advance and retardation

I. [Retardation and acceleration of lunar motion]

J. [Lunar speed sequence]

K. [Lunar speed constants]

L. [Calculating true lunar motion]

M. [Lunar latitude]

N. [Constants for lunar latitude]

O. [Calculating lunar latitude]

P. [Epoch; repeated]

Q. Predictions for the Five Stars [sc. planets]

R. [Constants for the Five Planets]

S. Predictions for the Five Planets

T. [Planetary Phases]

U. [Planetary Motions]


Chapter 5. Han discussions of astronomical systems and their development: two texts

I. Introduction

II. Ban Gu 班固 on li c. 90 CE

A. [Astronomical systems from High Antiquity to Qin]

B. [The Grand Inception reform]

C. [Zhang Shouwang]

D. [Liu Xiang and Liu Xin]

III. The Documentary Collection of Cai Yong 蔡邕 and Liu Hong 劉洪, 178 CE

A. [Materials presented]

B. [Failure of the Grand Inception system in early Eastern Han; proposals for revision deferred.]

C. [Observed errors in lunar eclipse predictions in 62 - 69 CE lead to experiments in partial use of Quarter Remainder methods.]

D. [The fruitless discussions of 66 CE; increased divergence of prediction from observation; Zhangdi’s commission of 85 CE to Bian Xin and Li Fan.]

E. [The edict of March 18th 85 CE reviews the imperative need for revision, and commands use of the Quarter Remainder system.]

F. [Bian Xin and Deng Fan propose use of an initial long month; Jia Kui successfully controverts this.]

G. [The memorial of Jia Kui, 92 CE]

H. [103 CE: The edict to construct Jia Kui’s instrument; failure of officials to use it.]

I. [Jia Kui on the varying speed of lunar motion]

J. [Editorial note on two late Eastern Han attempts to reconstruct a ‘Nine Roads’ procedure for the moon]

K. [Seasonal changes in clepsydra graduations]

L. [Eastern Han disputes on system origin: introduction.]

M. [Lunar eclipses: Eastern Han discussions.]




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