The Chinese Sky During the Han: Constellating Stars and Society
Xiaochun Sun, Jacob Kistemaker
BRILL, 1997 - Social Science - 240 pages
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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