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China

  • John M. Steele
Part of the Archimedes book series (ARIM, volume 4)

Abstract

China has the longest astronomical heritage of any country of the world. Systematic astronomical records began to be kept in the eighth century BC and continue more or less uninterrupted up to the present day. Whilst astronomy in Babylon, the only other great civilization in the ancient world from which a vast array of astronomical records is preserved, had more or less ceased by the first century AD, the traditional astronomy of China that had developed by the Han dynasty (c. 200 BC), continued up until the start of the present century. That is not to say, however, that astronomy in China was not influenced at times by other cultures. For example, during the Yuan dynasty, many Islamic astronomers were invited to the Chinese capital, and an Islamic Observatory was set up.1 More significantly, when the Jesuits came to China in the seventeenth century AD they brought with them western astronomical knowledge with which they helped to reform the Chinese calendar.2 However, throughout all of this, Chinese astronomy retained a character all of its own. Furthermore, it was to be at the root of all of the astronomy which was to develop in the two other great ancient and medieval cultures of East Asia, Japan and Korea.

Keywords

Solar Eclipse Ming Dynasty Chinese History Lunar Eclipse Small Mark 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Steele
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DurhamUK

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