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Astronomy and Mathematics in Ancient China

Astronomy and Mathematics in Ancient China
The 'Zhou Bi Suan Jing'


Part of Needham Research Institute Studies

  • Date Published: January 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521035378

£ 44.99

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About the Authors
  • This translation of an ancient Chinese book on astronomy (which is believed to date back to the first century AD) provides the non-specialist with a lucid account of how Chinese astronomers did their work in ancient times. The book also shows how the Chinese imperial government made use of and supported the work of astronomers, and explores the links between astronomy and politics. It will be of equal interest to historians of science and those studying the history of Chinese culture.

    • First study of ancient Chinese mathematical astronomy accessible to the non-specialist
    • Fully annotated and lucid translation of an important Chinese astronomical text
    • Shows the close interplay between politics and scientific activity in ancient China
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… Cullen provides a lucid and highly readable survey of the development of Chinese cosmography … All this and more is set forth in a jargon-free style accessible to the general reader while at the same time satisfying the demands of the specialist for comprehensive and informative references and Chinese characters.' The Journal of Asian Studies

    'The pathway for the reader is more than just academically interesting … he will find himself led through fascinating territory.' Irish Astronomical Journal

    'Christopher Cullen's book will help immensely in enlarging our view of cultural production during the Han … [it] is a challenging and thoughtful inquiry for any reader of ancient Chinese texts.' Andrea Eberhard, Centaurus

    '… the first easily accessible introduction to the developing mathematical and observational practices of ancient Chinese astronomers … of equal interest to historians of science and those studying the history of Chinese culture.' Europe & Astronomy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521035378
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 187 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.469kg
    • contains: 28 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The background of the Zhou bi
    2. The Zhou bi and its contents
    3. The origins of the work
    4. The later history of the Zhou bi
    Zhou bi suan jing: translation
    References and bibliography

  • Author

    Christopher Cullen, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

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