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Heavenly Numbers – Astronomy and Authority in Early Imperial China - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Heavenly Numbers: Astronomy and Authority in Early Imperial China

Christopher Cullen


This book is a history of the development of mathematical astronomy in China, from the late third century BCE, to the early third century CE—a period often referred to as ‘early imperial China’. It narrates the changes in ways of understanding the movements of the heavens and the heavenly bodies that took place during those four and a half centuries, and tells the stories of the institutions and individuals involved in those changes. It gives clear explanations of technical practice in observation, instrumentation and calculation, and the steady accumulation of data over many years—but it cent ... More

Keywords: astronomy, history of astronomy, China, history of China, history of science

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198733119
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198733119.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christopher Cullen, author
Emeritus Director, Needham Research Institute, Cambridge