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The comprehensive sum of the author's deep research over three decades, the book offers a magisterial cultural history of what the astral order meant to the ancient Chinese, how they explored it, and how they interpreted it in political and religious terms.
With his broad comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives, authoritative command of the ancient sources, and bold and imaginative interpretations, Pankenier has given us a true intellectual thrill, and one of far-reaching consequences for an entire range of fields both within and beyond the study of China.’ Martin Kern - Princeton University, New Jersey ‘Using an enormous wealth of archaeological discoveries, inscriptions, linguistic evidence, religious rites and historical sources, the author has succeeded in recovering ancient Chinese astronomical concepts and practices of paramount importance for our understanding of the formation of the Chinese civilization. ’ Göran Malmqvist - Professor Emeritus, Stockholm University, and Member, Swedish Academy ‘A tremendously exciting book that powerfully demonstrates the extraordinary importance of astronomy in early China.
David Pankenier argues that significant aspects of early Chinese civilization - including highly influential notions such as the Mandate of Heaven - were based upon astronomical views.
For many years his research has focused on texts and artifacts connected with ancient Chinese astronomy, yielding outstanding achievements and many profound insights …
From Pankenier's book the reader can acquire a full appreciation of the special characteristics of ancient Chinese ways of thinking.
He ingeniously combines in-depth analysis, discussion, and interpretation of ancient astronomy, in particular the nature and significance of astrology, to explore and integrate intellectual history and astronomy with political and military history, research from which scholars of many disciplines will derive benefit.’ Li Xueqin - Director, Institute of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, and Director, Institute of Sinology, Tsinghua University To send content to your Kindle, first ensure [email protected] added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account.
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The ancient Chinese were profoundly influenced by the Sun, Moon and stars, making persistent efforts to mirror astral phenomena in shaping their civilization. Pankenier introduces readers to a seriously understudied field, illustrating how astronomy shaped the culture of China from the very beginning and how it influenced areas as disparate as art, architecture, calendrical science, myth, technology, and political and military decision-making.