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Is logos a proper noun? Or, is Aristotelian Logic translatable into Chinese? - Mona Baker

The divisions of the sky began with the Northern Dipper and the 28 mansions. In , a lacquer box was excavated from the tomb of Yi, the marquis of Zeng, in Suixian, Hubei Province. Names of the 28 lunar mansions were found on the cover of the box, proving that the use of this classification system was made before BCE. As lunar mansions have such an ancient origin, the meanings of most of their names have become obscure. Contributing to later confusion, the name of each lunar mansion consists of only one Chinese word, the meaning of which could vary at different times in history.

The meanings of the names are still under discussion. In the late period of the Ming Dynasty , the agricultural scientist and mathematician Xu Guangqi — CE introduced 23 additional constellations near to the Celestial South Pole, which are based on star catalogues from the West see Matteo Ricci.

These books appeared to have lasted until the sixth century, but were lost after that. These texts should not be confused with the original catalogues written by them. Notable works that helped preserve the contents include:. Moreover, it was customary in the past for the Chinese to forge works of notable scholars, as this could lead to a possible explanation for the inconsistencies found. Wu Xian is generally mentioned as the astronomer who lived many years before Gan and Shi.

Zhang Heng also published his work Ling Xian , a summary of different astronomical theories in China at the time. This time, constellations and stars were listed. Unfortunately, many of the documents of that period were destroyed, including that of Shoujin. The Chinese drew many maps of stars in the past centuries.

It is debatable as to which counts as the oldest star maps, since pottery and old artifacts can also be considered star maps. The most famous one is perhaps the Dunhuang map found in Dunhuang , Gansu. The map was drawn on paper and represents the complete sky, with more than 1, stars. Although ancient Babylonians and Greeks also observed the sky and catalogued stars, no such complete record of the stars may exist or survive. Hence, this is the oldest chart of the skies at present. According to recent studies, the map may date the manuscript to as early as the seventh century CE Tang Dynasty.

Chinese astronomers recorded 1, observations of solar and lunar eclipses from BCE. The moon and the planets are Yin ; they have shape but no light. This they receive only when the sun illuminates them. The former masters regarded the sun as round like a crossbow bullet, and they thought the moon had the nature of a mirror. Some of them recognized the moon as a ball too.

Those parts of the moon which the sun illuminates look bright, those parts which it does not, remain dark. The ancient Greeks had known this as well, since Parmenides and Aristotle supported the theory of the Moon shining because of reflected light. The sun is like fire and the moon like water. The fire gives out light and the water reflects it.

Thus the moon's brightness is produced from the radiance of the sun, and the moon's darkness pho is due to the light of the sun being obstructed pi. The side which faces the sun is fully lit, and the side which is away from it is dark. The planets as well as the moon have the nature of water and reflect light. When a similar effect happens with a planet we call it an occulation hsing wei ; when the moon passes across kuo the sun's path then there is a solar eclipse shih.

The later Song Dynasty scientist Shen Kuo — CE used the models of lunar eclipse and solar eclipse in order to prove that the celestial bodies were round, not flat. This was an extension of the reasoning of Jing Fang and other theorists as early as the Han Dynasty. Shen Kuo explained his reasoning for the former:. If they were like balls they would surely obstruct each other when they met.

I replied that these celestial bodies were certainly like balls. How do we know this? By the waxing and waning of the moon. The moon itself gives forth no light, but is like a ball of silver; the light is the light of the sun reflected. When the brightness is first seen, the sun -light passes almost alongside, so the side only is illuminated and looks like a crescent.

When the sun gradually gets further away, the light shines slanting, and the moon is full, round like a bullet. If half of a sphere is covered with white powder and looked at from the side, the covered part will look like a crescent; if looked at from the front, it will appear round.

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Thus we know that the celestial bodies are spherical. When he asked Shen Kuo why eclipses occurred only on an occasional basis while in conjunction and opposition once a day, Shen Kuo wrote:. I answered that the ecliptic and the moon's path are like two rings, lying one over the other, but distant by a small amount. If this obliquity did not exist , the sun would be eclipsed whenever the two bodies were in conjunction, and the moon would be eclipsed whenever they were exactly in opposition.

But in fact though they may occupy the same degree, the two paths are not always near each other , and so naturally the bodies do not intrude upon one another. The earliest development of the armillary sphere in China goes back to the 1st century BCE, [28] as they were equipped with a primitive single-ring armillary instrument. The primary structure of abridged armilla contains two large rings that are perpendicular to each other, of which one is parallel with the equatorial plane and is accordingly called "equatorial ring", and the other is a double ring that is perpendicular to the center of the equatorial ring, revolving around a metallic shaft, and is called "right ascension double ring".

The double ring holds within itself a sighting tube with crosshairs. When observing, astronomers would aim at the star with the sighting tube, whereupon the star's position could be deciphered by observing the dials of the equatorial ring and the right ascension double ring. Under the pressure of international public discontent, Germany returned the instrument to China.

In , it was placed in Purple Mountain Observatory , which prevented it from being destroyed in the Japanese invasion of China.

In the s, it had become seriously eroded and rusted down and was nearly destroyed. In order to restore the device, the Nanjing government spent 11 months to repair it. Besides star maps, the Chinese also made celestial globes, which show stars' positions like a star map and can present the sky at a specific time.

In the Ming Dynasty , the celestial globe at that time was a huge globe, showing the 28 mansions, celestial equator and ecliptic. None of them have survived. Unlike other Chinese celestial globes, it employs degrees rather than the It is also the first Chinese globe that shows constellations near to the Celestial South Pole. Zhang was well known for his brilliant applications of mechanical gears, as this was one of his most impressive inventions alongside his seismograph to detect the cardinal direction of earthquakes that struck hundreds of miles away.

It was operated by an escapement mechanism and the earliest known chain drive.

The armillary sphere part was brought to Beijing , yet the tower was never successfully reinstated, not even by Su Song's son. Fortunately, two versions of Su Song's treatise written on his clock tower have survived the ages, so that studying his astronomical clock tower is made possible through medieval texts. The polymath Chinese scientist Shen Kuo — CE was not only the first in history to describe the magnetic -needle compass , but also made a more accurate measurement of the distance between the pole star and true north that could be used for navigation.

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Shen achieved this by making nightly astronomical observations along with his colleague Wei Pu , using Shen's improved design of a wider sighting tube that could be fixed to observe the pole star indefinitely. Along with the pole star, Shen Kuo and Wei Pu also established a project of nightly astronomical observation over a period of five successive years, an intensive work that even would rival the later work of Tycho Brahe in Europe.

Shen Kuo and Wei Pu charted the exact coordinates of the planets on a star map for this project and created theories of planetary motion, including retrograde motion. However, the most detailed incorporation of Indian astronomy occurred only during the Tang Dynasty — , when a number of Chinese scholars—such as Yi Xing —were versed both in Indian and Chinese astronomy.

Islamic influence on Chinese astronomy was first recorded during the Song dynasty when a Hui Muslim astronomer named Ma Yize introduced the concept of 7 days in a week and made other contributions.


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Islamic astronomers were brought to China in order to work on calendar making and astronomy during the Mongol Empire and the succeeding Yuan Dynasty. In , the Persian astronomer Jamal ad-Din , who previously worked at Maragha observatory, presented Kublai Khan with seven Persian astronomical instruments , including a terrestrial globe and an armillary sphere , [35] as well as an astronomical almanac , which was later known in China as the Wannian Li "Ten Thousand Year Calendar" or "Eternal Calendar". He was known as "Zhama Luding" in China, where, in , [34] he was appointed by Khan as the first director of the Islamic observatory in Beijing, [33] known as the Islamic Astronomical Bureau, which operated alongside the Chinese Astronomical Bureau for four centuries.

Islamic astronomy gained a good reputation in China for its theory of planetary latitudes , which did not exist in Chinese astronomy at the time, and for its accurate prediction of eclipses. Some of the astronomical instruments constructed by the famous Chinese astronomer Guo Shoujing shortly afterwards resemble the style of instrumentation built at Maragheh. Emperor Taizu r. That year, the Ming government summoned for the first time the astronomical officials to come south from the upper capital of Yuan.

There were fourteen of them.

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Chinese astronomy

In order to enhance accuracy in methods of observation and computation, Emperor Taizu reinforced the adoption of parallel calendar systems, the Han and the Hui. In the following years, the Ming Court appointed several Hui astrologers to hold high positions in the Imperial Observatory.


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  7. They wrote many books on Islamic astronomy and also manufactured astronomical equipment based on the Islamic system. The translation of two important works into Chinese was completed in Zij and al-Madkhal fi Sina'at Ahkam al-Nujum, Introduction to Astrology In , a Chinese astrolabe was made for observing stars based on the instructions for making multi-purposed Islamic equipment. In , the apparatus was installed on a hill in northern Nanjing.

    Around , during the Ming Dynasty , Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang ordered the Chinese translation and compilation of Islamic astronomical tables , a task that was carried out by the scholars Mashayihei, a Muslim astronomer, and Wu Bozong, a Chinese scholar-official. These tables came to be known as the Huihui Lifa Muslim System of Calendrical Astronomy , which was published in China a number of times until the early 18th century, [38] though the Qing Dynasty had officially abandoned the tradition of Chinese-Islamic astronomy in Early-modern European science was introduced into China by Jesuit priest astronomers as part of their missionary efforts, in the late sixteenth century and early seventeenth century.

    The telescope was introduced to China in the early seventeenth century. After the Galileo affair early in the seventeenth century, the Roman Catholic Jesuit order was required to adhere to geocentrism and ignore the heliocentric teachings of Copernicus and his followers, even though they were becoming standard in European astronomy.

    Of course, the views of Copernicus, Galileo , and Tycho Brahe would eventually triumph in European science, and these ideas slowly leaked into China despite Jesuit efforts to curb them in the beginning. Ferdinand Augustin Hallerstein Liu Songling created the first spherical astrolabe as the Head of the Imperial Astronomical Bureau from until The former Beijing Astronomical observatory, now a museum, still hosts the armillary sphere with rotating rings, which was made under Hallerstein's leadership and is considered the most prominent astronomical instrument.

    While in Edo Japan , the Dutch aided the Japanese with the first modern observatory of Japan in , headed by Nakane Genkei, whose observatory of astronomers wholly accepted the Copernican view. The Ming Dynasty in China lasted from until and experienced a decrease in astronomical expansion. The occupation of astronomer during these times relied less on discovery and more on the use of astronomy. Astronomers worked in the two Astronomical Bureaus, both of which underwent many changes throughout the years since their formation.