Article ID: CBB001552026

Islamic Astronomy in the Service of Yuan and Ming Monarchs (2014)


Shi, Yunli (Author)

Suhayl: Journal for the History of the Exact and Natural Sciences in Islamic Civilisation
Volume: 13
Pages: 41-61

Publication Date: 2014
Edition Details: Part of a Series
Language: English

A substantial dissemination and influence of Islamic astronomy was first seen in China during the Mongolian Yuan dynasty which ruled the country between 1260 and 1368. An observatory equipped with Arabic instruments and books in astronomy was set up exclusively for Muslim astronomers, who were charged with the responsibilities similar to their Chinese counterparts. With the establishment of the Ming dynasty in 1368, Muslim astronomers were recruited not only from the former capital of the Yuan, but also from the Arabic areas to serve the new dynasty. Islamic section continued to exist and function in the official establishment of astronomy all the way to the mid-17th century, when Jesuit missionaries began to introduce European astronomy to the country. For the first time, Chinese astronomers were sent to study with Muslim astronomers, and books on Islamic astronomy and astrology were translated into Chinese and became an ever-lasting source of inspiration for Chinese astronomers. In the official establishment, Arabic astronomy was adopted as a reference system in parallel with the orthodox Chinese system of calendrical astronomy, and applied not only in the calculation of civil almanacs and astronomical ephemerides, but also in the prediction luni-solar eclipses and occultations of the moon and the five planets, two important categories of portents in Chinese astrology.

Included in

Article Husson, Matthieu; Montelle, Clemency (2014) The Transmission of Arabic Astronomical Tables in Sanskrit, Latin, and Chinese. An Early Step in the Internationalization of Science? Introduction. Suhayl: Journal for the History of the Exact and Natural Sciences in Islamic Civilisation (pp. 9-10). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Shi, Yunli
Deng, Ke-hui
Wang, Guangchao
Yao, Licheng
Di, Li
Sun, Xiaochun
Ziran Kexueshi Yanjiu (Studies in the History of Natural Sciences)
Nei Menggu Shifan Daxue Xuebao (Ziran Kexue Ban)
Chinese Journal for the History of Science and Technology
Guangxi Minzu Xueyuan Xuebao
Physics in Perspective
Arabica: Revue d'Études Arabes
A.K. Peters
Hempen Verlag
East Asia, civilization and culture
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Transmission of ideas
Diaz, Emmanuel
Fang, Yizhi
Smogulenski, Jean-Nicolas
Xue, Fengzuo
Lansberge, Philip van
Ottoman Empire
Middle and Near East
Ming dynasty (China, 1368-1644)
Qing dynasty (China, 1644-1912)
Yuan Dynasty (China, ca. 1260-1368)
17th century
13th century
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)

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