chapter  15
14 Pages

The Impact of Astronomy on Chinese Society in the Days before Telescopes

Since the Han dynasty, the empire’s support and control may have provided an important driving force for the institutionalization of astronomy in China. Moreover, the concept of astrology and the structure of the calendar we œnd in Han times shaped the subsequent Chinese astronomy up until at least the 17th century (Chen, 1987; Needham and Wang, 1959; Ho, 2003; Sivin, 2008). In the following sections, I will investigate the impact of astronomy on ancient Chinese society by looking at astrology and calendar compilation.