Astronomy: Indian Astronomy in China

  • Yukio Ōhashi
Reference work entry

Chinese astronomy and Indian astronomy were originally independent. Both of them already had developed when Indian astronomy was introduced into China along with Buddhism. The exact date of the introduction of Buddhism into China is not known, but it can be said that Buddhism was gradually introduced at the beginning of the Later Han (Eastern Han) dynasty (AD 25–220) or so. According to my study, the earliest information on Indian astronomy reached China at the time of the Later Han.

During the Sanguo (Three Kingdoms) period (AD 220–265), some Buddhist works, where information of Indian astronomy was included, were translated into Chinese. At the time of the Tang dynasty (AD 618–907), some detailed monographs of Indian astronomy and astrology were composed in China. There were some astronomers who were well versed in both Chinese and Indian astronomy. Yixing was one of them.

It is not known whether Chinese astronomy was introduced into pre‐modern India or not.

Indian Astronomy in the...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

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  • Yukio Ōhashi

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