Astronomical Dates in Shang and Western Zhou

  title={Astronomical Dates in Shang and Western Zhou},
  author={David W. Pankenier},
  journal={Early China},
  pages={2 - 37}
This article reports the discovery in the Bamboo Annals of verifiable accounts of the general conjunctions of planets witnessed by Shang and Zhou dynasty observers, which occurred in 1576 and 1059 B.C. Besides exploring the connections between the planetary phenomena and mythologized accounts of the same events in Zhou and Han texts, the significance of these astronomical dates is discussed in reference to the events surrounding the Zhou Conquest of Shang and the founding of the Shang dynasty… 

The “Current” Bamboo Annals and the Date of the Zhou Conquest of Shang

Having demonstrated in a previous article entitled “On the Authenticity of the Bamboo Annals” that the “Current” Bamboo Annals can be a surprisingly reliable source for the history of early China and

Astro-Historiographic chronologies of early China are unfounded

The chronology of ancient China has been debated for centuries. The long history of China is regarded with much pride in the nation today, and the lack of an accepted chronology of the early dynastic

The Cosmo-political Background of Heaven's Mandate

A preoccupation with cosmology and the correlation of celestial events with terrestrial activity dates back to the very beginnings of Chinese civilization. The existence of such a mindset is shown by

Building the Chronology of Early Chinese History

The generally accepted chronology of Chinese history begins in 841 B.C., seventy years before the end of the Western Zhou Dynasty. In Shiji, Sima Qian (c. 145–89 B.C.) compiled a chronological table

Astrology and Cosmology in Early China: Conforming Earth to Heaven

Introduction Part I. Astronomy and Cosmology in the Time of Dragons: 1. Astronomy begins at Taosi 2. Watching for dragons Part II. Aligning with Heaven: 3. Looking to the supernal lord 4. Bringing

The Solar Eclipse of the Xia Dynasty: A Review

We present a review on the renowned solar eclipse in the Chinese book "Shujing" describing the oldest account of this kind. After balancing the arguments on the time, place, and the celestial stage,

The Bamboo Annals revisited: problems of method in using the Chronicle as a source for the chronology of Early Zhou. Part 2: The congruent mandate chronology in Yi Zhou shu

  • D. Pankenier
  • Biology
    Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
  • 1992
The account given of the Bamboo Annals pre-Conquest chronology in Part 1 of this paper bears comparison with the internally consistent chronological sequence found in Yi Zhou shu, whose coherence has

On the Identity of Shang Di and the Origin of the Concept of a Celestial Mandate (TIAN MING )*

This article reexamines the hypotheses of Guo Moruo and H.G. Creel that Shang Di was the high god of the Shang and Tian, that of the Zhou. It proposes that Shang Di was originally the spirit of the

The Planetary Portent of 1524 in China and Europe

In late February and early March of 1524 there occurred in Aquarius-Pisces an impressive massing of all five planets normally visible to the naked eye. This was the densest such gathering in



Astronomical Tables Intended for Use in Astro-Archaeological Studies

Abstract Tables are presented which give the rise-set azimuths of prominent celestial bodies and the heliacal rise-set dates of bright stars for a combination of epochs, latitudes, and horizon

Mian'"$ft (#237), a lost fragment quoted in Shisanjinq zhushu , 1:413, subcommentary to "Cai wei "i^iplj. > attributed to Zheng Xuan's commentary on Shangshu dazhuan

    Guben zhushu jinian jijiao "̂

    • Yiwen ed. (Ta ipei,
    • 1974

    Wen Wang you sheng

      Zhoushu jixun jiaoshi (1846; reprint ed

      • I am grateful to Professor David S. Nivison for reminding me of this passage,
      • 1962

      Wu cheng" Chapter

      • Hanfeizi (SPPY), 7.6a. ) f ] ^" £ tffc. >H£ ^h 23. Bamboo Annals

      Jizhong jinian cunzhen yTL'S'^^'^-'M

      • reprint ed. Taipei,
      • 1959