Symposium 4

The Mathematical Astronomies’ Exchange and Cooperation between Medieval Islam, India, Europe and China on the Silk Road

Lu Dalong

From the 8th to the 14th centuries, most of the advances in astronomy were achieved by scholars in the Middle East, North Africa, and Moorish Spain. These works crossed religious and ethnic boundaries, with contributions from, among others, Arabs, Iranians, and Turks, and from Muslims, Jews, and Christians. From the 13th to the 17th centuries, Islamic astronomy, including astronomical tables, instruments, and astrological materials had been gradually introduced into China. In the beginning of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), a Muslim Astronomical Bureau was set up in parallel with the ordinary Astronomical Bureau, to which, however, after a couple of years it became subordinate. At the end of the Ming Dynasty, the European classical astronomy was introduced into China, via the maritime Silk Road, and integrated into the CZLS. In the first century of the Qing Dynasty, four imperial calendars had been issued, which are XYXFLS (1645), KXYNLF (1678, compiled by Ferdinand Verbiest), YZLXKC (1725) and YZLXKCHB (1742), and KXYZHLDQ in Mongolian (1712) and Tibetan (1715) versions were compiled for the regional development of the Chinese astronomy. The Symposium aims to reveal the mathematical astronomies’ exchange and cooperation between Greek, Medieval Islam, India, Europe and China on the Silk Road in the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, constitutes a complete paradigm of the development of the Chinese calendars as well as the celestial theories from 1366 to 1911, and establishes one of the international foundations for the development of the interweaving civilisation framework all over the world.