Heavenly Patterns

Abstract : The “Tianwen zhi” 天文志 (Heavenly Patterns Monograph) is a repetitive and fractured genre. Much of the contents from one monograph to another are the same, and the division of the monograph’s typical division into a history, a star catalogue, and an annals of observed phenomena make it difficult to read as a whole. To approach the question of Li Chunfeng’s 李淳風 (602–670) hand in shaping the Book of Sui “Tianwen zhi,” this study avails itself to collation. Isolating what contents Li’s Book of Sui monograph shares word for word with the Book of Jin, Song, and Han, I focus on the handful of passages that Li Chunfeng has added, excised, and rearranged on the basis of his sources. In doing so, several patterns emerge, the most notable among them being that Li has taken Shen Yue’s 沈約 (441–513) regressivist history of “heaven’s form” (tianti 天體) cosmology in the Book of Song and rearranged it, without acknowledgement, into a progressivist argument against its author. This and other evidence of Li Chunfeng’s editorial hand serves as a reminder of how what we often treat as a reference work should be read more carefully as a piece of historiographical argumentation.
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Pré-publication, Document de travail
Forthcoming chapter in Monographs in Tang official history: Perspectives from the technical tr.. 2014
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Contributeur : Daniel Morgan <>
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Dernière modification le : jeudi 1 décembre 2016 - 14:47:49
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Daniel Patrick Morgan. Heavenly Patterns. Forthcoming chapter in Monographs in Tang official history: Perspectives from the technical tr.. 2014. 〈halshs-01404116〉

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