Culture and Cosmos is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the history of astrology and cultural astronomy published by the Sophia Centre Press in partnership with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, Faculty of Humanitiies and the Performing Arts, at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David

We are currently seeking submissions for future volumes of Culture and Cosmos.

Volume 16

Astrology for an Empire: the ‘Treatise on the Celestial Offices’ in the Grand Scribe’s Records (c. 100 BCE)

David W. Pankenier


Joseph Needham called the Treatise on the Celestial Offices ’a text of the highest importance for ancient Chinese astronomy’. This is no exaggeration, but the title of the Treatise alone shows that it is more than just a summa of ancient Chinese astronomical lore. The term ‘Celestial Offices’ clearly evokes a direct linkage between the stellar patterns above and the imperial offices and departments of the “celestial” empire below. This was new, of course, since at the time the empire itself was barely a century old. This paper will report on new insights on the text and its socio-cultural context acquired in the process of producing a complete annotated translation into English. 

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