Vol 18 no 2 (Autumn/Winter 2014 will be published in July/August 2016. Vol. 19 (2015) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2013 Sophia Centre conference on Celestial Magic and is scheduled for publication in September/October 2016. Vol. 20 (2016) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2014 Sophia Centre conference on the Marriage of Heaven and Earth.
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.