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When the Khitans began raiding northeast China in , a Chinese general led 20, Turks against them, distributing Khitan livestock and women to the Turks as a reward. Civil war in China was almost totally diminished by , along with the defeat in of the Ordos Chinese warlord Liang Shidu ; after these internal conflicts, the Tang began an offensive against the Turks. On June 11, , Emperor Taizong also sent envoys to the Xueyantuo bearing gold and silk in order to persuade the release of enslaved Chinese prisoners who were captured during the transition from Sui to Tang from the northern frontier; this embassy succeeded in freeing 80, Chinese men and women who were then returned to China.
While the Turks were settled in the Ordos region former territory of the Xiongnu , the Tang government took on the military policy of dominating the central steppe. Like the earlier Han dynasty, the Tang dynasty along with Turkic allies conquered and subdued Central Asia during the s and s. The Tang Empire competed with the Tibetan Empire for control of areas in Inner and Central Asia, which was at times settled with marriage alliances such as the marrying of Princess Wencheng d.
There was a long string of conflicts with Tibet over territories in the Tarim Basin between —, and in the Tibetans even captured the capital of China, Chang'an , for fifteen days during the An Shi Rebellion. The deposed king fled to Kucha seat of Anxi Protectorate , and sought Chinese intervention. The Chinese sent 10, troops under Zhang Xiaosong to Ferghana. He defeated Alutar and the Arab occupation force at Namangan and reinstalled Ikhshid on the throne. By the s, the Arabs under the Abbasid Caliphate in Khurasan had re-established a presence in the Ferghana basin and in Sogdiana.
Although the battle itself was not of the greatest significance militarily, this was a pivotal moment in history; it marks the spread of Chinese papermaking   into regions west of China as captured Chinese soldiers revealed secrets of Chinese papermaking to the Arabs. These techniques ultimately reached Europe by the 12th century through Arab-controlled Spain.
Joseph Needham writes that a tributary embassy came to the court of Emperor Taizong in from the Patriarch of Antioch. Adshead offers a different transliteration stemming from " patriarch " or " patrician ", possibly a reference to one of the acting regents for the young Byzantine monarch.
Umayyad Caliphate forces of Muawiyah I , who forced them to pay tribute to the Arabs. Chang'an ; the basic geography of China including its previous political division around the Yangzi River ; the name of China's ruler Taisson meaning " Son of God ", but possibly derived from the name of the contemporaneous ruler Emperor Taizong.
Through use of the land trade along the Silk Road and maritime trade by sail at sea, the Tang were able to acquire and gain many new technologies, cultural practices, rare luxury, and contemporary items. From Europe, the Middle East, Central and South Asia, the Tang dynasty were able to acquire new ideas in fashion, new types of ceramics, and improved silver-smithing techniques. There was great contact and interest in India as a hub for Buddhist knowledge, with famous travelers such as Xuanzang d.
After a year-long trip, Xuanzang managed to bring back valuable Sanskrit texts to be translated into Chinese. There was also a Turkic —Chinese dictionary available for serious scholars and students, while Turkic folksongs gave inspiration to some Chinese poetry. It was closed after the Tibetans captured it in , but in , during Empress Wu's period, the Silk Road reopened when the Tang reconquered the Four Garrisons of Anxi originally installed in ,  once again connecting China directly to the West for land-based trade.
The Tang captured the vital route through the Gilgit Valley from Tibet in , lost it to the Tibetans in , and regained it under the command of the Goguryeo-Korean General Gao Xianzhi. These lands contained crucial grazing areas and pastures for raising horses that the Tang dynasty desperately needed.
Despite the many expatriate European travelers coming into China to live and trade, many travelers, mainly religious monks and missionaries, recorded the strict border laws that the Chinese enforced. As the monk Xuanzang and many other monk travelers attested to, there were many Chinese government checkpoints along the Silk Road that examined travel permits into the Tang Empire. Furthermore, banditry was a problem along the checkpoints and oasis towns, as Xuanzang also recorded that his group of travelers were assaulted by bandits on multiple occasions.
The Silk Road also affected Tang dynasty art. Horses became a significant symbol of prosperity and power as well as an instrument of military and diplomatic policy. Horses were also revered as a relative of the dragon. During the An Lushan Rebellion Arab and Persian pirates burned and looted Guangzhou in ,  and foreigners were massacred at Yangzhou in The Tang government reacted by shutting the port of Canton down for roughly five decades, and foreign vessels docked at Hanoi instead.
In the Arab merchant Sulaiman al-Tajir observed the manufacturing of Chinese porcelain in Guangzhou and admired its transparent quality. The Chinese engaged in large-scale production for overseas export by at least the time of the Tang. This was proven by the discovery of the Belitung shipwreck , a silt-preserved shipwrecked Arabian dhow in the Gaspar Strait near Belitung , which had 63, pieces of Tang ceramics, silver, and gold including a Changsha bowl inscribed with a date: "16th day of the seventh month of the second year of the Baoli reign", or , roughly confirmed by radiocarbon dating of star anise at the wreck.
The official and geographer Jia Dan — wrote of two common sea trade routes in his day: one from the coast of the Bohai Sea towards Korea and another from Guangzhou through Malacca towards the Nicobar Islands , Sri Lanka and India, the eastern and northern shores of the Arabian Sea to the Euphrates River. Both the Sui and Tang Dynasties had turned away from the more feudal culture of the preceding Northern Dynasties, in favor of staunch civil Confucianism. In the Tang period, Daoism and Buddhism reigned as core ideologies as well, and played a large role in people's daily lives.
The Tang Chinese enjoyed feasting, drinking, holidays, sports, and all sorts of entertainment, while Chinese literature blossomed and was more widely accessible with new printing methods. Although Chang'an was the capital of the earlier Han and Jin dynasties, after subsequent destruction in warfare, it was the Sui dynasty model that comprised the Tang era capital.
Intersecting this were fourteen main streets running east to west, while eleven main streets ran north to south. These main intersecting roads formed rectangular wards with walls and four gates each, and each ward filled with multiple city blocks. The city was made famous for this checkerboard pattern of main roads with walled and gated districts, its layout even mentioned in one of Du Fu's poems.
The Tang capital was the largest city in the world at its time, the population of the city wards and its suburban countryside reaching two million inhabitants. Naturally, with this plethora of different ethnicities living in Chang'an, there were also many different practiced religions, such as Buddhism , Nestorian Christianity , Manichaeism , Zoroastrianism , Judaism, and Islam being practiced within.
In the Tang dynasty issued an edict which forced Uighurs in the capital, Chang'an, to wear their ethnic dress, stopped them from marrying Chinese females, and banned them from passing off as Chinese. Chang'an was the center of the central government, the home of the imperial family, and was filled with splendor and wealth.
However, incidentally it was not the economic hub during the Tang dynasty. The city of Yangzhou along the Grand Canal and close to the Yangtze River was the greatest economic center during the Tang era. Yangzhou was the headquarters for the Tang's government monopoly on salt, and the greatest industrial center of China; it acted as a midpoint in shipping of foreign goods that would be organized and distributed to the major cities of the north.
There was also the secondary capital city of Luoyang , which was the favored capital of the two by Empress Wu. In the year she had more than , families more than , people from around the region of Chang'an move to populate Luoyang instead. With a population of about a million, Luoyang became the second largest city in the empire, and with its close proximity to the Luo River it benefited from southern agricultural fertility and trade traffic of the Grand Canal.
However, the Tang court eventually demoted its capital status and did not visit Luoyang after the year , when Chang'an's problem of acquiring adequate supplies and stores for the year was solved.
The Tang period was a golden age of Chinese literature and art. Over 48, poems penned by some 2, Tang authors have survived to the present day. Jintishi poetry, or regulated verse, is in the form of eight-line stanzas or seven characters per line with a fixed pattern of tones that required the second and third couplets to be antithetical although the antithesis is often lost in translation to other languages.
Although writers of the Classical Prose Movement imitated piantiwen , they criticized it for its often vague content and lack of colloquial language, focusing more on clarity and precision to make their writing more direct. Short story fiction and tales were also popular during the Tang, one of the more famous ones being Yingying's Biography by Yuan Zhen — , which was widely circulated in his own time and by the Yuan dynasty — became the basis for plays in Chinese opera.
Wong places this story within the wider context of Tang love tales, which often share the plot designs of quick passion, inescapable societal pressure leading to the abandonment of romance, followed by a period of melancholy. There were large encyclopedias published in the Tang. Chinese geographers such as Jia Dan wrote accurate descriptions of places far abroad. In his work written between and , he described the sea route going into the mouth of the Persian Gulf , and that the medieval Iranians whom he called the people of Luo-He-Yi had erected 'ornamental pillars' in the sea that acted as lighthouse beacons for ships that might go astray.
Many histories of previous dynasties were compiled between and by court officials during and shortly after the reign of Emperor Taizong of Tang. Although not included in the official Twenty-Four Histories , the Tongdian and Tang Huiyao were nonetheless valuable written historical works of the Tang period. The Shitong written by Liu Zhiji in was a meta-history, as it covered the history of Chinese historiography in past centuries until his time. Other important literary offerings included Duan Chengshi 's d. The exact literary category or classification that Duan's large informal narrative would fit into is still debated amongst scholars and historians.
Since ancient times, the Chinese believed in a folk religion and Daoism that incorporated many deities. The Chinese believed Tao and the afterlife was a reality parallel to the living world, complete with its own bureaucracy and afterlife currency needed by dead ancestors. This ideal is reflected in Tang dynasty art.
Buddhism , originating in India around the time of Confucius , continued its influence during the Tang period and was accepted by some members of imperial family, becoming thoroughly sinicized and a permanent part of Chinese traditional culture. In an age before Neo-Confucianism and figures such as Zhu Xi — , Buddhism had begun to flourish in China during the Northern and Southern dynasties , and became the dominant ideology during the prosperous Tang.
Buddhist monasteries played an integral role in Chinese society, offering lodging for travelers in remote areas, schools for children throughout the country, and a place for urban literati to stage social events and gatherings such as going-away parties. The prominent status of Buddhism in Chinese culture began to decline as the dynasty and central government declined as well during the late 8th century to 9th century. Buddhist convents and temples that were exempt from state taxes beforehand were targeted by the state for taxation.
In Emperor Wuzong of Tang finally shut down 4, Buddhist monasteries along with 40, temples and shrines, forcing , Buddhist monks and nuns to return to secular life;   this episode would later be dubbed one of the Four Buddhist Persecutions in China. Although the ban would be lifted just a few years after, Buddhism never regained its once dominant status in Chinese culture.
Han Yu — —who Arthur F. Wright stated was a "brilliant polemicist and ardent xenophobe "—was one of the first men of the Tang to denounce Buddhism. Rivaling Buddhism was Daoism, a native Chinese philosophical and religious belief system that found its roots in the book of the Daodejing attributed to a 6th-century BC figure named Laozi and the Zhuangzi. The ruling Li family of the Tang dynasty actually claimed descent from the ancient Laozi.
The Tang dynasty also officially recognized various foreign religions. In , the Nestorian Stele was created in order to honor the achievements of their community in China. A Christian monastery was established in Shaanxi province where the Daqin Pagoda still stands, and inside the pagoda there is Christian-themed artwork. Although the religion largely died out after the Tang, it was revived in China following the Mongol invasions of the 13th century.
Although the Sogdians had been responsible for transmitting Buddhism to China from India during the 2nd to 4th centuries, soon afterwards they largely converted to Zoroastrianism due to their links to Sassanid Persia. The Uyghurs built the first Manichaean monastery in China in , yet in the Tang government ordered that the property of all Manichaean monasteries be confiscated in response to the outbreak of war with the Uyghurs. Much more than earlier periods, the Tang era was renowned for the time reserved for leisure activity, especially for those in the upper classes.
In the capital city of Chang'an there was always lively celebration, especially for the Lantern Festival since the city's nighttime curfew was lifted by the government for three days straight. During Tang Dynasty there was more than 30 different hairstyles, which shows the luxurious phenomenon at that era. Depending on the different ways of pulling back your hair, resulted with different effects. In general, garments were made from silk, wool, or linen depending on your social status and what you could afford. Furthermore, there were laws that specified what kinds of clothing could be worn by who.
The color of the clothing also indicated rank. The common people and all those who did not reside in the palace were allowed to wear yellow colored clothes. As a result, women could afford to wear loose-fitting, wide-sleeved garments. Even lower class women's robes would have sleeves four to five feet in width.
Concepts of women's social rights and social status during the Tang era were notably liberal-minded for the period. However, this was largely reserved for urban women of elite status, as men and women in the rural countryside labored hard in their different set of tasks; with wives and daughters responsible for more domestic tasks of weaving textiles and rearing of silk worms , while men tended to farming in the fields.
There were many women in the Tang era who gained access to religious authority by taking vows as Daoist priestesses. These courtesans were known as great singers and poets, supervised banquets and feasts, knew the rules to all the drinking games , and were trained to have the utmost respectable table manners.
Although they were renowned for their polite behavior, the courtesans were known to dominate the conversation among elite men, and were not afraid to openly castigate or criticize prominent male guests who talked too much or too loudly, boasted too much of their accomplishments, or had in some way ruined dinner for everyone by rude behavior on one occasion a courtesan even beat up a drunken man who had insulted her.
It was fashionable for women to be full-figured or plump. Men enjoyed the presence of assertive, active women. There were some prominent court women after the era of Empress Wu , such as Yang Guifei — , who had Emperor Xuanzong appoint many of her relatives and cronies to important ministerial and martial positions.
During the earlier Northern and Southern dynasties — , and perhaps even earlier, the drinking of tea Camellia sinensis became popular in southern China. Tea was viewed then as a beverage of tasteful pleasure and with pharmacological purpose as well. The poet Lu Tong — devoted most of his poetry to his love of tea. Earlier, the first recorded use of toilet paper was made in by the scholar-official Yan Zhitui — ,  and in an Arab Muslim traveler commented on how he believed the Tang era Chinese were not careful about cleanliness because they did not wash with water as was his people's habit when going to the bathroom; instead, he said, the Chinese simply used paper to wipe themselves.
In ancient times, the Chinese had outlined the five most basic foodstuffs known as the five grains: sesamum , legumes , wheat, panicled millet , and glutinous millet. In fact, in the Tang dynasty rice was not only the most important staple in southern China, but had also became popular in the north, which was for a long time the center of China.
During the Tang dynasty, wheat replaced the position of millet and became the main staple crop. As a consequence, wheat cake shared a considerable amount in the staple of Tang. Steamed cake was consumed commonly by both civilians and aristocrats. Like the Rougamo in modern Chinese cuisine, steamed cake was usually stuffed by meat and vegetable.
Taiping Guangji recorded a civilian in Chang'an named Zou Luotuo, who was poor and "often push his cart out selling steamed cake. Boiled cake was the staple of the Northern Dynasty, and it kept its popularity in the Tang dynasty. The definition here was very broad, including current day wonton, noodles, and many other kinds of food that soak wheat in water. Consuming boiled cake was treated as an effective and popular way of diet therapy. While aristocrats favored wonton, civilians usually consumed noodles and noodle slice soup, because the process to make wonton was heavy and complicated.
Pancake was hard to find in China before the Tang. But in the Tang dynasty pancake started becoming popular. Hu cake, which means foreign cake, was extremely popular in Tang. Restaurants in Tang usually treated Hu cake as an indispensable food in their menu. During the Tang, the many common foodstuffs and cooking ingredients in addition to those already listed were barley, garlic, salt, turnips, soybeans, pears, apricots, peaches, apples, pomegranates, jujubes, rhubarb, hazelnuts, pine nuts, chestnuts, walnuts, yams, taro, etc.
The various meats that were consumed included pork, chicken, lamb especially preferred in the north , sea otter , bear which was hard to catch, but there were recipes for steamed, boiled, and marinated bear , and even Bactrian camels. Some foods were also off-limits, as the Tang court encouraged people not to eat beef since the bull was a valuable working animal , and from to Emperor Wenzong of Tang even banned the slaughter of cattle on the grounds of his religious convictions to Buddhism.
From the trade overseas and over land, the Chinese acquired peaches from Samarkand , date palms, pistachios, and figs from Greater Iran , pine nuts and ginseng roots from Korea and mangoes from Southeast Asia. Methods of food preservation were important, and practiced throughout China. The common people used simple methods of preservation, such as digging deep ditches and trenches, brining , and salting their foods.
Frozen delicacies such as chilled melon were enjoyed during the summer. Technology during the Tang period was built also upon the precedents of the past. Previous advancements in clockworks and timekeeping included the mechanical gear systems of Zhang Heng 78— and Ma Jun fl. Its design was improved c. They provided a steelyard balance that allowed seasonal adjustment in the pressure head of the compensating tank and could then control the rate of flow for different lengths of day and night.
There were many other mechanical inventions during the Tang era. This intricate device used a hydraulic pump that siphoned wine out of metal dragon -headed faucets, as well as tilting bowls that were timed to dip wine down, by force of gravity when filled, into an artificial lake that had intricate iron leaves popping up as trays for placing party treats. Midway up the southern side of the mountain was a dragon…the beast opened its mouth and spit brew into a goblet seated on a large [iron] lotus leaf beneath. If he was slow in draining the cup and returning it to the leaf, the door of a pavilion at the top of the mountain opened and a mechanical wine server, dressed in a cap and gown, emerged with a wooden bat in his hand.
Yet the use of a teasing mechanical puppet in this wine-serving device wasn't exactly a novel invention of the Tang, since the use of mechanical puppets in China date back to the Qin dynasty — BC. In the 3rd century Ma Jun had an entire mechanical puppet theater operated by the rotation of a waterwheel.
There are many stories of automatons used in the Tang, including general Yang Wulian's wooden statue of a monk who stretched his hands out to collect contributions; when the amount of coins reached a certain weight, the mechanical figure moved his arms to deposit them in a satchel. In the realm of structural engineering and technical Chinese architecture , there were also government standard building codes, outlined in the early Tang book of the Yingshan Ling National Building Law. A square bronze mirror with a phoenix motif of gold and silver inlaid with lacquer , 8th-century.
Woodblock printing made the written word available to vastly greater audiences. One of the world's oldest surviving printed documents is a miniature Buddhist dharani sutra unearthed at Xi'an in and dated roughly from to Therefore, there were more lower-class people seen entering the Imperial Examinations and passing them by the later Song dynasty. See T , 79c Conclusion The foregoing discussion covered the general historical background of astrology as it relates to Buddhism in India and China.
It is clear that astrology was important in both civilizations from early on. It was therefore natural for Buddhists to take an interest in the art. Having outlined the essential background information for the following chapters, which explain the introduction and development of Buddhist astrology in China, we should note a few things. First, astrology is an art found throughout Eurasian civilizations, and has been perhaps the only art to transcend so many cultural and linguistic barriers, having been incorporated into several major world religions.
It is therefore unsurprising that Buddhists also took an interest. The evidence indicates that many Buddhists, in fact, practiced astrology, with such an interest actually increasing over the centuries, and eventually being incorporated into Tantric practice. There were views opposed to astrology within Buddhism. Although there are proscriptions that forbid monks from practicing divination, at the same time in Buddhist literature we find many examples of passive knowledge of astrology, in addition to evidence of belief in astral deities. The reality, so far as present evidence suggests, is that those who specifically opposed astrology in Indian Buddhist history constituted a minority.
It is clear that Buddhists generally believed in the efficacy of astrology. The Chinese vinaya tradition in the Tang period also specifically forbids monks from practicing astrology as a means of earning a livelihood, but the reality was that such rules were effectively ignored, as we will see. Throughout the first millennium, legal codes specifically prohibited the private study of astronomy, which is an important point to bear in mind throughout the following chapters as such prohibitions were, at least in theory, in effect throughout the Tang dynasty.
The technical astronomical knowledge required to practice astrology is another aspect of astrology that must be kept in mind, especially as we explore how the Chinese approached foreign astrology. The question to ask here is why the literature related to astrology in this period did not become widely practiced or popularized, in contrast to later developments in the eighth century, during which time foreign astrology was widely studied and further developed in China.
The answer, I propose, is that it was not necessary for Chinese Buddhists to observe astrology during these centuries. They furthermore display the successive developments that laid the foundation for the system which was ultimately adopted in China in the eighth century. As Zenba notes, there are two features of the text that indicate Hellenistic influences.
The second Hellenistic feature, also in chapter seven, is the Greco-Egyptian ordering of planets which differs from that found in chapter five, in the order of Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. This ordering was also not employed with relation to the seven-day week in China until the seventh century at the earliest. He proposed a system of intercalation based on lunar months, later called the Metonic cycle, in which there are seven intercalary months every nineteen years. This is designed to keep lunar months in pace with the solar year.
See M. This ordering of the seven-day week is an amalgamation of the Egyptian belief in deities overseeing each of the twenty-four hours and the Greek cosmological concept of concentric spheres. The first hour of the first day is assigned to Saturn, the second hour to Jupiter, the third to Mars, and so on. The twenty-fifth hour the first hour of the second day is assigned to the Sun. The forty-ninth hour is assigned to the Moon. This ordering was known in the second century BCE. Gavin Flood Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, , This was on the sixth fasting day [Friday].
This recension included numbers revised to account for a higher latitude. This is significant since it shows that the first Central Asian influences in Chinese Buddhist astrological literature can be traced back to the late fifth century. In the absence of additional materials or a foreign specialist, it to China. The seven-day week may have been observed by the early Nestorian church in China, but it was not observed by the Chinese until the late eighth century at the earliest.
Note that the authenticity of the scripture is contested by some scholars. Reprint of work. The astrologer is asked to describe his path. Following these sorts of astrological books, the stars of you the sage might be good, but you will still be reborn among cows, horses, dogs and swine. Moreover, there are those born together under the same star, yet there are differences in wealth and status. Thus, I know this is not a certain method. Why not ask of the causes and conditions for liberation? The detailed natal predictions nevertheless indicate that the author of the text 15 Their dimensions are defined by units of time, which stands in contrast to the way the lunar stations are defined with standardized degrees relative to fixed stars in Chinese astronomy.
He suspected the presence of Chinese influences in this work. Chapter eleven fasc. Some clearly favored the concept of divine beings presiding over celestial bodies, whereas others preferred a mechanistic theory. Chapter eighteen fasc. The Buddha then commands the stellar bodies and constellations to protect countries and raise beings.
The Candragarbha-parivarta includes the earliest known mention in Chinese of the twelve zodiac signs, which are phonetically transliterated from Sanskrit into Chinese table 3. T , c3. It is due to the wind blowing that the palaces of the Sun and Moon circuit around endlessly. This implies that the Buddha is not just the knower of these astro-terrestrial correspondences, but the agent controlling them. This same idea of commanding the stars is again seen below following the naming of planets and the twelve zodiac signs.
You all must proclaim [this] and ensure that they know it. It was therefore easy to conceive of the zodiac signs in the same manner. The emergence of zodiac deities within Buddhism can therefore be traced back to these earlier texts of the sixth century. Table 3.
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Zodiac signs of the Candragarbha-parivarta. It is easy when in agreement with time. It is difficult when not in agreement. When not in agreement with the specific times, it is not possible to attain liberation. I will explain in detail for you. This month is further connected to the solar deity.
T , a1. Attainment of liberation is said to depend upon correct calendrical knowledge. Despite the emphasis on such knowledge in this scripture, problematic as it is, it does not seem that Chinese Buddhists ever made serious use of such lore before the eighth century.
In its description of the Indian calendar, it also mentions the twelve zodiac signs presiding over their respective months. Here they are semantically translated table 3. T , ab Although these datable texts in China provide valuable information concerning developments in India and Central Asia, it does not seem that they had much immediate impact in China. As Pingree notes, the oldest representations of the planets as sculptures from India date from the late Gupta period. He notes that these sculptures were usually placed above doorways.
On the eighth day of the month, envoys are always dispatched. They descend on an inspection tour of the whole world. On the fourteenth day, they dispatch down the princes. On the fifteenth day, the four kings themselves descend. On the twenty-third day, the envoys again descend. On the twenty-ninth day, the princes again descend. On the thirtieth day, the four kings again descend. The specific days on which this is to occur, however, vary according to the text. This would have been easy to implement, given that the Chinese month counts thirty days while closely observing the lunar cycle.
Brahmanical Astrological Literature in Chinese Translation Other materials related to Indian astrology were translated into Chinese before the end of the Sui dynasty — Elsewhere it is specified as specifically year 4 of Tianhe See T , c There are no further details available on this short work. It finally amounted to altogether more than two-hundred fascicles.
This team was comprised of monks and laymen, though the project seems to have been initiated by the state, and not the Buddhist sangha. Foreign astrology of the non-Buddhist type was clearly understood as heterodox. It was written sometime before 25 CE. See John E. Conclusion There were several manuals on Indian astrology translated into Chinese between the fourth to the seventh centuries. Although these texts provide datable examples of Indian astrology, while displaying noteworthy innovations, such as the Hellenistic seven-day week and the first mention of the zodiac signs in Chinese, their systems of astrology were not implemented during these centuries in China, since there was no pressing need to practice foreign astrology.
The latter two are noted for being the first texts to introduce the twelve zodiac signs into Chinese, but equally important are the statements relating that gods or even the Buddha himself are effectively architects of the cosmos. There were at least three manuals on Brahmanical astrology or astronomy translated before the end of the Sui dynasty in Despite such translations, the Chinese sangha had no need for such works until the mid-Tang, to which our attention now turns.
Zhonghua Shuju edn. This indicates that the text was translated into Chinese after I have not identified any citations therein of the Tianwen jing. Here we will focus on the historical Yixing, reconstructing his life and discussing his achievements in order to separate fact from fiction. The Xin Tang shu includes additional materials concerning his calendar fasc.
He was also said to have been quite diligent in his practice of the vinaya. See vol. This might have been what prompted him to travel to Mt. Yixing spent the next several years wandering in more southern areas, seeking out eminent monks, and was constantly on the move. He later moved to Mt.
It is not extant. Jiu Tang shu, Zhonghua Shuju edn. Yixing arrived in the capital and we are told in the Jiu Tang shu that he was often visited, presumably by the emperor, who asked about the ways of securing the country and placating the people. The texts he carried were forwarded to China. The original Sanskrit text is said to have included , verses.
The Chinese translation excerpted the main components of the original work. Yixing also received instruction from Vajrabodhi. Silk Leiden: Brill, , — Yijing met Wuxing in India. Wuxing at the time was fifty-six years old. Yamamoto, however, gives a death date of p. Yixing also flourished as a court astronomer, being the only example in the history of Chinese Buddhism of a monk fulfilling such a role. His knowledge of the vinaya did not seem to hinder his professional interest in astronomy.
The Jiu Tang shu reports that in year 9 of Kaiyuan , a lack of accurate eclipse predictions led the court to request Yixing to reform the state calendar. They also did not possess any instrument to measure the ecliptic. His calendar had a number of innovative features including improved methods for solar eclipse prediction and the calculation of planetary positions, and a device to calculate gnomon length.
Yixing also calculated the lengths of daytime and nighttime across differing locations and seasons. His calendar also likely incorporated some Indian elements. For extensive details see fasc. Osabe identifies seven presently non-extant texts by or attributed to Yixing. As the territory of China had expanded since ancient times, it became necessary to account for these new lands, and Yixing had a role in updating the system.
It can therefore be said that Yixing was proficient in native Chinese astrology, but not foreign astrology. These are important points to bear in mind because in the s, Buddhist astrology in China was only starting to be seriously studied and observed under the guidance of resident Indian monks. A version of the Zixia Yi zhuan exists, but it is unclear how it relates to what Yixing compiled.
The other titles appear to be treatises on Yijing number theory, and interpretations of the Yijing based on inherited traditions or lineages. See 4. The significance of these points will become apparent as we discuss how Tang Buddhist astrology developed from this point on. In the second chapter of the text the following prescription is given. Here we should note that Osabe doubted whether Yixing really compiled this commentary, on the basis that it is not mentioned in Tang period catalogs and biographies, among other issues such as its complex history of recensions in China and Japan.
Rolf W. T , 4c4—5. The latter became the standard term at a later date. They moreover constitute the first outline of Tantric hemerology in Chinese Buddhism. They are thus reproduced in full. We furthermore see the first attempt in China to address the technical challenges posed by employing an Indian calendar.
It was altogether seven fascicles. It was circulated throughout the world. He simultaneously wrote an exegesis of it. All Dharma rituals must be in accord with the temporal considerations. Now there is to be a selection and preparation of this location. Thus, on an auspicious day the earth deities are alerted. The other Dharma rituals can be understood based on the example.
Furthermore, the eighth, fourteenth and fifteenth are supreme. One these days constantly do recitations; furthermore, one should make extra efforts. What are the corresponding days? It cannot be used. The date of the averaged new Moon is based on its averaged degrees of movement. It will always incorporate a lesser  or greater  month. Sometimes [the date for the new Moon] will pass or be late with respect to the averaged movements of the Sun and Moon as their speeds will also differ.
This is why a fixed new Moon41 will sometimes be ahead or behind a day. A fixed full Moon will sometimes be on the fourteenth or on the sixteenth. For most months, the time when the Moon is completely full is designated as the fifteenth day of the waxing period. The time when the Moon is exactly half like a bow string will be the eighth. It may be arranged based on this, and then one can determine the day.
In practice this means that the nominal new Moon will sometimes be out of sync with the true new Moon by up to a day. Each unit of time has its designation. If it is daytime, one may then measure the length of a shadow. At one time it is auspicious to do something. At one time it is inauspicious. At one time it is neutral. Each have their respective imageries. The ecliptic42 is divided into 12 chambers like the 12 Jupiter stations here [in China].
The ecliptic is altogether quarters. The Moon has gone once around the ecliptic after transiting for 27 days.
A. Extant Vietnamese astrological treatises
It is calculated according to the calendar. The ritual to be performed should also be in accord. Ketu is directly translated as banner. The banner star is a comet. There should be elimination of obstacles prior to eating. In the evening there should be increase of benefits. At night there should be acts related to subduing [enemies]. Those people with pure faith and clear minds still find it difficult to accept, to say nothing of those harboring doubts. The accomplished individual has studied the Vedic scriptures, and is skilled and discerning in the arts.
They cannot even select an auspicious time with good stars. This is to say nothing of other profound matters! They thus lose the power of firm conviction and instead bring about grave transgressions. This is why [conventions] must be in accord with the dispositions of the beings. This is a topic upon which he touched in his calendrical discussions. Now these are calculated according to the progression of the Sun and the velocity of the Moon. The day [of the new Moon] can be ahead or behind [the averaged new Moon]. This is considered a fixed new Moon. For example, the Sun represents fundamental and pure bodhicitta, which is the body of Vairocana, while the Moon represents the actions related to bodhi.
The commentary suggests that although astrological considerations are worldly, they are still important in order to conform to mundane conventions, and to gain blessings for worldly endeavors. In this respect, astrology is not only employed to determine auspicious times, since there is also the aim of gaining the blessings of the navagraha deities through astrological knowledge. This is an important development because the planets graha are conceived of as deities capable of facilitating worldly endeavors.
Thus, a basis for astral magic is directly affirmed in this commentary. These remarks incidentally lend additional evidence in support of the traditional attribution of the commentary to Yixing. These are some of the first known visual representations of the twelve zodiac signs in China. These figures became important elements in the East Asian Buddhist art record. Their introduction also marks the early practice of Buddhist astral magic and star worship by Chinese Buddhists.
During the eighth century, these deities were depicted in the Indian fashion, in contrast to later developments in which Iranian representations dominate, a topic to which we will return in the following chapter. It is important to survey these icons in order to understand how they differ from the later icons. It is unclear why it is designated as a graha, though we might speculate it was to fill in all eight directions. He rides in a chariot [pulled by] white geese.
See depiction below. TZ vol.
One will note the similarity between these twelve zodiac signs and those of the modern West. Table 4. See TZ, vol. Gemini — Mithuna. Cancer — Karkata. Sagittarius — Dhanus. Capricorn — Makara. Aquarius — Kumbha. Moon — Candra. Mercury — Budha. Amoghavajra and Astrology Amoghavajra — led an active and influential life as a Vajra master in China, though his contribution to the development of Buddhist astrology in East Asia is less well known.
He is positioned in the northeast. See Peter Bisschop, trans. Orzech et al Leiden: Brill, , — This was another element that initiated the widespread interest in astrology from the mid-eighth century. Native Chinese astrology, which focuses on state interests and not those of the individual, could not provide the necessary lore and methods.
The need for foreign astrological lore in Chinese translation became all the more pressing as a result. We might also note that the Emperor Xuanzong r. Amoghavajra took on the responsibility of compiling such a work, which despite being intended for Buddhists, still largely drew on non-Buddhist sources. As we will explore, the Xiuyao jing is, in fact, based on non-Buddhist astrology, with some of its content even being antithetical to Buddhist precepts.
There is no known parallel of this work in Sanskrit or Tibetan. Although Amoghavajra knew Sanskrit, and could have translated the materials himself, he might also have drawn on existing Chinese translations of Indian astrological material from earlier times, such as those listed in the Sui shu discussed above. This would explain the presence of expressly non-Buddhist elements in the text, to be discussed shortly.
The mainland and Japanese versions of the Xiuyao jing are all comprised of two fascicles. The lower fascicle is the later translation. It includes a preface. It totals forty sheets of paper. This is specifically stated in the preface of the Japanese recension. Sima71 Shi Yao of Duanzhou penned and collated it. He could not manage it well, making the meaning of the content abstruse. There was a concern that scholars would find it difficult to implement.
As a result, the disciple Yang Jingfeng personally revised and annotated a new draft according to direct instructions, after which it was respectfully copied. Each disciple carried off one scroll. The time was spring of year 2 in the reign era Guangde  of the Great Tang. The first is the version Shi Yao first recorded. The second the revised edition is by Yang Jingfeng. It appears that the content of the Xiuyao jing was further developed.
Appended ephemerides, 1 fasicle. Xiuyao jing Edited Commentary, 7 fascicles. The latter work appears to have been a commentary. This is why there was confusion about astrological auspiciousness and inauspiciousness. People often violated this. With these background details in mind, the present discussion turns to the content of the work, and specifically the challenges it addressed. The details are summarized in table 4. This is far more detailed than 74 T , c The commentary defines lunar days 1, 3, 5, 7 and 13 as auspicious, while days 8, 14 and 15 are regarded as best see 4.
These are Vedic deities. The list of associated deities from a separate tradition are also listed. An inserted note points out that China uses twenty-eight lunar stations, while in the western country i. This imprecision was perhaps the natural result of translating the Indian terms using Chinese terms, yet inadequately defining them. This strategy of employing functional equivalents became the norm in Buddhist astrology in China. Xin Tang shu, Zhonghua Shuju edn.
Wakita notes that it is perhaps that in the first fascicle, and thus omits it. Aries, however, is clearly designated as the first zodiac sign.
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Mars, for example, has two domiciles: Aries and Scorpio. Ths presence of the domiciles does, however, represent the gradual introduction of what were originally Hellenistic elements into Chinese Buddhist astrology. This is the earliest known example of the domiciles in China. As noted above, there were multiple calendrical systems in India. Hence the second [Chinese] lunar month is called Caitra.
Furthermore, lunar movement varies in terms of speed. How can these be known? It can be understood with reference to the following verses. In other words, the convergence in many cases is simply in name only. The vinaya exegete Daoxuan makes the same mistake. His commentary on the Dharmaguptaka-vinaya may be the source of this widespread misunderstanding.
Chapter Six. Local Temples In Early Ming: The Central View
See T , 40b The bracketed text is running commentary presumably inserted by Yang Jingfeng. The Indian calendar so impractically introduced like this could not have been feasibly implemented by Chinese practitioners of Buddhism without assistance from an Indian specialist. Many of these prescribed activities are antithetical to conventional Buddhist values. Prescriptions and proscriptions are given for times when the Moon lodges in each.
It is through them that one can know this. Their methods are quite excellent, and should be investigated in detail. The Xiuyao jing, although it became popularly practiced in subsequent decades, was originally compiled with elite monks and officials in mind. In light of the politically sensitive nature of astrology throughout earlier Chinese history, outlined earlier, and the fact that Amoghavajra was working directly with non-monastic court officials when compiling the Xiuyao jing, it seems likely that the work was originally never meant for popular distribution, but rather was intended for use at court.
A significant component of this fasicle of the text is the introduction of the seven- day week. This custom was not yet widely known in China, though it was observed by non-Han groups resident in China, such as Nestorian Christians, as noted earlier. The reader is therefore advised to ask foreigners the day of the week. The Persians also regard this day as an important day. These matters are never forgotten. As the text notes, the seven-day week is observed by both Buddhists and non- Buddhists in the north, west and south; only China remains unaware of it.
Numerous manuals on the seven-day week were uncovered at Dunhuang see chapter 6. These convergences add another element to consider when determining optimally auspicious days. These convergences represent the mature union of Indian and Hellenistic calendrical elements table 4. As Yano notes, the Persian names are actually the numerals one to seven used to count the days of the week. Nicholas Sims-Williams informs me that the Sogdian terms are transcriptions of the names from Middle Persian.
Private communication. July 25th, See also table 5. The zodiac signs are likewise not clearly defined, nor are their functions discussed. The first fascile of the text in the revised version includes much of the same content as the second, but with various reworkings and additional content. It furthermore addresses the issues outlined above, while introducing a structure in the form of chapter titles.
The introductory remarks reveal characteristically Chinese elements. The contest between the Crow and Rabbit produced myriad phenomena, dividing the constellations and establishing the zodiac mansions while demarcating things and beings. These are divided into six zodiac houses. Thus the Devaputras of the Sun and Moon together have the five planets as their retainers.
Things react to the fieriness of sunlight, the zodiac deity of which is Leo, the beast of yang. Things react to the coolness of moonlight, the zodiac deity of which is Cancer, the creature of yin. Furthermore, the nature of the Sun is firm and virtuous. The nature of the Moon is gentle and benevolent. Virtue aids those below while benevolence extends to subordinates. The Sun and Moon also bestow onto each of the five planets divine palaces.
The degrees of their movements and speeds appear here [among the zodiac houses]. The twelve zodiac houses comprise the course within which the seven luminaries move. Every passage reveals disasters and fortune, while their paths [reveal] calamities and fortune. This also marks one of the first major steps in sinicizing foreign astrology, a trend which resulted in the major developments of the subsequent century.
The omitted text above appears to be an incomplete or corrupted sentence. The Moon is fifty yojana—s in diameter. Venus of wind essence is ten yojana—s in diameter. Jupiter of space essence is nine yojana—s in diameter. Mercury of Moon essence is eight yojana—s in diameter.
Mars of fire essence is seven yojana—s in diameter. Saturn of Sun essence is six yojana—s in diameter. The bottom surface of the Sun palace is of crystal stone and of fire essence. It warms and can illuminate myriad things. The bottom surface of the Moon palace is of lapis lazuli stone and of water essence. It cools and can illuminate myriad things. The Sun, Moon and planets are placed in the sky through the karmic power of beings, riding the winds. The hall of the Moon palace is made of lapis lazuli and covered in silver.
It is in large part water with most of the water [concentrated] at the bottom. It is also most luminous at the bottom. This Moon palace is made of crystal and covered in copper. It is in large part fire with most of the fire [concentrated] at the bottom. The second fascicle expressly names Aries as the first zodiac sign, which is standard in astrology, but here it commences with Leo. This appears to merely be a way of dividing the signs into solar and lunar hemispheres.
The details of the zodiac signs are displayed in table 4. Suited to positions in the military. Will have many children and bountiful wealth. Suited to positions in the palace quarters. Suited to positions in the storehouse. Suited to subduing of positions related to the body. Suited to positions related to executions. Suited to positions in the academy. Part of the canonization of the Zhou yi bound it to a set of ten commentaries called the Ten Wings. The Ten Wings are of a much later provenance than the Zhou yi , and are the production of a different society.
By partaking in the spiritual experience of the I Ching , the Great Commentary states, the individual can understand the deeper patterns of the universe. The Great Commentary associates knowledge of the I Ching with the ability to "delight in Heaven and understand fate;" the sage who reads it will see cosmological patterns and not despair in mere material difficulties. The Ten Wings were traditionally attributed to Confucius , possibly based on a misreading of the Records of the Grand Historian.
An ancient commentary on the Zhou yi found at Mawangdui portrays Confucius as endorsing it as a source of wisdom first and an imperfect divination text second. In the canonical I Ching , the hexagrams are arranged in an order dubbed the King Wen sequence after King Wen of Zhou, who founded the Zhou dynasty and supposedly reformed the method of interpretation. The sequence generally pairs hexagrams with their upside-down equivalents, although in eight cases hexagrams are paired with their inversion.
But the oldest known manuscript, found in and now held by the Shanghai Library, was almost certainly arranged in the King Wen sequence, and it has even been proposed that a pottery paddle from the Western Zhou period contains four hexagrams in the King Wen sequence. The assignment of numbers, binary or decimal, to specific hexagrams is a modern invention. During the Eastern Han , I Ching interpretation divided into two schools, originating in a dispute over minor differences between different editions of the received text.
Their commentaries provided the basis of the School of Images and Numbers. The other school, Old Text criticism, was more scholarly and hierarchical, and focused on the moral content of the text, providing the basis for the School of Meanings and Principles. With the fall of the Han, I Ching scholarship was no longer organized into systematic schools.
The most influential writer of this period was Wang Bi , who discarded the numerology of Han commentators and integrated the philosophy of the Ten Wings directly into the central text of the I Ching , creating such a persuasive narrative that Han commentators were no longer considered significant. The principal rival interpretation was a practical text on divination by the soothsayer Guan Lu. Choosing the 3rd-century Zhouyi zhu as the official commentary, he added to it a subcommentary drawing out the subtler levels of Wang Bi's explanations.
The resulting work, the Zhouyi zhengi , became the standard edition of the I Ching through the Song dynasty. By the 11th century, the I Ching was being read as a work of intricate philosophy, as a jumping-off point for examining great metaphysical questions and ethical issues. He described the text as a way to for ministers to form honest political factions, root out corruption, and solve problems in government.
The contemporary scholar Shao Yong rearranged the hexagrams in a format that resembles modern binary numbers , although he did not intend his arrangement to be used mathematically. The 12th century Neo-Confucian Zhu Xi , cofounder of the Cheng—Zhu school, rejected both of the Han dynasty lines of commentary on the I Ching , proposing that the text was a work of divination, not philosophy.
However, he still considered it useful for understanding the moral practices of the ancients, called "rectification of the mind" in the Great Learning. Zhu Xi's reconstruction of I Ching yarrow stalk divination , based in part on the Great Commentary account, became the standard form and is still in use today. As China entered the early modern period, the I Ching took on renewed relevance in both Confucian and Daoist study.
The Kangxi Emperor was especially fond of the I Ching and ordered new interpretations of it. In , the Korean Neo-Confucian Yi Hwang produced one of the most influential I Ching studies of the early modern era, claiming that the spirit was a principle li and not a material force qi. Hwang accused the Neo-Confucian school of having misread Zhu Xi.
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His critique proved influential not only in Korea but also in Japan. The majority of these books were serious works of philology, reconstructing ancient usages and commentaries for practical purposes. A sizable minority focused on numerology, symbolism, and divination. One writer, Shizuki Tadao, even attempted to employ Newtonian mechanics and the Copernican principle within an I Ching cosmology. Leibniz , who was corresponding with Jesuits in China , wrote the first European commentary on the I Ching in , arguing that it proved the universality of binary numbers and theism , since the broken lines, the "0" or "nothingness", cannot become solid lines, the "1" or "oneness", without the intervention of God.
In the 20th century, Jacques Derrida identified Hegel's argument as logocentric , but accepted without question Hegel's premise that the Chinese language cannot express philosophical ideas. After the Xinhai Revolution of , the I Ching was no longer part of mainstream Chinese political philosophy, but it maintained cultural influence as China's most ancient text. Borrowing back from Leibniz, Chinese writers offered parallels between the I Ching and subjects such as linear algebra and logic in computer science , aiming to demonstrate that ancient Chinese cosmology had anticipated Western discoveries.
The modern period also brought a new level of skepticism and rigor to I Ching scholarship. Li Jingchi spent several decades producing a new interpretation of the text, which was published posthumously in Gao Heng , an expert in pre-Qin China, reinvestigated its use as a Zhou dynasty oracle.
Edward Shaughnessy proposed a new dating for the various strata of the text. Proponents of newly reconstructed Western Zhou readings, which often differ greatly from traditional readings of the text, are sometimes called the "modernist school. The I Ching has been translated into Western languages dozens of times. The most influential edition is the German translation of Richard Wilhelm , later translated to English by Cary Baynes. Gregory Whincup's translation also attempts to reconstruct Zhou period readings. The most commonly used English translations of the I Ching are: .
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see The Book of Changes disambiguation. Title page of a Song dynasty c. Main article: I Ching divination. Main article: Ten Wings. See also: I Ching's influence. Holy places. Knechtges , pp.