Non-Fiction Books:

Monographs in Tang Official Historiography

Perspectives from the Technical Treatises of the History of Sui (Sui shu)

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Monographs in Tang Official Historiography

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This book examines the role of medieval authors in writing the history of ancient science. It features essays that explore the content, structure, and ideas behind technical writings on medieval Chinese state history. In particular, it looks at the Ten Treatises of the current History of Sui, which provide insights into the writing on the history of such fields as astronomy, astrology, omenology, economics, law, geography, metrology, and library science. Three treatises are known to have been written by Li Chunfeng, one of the most important mathematicians, astronomers, and astrologers in Chinese history. The book not only opens a new window on the figure of Li Chunfeng by exploring what his writings as a historian of science tell us about him as a scientist and vice versa, it also discusses how and on what basis the individual treatises were written. The essays address such themes as (1) the recycling of sources and the question of reliability and objectivity in premodern history-writing; (2) the tug of war between conservatism and innovation; (3) the imposition of the author's voice, worldview, and personal and professional history in writing a history of a field of technical expertise in a state history; (4) the degree to which modern historians are compelled to speak to their own milieu and ideological beliefs.

Author Biography

Daniel Patrick Morgan is a researcher in the Laboratory SPHere (Sciences - Philosophie - Histoire) at the French Centre national de la recherche scientifique and Universite Paris Diderot / Pantheon Sorbonne, where he works on the history of the astral and mathematical sciences, sport, religion, historiography, classical studies, etc., in early imperial China. His recent book Astral Sciences in Early Imperial China: Observation, Sagehood and the Individual (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017) explores similar issues surrounding Li Chunfeng (602-670) and the medieval historiography of ancient science. This is not what he thought that he would be doing when he grew up. Damien Chaussende is a researcher in the Centre de recherche sur les civilisations de l'Asie orientale (Paris, France) at the French Centre national de la recherche scientifique. He works on the history of classical China, especially in the field of the writing of history. He published his first book entitled Des Trois royaumes aux Jin : Legitimation du pouvoir imperial en Chine au IIIe siecle in 2010 (Paris, Les Belles Lettres), and translated from Chinese the inner chapters of Liu Zhiji's Shitong (Traite de l'historien parfait. Chapitres interieurs, texte presente, traduit et annote par D. Chaussende, Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2014).
Release date NZ
October 1st, 2019
Edited by Damien Chaussende Edited by Daniel Patrick Morgan
Country of Publication
1st ed. 2019
12 Tables, color; 6 Illustrations, color; 33 Illustrations, black and white; XI, 371 p. 39 illus., 6 illus. in color.
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
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