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A Critical Study of the Shi Shi xing guan bu zan (Star Catalogue of Master Shi [Shen, fl. 370 B.C. - 340 B.C.])

Fung Kam-Wing (University of Hong Kong)

According to Sima Qian's Shi ji (Historical Records), Master Shi Shen (or Shi Shen Fu) was an astronomer and astrologer of the State Wei 荫 in the Late Warring States Period (403 B.C. - 221 B.C.). His works included Tian wen (astronomy) 8 chapters, Tian wen zhan (Treatise on Astronomical Astrology) 8 juans, Shi shi hun tian tu (Celestial Map of Master Shi) 1 juan and Shi shi xing bu jing zan (mostly recorded as Shi shi xing jing bu zan [Star Catalogue of Master Shi] in other official bibliographies) 1 juan, and their titles were recorded in the Chapter of Bibliography of Sui History of the Early Tang Period. Although Shi shi xing jing bu zan was lost in centuries ago and Catalogue of Constellations compiled by Shi Shen or Shi Shen's School (established in Han Dynasty with new astronomical findings) was frequently quoted or preserved in Kaiyuan zhanjing (Treatise on Astrology of the Kaiyuan Reign Period, compiled in 729), it still remains problems to understand the development of celestial cartography in Early and Medieval China. Fortunately, a manuscript entitled Shi shi xing guan bu zan is still preserved in Kyoto, Japan. It was handed down in the Wakasugi 尭葚 Family, descendants of the steward of the Tsuchimikado 君御� (formerly called Abe 鈍憘) clan, hereditary officials of the Onmyo no Tsukasa 这聍榛 (Yin- Yang Board). This scroll form star catalogue describes and illustrates the configuration of individual constellations according to ancient Chinese stellar-observational records of Wuxian Shi �掣抄 of Shang Dynasty, Shi Shen and his contemporary Gan De �繳w. This paper will pay considerable effort to compare those stellar records under the title of Shi Shen or Shi Shen's School that are preserved in both Kaiyuan zhanjing and Shi shi xing guan bu zan.

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