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Sacred Landscapes of Imperial China

Astronomy, Feng Shui, and the Mandate of Heaven

Authors: Magli, Giulio

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  • Offers a scientific approach to the role of astronomy and Feng Shui in ancient Chinese architecture
  • Describes magnificent but largely unknown monuments 
  • Richly illustrated
  • Investigates in detail the “pyramids” of China
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-49324-0
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Hardcover 34,31 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-49323-3
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About this book

This book analyses the magnificent imperial necropolises of ancient China from the perspective of Archaeoastronomy, a science which takes into account the landscape in which ancient monuments are placed, focusing especially but not exclusively on the celestial aspects. The power of the Chinese emperors was based on the so-called Mandate of Heaven: the rulers were believed to act as intermediaries between the sky gods and the Earth, and consequently, the architecture of their tombs, starting from the world-famous mausoleum of the first emperor, was closely linked to the celestial cycles and to the cosmos. This relationship, however, also had to take into account various other factors and doctrines, first the Zhao-Mu doctrine in the Han period and later the various forms of Feng Shui. As a result, over the centuries, diverse sacred landscapes were constructed. Among the sites analysed in the book are the “pyramids” of Xi’an from the Han dynasty, the mountain tombs of the Tang dynasty, and the Ming and Qing imperial tombs. The book explains how considerations such as astronomical orientation and topographical orientation according to the principles of Feng Shui played a fundamental role at these sites.

About the authors

Giulio Magli is an astrophysicist/archaeoastronomer and currently a Full Professor of Mathematical Physics and Head of the Department of Mathematics at the Politecnico di Milano. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Milan, he initially conducted research in Relativistic Astrophysics but gradually moved toward Archaeoastronomy and, more generally, to the study of the relationships between architecture and landscape among ancient cultures. For many years, he worked on Egypt and the Mediterranean, but his current research focuses on Asia and especially on Imperial China. His previous books include Mysteries and Discoveries of Archaeoastronomy (Springer 2009), Architecture, Astronomy and Sacred Landscape in Ancient Egypt (Cambridge University Press 2013), and Archaeoastronomy – Introduction to the Science of Stars and Stones (Springer 2017). He taught the first massive open online course on Archaeoastronomy ever developed, freely available on the MOOC platform of the Politecnico di Milano and on Coursera, and has appeared as an expert on Archaeoastronomy in several TV broadcasts for CNN, the History Channel, and Discovery Channel. He was also one of the authors of the UNESCO-IAU document on Astronomy and Cultural Heritage.

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)
  • Heavens and Earth in Ancient China

    Pages 1-17

    Magli, Giulio

  • In Between Wind and Water

    Pages 19-31

    Magli, Giulio

  • A Mound and A Terracotta Army

    Pages 33-50

    Magli, Giulio

  • Pyramids on the River

    Pages 51-74

    Magli, Giulio

  • The Golden Age

    Pages 75-97

    Magli, Giulio

Buy this book

eBook 26,74 €
price for Italia (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-49324-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 34,31 €
price for Italia (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-49323-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Sacred Landscapes of Imperial China
Book Subtitle
Astronomy, Feng Shui, and the Mandate of Heaven
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-49324-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-49324-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-49323-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 179
Number of Illustrations
10 b/w illustrations, 98 illustrations in colour
Topics

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