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ASTRONOMY AND POLITICS : WORSHIP OF CANOPUS BETWEEN QIN TO SONG ( 221B.C. – 1279 )

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2014 – 2015 School of Chinese Research Student Seminar

天文與政治:秦漢至兩宋 ( 221B.C. – 1279 ) 的壽星祭祀

ASTRONOMY AND POLITICS : WORSHIP OF CANOPUS BETWEEN QIN TO SONG ( 221B.C. – 1279 )

蔡杰輝 CHOI Kit-fai

Date: 24 April, 2015 (Friday)
Time: 17:30–18:45
Venue: Rm 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Language: Cantonese

摘要

古人相信萬物有靈,並對天地神祇進行祭祀,冀盼得到神靈的庇佑,如保護或是農業豐收。在國家祭祀中,星體祭祀備受重視。常見的星體神靈多與人們的日常生活關係密切,如風師、雨師、龍星與農業豐歉有關,北斗主宰生死,壽星預示君主和百姓壽命長短。眾多星體之中,壽星在國家禮制中長期被人獨立奉祀,對象和儀式理應相對穩定和完善,然而事實並非如此,壽星祭祀的內容和對象經歴了不少轉變。筆者通過考察秦漢至兩宋時期的壽星祭祀,闡明壽星祭祀儀式的演變與當時天文知識和政治發展的相互關聯。

Abstract

Animism led to the worship of various gods in ancient China for rewards e.g. sheltering and good harvest while star worship had a special place among numerous national rituals. Stars were usually worshipped for their intimacy to daily life, for instance, the Masters of Wind and of Rain and the Star of Dragon were related to the yield forecasting of agriculture, the Northern Dipper was believed to have an authority over people’s life, and Canopus gave signals to the life span of the emperor and the people. The worship of Canopus was established as an independent ritual, but the content and ceremony, even the subject of ritual, underwent modifications in different period, which is a uncommon phenomenon in national rituals that emphases on the continuation of tradition. Through an investigation of the national worship of Canopus between Qin to Song dynasties, I will show how the above changes are related to the development of astronomical knowledge and contemporary politics.


All are welcome!

Poster:
http://www.hku.hk/chinese/poster/20150425.pdf [1]


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[1] http://www.hku.hk/chinese/poster/20150425.pdf: http://www.hku.hk/chinese/poster/20150425.pdf

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