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《Studies in the History of Natural Sciences》 2013-04
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Korean Astronomers' Journey to Beijing in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

LIM Jongtae;Seoul National University;  
Taking the cases of two Korean court astronomers' journeys to Beijing in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,this article examines how the political hierarchy between the Qing and Chosǒn dynasties conditioned Korean astronomers' effort to learn the Shixian li,the official calendrical system of the Qing. The difficulties the Korean astronomers met in their missions to Beijing,the measures of the Chosǒn court to support the astronomers' travel,and the actual process of the two astronomers' mission are to be examined. How then did the Korean astronomers view their mission and its difficulties? Curiously,they did not consider the travel to Beijing only as hardships to be avoided; rather,they took it as an opportunity to enhance their socio-professional interests. Significantly,they portrayed themselves as the astronomers of a"marginal state,"who could not expect to be competent in their specialty without paying pilgrimages to the imperial metropolis. This rhetoric of modesty reflected the puzzled position of the Korean official astronomers,who had to promote their socio-cultural interests only by negating their ability to be competent in their specialty on their own.
【CateGory Index】: P1-09
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【Co-citations】
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1 FAN Jun-hui1,GE Bin2,YANG Jiang-he(1,3)(1.Center for Astrophysics,Guangzhou University,Guangzhou,510006,China;2.Guangzhou Party Institute of the CCP,Guangzhou,510006,China;3.Edition Office of Journal of Hunan University of Arts and Science,Changde,415000,China);On the Missionaries' Contribution and Limitations to the Development of Astronomy in China[J];Journal of Hunan University of Arts and Science(Social Science Edition);2008-04
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