Chinese : Ouranographie chinoise


<p style='text-align: justify;'>This bilingual French-Chinese star-mapping manuscript represents a work in progress, an early attempt to map the Chinese names of stars and constellations onto the celestial cartography of European tradition. Evidently, these are not simply translations (as Chinese constellations were often structured very differently from European ones) but rather explanations and identifications.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The manuscript usually proceeds by taking a specific Chinese constellation, such as Tiangou 天狗. This term is then translated into French (‘chien du ciel’: heavenly dog) and the Chinese pronunciation is transliterated (‘Tien-Keou’: Tian-Gou in modern Pinyin). Finally, a gloss is added (‘7 étoiles dans l’Argo’: seven stars in the constellation of Argo Navis).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Other pages of the MS contain schematic drawings of Chinese constellations with little explanatory text. Names of Chinese constellations are given in Chinese characters and in French transcription, e.g. ‘螣蛇 ting che’: the asterism Tengshe 螣蛇 ‘Flying Serpent’ in the larger Chinese constellation Shixiu 室宿 ‘Encampment’. Short notes, e.g. ‘Pegasus’, integrate such information with the Western tradition (in this case pointing out that the Chinese asterism Flying Serpent is contained within, or overlaps with, the European constellation Pegasus).</p>

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