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Abstract

Chinese astronomy reached its pinnacle in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) as culture continued to prosper to a new height. The invention of the “Taiping Armillary Sphere” by Zhang Sixun, who was from Bazhong in the Shu area (today’s Sichuan province), marked a milestone in the astronomical development in China. This article delves into the driving forces behind Zhang Sixun’s outstanding contributions to astronomy from the perspectives of the important role of astronomy in the politics of the Song Dynasty, the great attention the imperial court paid to astronomy, and the influence of the Shu culture, which centers on the belief “Tian Shu Zai Shu” (the rule of the universe is best observed in Shu).

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