S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.57/60(2012)
전통적 역산천문학의 단절과 근대천문학의 유입
Discontinuance of Traditional Astronomy and Introduction to Modern Astronomy
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.59, pp. 37-64
- 일과력; 칠정력; 역산천문학; 관상소; 근대천문학; annual calendar; almanac of seven celestial bodies; calendrical astronomy; office for observance of natural phenomena; modern astronomy
- This article examines the procedure of the discontinuance of traditional astronomy and the introduction to modern astronomy. The former is examined through the changes of official annual almanacs the government published and the latter is studied based on the Western books that were imported and textbooks on astronomy that were published in Joseon during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Since late 17th century, Siheonryeok 時憲曆( western calendar) was adopted, and Renaissance astronomy was introduced to the traditional calendrical astronomy. The calendrical astronomy in Joseon was developed to the highest level until the end of 19th century and was used in issuing national official almanacs (the annual calendar 日課曆 and the almanac of the seven celestial bodies 七政曆). However, the office for the observation of natural phenomena 觀象所 was abolished by the intervention of Japan at the end of 1907. Unable to be developed anymore, the calendar issue in Joseon was passed on to the charge of Japanese astronomers who had mastered modern astronomy.
Publications containing Western astronomical knowledge were also imported, confirming to the movement of adopting the Western culture in late 19th century, and related knowledge was spread by newspapers such as The Hanseong Ten-Daily 漢城旬報 and The Hanseong Weekly 漢城週報. As a basic form of knowledge to discuss world geography, the elementary astronomical knowledge was introduced in geographic publications. However, modern astronomy was not recognized as a professional field of science in Joseon until early 1900. Two books, Chyeonmunhak 天文學(Astonomy) written by Jeong Yeong-taek and Cheonmunyakhae 천문략해(Short Explanation of Astronomy) written by William Baird in 1908, which were published as a textbook to teach professional astronomy, show that modern astronomy was finally established in Joseon as one field of professional science.