History of science in China #2: Technical and intellectual transformation in mediaeval China, 10th-13th centuries

During the Song dynasty, technical innovations in fields ranging from agriculture to book production and weapons technology were associated with deep social and intellectual transformations that have led some to call this age a time of revolution. This presentation will set out and examine some of the grounds for such a characterisation.
The time of the Mongol conquest of China is regarded as the “Golden Age” of Chinese mathematics and astronomy. We will discuss the 1280 calendar reform, and the development of “celestial element” algebra, seeking to explain how the rule of the Mongols, who continue to be characterised as barbarians in Chinese historiography, can have accommodated, and even fostered, such remarkable developments.
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