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天左旋,日月五星右行何?日月五星比天為陰,故右行。右行者,猶臣對君也。 《含文嘉》曰:""計日月右行也。"《刑德放》[曰]:"日月東行。"(而)。

日行遲,月行疾何? 君舒臣勞也。日日行一度,月日行十三度十九分度之七。《 精符》曰:"三綱之義,日為君,月為臣也。"

日月所以懸臺夜者何? 助天行化,照明 下地。故《易》曰:"懸象著明,莫大乎日月。"


月之為言闕也,有滿有闕也。所以有缺何?歸功於日 也。八日成光,二八十六日轉而歸功,晦至朔旦,受符復行。故《援神契》曰:"月 三日成魄也。"所以名之為星何?

星者、精也。據日節言也。一日一夜,遽行一慶, 一日夜為一日,剩復分天為三十六度,



日所以有長短何? 陰陽更相用事 也。故夏節畫長,冬節夜長,夏日宿在寒井,出寅入戌。冬日宿在牽牛,出辰入申。

月[有]大小,何? 天道左旋,日月(東)[右]行。日日行一度,月日行十三 度。月及日為一月,至二十九日,未及七度,即三十日者,過行七度,日不可分,故月 乍大[乍]小,明有陰陽[也]。故《春秋》曰:"九月庚戌朔,日有食之。" "十月 庚辰朔,日有食之。"此三十日也。又曰:"七月甲子朔,日有食之。" "八月癸巳 朔,日有食之。"此二十九日也。

月有閏餘何? 周天三百六十五(日)度四分度之一,歲十二月,日過十二度,故三 年一閏,五年再閏,明陰不足,陽有餘也。故《讖》日:"閏者陽之餘。"

XXXV. The Sun and the Moon

212---Sun and Moon Going to the Right (IV A. 2a).

Why is it that Heaven revolves to the left, while sun, moon, and the five planets go to the right? Sun, moon, and the five planets are, with respect to Heaven, the yin. Therefore they go to the right. Going to the right is like [the position which is taken by] the subject in opposition to the Lord. The Han wên chia1 says: "Calculating the rightward courses of the sun and the moon". The Hsing tê fang2 says: "The sun and the moon go eastwards".

213---The Meaning of the Sun and Moon Going Slowly and Swiftly, and of the Division in Day and Night (IV A. 2b).

a. Why is it that the sun goes slowly, and the moon goes quickly? The Lord takes his ease, the Minister toils. The sun daily covers [a distance of] one degree, the moon [of] 13 7/19 degrees 3. The Kan ching fu4 says: "[According to] the principle of the Three Major Relationships the sun is the Lord, the moon is the Minister" 5.

b. Why are the sun and the moon suspended [in the sky] day and night? To assist Heaven in its work of transformation, and to illuminate Earth beneath. Therefore the I says: "[Of things] suspended [in the sky with their figures displayed] clear and bright, there are none greater than the sun and the moon" 6.

214---Explanation of the Names Sun, Moon, and Planet (IV A. 2b-3a).

a. Jih 'sun' means shih 'solid' 7; [the sun is] always full and regular.

b. Yüeh 'moon' means ch'üeh 'defective' 8; [the moon is] now full now defective. Why is it sometimes defective? It is [then] turning its task over to the sun. After three days [the moon] develops into into a 'digit' p'o; after eight days it develops into brightness. After two × eight = sixteen days it turns its task over [to the sun]. Between the end of its 'last phase' hui and the beginning of its 'new phase' shuo it receives again its task and resumes its course 9. Therefore the Yüan shên ch'i says: "After three days the moon develops into a 'digit' 10; three moons make a season".

c. Why [are the planets] called hsing? Hsing means ching 'essence' 11. They are spoken of [as essences of the sun] according to [their having] the sun's regularity. In one day and one night [Heaven] moves one degree in succession, leaving in one day-and-night a remainder of one day ['s sun-course], and dividing Heaven again in [spheres of] thirty-six degrees 12.

d. The revolving Heaven covers 365 1/4 degrees. The sun and the moon have each a diameter of one thousand li.

215---The Lengths of Days and Nights (IV A. 3a).

a. Why must there be day and night? To bring [the alternation of] the yin and the yang to full development. When the sun shines there is day, when the moon shines there is night.

b. Why is it that the days are long and short? It is the yin and the yang alternating in their activities. Therefore in summer the days are long, in winter the nights are long. In summer the sun has its mansion in the 'Eastern Well' tung-ching; it rises [in the sign] yin, and sets [in the sign] hsü13. In winter the sun has its mansion in the 'Tethered Ox' ch'ien-niu; it rises in [the sign] ch'ên, and sets in [the sign] shên14.

216---Long and Short Months (IV A. 3a-b).

Why is the moon[-month] now short now long? Heaven revolves to the left, the sun and moon go to the right; the sun daily moves one degree, the moon daily moves thirteen degrees. When the moon reaches the sun [again] it is one month. [But] twenty-nine days do not cover [the distance of Heaven] by [about] seven degrees, whereas thirty days exceed it by [about] seven degrees 15. The day cannot be divided, therefore the month is sometimes long sometimes short, meaning that there is [the interaction of] the yin and the yang. Therefore the Ch'un ch'iu says: "In the ninth month, [on the day] kêng-hsü [,which was] the first day of the moon, there was a sun-eclipse; in the tenth month, [on the day] kêng-ch'ên [,which was] the first day of the moon, there was a sun-eclipse" 16; this was [a month of] thirty days. Further it says: "In the seventh month [on the day] chia-tzŭ [,which was] the first day of the moon, there was a sun-eclipse; on the eighth month, [on the day] kuei-ssŭ [,which was] the first day of the moon, there was a sun-eclipse" 17; this was [a month of] twenty-nine days.

217---Intercalary Months (IV A. 3b).

Why is there a remainder of 'intercalary months' jun18? The revolving Heaven covers 365 1/4 degrees. One seasonal year consists of twelve months. [The moon] daily exceeds [the sun's round] by twelve degrees. Therefore in three years there is one intercalary month, and in five years two 19. It means that the yin does not suffice, but the yang has a superabundance. Therefore the Ch'an says: "An intercalary month is the superabundance of the yang".


1. An Apocryphal Book of Rites.

2. An Apocryphal Book of History.

3. For the 365 1/4 degrees into which Heaven is divided see infra, under d. The whole statement (from Why is it, etc.) also occurs in the Shang shu wei k'ao ling yao (Yü han, 53.54a).

4. An Apocryphal Book of the Ch'un ch'iu.

5. Cf. ch. XXIX, par. 191b.

6. Chou i chu shu, Hsi tz'ŭ, 11.35a; L. 373.

7. 日, 實 .

8. 月, 闕 .

9. 魄 p'o (also written 霸), hui 晦, shuo 朔. For the terms for the phases of the moon cf. Sun Hsing-yen's comm. on the opening words of ch. K'ang kao of the Book of History (Shang shu chin ku wên chu shu, 15.41), and Wang Kuo-wei in Kuan t'ang chi lin, 1.2aff.

10. This statement also occurs in ch. Hsiang yin chiu i of the Li chi (chu shu, 61.14a; C. II. 655).

11. 星, 精 .

12. 一 日 一 夜 適 行 一 度 一 日 夜 為 一 日 剩 復 分 天 為 三 十 六 度 . I confess being unable to make sense of this statement.

13. tung-ching 東 井, yin 寅, hsü 戌.

14. ch'ien-niu 牽 牛, ch'ên 辰, shên 申.

15. The figures are only approximate. The moon daily moves 12 7/19 degrees swifter than the sun. In 29 days the difference would amount to 29 × 12 7/19 = 358 13/19, i.e. 6 43/76 degrees less than 365 1/4, which is the circumference of Heaven. In 30 days the difference would amount to 371 1/19, i.e. 5 61/76 degrees more than 365 1/4.

16. Hsiang 21. The first day of the tenth month being kêng-ch'ên, the last day of the ninth month was chi-mao. From k êng-hsü to chi-mao is 30 days.

17. Hsiang 24. The first day of the eighth month being kuei-ssŭ, the last day of the seventh month was jên-ch'ên. From chia-tzŭ to jên-ch'ên is 29 days.

18. 閏 .

19. There also being an excess of twelve days (degrees) in a year of twelve months, in three years it would make 36 days (one month and a remainder of six days), in five years 60 days (two months). Cf. for a different way of calculation Legge's note in his translation of the Book of History, p. 22.

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IATHPublished by The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, © Copyright 2003 by Anne Kinney and the University of Virginia