EMPIRE OF TIME
Director(s): Cédric CONDON – Writer(s): Arya SUROWIDJOJO, Jean-Marc BONNET-BIDOT, Cédric CONDON Contact Print page
EMPIRE OF TIME brings to life the history of China’s age-old fascination with the heavens, the science of time—and its dramatic impact on their lives.
Modern-day astronomers, science historians, and time scientists draw on compelling parallels between past and present, taking us from modern time-keeping labs to 4,000 year-old Neolithic observatories; from 16th century courts where Jesuit astronomer-mathematicians locked in duels to our current satellite-driven race for time-data superiority. An epic tale of science, imperial history and intrigue///
This is the untold legacy of the Empire of Time.
Historical evidence points to ancient Chinese astronomy and timekeeping as being one of the oldest and most accurate in the world. Out of this scientific tradition, the ability to predict accurate seasons and maintain order through unified time became bound to Chinese Emperors’ right to rule—the Mandate of Heaven.
But at the turn of the 17th century Jesuit missionaries, seeking to establish themselves in China, convinced the emperor that they could create the most accurate calendar the country had ever seen, by using Western science - which was then in full Copernican revolution.
This reform of the calendar would be the last of a long series, almost a hundred revisions adopted since the first Chinese calendar almost 3500 years ago. But this reform had a peculiar resonance because it heralded the end of Chinese astronomers' supremacy of the measurement of time ...