China Major Invention Compass

Topics: China, Song Dynasty, Chinese calendar Pages: 4 (1359 words) Published: May 1, 2012
In the ancient era china has made many major developments and inventions. The most famous inventions are the Four Great Inventions. And one of the four great inventions is the compass. It was in the ancient era, during the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC), in 220BC when the first compasses were probably made. In this essay I will cover important points on the compass’s history, which mainly involve its origins and how and why it was invented. This essay will also state the effects it has on people in the ancient era and how it has developed over the years and why it is considered such a great invention. Origins of the Compass

The compass originated in the Qin Dynasty. Apart from being a navigation tool throughout the centuries, it is also a form of art and expresses divine aspects. The spoon-shaped pointer was made of lodestone and from Wang Chong’s (27- c.100 AD) Lunheng, “This instrument resembles a spoon, and when it is placed on a plate on the ground, the handle points to the south.” The spoon represents the Great Bear. The square plate represents Earth and its round center represents Heaven. The plate bears Chinese Characters of the eight main directions--North, South, East, West, North-East, South-East, South-West and North-West. The bonze plate also depicts designs like the Ten Heavenly Stems, Twelve Earthly Branches, and the four Divinatory Symbols. Such designs were carved on a rosewood platform and the intricate compass could be used as a decoration. Thus it is a unique form of art. Reasons of This Invention

There were three reasons the compass was used for and surprisingly, none of them had any relation with navigation. Chinese have a strong respect for their ancestors and belief in their traditions and the reasons of this invention revolved around these aspects.

The divine symbols on the bronze plate all came about because the compass was initially used for fortune telling in the 4th Century BC, the Taoist method of environmental...
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