Euclid in China: The Genesis of the First Chinese Translation of Euclid's Elements, Books I-VI (Jihe Yuanben, Beijing, 1607) and Its Reception Up to 1723

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BRILL, 1998 - Mathematics - 488 pages
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As part of the Jesuits' programme of introduction to European culture, in 1607 the "Elements" of Euclid (+ 300 BC) were translated for the first time into Chinese. The translation of this epoch-making ancient Greek textbook on deductive geometry meant a confrontation of contemporary Chinese and European cultures. Part I of Peter Engelfriet's work deals mainly with the European and Chinese backgrounds, part II with linguistic and textual matters. In part III the manner in which learned Chinese tried to integrate this new knowledge into their own, Chinese, mathematical and cultural traditions comes to the fore. This fascinating work explores in depth and at various levels the circumstances and mechanisms that shaped the transmission of a key work of science from one language and cultural context onto another. Consequently it offers often surprising insights into the ways of intercultural exchange "and" misunderstandings.
  

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Contents

Mathematics in Jesuit Context
11
Matteo Ricci and Xu Guangqi in Late Ming
56
Clavius 1574 Edition
105
The Jihe yuanben
132
The Enunciations of all Propositions
207
Mathematics in the Service of the Dynasty
289
The MingQing Transition
351
Three ScholarMathematicians of the Late Seventeenth
383
The Royal Road
432
Conclusion
449
Abbreviations
465
Index
483
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Peter M. Engelfriet, Ph.D. (1996), in Sinology, University of Leiden, is Research Fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences at the Sinological Institute of Leiden University.

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