Schreck, Johann Terrenz; Wang Zheng, Yuan xi qi qi tu shuo lu zui, 1830Preface dated 1627. Newly carved edition printed 1830.
In the early 17th century, Jesuits began to introduce European knowledge on mechanics to China, where this knowledge was partly modified when it was merged with the Chinese tradition. Yuanxi Qiqi Tushuo Luzui ("Collected diagrams and explanations of wonderful machines from the far west"), jointly written by the Johann Terrenz Schreck and Wang Zheng in 1627, is the first monograph on Western mechanics that was ever compiled in Chinese.
It is therefore an outstanding document in the history of Chinese science and its interaction with western science. In order to introduce the science of mechanics to China, the two authors of the Qiqi Tushuo were jointly working on a Chinese presentation of western knowledge and machines from Archimedian time to the early 17th century, thereby merging the traditions of the two cultures. It has long been an open question of research which European sources the authors of ther Qiqi Tushuo based their work on. The ECHO framework constitutes an ideal enviroment for addressing this kind of questions and for representing the answers by linking the passages of a Chinese text to passages in a European text that served as a source.
The web representation of the Qiqi Tushuo is part of a larger project aiming at a digitization of historical sources of Chinese mechanics. It is jointly conducted by the Partner Group of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science at the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences , the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and assisted by Bejing Formax CO., LTD. Further important historical sources of Chinese Mechanics will be represented in the same way.
This resource is part of
Collection of Sources on Chinese Mechanical Knowledge and its Relation to European Science
China's long and continuous tradition gives the exceptional opportunity to study long-term developments of knowledge in a context different from that of European science. For this reason, research on Chinese science opens up possibilities for cross-cultural studies in the long-term development of science. The activity focuses on an exemplary case of such a long-term development, the development of mechanical knowledge in China from antiquity to the early modern period. Research is guided by a number of specific research questions, in particular the question of the interaction between practical and theoretical knowledge and the question of the interaction between domestic and external knowledge traditions over a period of more than a millenium.
Contents of the collection