By Benjamin A. Elman
Historians of technology and Sinologists have lengthy wanted a unified narrative to explain the chinese language improvement of contemporary technological know-how, medication, and expertise given that 1600. They welcomed the looks in 2005 of Benjamin Elman's masterwork, on their lonesome phrases. Now Elman has retold the tale of the Jesuit impression on overdue imperial China, circa 1600-1800, and the Protestant period in early smooth China from the 1840s to 1900 in a concise and available shape excellent for the study room. This coherent account of the emergence of recent technological know-how in China locations that emergence in ancient context for either normal scholars of contemporary technological know-how and experts of China. (20070112)
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Additional resources for A Cultural History of Modern Science in China
Such new techniques were wedded to calendar reform and not developed further, however. 8 Indeed, Qing specialists had no domestic incentive to go beyond the immediate needs of the Qing calendar, now successfully reformed. Nor did the Jesuits press them to do so: by 1725, the Jesuits were themselves no longer on the cutting edge of the early modern sciences, and their mathematics, no more than simple algebra, trigonometry, and logarithms, had been successfully adopted by late Ming and early Qing specialists.
In Mei’s view, the celestial phenomena in the southern hemisphere could be derived from the same computational procedures used to demarcate the northern hemisphere. Thereafter, the prominence of the Mei family in Qing mathematics was widely recognized. The Kangxi emperor secured the Mei family’s eminence by declaring Mei Juecheng an Imperial School student in 1712, granting him a provincial degree in 1713, and promoting him to the highest degree as “a palace graduate in mathematical astronomy” in 1715.
Jesuits found that their literati counterparts resented their increased influence under early 16 A CULTURAL HISTORY OF MODERN SCIENCE IN CHINA Manchu rulers and their collaborations with well-organized bannermen armies of Manchus, Mongols, and northeastern Chinese. Astronomy became the focal point for the contending groups to shape their political influence. It was in mathematical astronomy, not medicine, that the early Jesuits in China would leave their mark, especially during the astronomy crisis that brought the Kangxi emperor to power.
A Cultural History of Modern Science in China by Benjamin A. Elman