From confusion to clarity: The dissemination of the European theory of the equation of time during the late Ming and early Qing China

Dans le cadre du séminaire EHESS Sciences et savoirs de l’Asie orientale dans la mondialisation (co-organisé par Catherine Jami, Frédéric Obringer, Huiyi Wu et Bing Zhao), Ji Chen 紀辰 (USTC, Hefei & SYRTE) interviendra sur le sujet suivant : “From confusion to clarity: The dissemination of the European theory of the equation of time during the late Ming and early Qing China”.

Date et lieu

Mardi 13 février 2024, 10h30-12h30
Campus Condorcet, bâtiment EHESS, Salle A302, 2 cours des Humanités, 93300 Aubervilliers

Lien Zoom de connexion :
https://cnrs.zoom.us/j/95701478162?pwd=eE8yaW1nUnNqUmRzQlY4VTV5T1NnUT09
ID de réunion: 957 0147 8162
Code secret: j5CAY5

Résumé

The late Ming and early Qing period was a significant stage for the introduction of European scientific knowledge into China, and the dissemination of European scientific knowledge was a complex process. Taking the equation of time, a relatively new theory to the Chinese at that time, as an example, this talk will present the process as well as relevant historical details by discussing three aspects of the dissemination process, including the source (European knowledge), the medium (the Jesuits and their works) and the receiver (the Chinese). In the late Ming dynasty, the Jesuits introduced the theory and tables of the equation of time in the Chong zhen li shu 崇禎曆書 (Chongzhen reign treatises on calendrical astronomy1631-1635). However, inconsistences and confusion were produced due to the Jesuits’ limited ability and the special case of Tycho’s Astronomiae instauratae progymnasmata that they referred to. Some early Qing Chinese scholars realized the problems, among whom Wang Xichan 王錫闡 (1628-1682) and Mei Wending 梅文鼎 (1633-1721) even proposed their own solutions. Eventually, based on Mei Wending’s idea, all the problems were solved in the later new official astronomical treatise, the Yu zhi li xiang kao cheng 御製曆象考成 (Thorough investigation of calendrical astronomy, imperially composed, 1722), marking the first appearance of the theory and tables of the equation of time in a rigorous and self-consistent manner in the official Chinese calendar.



Citer ce billet
Monique Abud (2024, 6 février). From confusion to clarity: The dissemination of the European theory of the equation of time during the late Ming and early Qing China. Carnets du Centre Chine (CNRS/EHESS). Consulté le 1 mars 2024, à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/vri9

Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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