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The Emperor's New Mathematics – Western Learning and Imperial Authority During the Kangxi Reign (1662-1722) - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Emperor's New Mathematics: Western Learning and Imperial Authority During the Kangxi Reign (1662-1722)

Catherine Jami


This book explores how the mathematics the Jesuits brought to China was reconstructed as a branch of imperial learning so that the emperor Kangxi (r. 1662–1722) could consolidate his power over the most populous empire in the world. Kangxi forced a return to the use of what became known as ‘Western’ methods in official astronomy. In his middle life he studied astronomy, musical theory, and mathematics in person, with Jesuits as his teachers. In his last years he sponsored a book that was intended to compile these three disciplines, and he set several of his sons to work on this project. All th ... More

Keywords: mathematics, Jesuits, China, Kangxi, astronomy, musical theory, Manchu, empire, imperial learning

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199601400
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199601400.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Catherine Jami, author
Director of Research, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), France

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