|Jap-Sin II, 12–13|
Incomplete copy of Ricci’s Jihe yuanben 幾何原本.
Jap-Sin II, 12
Translated orally by Li Madou 利瑪竇 (Matteo Ricci) and written down by Xu Guangqi 徐光啟. Six juan (in this copy only the preliminary and the first juan are preserved; for juan 2–5, see Jap-Sin II, 13). Chinese bamboo paper, bound in one volume with two cloth cases. No date or place of publication. The cover bears the title in Chinese with a Latin inscription: “De geometria | a p. Matteo Ricci, S.J.”
There is a preface by Xu Guangqi in four folios and a list of the proofreaders are given in one folio: Xu Leshan 許樂善 of Yunjian 雲間 (Jiangsu), Zhou Bingmu 周炳謨 of Xishan 錫山 (Jiangsu), Zhang Xuan 張萱 of Nanhai 南海 (Guangdong), Huang Jianzhong 黃建衷of Qi’an 齊安 (Huguang) and Yao Shishen 姚士慎 of Zuili 檇李 (Jiaxing 嘉興, Zhejiang).
An introduction to the Jihe yuanben by Ricci is given in six folios, dated Wanli 35 (1607) and a comment on the book by Xu Guangqi in two folios. Finally there is a colophon (one folio) on the revision of the Jihe yuanben by Xu Guangqi.
At the beginning of the preliminary juan the names of the authors are given: 泰西利瑪竇口譯 | 吳淞徐光啟筆受 . There are ten columns in each half folio, with twenty-two characters in each column; the preliminary juan consists of fifteen folios and juan one of forty-five folios.
Jap-Sin II, 13
Translated orally by Li Madou 利瑪竇 (Matteo Ricci), and written down by Xu Guangqi 徐光啟.
Six juan. Chinese bamboo paper in two books: juan 2–5 (for juan 1 see Jap-Sin II, 12; juan 6 is missing); bound into one volume with a cloth case (folio 16 in juan 3 and folio 34 in juan 5 are missing). Both Jap-Sin II, 12 and 13 are in bad condition and have been repaired.
Inside the cloth case there are notes by D’Elia: “Questa è la traduzione cinese dei primi sei libri degli Elementi di Geometria di Euclide, fatta in collaborazione da Matteo Ricci S.J. e dal dott. Paolo Hsü Kuang-ch’i nel 1606–1607 a Pekino e da questo ultimo edita a Pechino nel 1607. | Non è però la 1a edizione, ma l’edizione reprodotta dal dottore Leone Li Chih-tsao nel 1629. | È molto male andata e vi manca il 6o libro: vi sono però sempre in male stato. P. D’Elia, S.J. 18–VI–56. | N.B. Il Libro 1o è al Num. Jap Sin II, 12.
The translation is not based on the original work of Euclid. It is taken from the annotated edition in Latin by Christoforo Clavius: the Euclidis Elementorum libri XV, Cologne, 1591 and Rome, 1603 (Verhaeren, no. 1297 and 1298).
According to Xu Guangqi (cf. Jihe yuanben yilu 幾何原本迻錄 in the Tianxue chuhan 天學初函), Ricci revised the first translation in 1608, and intended to have it published by someone in South China. This plan, however, was never carried out. By 1610, when Xu returned to Peking, Ricci had been dead for some months. The revised copy of the Jihe yuanben, all in Ricci’s handwriting, was presented to Xu Guangqii by Diego de Pantoja and Sabatino de Ursis. The three of them went through the copy again and made some alterations. A new edition was brought out in 1611, a year after Ricci’s death.
Our edition of the Jihe yuanben, which is part of the Tianxue chuhan 天學初函, was published in Hangzhou by Li Zhizao in the year 1629.
The Jihe yuanben was translated into Manchu by order of the Kangxi emperor. The rest of Euclid’s Geometry, i.e., books VII to XV were translated by Li Shanlan 李善蘭 (1811–1882) with the help of Alexander Wylie (Chinese name: Weilie Yali 偉烈亞力, 1815–1887). It was published in 1857 (Xianfeng 7) under the title Jihe yuanben hou jiujuan 幾何原本後九卷. According to the preface of Alexander Wylie, the translation was based on an English text (1660), translated from a Latin translation (1655) based on the original Greek text.
Cf. Luo Guang 羅光, Xu Guangqi zhuan 徐光啟傳 (Hong Kong, 1953), pp. 29–35; FR, II, pp. 356–357; TV II, p. 359; Mei Rongzhao 梅榮照, “Xu Guangqi de shuxue gongzuo 徐光啟的數學工作 (The mathematical work of Xu Guangqi) in HKC, pp. 143–161; Li Yan 1976, pp. 224–230; SHS, pp. 234–236; SKTY, pp. 2210–2211; Xu (1949), pp. 257–262; Pfister, p. 37 (erroneously gives 1605 as the date of publication of the Jihe yuanben, instead of 1607); Couplet, p. 6; Courant 4855–4860.