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A forgotten friendship : how a French missionary and a Manchu prince studied electricity and ballooning in late eighteenth century Beijing. [EASTM 46]
AuthorStatman, Alexander
Pub. LocationTübingenPublisherInternational Society for the History of East Asian Science, Technology and Medicine
Date2017Phys. Desc.pdf. [p.89-118]
LocationDigital ArchivesCall NumberQ127.C5 S727 2017d
A forgotten friendship : how a French missionary and a Manchu prince studied electricity and ballooning in late eighteenth century Beijing / Alexander Statman.
Extract: EASTM 46 (2017): 89-118
Includes bibliographical references (p.113-118)

Abstract: After the suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773, the French missionary Joseph-Marie Amiot, last of the great Jesuit scholars of China, befriended the Manchu prince Hongwu 弘旿, court artist and cousin of the Qianlong emperor. Hongwu became the most enthusiastic local patron of the ex-Jesuits still living in Beijing, helping them with research and providing them with information. Together, Amiot and Hongwu discussed new developments in natural philosophy, from electrical medicine to gas balloons. They conducted experiments in the Jesuit’s quarters at the North Church and in the prince’s nearby mansion, drawing from European and Chinese traditions alike to explain them. In the end, they concluded that their investigations were socially and politically dangerous, so they decided to keep them secret. It has generally seemed that the missionaries who remained in Beijing toward the end of the eighteenth century had few local encounters and failed to communicate contemporary natural philosophy; the story of the friendship between Hongwu and Amiot is a notable exception, revealing that cross-cultural exchange remained possible.

Local access dig. pdf. [Statman-Forgotten friendship.pdf]

Subject(s)Hongwu 弘旿, 1743-1811
Amiot, Jean-Joseph-Marie 錢德明, 1718-1793
Science--China--History--17th-18th centuries--Jesuit contributions
Electricity--History--China--18th century
Ballooning--History--China--18th century
Jesuits, French--China--Late Ming-early Qing dynasties, 1500-1800--Contributions in science
Jesuits--China--16th-18th centuries--Contributions in science
Jesuits--China--Qing dynasty, 1644-1911--Contributions in science and technology
Rec. TypeExtract (PDF)LanguageEnglish
CollectionRicci Institute LibraryRec. #19732