Jesuit Astronomers in Beijing 1601-1805

  • Article
  • 16 pages
  • Level: university

This 1994 article by Agustín Udías in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society provides an overview of two hundred years of astronomical and Jesuit history in China:

Abstract: Jesuit astronomers worked in Beijing for almost 200 years from 1601 to 1805 and occupied posts as directors of the Astronomical Observatory and presidents of the Board of Astronomy. During this time, they carried out an unprecedented transfer of scientific knowledge between Europe and China, especially in the fields of astronomy and mathematics. They took advantage of the need to reform the calendar to introduce western astronomy to China. They built astronomical instruments, brought European astronomical tables and made an extensive programme of observations. The work, in particular, of Ricci, Schall, Verbiest, Kogler and Hallerstein highlights this story.

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