|Vice Minister of Rites|
|Preceded by||Ma Zhiqi|
|Succeeded by||Li Sunchen|
|Grand Secretary of the Wenyuan Library|
|Senior Grand Secretary|| Zhou Tingru |
|Born||April 24, 1562|
Shanghai, Songjiang, Southern Zhili, China
|Died||November 8, 1633 71) (aged|
Beijing, Shuntian, Northern Zhili, China
|Resting place||Guangqi Park, Xujiahui, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China|
|Relations||Candida Xu (granddaughter)|
|Children||Xu Ji (徐驥)|
|Parents||Xu Sicheng (徐思誠), father|
|Education||Jinshi Degree (1604)|
|Occupation||scholar-official (Minister of Rites and Grand Secretary), agronomist, astronomer, mathematician, writer|
|Known for|| Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism |
Chinese translation of Euclid's Elements
Complete Treatise on Agriculture
|Baptismal name||Paul Xu|
|Traditional Chinese||徐 光 啓|
|Simplified Chinese||徐 光 启|
|Second alternative Chinese name|
|Third alternative Chinese name|
|Scholar-bureaucrat, Apologist, Lay leader, First among the Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism|
|Born||April 24, 1562|
Shanghai, Ming dynasty China
|Died||November 8, 1633|
Beijing, Ming dynasty China
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
|Major shrine||Xujiahui Cathedral|
|Attributes||Ming Empire court dress holding a crucifix and book.|
Xu Guangqi or Hsü Kuang-ch'i (April 24, 1562 – November 8, 1633), also known by his baptismal name Paul, was a Chinese agronomist, astronomer, mathematician, politician, and writer during the Ming dynasty. Xu was a colleague and collaborator of the Italian Jesuits Matteo Ricci and Sabatino de Ursis and assisted their translation of several classic Western texts into Chinese, including part of Euclid's Elements . He was also the author of the Nong Zheng Quan Shu, a treatise on agriculture. He was one of the "Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism". His current title is Servant of God. On April 15, 2011, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi announced the beatification of Xu Guangqi.
Xu Guangqi is the pinyin romanization of the Mandarin Chinese pronunciation of Xu's Chinese name. His name is written Hsü Kuang-ch‘i using the Wade–Giles system. His courtesy name was Zixian and his penname was Xuanhu. In the Jesuits' records, it is the last which is used as his Chinese name, in the form "Siù Hsven Hú".
At his conversion, he adopted the baptismal name Paul (Latin : Paulus). In Chinese, its transcription is employed as a kind of courtesy name (i.e., Xu Baolu) and the Jesuits sometimes referred to him as "Siù Pao Lò" or Ciù Paulus. More often, however, they describe him as "Doctor Paul" (Latin : Doctor Paulus; Portuguese : Doutor Paulo), "Our Paul" (Latin : noster Paulus), or "Paul Siu" or "Ciu".
Xu Guangqi was born in Shanghai in Southern Zhili's Songjiang Prefecture on April 24, 1562, Xu Sicheng (died c. 1607) had been orphaned at age 5 and seen most of his inheritance lost to "Japanese" pirate raids and insolvent friends in the 1550s.under China's Ming dynasty. At the time, Shanghai was merely a small walled county seat in the old quarter around the present city's Yu Garden. His family, including an older and younger sister, lived in the Taiqing Quarter at the south end of the town. Guangqi's branch of the Xus were not related to those who had passed the imperial examinations and joined Shanghai's local gentry. His father
At the time of Guangqi's birth, his father worked twenty mu (1¼ ha) or less south of the city wall. About half of this would have been used to feed the family, with the rest used to supplement his income from small-scale trading. By the time Guangqi was 6, the family had saved enough to send him to a local school, where a later hagiographer records him piously upbraiding his classmates when they spoke of wanting to use their education for wealth or mystical power. Instead, he supposedly advised, "None of these things is worth doing. If you want to talk about the sort of person you want to become, then it should be to establish yourself and to follow the Way. Bring order to the state and the people. Revere the orthodox and expose the heterodox. Don't waste the chance to be someone who matters in this world." From 1569 to 1573, the family sent Guangqi to the school at the Buddhist monastery at Longhua. It is not recorded, but this school was probably a separate secular and fee-based institution for families too poor to hire private tutors for their sons.
His mother died on May 8, 1592, and he undertook the ritual mourning period in her honor.His whereabouts over the next few years are uncertain but he seems to have failed the provincial exam at Beijing in 1594, after the mourning period was over.
In 1596, he moved to Xunzhou (now Guiping) in Guangxi to assist its prefect Zhao Fengyu, a Shanghai native who had passed the juren exams in 1555.The next year, he traveled to Beijing in the spring and passed its provincial exam, becoming a juren. He seems to have stayed there for the imperial exam the next year, but failed to pass. He then returned to Shanghai around April, turning his attention to the study of military and agricultural subjects. The next year he studied under Cheng Jiasui.
He first met Matteo Ricci, the Italian Jesuit, in Nanjing in March or April 1600. [ citation needed ].He collaborated with Ricci in translating several classic Western texts—most notably the first part of Euclid's Elements —into Chinese, as well as several Chinese Confucian texts into Latin. Ricci's influence led to Xu being baptized as a Roman Catholic in 1603. His descendants remained Catholics or Protestants into the 21st century.
From 1607 until 1610, Xu was forced to retire from public office and returned to his home in Shanghai. It was during this time that he experimented with Western-style irrigation methods.He also experimented with the cultivation of sweet potatoes, cotton, and the nu zhen tree. He was called once more to serve the Chinese bureaucracy, where he rose to a high rank and became known late in his career simply as "The Minister". Yet he continued to experiment and learn of new agricultural practices while he served his office, promoting the use of wet-rice in the Northeast China. From 1613 until 1620 he often visited Tianjin, where he helped organize self-sufficient military settlements (tun tian).
In 1629, memorials by Xu successfully moved the court to permit the Portuguese captain Gonçalo Teixeira-Correa to bring 10 artillery pieces and 4 "excellent bombards" across China to the capital to demonstrate the effectiveness of Western artillery. Teixeira and his translator João Rodrigues, Sun used the pieces to train his troops to oppose the ongoing Manchu invasion. However, Sun's lenient treatment of a 1632 mutiny under Kong Yude and Geng Zhongming permitted them to successfully capture Dengzhou, seize the artillery, and establish an independent power base that eventually joined the Manchus. Xu's memorials for clemency were unsuccessful and Sun was court-martialed and executed.An earlier demonstration in 1623 had gone disastrously, with an exploding cannon killing one Portuguese artillerist and three Chinese observers, but on this occasion the pieces were accepted and directed to Dengzhou (now Penglai) in Shandong. The Christian convert Ignatius Sun, a protégé of Xu's, was governor there and had also been a strong advocate of modernizing China's military. Together with Captain
He held the positions of Minister of Rites ( 禮部尙書 ), overseeing government programs related to culture, education, and foreign affairs, and Deputy Senior Grand Secretary ( 內閣次輔 ), effectively a deputy premier for the imperial cabinet.
Johann Adam Schall von Bell stayed with Xu during his final illness in 1633 and oversaw the return of his body to his family in Shanghai.There, it was publicly displayed at his villa until 1641, when it was buried "in a time of hardship".
Xu Guangqi's tomb remains the centerpiece of Shanghai's Guangqi Park on Nandan Road (南丹路), just south of Xujiahui Cathedral.
The 350th anniversary of his death in 1983 was celebrated very publicly, both with ceremonies in Shanghai and a laudatory article in the Beijing Review . The vocal Communist support for these memorials has been seen as signaling support for Deng Xiaoping's policies of opening up and modernizing China.Most Chinese treatments of his life and legacy, however, focus upon his desire for scientific, technological, and political progress and its effect upon Chinese development, whereas western treatments nearly universally attach great importance to his Christian conversion and identity.
Xu Guangqi wrote a book on military techniques and strategies entitled Mr Xu's Amateur Observations in response to the criticisms he faced for daring discuss military matters in spite of being a mere scholar.He frequently cited the Xunzi and Guanzi, and made use of rewards and punishments along the lines of the Legalists, at least in relief activities.
Xu Guangqi put forward the concept of a "Rich Country and Strong Army" (富國強兵), which would be adopted by Japan for its modernization in the end of the 19th century, under the name Fukoku Kyohei .
In 1607, Xu and Ricci translated the first parts of Euclid's Elements (a treatise on mathematics, geometry, and logic) into Chinese. Some Chinese scholars credit Xu as having "started China's enlightenment".
After followers of Xu and Ricci publicly predicted a solar eclipse in 1629, Xu was appointed by the Emperor as the leader of an effort to reform the Chinese calendar. The reform, which constituted the first major collaboration between scientists from Europe and from the Far East, was completed after his death.
Xu Guangqi wrote the Complete Treatise on Agriculture , an outstanding agricultural treatise that followed in the tradition of those such as Wang Zhen (wrote the Wang Zhen Nong Shu of 1313 AD) and Jia Sixia (wrote the Chi Min Yao Shu of 535 AD).Like Wang Zhen, Xu lived in troubled times, and was devoted as a patriot to aiding the rural farmers of China. His main interests were in irrigation, fertilizers, famine relief, economic crops, and empirical observation with early notions of chemistry. It was an enormous written work, some 700,000 written Chinese characters, making it 7 times as large as the work of both Jia Sixia and Wang Zhen. Although its final draft was unfinished by Xu Guangqi by the time of his death in 1633, the famous Jiangnan scholar Chen Zilong assembled a group of scholars to edit the draft, publishing it in 1639.
The topics covered by his book are as follows:
Xu's only son was John Xu ( t 徐驥 , s 徐 骥 ,Xú Jì), whose daughter was Candida Xu ( 徐 甘第大 , Xú Gāndìdà; 1607–1680). A devout Christian, she was recognized as an important patron of Christianity in Jiangnan during the early Qing era. The Jesuit Philippe Couplet, who worked closely with her, composed her biography in Latin. This was published in French translation as A History of the Christian Lady of China, Candide Hiu (Histoire d'une Dame Chrétienne de la Chine, Candide Hiu) in 1688. Her son was Basil Xu, who served as an official under the Qing.
The Ming dynasty, officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynasty of China ruled by Han Chinese. Although the primary capital of Beijing fell in 1644 to a rebellion led by Li Zicheng, numerous rump regimes ruled by remnants of the Ming imperial family—collectively called the Southern Ming—survived until 1662.
Xu Xiake, born Xu Hongzu (徐弘祖), courtesy name Zhenzhi (振之), was a Chinese travel writer and geographer of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), known best for his famous geographical treatise, and noted for his bravery and humility. He traveled throughout China for more than 30 years, documenting his travels extensively. The records of his travels were compiled posthumously in The Travel Diaries Xu Xiake, and his work translated by Ding Wenjiang. Xu's writing falls under the old Chinese literary category of 'travel record literature', which used narrative and prose styles of writing to portray one's travel experiences.
Xujiahui, alternatively Zikawei, Ziccawei, or Siccawei from Shanghainese, is a locality in Shanghai. It is a historic area of commerce and culture administratively within Xuhui District, which is named after the locality. The area is a well-known precinct for shopping and entertainment in Shanghai. It is served by the Xujiahui Station of the Shanghai Metro.
Xuhui District is a core urban district of Shanghai. It has a land area of 54.76 km2 (21.14 sq mi) and a population of 982,200 as of 2008.
Johann Adam Schall von Bell was a German Jesuit and astronomer. He spent most of his life as a missionary in China and became an adviser to the Shunzhi Emperor of the Qing dynasty.
Astronomy in China has a long history stretching from the Shang Dynasty, being refined over a period of more than 3,000 years. The Ancient Chinese people have identified stars from 1300BCE, as Chinese star names later categorized in the twenty-eight mansions have been found on oracle bones unearthed at Anyang, dating back to the mid-Shang Dynasty. The core of the "mansion" (xiù:宿) system also took shape around this period, by the time of King Wu Ding.
João Rodrigues, distinguished as Tçuzu and also known by other names in China and Korea, was a Portuguese sailor, warrior, and Jesuit interpreter, missionary, priest, and scholar in Japan and China. He is now best known for his linguistic works on the Japanese language, including The Art of the Japanese Language. He was also long erroneously supposed to have been the main compiler of the first Japanese–Portuguese dictionary, published in 1603.
Matteo Ricci, was an Italian Jesuit priest and one of the founding figures of the Jesuit China missions. He created the Kunyu Wanguo Quantu, a 1602 map of the world written in Chinese characters. He is considered a Servant of God by the Catholic Church.
Wang Zhen was a Chinese mechanical engineer, agronomist, inventor, writer, and politician of the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368). He was one of the early innovators of the wooden movable type printing technology. His illustrated agricultural treatise was also one of the most advanced of its day, covering a wide range of equipment and technologies available in the late 13th and early 14th century.
Sabatino de Ursis was an Italian Jesuit who was active in 17th-century China, during the Jesuit China missions.
The Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism refer to three Chinese converts to Christianity, during the 16th and 17th century Jesuit China missions:
The Wu Chinese people, also known as Wuyue people, Jiang-Zhe people (江浙民系) or San Kiang (三江), are a major subgroup of the Han Chinese. They are a Wu Chinese-speaking people who hail from Southern Jiangsu Province, the entirety of the city of Shanghai and all of Zhejiang Province, as well as smaller populations in Xuancheng prefecture-level city in Southern Anhui Province, Shangrao, Guangfeng and Yushan counties of Northeastern Jiangxi Province and some parts of Pucheng County in Northern Fujian Province.
Francesco Sambiasi, known as Bi Fangji (畢方濟) in Chinese, was a Catholic missionary to China, part of the Jesuit missions there. He was sent with the boat Nossa Senhora da Piedade to the East on 23 March 1609 and arrived in Macau in 1610. He worked in various places during his mission in China: Beijing (1613–1616), Jiading and then Shanghai (1622), a stint in Korea, then to Kaifeng (1628), Shanxi, Shandong, Nanjing (1631–1643) and then to Macau.
Kong Youde was a Chinese adventurer and Ming dynasty military officer who served under the warlord Mao Wenlong until Mao's death in 1629. Subsequently he worked for Sun Yuanhua, governor of Shandong, along with fellow Mao subordinate Geng Zhongming. When ordered by Sun to reinforce Zu Dashou at the Battle of Dalinghe in 1631, Kong and Geng mutinied, pillaging the countryside, sacking Dengzhou, and subsequently defecting to the Manchu—soon to declare themselves China's Qing Dynasty—in 1633. They were joined in 1634 by another former officer under Mao, Shang Kexi. Together, the three were known as the "Three Miners from Shandong" and participated in many campaigns under the Qing dynasty, hastening the demise of the Ming.
Xu is a Chinese surname. It is different from Xu, represented by a different character.
Jeong Duwon, also known as Chong Tuwon, was a Korean mandarin and diplomat. His chance encounter with a generous member of the Jesuit China missions greatly expanded Korean knowledge of western science, technology, geographical knowledge, and culture centuries before it opened its borders to actual visitors from abroad.
Sun Yuanhua, also known as Ignatius Sun, was a Chinese mandarin under the late Ming. A Catholic convert, he was a protégé of Paul Xu. Like his mentor, he advocated repelling the Manchu invasion by modernizing Chinese weaponry and wrote treatises on geometry and military science influenced by the Jesuits' European knowledge. From 1630 to 1632, he served as governor of Denglai, a Ming district around Dengzhou and Laizhou in northern Shandong. He was deposed by the mutiny of Kong Youde and Geng Zhongming, after which he was arrested and executed by the Ming for having failed to crush their rebellion with sufficient severity.
Gonçalo Teixeira Corrêa was a Portuguese artillery captain who led a mission across the Ming Empire to fight its Manchu invaders and train its army in the use of Western cannon. After he was killed defending Dengzhou in Shandong from mutinous troops under Kong Youde and Geng Zhongming, he was eulogized and honored by the Chinese, whose War Ministry granted him the posthumous rank of Assistant Regional Commander.
Chen Zilong was a Chinese poet, essayist and official active during the Ming dynasty.
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