Matteo Ricci, Xu Guangqi and the Translation of Euclid's Elements

마테오 리치와 서광계, 그리고 기하원본의 번역

  • Received : 2020.02.07
  • Accepted : 2020.04.28
  • Published : 2020.04.30


In 1607, Matteo Ricci and Xu Guangqi translated Euclid's 《Elements》 and published 《Jihe yuanben, 幾何原本》. Though 《Elements》 consists of 13 volumes (or 15 volumes according to its editions), they translated only the first 6 volumes on the plane geometry. Why did they do so? This paper discusses about the three questions which naturally arise: What might be the motive of the translation of the 《Elements》? What method did they adopt for the translation? And why did they translate the 6 volumes, especially, the first 6 volumes, not completing the whole?


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