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Type of Item
The Book of Horses
This work is an undated manuscript copy of the Faras-nāma (The book of horses) of ʻAbd Allāh Khān Bahādur Fīrūz. It apparently was written during the reign of Shah Jahan (reigned 1628–58) and based in part on a versified source in Sanskrit of 16,000 shloka (couplets), the Shalihotra, dating from 2500–1500 BC. Among the topics treated are the color of a horse's coat and its significance (chapter 2), the horse's mane (chapter 3), signs indicating the agility of a horse on the battlefield (chapter ...
The Seven Things to Overcome (Incomplete)
This work was included in Tian xue chu han (First collection of heavenly studies) printed in 1629. The author was Pang Diwo (the Chinese name of Diego de Pantoja, 1571–1618), one of the closest collaborators of the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci. After Ricci’s death in 1610, three Jesuit missionaries remained in China, Nicolò Longobardi (1566–1654 or 1655), Sabatino de Ursis (1575–1620), and Pantoja. Pantoja had come to Beijing with Ricci in 1601 to serve as his assistant. In his missionary activities, Pantoja followed Ricci’s style ...
Secret Edition of the Northern Western Wing Corrected by Mr. Zhang Shenzhi
The Yuan dynasty drama, Story of the Western Wing, by Wang Shifu, is the finest dramatic work of traditional China. It ranks with Tang Xianzu’s Peony Pavilion, Kong Shangren’s Peach Blossom Fan, and Hong Sheng’s Palace of Everlasting Life as one of the four great classical dramas of pre-modern China, and has had a far-reaching influence on the literature and theatrical history of China. The plot of the drama is a reworking of the short work, The Story of Yingying (also titled Encounter with an Immortal) by ...
Illustrated Account of the Suppression of the Rebels
Yuan Mo, the author of the work, was a Grand Inspector to Henan who, in March 1633-April 1635, during the reign of Chongzhen, the last Ming emperor, led the Ming army in attacking and suppressing the peasant rebels in the province. Yuan was at one point briefly relieved of his duty, but returned to his post and died shortly thereafter, in 1635. The events described in the work complement the account of the peasant uprising in Ming shi (History of the Ming) with many additional details. The fine engraving of ...
Annotations to Maps
The original inscription of this work reads: “Compiled by Li Rihua of Jiahe; supplemented by Lu Zhongmin of Qianjiang; and edited by Qian Weiqi of Gulin.” Si ku quan shu zong mu (General catalog of the imperial Siku collection) records three of Li Rihua’s works, but not this title, which leads to the conclusion that Li may not have been its author. However, the prefaces of several other reference works claim that Li Rihua was the author of this work and that it was edited and supplemented by Lu ...
Notes to the Complete Library of the Four Treasuries, Edited with Supplements
Even though the title indicates that this work is a supplement to Quan shu bei kao (Notes to the complete library of the four treasures), the existence of such a work cannot be confirmed. This edition contains very finely executed illustrations, which are of sociological and historical as well as artistic importance. Each volume has an inscription certifying that the volume was produced by Zheng Shangxuan at the printing shop, Ren Rui Tang (Hall of auspicious mankind). The contents of the work were mostly taken from Bu qiu ren (Not ...
Maps of Ancient and Present Times
The three-volume work composed of maps with detailed texts was compiled by Wu Guofu of the Ming dynasty, based on a work done by Shen Dingzhi. The maps are executed in chromatography in red and black. There are two prefaces: one by Wu Guofu, dated 1638, and another by Chen Zilong, dated 1643.
Illustrated Primer to the Materia Medica
This book, compiled by Chen Jiamo in 12 juan, edited by Ye Fei and Hu Yiguan, and supplemented by Liu Kongdun, was published in the first year of the Chongzheng reign (1628). The title on the cover, A New Expanded Edition of Primer to the Materia Medica, with illustrations, printed by Zhou Ruquan in his workshop, Wan juan lou (the Ten-Thousand-Volume Pavilion), indicates that the original work, published in 1565, did not have illustrations. In this new edition, each entry is illustrated. Also included and placed in front of the ...
Preliminary Edition of Works from the Dreamless Garden
Chen Renxi (1581–1636) was a late Ming official and scholar, who achieved his jin shi degree in 1622 and became a member of the imperial Hanlin Academy. His brother Chen Lixi had this work, Wu meng yuan chu ji (Preliminary edition of works from the Dreamless Garden), printed in 1637. It includes 35 juan of Chen’s main work, eight juan of his previously unpublished writing, two juan of short essays, and one juan on his family genealogy, in 16 volumes. As the main part of the work contains ...
Classical Texts in the Collection of the Lige Hall
This work is what remains of a printed collection from the Chongzhen reign (1628–44), containing only two juan out of the original three parts. The collection was compiled with commentaries by Liu Wanchun (died 1645), read by his friends Zhou Zhong and Liang Yusi, and edited by his sons Fanxian and Fanzhi. There are seven prefaces by seven different authors: Zhou Zhong (dated 1635), Liang Yusi (1636), Zheng Eryang (1637), Yuan Pengnian (1636), Xue Cai (1636), Liu Ruozai (1636), and the compiler’s own preface (1637). In his preface ...
Revised Edition of the Genealogy of the Chen Family of Fanchuan, Kuaiji
This work is a Ming edition of the genealogy of the Chen family from Fanchuan of Kuaiji, in five juan, six volumes, reissued from an original manuscript copy. The compiler was Chen Jia, of the 89th generation of the Chen family during the Jiajing reign (1522–66), a writer and graduate of the first degree. He was assisted by Chen Yong, a scholar in music and medicine, a painter, and calligrapher. This revised edition was further supplemented by Chen Gongyang, of the 91st generation, a police official in Yugan County ...
The World Encompassed by Sir Francis Drake, Being His Next Voyage to That to Nombre de Dios Formerly Imprinted: Carefully Collected out of the Notes of Master Francis Fletcher, Preacher in This Imployment
This work of 1628 is the first edition of the earliest detailed account of the voyage around the world by Sir Francis Drake in 1577-80. It includes a frontspiece with a portrait of Drake and a double-globed map of the world. Drake’s was the second successful circumnavigation, after that of Ferdinand Magellan in 1519-22. Setting out with five ships and 160 men, Drake used his voyage to attack Spanish shipping and search for new territories and maritime routes. This work is based on the notes of Francis Fletcher, who ...
This 17th-century manuscript is a liturgical book in Arabic. It includes the prayers for vespers and matins, as well as the Eucharistic repetitions written by two early fathers of the Christian church, Saint John Chrysostom (circa 347–407) and Saint Basil the Great (circa 330–379). The manuscript is written in a clear Naskh script with rubrication. While there is some damage from worms, very little of the text is lost. Decorative circular designs adorn the front and back covers. The manuscript is from the library of the Monastery of ...
On Aristotle’s “On the Heavens”
In collaboration with the Chinese scholar Li Zhizao (1565–1630), Portuguese missionary Fu Fanji (Francisco Furtado, 1587–1653) translated two Western works into Chinese. They were Huan you quan (On heaven and Earth), a translation with scholarly commentaries of Aristotle’s De Coelo et Mundo, and Ming li tan (Inquiries into the principles of names), a partial free translation of Aristotelian logic. A work of cosmology rather than of religion, the first book originally was a part of the eight-volume Commentarii Collegii Conimbrincensis Societatis Iesu, in quator libros De Coelo ...