Hydraulic Machinery of the West, in Six Juan


Tai xi shui fa (Hydraulic machinery of the West) is the first work on Western agricultural hydraulic technology introduced to China. It gathers the essence of European classical hydraulic engineering. The author was Xiong Sanba (Sabatino de Ursis, 1575–1620), an Italian Jesuit missionary, who dictated the texts, which were translated into Chinese by Xu Guangqi (1562−1633) and edited by Li Zhizao (1565−1630). This copy, first published in 1612, has three prefaces at the beginning of the work, written by four Ming authors, one jointly by Cao Zibian and Zheng Yiwei, another by Peng Weicheng. The third preface is by the translator, Xu Guangqi. Also included is an essay by Ursis, entitled Shui fa ben lun (Treatise on hydraulics). The name of the engraver also can be seen in the area of the center of the page. The book is illustrated.

Last updated: November 25, 2014