Ted (merovingian) wrote,
Ted
merovingian

Let Me Now Recite Several Hundred Randomly Selected Chinese Characters From Memory

I want more candor and personal feelings in my journal, so I'm going to be picking up on a LiveJournal meme.

This is Matteo Ricci:




Matteo Ricci joined the Jesuit order of monks in 1571, against the strict orders of his father, an anti-religious pharmacist. The order was 31 years old at that point. He had been studying law in Rome before this point. While in the order, Matteo studied science a great deal, as well as the ancient Roman Art of Memory. He was noted for his incredible recall of facts.

In 1580 Matteo Ricci was ordained as a priest and departed to serve as a missionary in China. He adapted well to the society, learning the language and following Chinese customs. At first, he dressed as a Buddhist monk, but later on wore the robes of a Confucian scholar, which were more appropriate. He adopted the name Li Ma-tou, and wrote many mathematical texts. It was his belief that teaching the Chinese people formal logic would lead them to understand and accept Catholicism.

During his stay in China, he became quite controversial. Among many he was quite popular, since he was friendly and intelligent and open-minded. There were some clashes, however. He openly encouraged the destruction of Buddhist artifacts (though he held Confucianism in high esteem). He converted any to Christianity, but mobs also gathered against him - he injured his ankle fleeing from an angry crowd in 1592. Matteo Ricci was absolutely terrified of male homosexuality, which was casually accepted in China. Amusingly, many people thought he was gay, since, as a priest, he did not live with a woman. He was also suspected of alchemy, since he was educated and seemed to have plenty of money.

Matteo was most renowned for bringing European mathematics to China. He also greatly increased European understanding of the East. The Emperor allowed Matteo to enter into the Imperial Court, and to be buried there, but did not actually meet with the man.


So, this is your opportunity. Please tell me what you really think of Matteo Ricci, in the comments below. I'm allowing anonymous posting and turning off IP tracking, but I always do that.

Alternately, you can ask Matteo Ricci anything, and I'll answer. Anything at all. No holds barred.

I look forward to the sharing without boundaries.
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