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Dai weiji shiji [= Series of differential and integral calculus].Shanghai, Mohai Shuguan [= the printing office of the London Missionary Society], early summer in Xianfeng Yiwei [= 1859]. Preliminaries plus 18 numbered parts bound in 5 volumes (29.5 x 18 cm) as intended. A book in traditional Chinese form, with a brief letterpress introduction in English, including an English-Chinese lexicon of technical terms, a woodcut title-leaf (printed on both sides) and the Chinese text printed letterpress (from movable type). With occasional woodcut diagrams in the text. Bound in traditional Chinese style in contemporary yellow silk. The whole in a richly embroidered wrap-around case in yellow.
J. J. O'Connor & E. F. Robertson, “Li Shanlan” in: MacTutor History of Mathematics archive; M. Lackner et al., eds., New terms for new ideas: Western knowledge ... in Late Imperial China (2001), pp. 306-307 & 322-326; WorldCat (9 copies). Rare first Chinese edition of Elements of analytical geometry and of the differential and integral calculus by the American mathematician Elias Loomis (1811-1889). The translation, nominally by the British Protestant missionary Alexander Wylie (1815-1887) but with much help from Li Shanlan (1811-1882), who was to become "the greatest Chinese mathematician of the 19th century" (O'Connor & Robertson), is a landmark in the introduction of Western mathematics into the Far East in general and China in particular, setting the stage for advances in Chinese technology. Wylie gives the English title in a heading as Algebraic geometry ... but in the text more correctly as Analytical geometry ... . After the English-language preliminaries (1 page of text, a 5-page English-Chinese lexicon of technical terms and a 1-page table of Chinese names for Latin and Greek letters and mathematical symbols, all with the Chinese in both Chinese characters and transcribed in the Latin alphabet) and Chinese preliminaries, the book is divided into 18 numbered parts bound in 5 volumes. Volumes 1 and 2 cover analytical geometry, volume 3 and 4 differential calculus and volume 5 integral calculus.The presentation inscription on the free endleaf at the beginning of vol. 1 has been covered on the front and back with paper, but can still be made out: "W. Lockhart Esqe with A. Wylie's kind regards", so Wylie gave this copy to his fellow member of the London Missionary Society, William Lockhart (1811-1896), who worked as a surgeon in Shanghai. In very good condition, with only an occasional small and mostly marginal hole or tear. The bindings of the individual volumes are also very good, but the wrap-around case, originally comprising 2 side boards and 2 end boards hinged to each other, has come apart, and one of the end boards is lost. The first comprehensive Chinese textbook on analytical geometry and calculus, making it a seminal work in the scientific development of East Asia.
      [Bookseller: Antiquariaat FORUM BV]
Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      Biblio    

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