Chong-zhen: Year 15, Month Intercalary 11, Day 28

18 Jan 1643

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The Court ministers were summoned to the Central-left Gate to advise on appropriate measures for defence and the employment of supreme commanders and grand coordinators.... The Censor Yang Ruo-qiao noted that the Western Ocean person Tang Ruo-wang was practiced in the use of firearms. [Liu] Zong-zhou came forward and stated:

"During the Tang and Song dynasties and in prior times, in the employment of troops there was no mention of firearms. Since firearms have appeared, there has been a sudden reliance on these for strength. Our error lies solely in this."

The Emperor said:

"Firearms have always been a strong technology of China."

Zong-zhou said:

"What skills or technology does this Western Ocean person Tang Ruo-wang have? He has taken the best academy for the calendrical office and he is not showing the respect for China required by the Spring and Autumn Annals. It is requested that he be ordered to return to his own country so that he cannot delude and deceive."

The Emperor said:

"He is a person from the distance. There is no ritual precedent for dismissing and driving away such people."

The Emperor was not pleased and ordered Zong-zhou to retire from the audience...

Chong-zhen: juan 15.18a-b Supplement

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 1, page 0455/56

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Preferred form of citation for this entry:

Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, Singapore: Asia Research Institute and the Singapore E-Press, National University of Singapore, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/reign/chong-zhen/year-15-month-intercalary-11-day-28, accessed November 30, 2020


Is Tang Ruo-wang (湯若望) the Jesuit missionary Johann Adam Schall von Bell? Should we change his affiliation from Chinese, or does the fact that he was an advisor to the Emperor mean we classify his affiliation as Chinese?