Chapter

Teaching ‘French science’ at the court: Gerbillon and Bouvet's tutoring

Catherine Jami

in The Emperor's New Mathematics

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199601400
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729218 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199601400.003.0008
Teaching ‘French science’ at the court: Gerbillon and Bouvet's tutoring

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In 1690, just a few months after returning from his Southern inspection tour, the Kangxi Emperor set up regular sessions for the study of Western science, with four Jesuits as his tutors: Pereira, Thomas, Gerbillon, and Bouvet. These sessions were modeled on the Daily Tutoring on the classics that Kangxi had started twenty years earlier, especially as regarded their ultimate outcome: in both cases the lecture notes drafted by tutors were revised and eventually published as products of imperial scholarship. This chapter reconstructs the study plan worked out by the French Jesuits, and the course of the daily lessons, in which mathematical instruments and their use played an important role.

Keywords: Kangxi; Jesuits; tutors; lessons; Western science

Chapter.  10195 words. 

Subjects: History of Mathematics

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