Magazine
Latest Issue

George Macartney refuses to bow before Emperor Qianlong in 1792 © The Art Archive/ Eileen Tweedy

Matteo Ricci was an Italian Jesuit missionary who travelled to China in 1583. He learnt the language and in 1601 was appointed an advisor to the emperor on account of his knowledge of astronomy. He died in Beijing in 1610. He writes: “Of all the great nations, the Chinese have had the least commerce, indeed, one might say that they have had practically no contact whatever, with other nations, and consequently they are grossly ignorant…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect