China and Macau: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

China and Macau

1st Edition

Edited by Clive Willis


152 pages

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In 1513 the Portuguese became the first Europeans to establish a maritime route to China. Their motives were a combination of a quest for trade and territory, and a desire to promote Christianity in the region. This anthology of translated extracts of first-hand accounts by contemporary travellers, merchants, missionaries and officials, includes writings by Joaõ de Barros, one of the most prominent chroniclers of the Portuguese overseas endeavours. The importance of the Macau peninsula as a point of exchange in trade between China and Japan is charted in extracts from, amongst others, the journals of the Italian Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci. As this collection of writings shows, the formation of the Dutch East India Company in 1602 heralded the gradual erosion of Portuguese influence in China. Their imprint on Macau was more long-lasting, with their disengagement from the peninsula finally taking place in 1999.


'… interesting project… The main asset of Portuguese Encounters is to provide the English speaking audience with translations of sixteenth and seventeenth century Portuguese accounts, many of them being the first European view of non-Western societies. The series is particularly important for teachers, researchers and students of the European expansion in the world, since the Portuguese case is often studied on the basis of secondary sources and unreliable translations.' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society '… a valuable compendium… translations are excellent, eminently readable while preserving the spirit of the original… an informative scholarly introduction, useful maps and a glossary…' Bulletin of Spanish Studies 'Clive Willis has done scholars an invaluable service by compiling China and Macau, an excellent collection of primary and secondary sources on the interaction between Portugal and China during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Capturing the full breadth of the Portuguese encounter with Chinese politics, religions, society, and culture, this work is easily accessible to undergraduates, specialists and the general reader alike… an invaluable source book, presenting a thorough understanding of the Portuguese encounter with Ming China. As a reference work, it is highly readable from beginning to end… The editor is to be congratulated for producing this fine work, which is destined to be essential reading for those interested in the history of Sino-Western interaction.' Itinerario

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; First contacts, 1513-57: the arrival of the ’barbarian devils’ from the West; A civilization observed: Imperial Ming China in the 16th century; The Portuguese settle in Macau: the early years; The Jesuit missions in China: the Portuguese contribution; The quest for Cathay: the odyssey of Brother Bento de Góis; Macau in the late 1630s: three complementary accounts; Macau and Manchu China; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.

About the Series

Portuguese Encounters with the World in the Age of the Discoveries

Portuguese Encounters with the World in the Age of the Discoveries
Each of the seven volumes and two double volumes in this series consists of an anthology of annotated extracts translated into English, many of them for the first time, from accounts by contemporary travellers, merchants, missionaries, soldiers and government officials of the lands of Africa, Brazil and Asia and their inhabitants encountered by the Portuguese during the age of the discoveries. The extracts have not been selected in order to retell the story of those discoveries and of the ensuing foundation of the Portuguese empire, but rather because of what they reveal about the initial reactions of the Portuguese to the places and peoples they encountered and about their subsequent relations with them, as well as making it possible, wherever the scanty evidence allows, to assess how those peoples reacted to the Portuguese. Each volume will cover an area of the world where there was a significant Portuguese presence over a substantial period, from the first voyages of exploration down the west coast of Africa during the fifteenth century that led to Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India in 1498 and Pedro Alvares Cabral's discovery of Brazil in 1500 and thence to the establishment of Portuguese fortresses and trading posts in the Indian Ocean, the Indonesian archipelago, the South China Sea and finally Japan. Each one is edited with an introduction by a specialist in the history of the Portuguese empire in the area that it covers.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General