Hadrian's Reviews > The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci

The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci by Jonathan D. Spence
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Jan 19, 12

bookshelves: asian, biography-memoir, nonfiction, religion-theology-mythology, travel
Read in January, 2012

An interesting book which is something more than an ordinary biography. Matteo Ricci is an interesting character, and the Palace of Memory is a framework and a link between topics, but there is also an excellent glimpse of Ming China and the vast currents of religion and peoples and thought in that vibrant civilization.

It's very interesting to see the interactions between Ricci, who is a Christian Italian Jesuit who is trained in the classical Roman tradition, learn Chinese, interact with the mandarins, learn the Chinese language, and explain his customs to a Confucian/Taoist/Buddhist audience and not get confused with the Muslims. Also bear in mind the Chinese isolationist tendencies. It's a fun book.
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