This course explores the contribution of savants and proto-scientists, a few of them residing in Rome like Athanasius Kircher,SJ, to the production and transmission of knowledge about East Asia during the Seventeenth century. Selected topics in the history of science will also be explored in order to set up a proper context.
At the end of the course, students will be able to describe the contribution of Jesuit savants, like Athanasius Kircher and Jean Baptiste du Halde, as well as natural philosophers like Gottfried Leibiniz to the production and circulation of knowledge about China in early modern Europe. Students will also  be able to place this body of knowledge within the larger context of the scientific debates of the time, mainly those concerning cosmology, diversity, technological mastery and scientific primacy.