The Chinese Language in European Texts

The Early Period

  • Dinu Luca

Part of the Chinese Literature and Culture in the World book series (CLCW)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Dinu Luca
    Pages 73-135
  3. Dinu Luca
    Pages 177-183
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 185-242

About this book


This detailed, chronological study investigates the rise of the European fascination with the Chinese language up to 1615. By meticulously investigating a wide range of primary sources, Dinu Luca identifies a rhetorical continuum uniting the land of the Seres, Cathay, and China in a tropology of silence, vision, and writing. Tracing the contours of this tropology, The Chinese Language in European Texts: The Early Period offers close readings of language-related contexts in works by classical authors, medieval travelers, and Renaissance cosmographers, as well as various merchants, wanderers, and missionaries, both notable and lesser-known. What emerges is a clear and comprehensive understanding of early European ideas about the Chinese language and writing system.


Chinese language Chinese writing ideography early Sinology Matteo Ricci Cathay Seres

Authors and affiliations

  • Dinu Luca
    • 1
  1. 1.National Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipei CityTaiwan

Bibliographic information