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《The Qing History Journal》 2009-03
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Missionary Tribute and the Qianlong Emperor's Western Taste

An important component of Matteo Ricci's mission strategy to China was through winning the goodwill of supreme rulers by presenting gifts.This paper,by using the "Palace Tribute Inventories" of the missionaries in the Qianlong era,held at the First Historical Archives of China in Beijing,sums up three types of western missionary tribute in the Qianlong era:First,the tribute through local officials;second,the tribute by missionaries upon their arrival in Beijing;and third,the tribute by missionaries as subjects to the emperor during festivals.It explores the feelings of hate,hope,and gratitude of the missionaries under this particular environment.It portrays three following aspects through the lens of the Qianlong emperor's Western taste:First,curiosity towards Western exotica;second,general interest in Western instruments;and third,a lasting interest in Western painting.Tribute presentation by itself is a form of exchange in which the missionaries and the Qianlong Emperor each had their respective purposes.However,this tributary relationship itself was not an exchange among equals,because all were determined by the Qianlong emperor.
【CateGory Index】: K249.3
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