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On Friendship: One Hundred Maxims for a Chinese Prince

Matteo Ricci; Translated by Timothy Billings

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September, 2009
Cloth, 192 pages,
ISBN: 978-0-231-14924-2
$32.00 / £22.00

"In this book, West and East truly meet, making something unique for both Western and Chinese readers alike." — Thierry Meynard, Sun Yat-sen University

"Matteo Ricci's On Friendship is one of the most remarkable works in Sino-Western history. Timothy Billings's translation brings to life this sixteenth-century fraternal love song to the Chinese literati with erudition and grace." — D. E. Mungello, Baylor University

"On Friendship is the perfect concatenation of supernal genius and brilliant scholarship. Matteo Ricci was Christianity's foundational and most effective voice in the late Ming dynasty, created the first scheme for the romanization of Chinese, introduced Western knowledge about science and government to the Middle Kingdom, and has a seemingly endless stream of other mind-boggling accomplishments to his credit. Timothy Billings possesses that rare blend of sinological expertise and Renaissance learning, enabling him to render Ricci's evocative classical Chinese maxims into elegant English and annotate them with extraordinary precision and clarity. The result is a beautiful book for the ages." — Victor Mair, University of Pennsylvania

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About the Author

Timothy Billings holds advanced degrees in sinology from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and in English literature from Cornell University. For more than ten years he has been a professor at Middlebury College, where he teaches Shakespeare and world literature. His critical edition of Victor Segalen's French and Chinese prose poems, Stèles, was awarded the Modern Language Association's Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Literary Work.

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