A Need for a Careful Study of the History of China
In 1885, the American educator, academic administrator and diplomat James Burrill Angell (January 7, 1829 – April 1, 1916) made an urgent appeal for “a thorough investigation of existing usages and laws in towns and villages of China”.
James Burrill Angell (January 7, 1829 – April 1, 1916)
“A profound knowledge of the Chinese language, exhaustless patience in ransacking the voluminous literature of China, and a thorough investigation of existing usages and laws in towns and villages of China, will be necessary for the successful prosecution of such work.”
The paper entitled “A Need for a Careful Study of the History of China” published in Science, is recognized as the first paper resides on the domain of Chinese towns and villages so far. Let’s remember his words:
“But the facilities for mastering the language are now so great, and the opportunities for coming into close contact with Chinese life and thought are so rapidly increasing, that the younger scholars need not despair of accomplishing what has hitherto been impossible, but what may prove a most valuable contribution to the history of institutions.”
Keep his words in mind, I would like to coin my motto for mutual encouragement：
“With time rolling on, everything fell into oblivion in the history, and it is visionary endeavor that will finally help us penetrate to the essence of reality.”
- Angell, J.B., 1885. A Need for a Careful Study of the History of China. Science, 6 (147), 479.
- James Burrill Angell. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Burrill_Angell
- ECSEDY, I., 1984. Capitals and Village Communities at the Beginning of China’s History. Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 38 (1/2), 7–32.
- Leeming, F., 1980. Official Landscapes in Traditional China. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 23 (1/2), 153–204.
- Wheatley, P., 1970. Archaeology and the Chinese city. World Archaeology, 2 (2), 159–185.