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Chinese Literature
Huogong qieyao 火攻挈要 "All Important Matters of War with Firearms"


The Huogong qieyao 火攻挈要 "All important matters of war with firearms" is a richly illustrated book on firearms written by the late Ming period 明 (1368-1644) scholar Jiao Xu 焦勖 and commented by Zhao Zhong 趙仲. Jiao was instructed by the Jesuit missionary Adam Schall von Bell (1592-1666, Chinese name Tang Ruowang 湯若望). The book was finished in 1643 and is divided into two juan "scrolls", and also included a supplement called Huogong biyao 火攻秘要. There is a manuscript of this original version stored in the Beijing Library 北京圖書館. Another version is the revision by Pan Shicheng 潘士成, editor of the collectaneum Haishanxianguan congshu 海山仙館叢書, who made a third juan out of the supplement. In some catalogues the title of the book is called Zekelu 則克錄 "Rules for Defense". There are 27 illustrations showing the loading and use of muskets and other firearms, as well as facilities for casting cannons, a proficiency taught to Chinese craftsmen by Jesuit experts.

Source: Wang Qingyu 王慶余 (1989). "Huogong qieyao 火攻挈要", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Junshi 軍事, vol. 1, p. 415. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.

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January 15, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail