This book is a comparative history that juxtaposes early modern European and Chinese approaches to historical study that have been called “antiquarian.” As an exercise in historical recovery, this volume amasses new information about the range of antiquarian-type scholarship on the past, on nature, and on peoples undertaken at either end of the Eurasian landmass between 1500 and 1800. As a historiographical project, the book challenges the received—and often very under-conceptualized—use of the term “antiquarian” in both European and Chinese contexts.

Peter N. Miller is Dean and Professor at the Bard Graduate Center.

François Louis is Associate Professor at the Bard Graduate Center.

Table of Contents
Part I: Antiquarianism and Study of the Past

1. Writing Antiquarianism: Prolegomenon to a History
Peter N. Miller

2. The Many Dimensions of the Antiquary’s Practice
Alain Schnapp

3. Far and Away? Japan, China, and Egypt, and the Ruins of Ancient Rome in Justus Lipsius’s Intellectual Journey
Jan Papy

4. Comparing Antiquarianisms: A View from Europe
Peter N. Miller

Part II: Authenticity and Antiquities

5. The Credulity Problem
Christopher S. Wood

6. Artifacts of Authentication: People Making Texts Making Things in Ming-Qing China
Bruce Rusk

Part III: The Discovery of the World

7. Styles of Medical Antiquarianism
Nancy G. Siraisi

8. Therapy and Antiquity in Late Imperial China
Nathan Sivin

9. Wang Shizhen and Li Shizhen: Archaism and Early Scientific Thought in Sixteenth-Century China
Kenneth J. Hammond

10. The Botany of Cheng Yaotian (1725–1814): Multiple Perspectives on Plants
Georges Metailié

Part IV: Antiquarianism and Ethnography

11. The Study of Islam in Early Modern Europe: Obstacles and Missed Opportunities
Noel Malcolm

12. Thinking About “Non-Chinese” in Ming China
Leo K. Shin

Part V: Antiquarianism and a “History of Religion”

13. From Antiquarianism to Philosophical History: India, China, and the World History of Religion in European Thought (1600–1770)
Joan-Pau Rubiés

14. Whose Antiquarianism? Europe Versus China in the 1701 Conflict Between Bishop Maigrot and Qiu Sheng
D. E. Mungello

15. From Antiquarian Imagination to the Reconstruction of Institutions: Antonius van Dale
Martin Mulsow
This volume is the first to juxtapose the autochthonous traditions of antiquarianism of Early Modern Europe and Late Imperial China. Rather than asking only what the West might be able to learn about China, it self-consciously and quite successfully seeks to open up new perspectives on both sides of the comparison. It moreover breaks important ground in suggesting historically traceable links between evidential learning in China and European traditions of ‘Herodotean’ historiography.

—Lothar von Falkenhausen, University of California, Los Angeles

This splendid collection of essays is at once a major addition to the literature on the history of scholarship in Western Europe, a burgeoning field in its own right, and a model effort at comparative cultural history … The collection as a whole sheds light on areas little known even to erudite scholars.
—Anthony Grafton, Princeton University