Anti-Christian documents from the reign of Emperor Yongzheng in the collection of the Biblioteca Casanatense
20 , 2016-04-01 , 関西大学東西学術研究所
This paper discusses the content of several documents concerning the persecution of Catholics during the early reign of the Yongzheng emperor that were discovered by the author in the archives of the Biblioteca Casanatense in Rome. Specifically, these include an oral deposition stating that the Jesuit missionary Joannes Mourão had engaged in clandestine contact with Yuntang — later forcibly renamed Seshe, meaning “pig”, because Yuntang was a rival of the Yongzheng emperor who tried to humiliate and destroy him — the ninth son of the Kangxi emperor; and a document finding the Su Nu family guilty of having embraced the Christian faith. Such documents have been preserved, not only in the Biblioteca Casanatense but in a number of other Catholic libraries and archives in Europe, sent by European missionaries then stationed in China. By comparing these documents with surviving Chinese documents, we should be able to gain a clearer understanding of the actual situation at this time. Moreover, in itself the oral statement is a valuable linguistic source for the study of contemporary Chinese speech, so these documents contain possibilities for future research from a variety of perspectives.