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Honoring a great man

By Wang Rongjiang (Shanghai Daily)

10:40, January 25, 2013

A man photographs a newly erected statue of Xu Guangqi yesterday at Guangqi Park. (Shanghai Daily)

Xu (1562- 1633), for whom Xujiahui is named, was a locally born agricultural scientist, astronomer and mathematician in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). He played a key role in introducing Western technology. He joined with Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci to translate parts of Euclid's Elements into Chinese, and combined Chinese and Western astronomical data to compile the Chongzhen Almanac, a reform of the Chinese calender.

He also wrote the Complete Treatise on Agriculture, a great contribution to farming in China. The statue pictured shows Xu supervising the building of a cannon. It was erected to mark the 450th anniversary of his birth.

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