Used by Classical and Medieval Western schools to teach rhetoric, a chreia is a brief moral story attributed to a famous historical figure. In Late Ming China, the Italian Jesuit Alfonso Vagnone, also named Gao Yizhi, and the Chinese scholar-official Han Yun collaborated on a project to write down 355 chreiai and sayings. These short commentaries are not mere translations of the Grecoroman text but the elaborate literary creations of two luminaries working at the junction between Chinese and Western wisdom literature. Along with the original Chinese and its English translation (the original source is included when available) the authors share their expert analysis of each chreia.
This study will interest scholars across disciplines: Chinese literature, Comparative literature, Sinology, Chinese thought, Christian studies, Western classics and Moral Philosophy.