2015年5月3日 星期日

Robert Swinhoe

Robert Swinhoe

I wouldn't be surprised if you've never heard of Robert Swinhoe.  He's not exactly world famous, and even in Taiwan's local history he's a minor figure.  He recently popped up in a book I've been reading, "The Misunderstood History of Taiwan: 1861-1949":  你可能沒聽過Robert Swinhoe這個人.  他不是一個世界知名的人.  他在台灣史裡也不算很重要.  我最近在被混淆的臺灣史:1861-1949這本書中看過他的名字:

"...倒是英國駐臺副領事郇和(Robert Swinhoe)先來, 他在淡水開港的隔年七月抵達台南安平, 發現當地秩序紊亂, 官員無法維持治安, 且衛生不佳, 急於拓展貿易的英商認為安平港海口淤賽, 不便外籍輪船停泊, 相對的, 北部淡水因附近產樟腦, 又日漸成為運煤, 米的商船出入港口, 遲早會成為重要的貿易中心."  "...after the British vice-consul, Robert Swinhoe, first arrived in Taiwan, he moved the main port from An Ping in Tainan to Danshui during July of the following year.  He had discovered that the old port was in a state of disorder, that the officials were not able to maintain discipline there, and that it was not a very hygienic place.  Because of silt buildup the An Ping port was also an inconvenient place for British merchants to berth their ships, while on the other hand the northern port in Danshui was a more convenient place for shipping camphor.  The importation of coal also increased daily through that port, it offered an easy access point for rice merchants, and and it very quickly became an important trading center."

According to Wikipedia, Swinhoe was "an English naturalist who worked as a consul in Formosa"  He assumed his consulship in 1860, and during his tenure the British consulate was moved from Tainan to Danshui.  At the same time he wrote several articles on the wildlife he encountered in Taiwan, which was then an obscure territory under Ching imperial administration.  維基百科說Swinhoe是喜歡大自然的英國副領事.  他西元1860年成為英國政府在台的副領事, 然後他把英國的領事館搬到淡水去了.  他在同時寫了幾篇文章介紹他在台灣看到的動物.  那時候台灣是一個在清廷管理下很落後的地方.

The articles he wrote about Taiwan's wildlife is where Swinhoe's fame truly originated, since after their publication many animals in Taiwan came to be named after him.  The best-known of these is probably Swinhoe's pheasant, a dark-colored bird with red wattles.  There are also Swinhoe's (storm) petrel, Swinhoe's egret (more often referred to as the Chinese egret), Swinhoe's japalura, Swinhoe's grass snake, and Swinhoe's brown frog.  他那些關於台灣動物的文章就是他成為史上有名人物的原因, 因為很多台灣動物在這些文章之後都以他的名字命名.  其中之一最有名的是Swinhoe's pheasant 藍腹鷳,它是身體為深藍色且臉紅紅的鳥.  還有Swinhoe's (storm) petrel 黑叉尾海燕, Swinhoe's egret (Chinese egret) 唐白鷺, Swinhoe's japalura 龍蜥, Swinhoe's grass snake 斯文豪氏遊蛇, 也有Swinhoe's brown frog 斯文豪氏赤蛙.

After leaving Taiwan, Swinhoe would go on to serve the British government in China until 1873.  His deteriorating health forced him to return to England, where he died of a stroke in 1877.  He probably never thought that at some later date - far in the future - many animals in Taiwan would still bear his name.  他離開台灣以後, 在大陸為英國政府工作到1873年.  之後因為身體不好回去英國.  在1877年因中風過世.  他應該沒想到很久以後許多台灣動物會以他的性名命名.

His English name, I should say.  In Chinese the Swinhoe's pheasant is referred to as the 藍腹鷳 - and several other names - all of which are probably older than "Swinhoe's pheasant."*  Robert Swinhoe might be famous, but the bird that bears his name is still a Taiwanese bird, and as such it bears his name indifferently. 藍腹鷳的中文名取自它的特徵, 它的英文名字卻是以人名來命名, 它自己應該覺得奇怪吧!

Swinhoe's pheasant

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Train Stations, Old Streets, and Academies 舊火車站, 老街, 跟書院
Beigang 北港
行憲紀念日 Constitution Day*
Hengchun's "Old City" 恆春古城 (中)  

References 參考文獻:

被混淆的臺灣史:1861-1949 "The Misunderstood History of Taiwan: 1861-1949"駱芬美 2014 時報文化 96-97頁
Robert Swinhoe (Wikipedia article)
List of Endemic Species of Taiwan (Wikipedia article)
Swinhoe, Robert (Reed Digital Collections)  
藍腹鷳 (Swinhoe's pheasant) (Wikipedia article)

*The oldest mention of this bird is in a Ching document from 1753, over a hundred years before Swinhoe's time.  In this document the Swinhoe's pheasant is referred to as the 華雞 or "Chinese chicken."

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