Friday, January 22, 2010

The Western Confucian, Cartographer


Above, a smaller version the map created by "visiting Italian-born Jesuit priest, Matteo Ricci, and apparently commissioned by the court of Emperor Wanli in 1602 — the year after Ricci became the first Westerner admitted to Peking and then the Forbidden City—" which is described as "partly a tribute to the land in which Ricci had lived since 1582, and in which he would die in 1610" — A Big Map That Shrank the World.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous mcmlxix said...

I always wondered where Australantarctica went...and don't tell the Brits, but their sceptered isle is really a Franco protrusion.

Still, classical maps are amazing. For as much as they got wrong, and for as much was really just jolly page filler of the unknown, they got so much right. If we can see farther, it's because we stand on the shoulders of giants.

2:28 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Funny he should have left out the English Channel, not exacly unknown in 1602. Continetally, Africa looks to be the most accurate.

Still, I'm always amazed at how much the got right as well. I like that the non-geographic Europe/Asia divide is what it still is.

3:52 PM  

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