Jesuit Mapmaking in China
Place Published: Philadelphia
Publisher: Saint Joseph's University Press
Date Published: 2014
Book Id: 74
Edited by Roberto M. Ribeiro with John W. O'Malley, S.J.
Early Modern Catholicism and the Visual Arts Series, Vol. 11
ISBN: 978-0-916101-181-7, hardcover, 172 pages / index / 8 1/2 x 13 1/4 in. / 18 images + 42 maps in color.
In the early 1700s, Jesuit missionaries in China persuaded Emperor Kangxi to employ them to map his vast empire. Thus was launched the most extensive, scientifically based cartographic undertaking in the history of the world up to that time. Jesuit Mapmaking in China tells the fascinating story of that undertaking and the story of the subsequent struggle to have the maps published. It then reproduces the maps themselves as they appeared in a pirated edition in The Hague. This book will appeal to everyone interested in the history of China, the history of the Jesuits, and the history of cartography.
"This welcome study and facsimiles of the Jesuit Jean-Baptiste du Halde's famous Nouvel atlas de la Chine (1737) provides a comprehensive outline of the context and historical production of what was in 1737 'the world's most precise and most authoritative China maps before the 20th century.' . . . Whereas Jesuit mapmaking in China is briefly discussed in previous books . . . , this work delivers a concentrated analysis of the single most ambitious Jesuit geodetic project in history. . . . It is hoped that this significant contribution to Jesuit studies is an inaugural effort preceding more expansive studies that will include other important Jesuit cartography. . . .
Anthony E. Clark, Whitworth University (Catholic Historical Review)