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Alvarez de Semedo: An Exact Mapp of China, being faithfully Copied from one rought from Peking by a Father Lately resident in that Citty

Map: SEAS4331
 
Cartographer: Alvarez de Semedo
Title: An Exact Mapp of China, being faithfully Copied from one rought from Peking by a Father Lately resident in that Citty
Date: 1655
Published: London
Width: 14 inches / 36 cm
Height: 11 inches / 28 cm
Map ref: SEAS4331
Description:
English edition of Alvarez de Semedo’s (1585-1658) map of China, published by John Webb in London, 1655. The general layout of the map is derived from Samuel Purchas’ map from 1625, the first figure map of China and the first in the English language. Semedo’s map, published in Rome, 1643, appears in "Relazione della grande Monarchia della China", and differs from Purchas’ in its different figures and the lack of squared and circled cities. While Webb is copying Semedo’s map directly except for the translated text, Nicholas Sanson in Paris, amongst others, used it as a source for his atlas map of China without the figures. The title of the map reads: "An Exact Mapp of China, being a faithfully Copied from one brought fro Peking by a Father Lately resident in that Citty". Intriguingly the unnamed source for this map would seem to be Michele Ruggieri (1543-1607). He landed in Macao in 1579 together with Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) and other Jesuits, and became the first European to adopt a Chinese name. He and Ricci compiled the first bilingual English-Chinese dictionary, which remained lost in the Jesuit Archives in Rome until its fortuitous discovery in 1934 and later publishing in 2001. On his return to Salerno, Italy in 1588, Ruggieri brought a number of Chinese maps that became the basis of Samedo’s map, therefore derived from Chinese sources and recent travel discoveries by Jesuit explorers. These Chinese maps represented an alternative to the survey by the Portuguese Jesuit, Luiz Jorge de Barbadu (Ludovicus Georgius), the dominant source for European maps of China at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries used by Ortelius, Speed, Hondius, etc., and also to the slightly later survey by Martino Martini (1614-1661), first published by Blaeu in 1655. [SEAS4331]