The first European map of China faintly relied on the copy of a Chinese original, obtained through bribing and espionage; the last covered in this book was the result of the largest land survey ever made until that time. These two and another 125 maps depict, sometimes uniquely, sometimes copying each other, a country whose images were so different that it was hard to understand which to trust.
This study reproduces and describes, for the first time, all the maps of China printed in Europe between 1584 and 1735, unravelling the origin of each individual map, their different printing, issues and publication dates. It also tells, for each, the unique story that made possible these visions from another world, stories marked by scholarly breakthroughs, obsession, missionary zeal, commercial sagacity and greed.
For a presentation from the author related to the publication entitled China on Copper Plates: The First 150 Years of Chinese Maps in Western Prints (1584-1735), see: here.
On June 23, 2022, the fourth session of the academic lecture series on "The Weavers of Four-Dimensional Space-Time and Their Creation" on the History of Maps was held in the form of an online seminar at the Kuang-Chi International Scholars Center. Dr. Marco Caboara, an Italian scholar from the Lee Shau Kee Library of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, gave a lively presentation entitled "China on Copperplate - the First 150 Years of Western Printed Maps of China, 1584-1735". The lecture was conducted in both Chinese and English. Associate Professor Lin Hong from the School of Humanities of Shanghai Normal University served as the moderator and translator. Dr. Yang Xunling, Deputy Director of the Library of Macau University of Science and Technology, served as the main responder. Professor Huang Yijun of Minzu University of China, and Deputy Youth Associate of Fudan University Researcher Ding Yannan, Dr. Catarina Batista and Dr. Ângela Gil from the Library of Macau University of Science and Technology, and Dr. Zheng Man from the Free University of Berlin participated in the discussion. Many domestic and foreign scholars and map enthusiasts listened to the lecture online. The lecture lasted nearly three hours.
Marco Caboara, Ph.D. (2011), University of Washington, Seattle, is the Head of Special Collections at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library. He has published articles on Classical Chinese bamboo manuscripts and on the Jesuit Cartography of China.
Historians of Cartography and of contacts between China and the West, map collectors, map dealers, map librarians and map enthusiasts, book and print historians.