Chinese world map, 17th century

Chinese world map, 17th century

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Chinese world map. Comprised of six vertical wood block print sections, this world map was produced by the Italian Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) and published in China in 1602 (original edition 1584). It is a pseudocylindrical projection centred on the Pacific Ocean. The main continents (Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas) are accurate, but the as-yet-undiscovered southern land masses are called 'Magellanica' (Terra Australis). In the corners are polar maps of the northern and southern hemispheres (left), the geocentric world system (upper right), and celestial and zodiacal circles (lower right). The text is Chinese.

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