Fondazione Giorgio Cini

Martino Martini Sinicae historiae decas prima res a gentis origine ad Christum natum in extrema Asia, sive magnum sinarum imperio gestas complexa, Munich, Johann Wagner and Lukas Straub, 4to

1658

Matteo Giro


Printed book, 222 × 174 mm

First and rare edition by the Jesuit priest Martino Martini (Trento, 1614 – Hangzhou, 1661), known in China as Wei Kuangguo.
In addition to his missionary work, Martini was a scientist, mathematician, historian, and cartographer. He operated extensively in the territories ruled by the Ming and Qing dynasties, and is considered the first European to have written a grammar of Chinese language, the first European geographer given direct access to the Imperial administration’s maps of China, and the first European scholar of the history of China – of which this book is the most tangible testimony. The text presents a complete history of the Middle Kingdom, from 2952 BC to the birth of Christ, based on a diligent and rigorous analysis of Chinese sources. Martini was an extremely skilled mediator between Western civilization and that of China, and remains symbolic figure of the union between the two cultures. This copy is from the library of Giovanni Vacca (1872-1953), an Italian mathematician and expert sinologist.


Bibliography: B. Bolognani, L’Europa scopre il volto della Cina: prima biografia di padre Martino Martini, missionario, sinologo, geografo (1614-1661), (Trento: 1978); Xu Zongze, “L’attivitaĚ€ di M. in Cina e il suo contributo agli scambi culturali fra la Cina e l’Occidente,” in Raccolta di saggi di letteratura e storia cinese, IV, (Shanghai: 1981), pp. 249-274; Martino Martini, geografo cartografo storico teologo..., Atti del Convegno... 1981, edited by G. Melis, (Trento: 1983).

 

Fondazione Giorgio Cini

Martino Martini Sinicae historiae decas prima res a gentis origine ad Christum natum in extrema Asia, sive magnum sinarum imperio gestas complexa, Munich, Johann Wagner and Lukas Straub, 4to
Martino Martini Sinicae historiae decas...
1658