Monday, April 11, 2016

Chinese Globe 1623




This is the earliest surviving Chinese Globe, made by two European missionaries, Father Nicolo Longobardi and Manuel Dias who introduced Western geographical ideas into China, and the globe helped them to do this. The globe is inscribed with a number of complicated geographical and astronomical concepts, including an explanation of the theories of latitude and longitude, and a description of the way eclipses of the sun and moon prove that the world is round. Chinese-made maps of this period show China at the centre of the world, and do not show a great awareness of other countries and continents.

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