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De Christiana Expeditione apud Sinas Susepta ab Societate Iesu,

Ex P. Matthaei Riccii eiusdem Societatis Commentariis, Libri V.

Stock Code 106900

Lyon, Sumptibus Horatii Cardon, Ex typographeio Ioannis Iullieron, 1616

Original price £7,500.00 - Original price £7,500.00
Original price £0.00
£7,500.00 - £7,500.00
Current price £7,500.00
The most important work on China since Marco Polo. The earliest authoritative source of information on China available in Europe at that time.

At his death Matteo Ricci, the pioneer Jesuit missionary to China, left an unfinished manuscript entitled Della entrata della Compagnia di Giesu at Christianita nella Cina. Trigault completed the manuscript, translated it into Latin and published it in 1615 in Augsburg. He added material from other Ricci manuscripts, as well as an account of Ricci's death and funeral. It was quickly reprinted across Europe and translated into numerous European languages. Gallagher writes: '... it probably had more effect on the literary and scientific, the philosophical and the religious phases of life in Europe than any other historical volume of the seventeenth century. It introduced Confucius to Europe and Copernicus and Euclid to China. It opened a new world' (China in the Sixteenth Century: the Journal of Matthew Ricci, 1953).

The Jesuits wanted to understand China in order to win converts. Accordingly, they adopted Chinese names, dress, language and immersed themselves in the Chinese culture, whilst at the same time introducing the Chinese to western mathematics, science, cartography and astronomy. In 1592 Ricci famously predicted a solar eclipse with greater accuracy than the court astronomers. As a result, Emperor Wan-li invited Ricci to Peking. Ricci arrived in the city in 1601 and resided there until his death in 1610. The title page engraving shows Matteo Ricci and Saint Francis Xavier with Ricci's map of China between them.

Second edition in Latin. 4to, (21.3 x 15.5 cm); [16], 628, [10] pp. (pp. 626-628 misnumbered as 606-608); engraved title page including a map of China, folding letterpress plate with woodcut diagram (repaired with minor loss), faint damp-staining to first five leaves, Contemporary blind-stamped calf, raised bands, carmine edges, expert restoration to corners and edges, a very good copy.

Cordier (Sinica), 809; Lowendahl (China Illustrata Nova) I, 57; Cf. Lust, 836 (first edition); De Backer & Sommervogel VIII, 239; Streit V:2095.

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De Christiana Expeditione apud Sinas Susepta ab Societate Iesu,

RICCI, Matteo; TRIGAULT, Nicholas.

Stock code: 106900



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