Martino Martini (1614-1661)


Martino Martini (q) (1614-1661) was an Italian Jesuit, cartographer and historian. After studying classical literature and philosophy he turned to astronomy and mathematics. In 1639 he was ordained priest in Lisbon. His first stay in China extended from 1642 to 1651. On his long return trip to Rome he visited Norway, the Netherlands and Germany. In Leiden Martini met the famous orientalist Jacobus Golius, in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Vienna, and Munich he met printers to hand over historical and cartographic materials he had compiled in Asia. In 1658 he was back in China, but died soon afterwards of cholera.

Martini's most important work is Novus Atlas Sinensis (Amsterdam 1655), with 17 maps and 171 pages of text, the most detailed geographical description of China at his time.

Blaeu Iaponia Regnum
  • Japonia Regnum. Amsterdam 1655 (ca. 42 x 59 cm). (private collection)
  • This map in the Atlas Sinensis is the first map ever to show Korea as a peninsula. The northern parts of Honshu ("Iaponia") incorporate the "discoveries" of Maerten Geritszoon de Vries (1643).

    Blaeu Iaponia Regnum Blaeu Iaponia Regnum
    
    
    
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