Connected Cartographies: World Maps in Translation Between China, Inner Asia and Early Modern Europe, 1550-1650
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CitationMorar, Florin-Stefan. 2019. Connected Cartographies: World Maps in Translation Between China, Inner Asia and Early Modern Europe, 1550-1650. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation analyses the formation of world geography in the early modern period from the perspective of methodologies of global history and translation studies. Previous accounts about the "age of discoveries" of the Renaissance have focused on the importance of centralized empirical accumulation of geographical data that expanded the classical Ptolemaic worldview. This dissertation argues instead that cross-cultural translation played a significant role. I show that roughly between 1550 and 1650 there was a significant, possibly unique, reciprocal process of translation connecting Chinese, Inner Asian and European ways of depicting the world. This process had two dimensions: the translation of Chinese world maps in Europe and the translation of European world maps in China and Inner Asia. The dissertation analyses this process by looking at the interconnected stories of three maps: the 1584 map of China by Abraham Ortelius, the 1602 Map of Myriad Kingdoms by Matteo Ricci and Li Zhizao and the Manchu translation of a 1603 version of the "Ricci map." These three stories are prefaced by an overview chapter discussing the key features of Chinese and European maps before their encounter in the second half of the 16th century. The dissertation concludes with an epilogue elaborating on the long-term implications of the reciprocal translation of maps between China, Inner Asia and Early Modern Europe.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42029664
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