Imperium Sinicum Quindecupartitum


A scarce and detailed map of China, Korea, and parts of Japan, likely published in Kircher’s China Monumentis.

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This interesting map focusing on the Chinese mainland included the most up to date geographic information on the region that was available at the time of publication. Many Jesuit scholars and missionaries traveled extensively throughout the 17th century and contributed greatly to European cartographic understanding of previously unknown areas.

The map is based on the works compiled by the Father Martino Martini, whom gathered numerous Chinese sources between 1643 and 1650 and was published by Athanasius Kircher, another Jesuit scholar who was denied permission to travel to China in person. The map gives approximately correct locations of many cities, rivers and topographical features. The trade route between Canton and Peking is noted and the Great Wall and the Gobi Desert are both graphically pictured, the former boldly stretching across the top of the map.

Map Details

Publication Date: c. 1670

Author: Athanasius Kircher

Sheet Width (in): 18

Sheet Height (in): 15.25

Condition: B

Condition Description: This map is in fair to good condition. It has been professionally cleaned, returning the sheet to bright white, but some discoloration remains along the centerfold. Ragged outer edges and minor foxing in the margins.


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