Dell'historia della China, defcritta nella lingua Spagnuola

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Author: Mendoza, Juan Gonzalez de (1545-1618)

Year: 1586

Publisher: Appresso Andrea Muschio

Place: Venetia (Venice)


[30]+462+[40] pages with woodcut printer's device to title and through out at the terminus of sections. Duodecimo (6 1/4" x 4 1/2") bound in original limp vellum. Translated from the Spanish by Francesco Avanzi. (Adams G868; Lust 23: Sabin 2779) First Italian edition.

Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza's history was the first systematic study of Chinese society, the first history of contemporary China published in a European language, the first book printed in Europe to contain an illustration of Chinese characters, and the most influential and detailed work on China prepared in the sixteenth century. This history is an editing by Mendoza of the experiences of other priests not only in China, but also in much of the New World and Asia generally. Mendoza used both primary and secondary sources: accounts of Dominican and Franciscan friars, personal conversations with native Chinese residing in Spain and Jesuit letters. In particular, Mendoza added accounts of three missionary voyages from 1577, 1579 and 1581. It covers most aspects of Chinese society in depth - from chronology to government organization, to the Chinese language, to the country's legal system business practices and industry. It also makes important observations on the nature of Chinese writing and its ideographic nature. First published in 1885 in Rome as Historia de las cosas mas notables ritos y costumbres del gran reyno de China. Mendoza's history was a huge popular success for several reasons: the prevailing thirst for knowledge in the vernacular about the Far East the authority of a publication commissioned by the Pope himself, and Mendoza's engaging and lively style. His work was soon translated into many languages. Two editions were published in the following year. An Italian translation by Franceso Avanzo in 1586 and published again in 1587, 1588 and 1590. The first English and French editions were in 1588.


Some worming professionally repaired, previous owner's neat old ink script to title, some staining throughout, head corner page a3 torn (1" x 1") affecting some text, corners bumped, limp vellum repaired, lacks ties else a good copy of a scarce item.

SOLD 2018

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