Tartaros en China: historia qve escrivio en latin Matin [sic] Martinio, y en español Esteuan de Aguilar y Zuñiga

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Author: Martini, Martino (1614-1661)

Year: 1665

Publisher: Joseph Fernández

Place: Madrid


[38] (of [40]), 188 pages; lacks preliminary 2¶1. Duodecimo (5 3/4" x 3 3/4") bound in nineteenth-century gilt and blind-stamped sheep with decorative edges. Translated from the Latin by Esteban de Aguilar y Zúñiga. (Lust 445; Palau 156356; Streit V, 2321) First Spanish edition, originally published in Latin (1654).

Martino Martini was an Italian Jesuit missionary, cartographer and historian, mainly working on ancient Imperial China. He set out for China in 1640, and arrived in Portuguese Macau in 1642 where he studied Chinese for some time. In 1643 he crossed the border and settled in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, from where he did much traveling in order to gather scientific information, especially on the geography of the Chinese empire: he visited several provinces, as well as Peking and the Great Wall. He made great use of his talents as missionary, scholar, writer and superior. Soon after Martini's arrival to China, the Ming capital Beijing fell to Li Zicheng's rebels (April, 1644) and then to the Manchus, and the last legitimate Ming emperor, the Chongzhen Emperor, hanged himself. Down in Zhenjiang, Martini continued working with the short-lived regime of Zhu Yujian, Prince of Tang, who set himself up as the (Southern) Ming Longwu Emperor. In 1651 Martini left China for Rome as the Delegate of the Chinese Mission Superior. On his way to Rome, he met printers in Antwerp, Vienna and Munich to submit to them historical and cartographic data he had prepared. The works were printed and made him famous. In 1658, after a most difficult journey, he was back in China with the favorable decree. Martini's most important work is Novus Atlas Sinensis, which appeared as part of volume 10 of Joan Blaeu's Atlas Maior (Amsterdam 1655). His De Bello Tartarico Historia (Antwerp 1654) is also important as Chinese history, for Martini himself had lived through the frightful occurrences which brought about the overthrow of the ancient Ming dynasty. The works have been repeatedly published and translated into different languages. (parts of this information Wikipedia).


Lacks preliminary 2¶1, contents toned and soiled with dark marginal damp-staining in second half of volume, scattered marginal repairs not affecting text. Bookplate of the Marqués de Perales on otherwise blank title verso else a good copy bound in an attractive cover.

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