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DESCRIPTION: Although few ancient Chinese maps are extant, it is evident from various descriptions in early geographical literature and Korean copies and imitations of old Chinese maps that the Terrestrial Continent was centered around China, encircled by a large ring of water quite similar to Homera€™s Oceanus, and further enclosed by an imaginary outer continent (#105, #254, #255, #256).
The subject of this monograph is a map referred to as Yoktae chewang honil kangnido [Map of historical emperors and kings and of integrated borders and terrain], also known as the Honil kangni yoktae kukto chi to [Map of integrated regions and terrains and of historical countries and capitals], and hereafter will be simply referred to as the Kangnido. According to the preface found in China€™s Yangcha€™on chip, the map is a synthesis of two earlier Chinese maps, an early 14th century (~1330) map by Li Tse-min [Zemin] and another map from the late 14th century (~1370) by Cha€™ing Cha€™n [Qing Jun], both maps now lost however. The place to begin discussion of this very unusual map is with its preface, the crucial part of which is translated here from the text on the Ryukoku copy, with reference to the closely similar version in Cha€™A?an Chin's collected works, the Yangcha€™on chip. Takahashi Tadashi has shown that the Kangnidoa€™s Chinese transcriptions of place-names in southwest Asia, Africa, and Europe come from Persianized Arabic originals. The European part of the map, which is said to contain some 100 names, has not yet been the object of an individual study, and no details of this section of the Kangnido seem to have been published. Cha€™A?an Chin observed in his preface that the Kuang yu ta€™u had only sketchy treatment of the area east of the Liao River and of Korea. The last major element of the map to be supplied, as far as the Koreans were concerned, was Japan. It is generally assumed by Korean cartographical specialists that this map, brought back in 1401, was the basis for the representation of Japan on the Kangnido. The northeastern coast of Africa, as well as Arabia, Asia Minor and the Mediterranean Sea with Italy and Spain were, as a whole, known to the Chinese from the 12th century, either by description, or, in the case of the African and Arabian coasts, from their own experience.
Prior to the Age of Great Discoveries, the African world below the Sahara, by all indications, was essentially an enigma to geographers in Europe. From the other side, the Arabs undoubtedly possessed considerable advantages that enabled them to venture across the dry lands and beyond.
While numerous places in North Africa were mentioned by Chinese authors of the 8th and 9th centuries, it is more difficult to establish a clear milestone for the advance of Chinaa€™s knowledge concerning tropical Africa. Returning to Cha€™A?an Chin and Li Huia€™s map, the delineation of the southern half of Africa is of particular interest. The fact that the names of the Chinese cities on China€™s map are all the same as on the maps from 1320, further substantiates that the basic content of the map, as a whole, must date back to the famous Chinese cartographer Chu Ssu-pena€™s own time. Whatever the emphasis of the cartographer, rivers as a rule, were the most prominent landmarks in every Chinese map; and for the inland areas (central Asia especially) China€™s map is a good example of the Korean conformity to Chinese tradition, and we see the magnitude of rivers and other water bodies greatly exaggerated.
Another contributing factor in the mapa€™s remarkable knowledge of the West is that which was obtained as a result of the near conquest of the entire known [inhabited] world, or oikoumene, by the Mongols during the 13th century. The overall disposition and bulk of the different components of the Kangnido at first make an odd appearance.
Little is known about how the Kangnido came to Japan, but it probably arrived there independently on three separate occasions. The graphic above illustrates a proposed hypothetical development or a€?transitiona€? of the Korean world map, beginning with the Kangnido of 1402 through to the Cha€™onhado [map of all under heaven] in the 16th century (see #231).
This information permits the conclusion that the Kangnido was probably often copied in Korea during the 15th and 16th centuries. Thus Japan is righted and put in its proper place, the respective masses of Korea, China, and Africa are brought into more accurate relation, and England and Scandinavia emerge from Europe. Movable type printing with cast metal movable type, which Korea had pioneered among the East Asian nations in 1242, underwent considerable development and refinement under the 15th century kings; by the time Gutenberg perfected his press in 1454, hundreds of editions of books in Chinese and several in Korean had been printed in Korea with movable type. The spirit that animated all of these projects, and that marks the 15th century as perhaps Koreaa€™s greatest, was both national and international in character, and showed a high degree of independent thinking.
In addition to practical administrative concerns, mapmaking served to strengthen the national prestige and royal power.
The Honil kangni yoktae kukto chi to [Map of Integrated Lands and Regions of Historical Countries and Capitals, short name Kangnido] is a world map that was made in Korea in 1402, the second year of the reign of Taejong of Joseon. It is the second oldest surviving world map from East Asia, after the similar Chinese Da Ming Hun Yi Tu, part of a tradition begun in the 1320s when geographical information about western countries became available via Islamic geographers in the Mongol empire.
Chin had returned from a trip to China in the summer of 1399, probably bringing the two Chinese maps with him, and both ministers had just completed reporting on land surveys of Koreaa€™s northern frontiers to the royal court. In the fourth year of the Jianwen era (1402), Gim Sahyeong and Yi Mu, and later Li Hui, analyzed the two Chinese maps and combined these two maps into a single map.
The map depicts the general form of the Old World, from Africa and Europe in the west to Japan in the east although the western portion is much smaller than its actual size. Place names based on traditional Chinese knowledge and Islamic knowledge coexist separately. Chinese Exploration: Some have used this map as evidence of early global exploration by China. It is one of the oldest surviving world maps from East Asia although the exact date of creation remains unknown. The place names of China on the map reflect the political situation in 1389, or the 22nd year of the reign of the Hongwu Emperor. Relationship to other maps: Maps had for centuries played an important role in the government of such a vast country, and surviving examples on stone dating from AD 1137 (Book II, #218) but based on much earlier surveys, show great accuracy, using a grid system.
By the early years of the 14th century, when Mongol domination over much of Eurasia created favorable conditions for east-west communication, Islamic maps of Europe and Africa had found their way to China, encouraging Chinese cartographers to create world maps incorporating the new information. Scholars consider that the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu was ultimately based on a world map named Shengjiao Guangbei Tu (e???•™a»?e?«a?–). Compared to the Kangnido, the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu provides more detailed information on Mongolia and Central Asia and India. It replicates the curvature of the Earth by compression of areas furthest away from China (most obviously the extreme horizontal squeeze of Europe), their reduced size making both a geographical and a political statement. The European coverage goes only as far as the new portolan mapping, showing the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas.
Hunyi jiangli lidai guodu zhi tu[General map of the distances and the historic capitals]: Honkoo-ji Tokiwa Museum of Historical Materials, Shimabara, Nagasaki prefecture. Chinaa€™s towns and cities, its river systems, and the Great Wall are all shown on the map. Cha€™A?ana€™s own role was probably important, even though he insists that he only stood in the background and a€?enjoyably watched the making of the map.a€? But he was being modest and tactful, since he was younger in age and junior in rank to the two ministers. A A A  The European part of the map, which is said to contain some 100 names, has not yet been the object of an individual study, and no details of this section of the Kangnido seem to have been published. DESCRIPTION: This large circular planisphere (6 feet 4 inches in diameter), drawn on parchment and mounted on wood in a square frame, is preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice. Fra Mauro, a Camaldulian monk from the island of Murano near Venice, was active in about the middle of the 15th century. Fra Mauroa€™s map was in many ways a more up-to-date map than the printed versions of Ptolemy which succeeded it two decades later. I do not think it derogatory to Ptolemy if I do not follow his Cosmografia, because, to have observed his meridians or parallels or degrees, it would be necessary in respect to the setting out of the known parts of this circumference, to leave out many provinces not mentioned by Ptolemy.
Ptolemy, he writes, like all cosmographers, could not personally verify everything that he entered on his map and with the lapse of time more accurate reports will become available. In my time I have striven to verify the writings by experience, through many yearsa€™ investigation, and intercourse with persons worthy of credence, who have seen with their own eyes what is faithfully set out above. Therefore, Mauro did not use Ptolemya€™s framework of longitude and latitude and he also opened up the Sea of India, which in editions of Ptolemy is traditionally landlocked, but was generally left open to the circumfluent ocean by Mauroa€™s contemporaries. Jerusalem is indeed the center of the inhabited world latitudinally, though longitudinally it is somewhat to the west, but since the western portion is more thickly populated by reason of Europe, therefore Jerusalem is also the center longitudinally if we regard not empty space but the density of population.
Like the Greek geographers before Ptolemy and like the Arab cartographers, Fra Mauro shows all of the continents as being surrounded on all sides by the great ocean. Likewise I have found various opinions regarding this circumference, but it is not possible to verify them.
Fra Mauro, therefore, did not have a very accurate conception of exactly what proportion of the earth that he was portraying in his map.
The orientation of the mappa mundi towards the south is perhaps the first aspect that surprises and intrigues the modern spectator who is used to north-oriented maps, and who is therefore disoriented by the effort required to identify landmasses which not only have 500-year-old outlines, but which are also turned a€?upside down,a€? thus losing their familiar shapes. AFRICA: Putting aside for the moment questions of interpretation, it is impossible not to be struck by the illusion of accuracy which the general shape of the continent produces here, especially when compared with most of the previous medieval European representations. Since very little of the coastline beyond Cape Roxo shows a linear correspondence with the actual coastline, these charts may have been worthless counterfeits, the latest official Portuguese findings having been suppressed even at this early stage of exploration to protect the competitive advantage that such knowledge bestowed.
The lack of tangible examples displaying the latest information on the map has been criticized, especially as Mauroa€™s assistant, Bianco, was employed in its production, but it is scarcely justifiable to argue from this that information was deliberately withheld from the cartographer by the Portuguese authorities. It is, however, evident that Fra Mauroa€™s map depicts the coasts of Africa as far as Senegal and Cape Verde, which were explored by the Portuguese expeditions of 1441, as well as giving evidence of that countrya€™s penetration as far as the Congo. About the year of Our Lord 1420 a ship, what is called an Indian junk [Zoncho de India], on a crossing of the Sea of India towards the Isle of Men and Women, was driven by a storm beyond the Cape of Diab, through the Green Isles, out into the Sea of Darkness on their way west and southwest, in the direction of Algarve. The large island at the extreme southern end of Africa, named Diab, is probably based upon reports of the existence of the great island of Madagascar. Some authors state of the Sea of India that it is enclosed like a lake, and that the ocean sea does not enter it. The detailed knowledge of the northeast African interior extends as far as the river Zebe [? It has been shown that two main causes of the confused representations of northeast Africa are the ignorance of the cartographer about the existence of the eastern Sudan, so that he telescoped Egypt and Abyssinia together, and the failure to realize that much of the hydrographic detail available applied to one river only, the Abbai, and not to a number of distinct streams. The Coptic Church of Abyssinia was in touch with Cairo and Jerusalem, and it was doubtless from emissaries of this Church that Fra Mauro obtained some of his information. The suggestion is partly retained of a a€?western Nilea€™ flowing from a great marsh, no doubt Lake Chad; beyond this marsh a river flows westwards to enter the ocean by two branches to the north of Cape Verde, no doubt the Senegal and perhaps the Gambia. The draftsman places the legendary and fabulously wealthy Christian ruler, Prester John and his kingdom of Abassia at the source of the Nile.
ASIA: Fra Mauroa€™s map was called by Giovanni Battista Ramusio (1485a€“1557, an Italian geographer and travel writer), who saw the original, a€?an improved copy of the one brought from Cathay by Marco Poloa€?. An inscription appears near Chambalec [Beijing], and is very close to Marco Poloa€™s description of the seasona€™s hunting undertaken by Cubilai and his court.
To the east, there is a more or less recognizable Bay of Bengal, confined on the further side by the great island of Sumatra. In the southeast, close to the border of the map, is an island with the inscription Isola Colombo, which has abundance of gold and much merchandise, and produces pepper in quantity . To the east of the Bay of Bengal is a very large island, Sumatra [Taprobana over Siometra], the first time that name appears unequivocally on a map. Giava minor, a very fertile island, in which there are eight kingdoms, is surrounded by eight islands in which grow the a€?sotil speciea€™. Giava Major, a very noble island, placed in the east in the furthest part of the world in the direction of Cin, belonging to Cathay, and of the gulf or port of Zaiton, is 3,000 miles in circumference and has 1,111 kingdoms; the people are idolatrous, sorcerers, and evil. The islands south of Giava minor doubtless represent the Moluccas, as on the 1457 Genoese map (#248).
For the representation of China, a great deal has been extracted from Marco Poloa€™s narrative, as for the Catalan Atlas (#235). The towns, and the numerous annotations, are taken directly it would appear, from Poloa€™s narrative. With respect to the infamous Gog and Magog, Fra Mauro provides the following long legend on his map. Some write that on the slopes of Mount Caspian, or not far from there, live those peoples who, as one reads, were shut in by Alexander the Macedonian. Here Fra Mauro is opposing the literary and cartographical tradition that took Mount Caspian [the Caucasus mountains] as defining the territories occupied by the eastern-most populations of the world - in particular, such legendary figures as the giants Gog and Magog, whom Alexander the Great was said to have enclosed within the valley of the Eurus. In the western regions, the picture is confused owing again to the inadequate space allotted to them. EUROPE: Of particular interest here is Mauroa€™s delineation of the extreme northern regions. This note brings together information gleaned from various writers, including Paolo Diacono, Pietro Querini, etc. Note that in ancient times Anglia was inhabited by giants, but some Trojans who had survived the slaughter of Troy came to this island, fought its inhabitants and defeated them; after their prince, Brutus, it was named Britannia. As it is shown, Scotia appears contiguous to Anglia, but in its southern part it is divided from it by water and mountains. The tradition in nautical cartography was often to depict Scotland as separated from England by water - perhaps a simple river; it is this error that Fra Mauro refers to in his note. Fra Mauroa€™s depiction of the Baltic-Russian regions is much richer and more innovative than that one finds in his contemporaries.
Fra Mauro goes against contemporary opinion in the following map legend in saying that the river Don arises not in the Riphei mountains, as Ptolemy claims, but in the heart of Russia. The Caspian Mountains shown above start at the Sea of Pontus and extend eastwards as far as the Sea of Hycanus, which is also called the Caspian because [sic] near those coasts there are the Gates of Iron, which are named thus because they are impregnable. According to authorities such as Leo Bagrow, the over-abundance of detail in Fra Mauroa€™s map is a blemish, since the important and accurately drawn geographical features are inextricably mixed with superficial data based upon hearsay. According to Angelo Cattaneo a€?Fra Mauroa€™s mappamundi is among the most relevant compendia of knowledge of the Earth and the Cosmos of the 15th century. The comparison between two of my favorite maps, Fra Mauroa€™s mappamundi and the Kangnido (#236) permits us also to reflect closely on the issue of the 15th century cosmographic representation of Europe. This contribution will also present the romanization of the 210 or so toponyms written in Chinese, constituting the most ancient description of Europe existing on a map made in Asia. At first glance the circular form of Fra Mauroa€™s mappamundi, the plentiful illustrations and the two thousand-odd inscriptions all around recall medieval world maps. Though often acclaimed as representing the culmination of medieval mapmaking through its synthesis of the traditional, portolan and Ptolemaic, the Fra Mauro map in truth represents the first great map of a new tradition.
The most definitive discussion of this map, with translations of all of the place names, legends and notes is in Falchetta, P. Facsimile manuscript by William Frazer for the East India Company, 1804, British Museum, Add.
Almagia, R., a€?I mappamondi di Enrico Martellus,a€? La Bibliofilia 42 (Florence, 1940), pp. Barber, Peter, a€?Visual Encyclopaedias the Hereford and other Mappae Mundi,a€? The Map Collector, Autumn 1989, No. Cattaneo, Angelo, Fra Mauroa€™s Mappa Mundi and Fifteenth-Century Venice, Terrarum Orbis, Brepolis Publishers, 470pp.
Cerulli, Enrico, a€?Fonti arabe del mappamondo di Fra Mauro,a€? Orientalia commentarii periodici Pontifici Instituti Biblici, Roma, nova series, IV (1935), pp.
Crone, Gerald Roe, Maps and their makers, an introduction to the history of cartography (London: Hutchinsona€™s University Library, 1953), pp.
NordenskiA¶ld, Adolf Erik, Periplus, an essay on the early history of charts and sailing directions (Stockholm, 1897), pp.
Omboni, T., a€?Ricerche sui mappamondi de Fra Mauro,a€? La€™Esploratore, Milano, IV (1879), pp.
Sierakowski, JA?zef, Sul famoso mappamondo di Fra Mauro Camaldolese del secolo decimo quinto: lettera del Signor . Skelton, Raleigh A., Explorersa€™ Maps Chapters in the Cartographic Record of Geographical Discovery, pp. Fra Mauroa€™s map was in many ways a more up-to-date map than the printed versions of Ptolemy which succeeded it two decades later.A  Ptolemya€™s Geographia was a€?rediscovereda€™ in Western Europe and had been circulating in Latin manuscript form since 1406, coming to Italy fresh from the Byzantine conquests. I do not think it derogatory to Ptolemy if I do not follow his Cosmografia, because, to have observed his meridians or parallels or degrees, it would be necessary in respect to the setting out of the known parts of this circumference, to leave out many provinces not mentioned by Ptolemy.A  But principally in latitude, that is from south to north, he has much a€?terra incognitaa€™, because in his time it was unknown.
Ptolemy, he writes, like all cosmographers, could not personally verify everything that he entered on his map and with the lapse of time more accurate reports will become available.A  He claimed for himself to have done his best to establish the truth. Likewise I have found various opinions regarding this circumference, but it is not possible to verify them.A  It is said to be 22,500 or 24,000 miglia or more, or less according to various considerations and opinions, but they are not of much authenticity, since they have not been tested.
Since very little of the coastline beyond Cape Roxo shows a linear correspondence with the actual coastline, these charts may have been worthless counterfeits, the latest official Portuguese findings having been suppressed even at this early stage of exploration to protect the competitive advantage that such knowledge bestowed.A A  Actually the only contemporary names that Mauro has included are C. Fra Mauroa€™s Indian must be taken to mean a€?Araba€™.A  The Arabs had established regular trade connections with places far to the south in East Africa, and it is not unlikely that a vessel may have rounded the Cape of Good Hope and sailed into the Atlantic, which the Arabs had long been calling the Sea of Darkness. Free Advertising - Advertise or search for Recruitment services anywhere in South Africa on Howzit! This map of the world was made in Korea in 1402, the second year of the reign of Taejong of Joseon.
Li Tse-min, of whom we know nothing save that he flourished around 1330, produced a ShA?ng-chiao kuang-pei ta€™u [Map for the Diffusion of Instruction]. We do not know how many tens of millions of li there are from China in the center to the four seas at the outer limits, but in compressing and mapping it on a folio sheet several feet in size, it is indeed difficult to achieve precision; that is why [the results of] the mapmakers have generally been either too diffuse or too abbreviated.
But the real cartographer, even though Cha€™A?an minimizes his role, was Li Hui, whose entire career was in rather low-ranking but often special positions. While some of Takahashia€™s matches do not command credence in early-modern Chinese phonological terms, he generally makes a convincing case. The Mediterranean is clearly recognizable, as are the Iberian and Italian peninsulas and the Adriatic, but until the place-names can be read and interpreted it will be impossible to come to any firm understanding of it. His language suggests that some image of Korea, however deficient, was on the original Kuang yu ta€™u (#227) and that this was supplemented or replaced by Li Hui. At this particular moment in time, Koreaa€™s relations with the Japanese were very difficult owing to the continuing problem of Japanese marauders, who were beyond the ability of the Ashikaga Shogunate to control.
As maps of Japan go in this period, the outline on this one is unusually good: the positioning of Kyushu with respect to Honshu is quite accurate, and the bend north of the Kanto area is indicated better than on many of the Gyoki - style maps then current. Aside from the effect of the inhospitable barriers surrounding the region, two great retarding factors that hindered the Europeans from crossing the immense waste, or from sailing into the tropical waters, was their belief in the Ocean of Darkness [Atlantic] and the fear of extreme heat on land and in the water further south.
The earliest Chinese reference to North Africa can be found in the Ching-hsing-chi [An Account of Travels and Experiences], written by Ta Huan in 762 A.D. In the first place, the shape of the continent, which is basically triangular, and its general orientation, south, are clearly recognizable. However, the Kangnido map of the world presents a totally different emphasis from that of Chu Ssu-pen.
Similarly along the coast from China to Africa, major rivers such as the Red, Mekong, Menam, Salween, Ganges, Indus, Tigris, and Euphrates are laid out in an unmistakable sequence in order to bring forth the locations of the many states and cities between them.a€?The treatment of the western regions is also very interesting in that it includes about 100 place-names for Europe and about 35 for Africa (unfortunately, though, it has not been possible for scholars to identify many of them). And a final point of interest concerning this remarkable map is that it could not possibly have benefited from the information which the Chinese explorer Cheng Ho certainly had brought back five years later concerning the peninsularity of India. On the one hand, there is nothing formulaic or mandated about its structure, such as the traditional European T-in-O scheme, or the wheel arrangement of the quasi-cosmographic cha€™onhado of later Korean popularity (see #231).
China and India, like a monstrous cell that had not yet divided, make up a dominating mass that overfills the entire center of the map.
A map whose composition was guided by the nation's top educator and Confucian ideologist, and presided over by two ministers of state, was surely destined for display in a prominent, central place in the capital.

Both the Ryukoku and Honmyo-ji copies were evidently part of the loot from Hideyoshia€™s invasion of Korea (1592-1598). However, there are some scholars that will argue that this illustration should be reversed and that the Cha€™onhado design preceded the Kangnido world concept, at least in China. But the map as a whole, and particularly its treatment of India and Africa, strongly evokes the Kangnido. Finally, King Sejong in 1443 invented the Korean alphabet, an amazingly original and scientific system which still serves as the writing system of Korea and which is the only indigenous alphabetic system in use among the East Asian countries. Koreans did not merely copy the Chinese culture they imported, but recast and it into forms and institutions that were distinctively different from Chinaa€™s. At this time, Joseon needed comprehensive maps for the reform of administrative districts and a move of the capital. It depicts the general form of the Old World, from Africa and Europe in the west to Japan in the east.
The map currently in RyA«koku University (hereafter referred to as the RyA«koku map) has gathered scholarly attention since the early 20th century. Since Li Zemina€™s map had problems, they added the enlarged Korea, and also appended a map of Japan. It contains the cartographic knowledge of Afro-Eurasia that cannot be found in the east in the pre-Mongol period. These areas are depicted in great detail while place names are sparsely distributed in northwestern Eurasia. The knowledge of the contour of Africa predates the European explorations of Vasco da Gama. China began to explore the territories to the west from the embassy of Zhang Qian in 126 B.C.
The original text was written in classical Chinese, but Manchu labels were later superimposed on them. It depicts the general form of the Old World, placing China in the center and stretching northward to Mongolia, southward to Java, eastward to central Japan, and westward to Africa and Europe. Japanese scholar Miya Noriko speculated on the motivation behind it: Although the Hongwu Emperor, first of the Ming dynasty, drove the Mongol Yuan Dynasty out of China in 1368, Mongols maintained military power that posed a real threat to the new dynasty.
By then the Chinese had also developed the magnetic compass, and in the 13th century western versions of that device allowed European cartography, almost abandoned after the fall of the western Roman Empire, to catch up with Chinese standards of accuracy.
In Manchuria, Changbai Mountain, where the foundation myth of the Manchu Aisin Gioro imperial family was set, is overly portrayed. Outside China, sub-Saharan Africa is depicted in a good approximation of the correct shape, complete with mountains near the southern tip. Unlike the African lake, those seas are not shaded with wave symbols, and nor is the nearby Caspian Sea, mapped in Islamic style with two islands, suggesting that the whole area is based on a single Islamic map. He seems to have been, to some extent, a a€?professional cartographera€?, substantiated by the monastic records that document expenditure on materials and colors for mapping, wages for draftsmen, and so on. Mauro did, however, take account of Ptolemya€™s geography and travelersa€™ reports concerning the great extent of the East, and as a result, moved Jerusalem away from the position as the worlda€™s center, a marked departure from medieval custom to its true position, west of center in the Eurasian continent.
Most of the diagrammatic manuscript mappae mundi of the period 1150-1500 are oriented to the east. Nothing but air and water was seen for forty days and by their reckoning they ran 2,000 miles and fortune deserted them. There would be no improbability in a vessel being driven down to the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope, or of Arabs at Soffala having some inkling of the trend of the coast to the south.
But Solinus holds that it is the ocean, and that its southern and southwestern parts are navigable. Fra Mauro tells us that he was supplied with Portuguese charts and had spoken with those who had navigated in these waters. When he travels, he sits in a carriage of gold and ivory decorated with gemstones of inestimable price. To the north of it, and somewhat squeezed together by the limit of the map, are many islands. The mythical figures of Gog and Magog are represented behind Alexandera€™s Wall in northeast Asia and Termes [Sarmatia] is shown as a town near Bokhara, on the Amu Dorya [Iaxartes]. Fra Mauro states that these regions are inhabited and travelled by numerous well-known peoples, and that if there were such extraordinary figures in the area of the Caucasus then we would certainly have heard of it. But certainly if they had seen with their own eyes, they would have laid it out differently and enlarged its borders, because one can say that within Sithia are most of the peoples who live between the North-East and the East, between the North-East and the North. The Alexandrinea€™s description and depiction of Central Asia showed Mount Imaus - the Himalayan range, in the widest sense of the term - in the center, with the territories of Scythia intra Imaum to the west, Scythia extra Imaum to the east. But later the Saxons and the Germans conquered it, and after one of their queens, Angela, called it Anglia. The people are of easy morals and are fierce and cruel against their enemies; and they prefer death to servitude.
Such a division of the two was obviously a hang over from the Roman defenses (Hadriana€™s Wall) that had separated the two nations; it is clearly represented, for example, in the Tabula Peutingeriana (#120). The name, which also appears in this very form in the report of the Zeno brothers (which was, however, only published in the middle of the 16th century), is certainly an indication of the time when Greenland was under the control of the kings of Norway. Though there are a number of imaginary, or, one might say, conjectural elements in this area of the map, and as observed by Leo Bagrow, it cannot be denied that a€?one is surprised at the wide scope of knowledge Fra Mauro possessed because his picture is unprecedented and would remain so for a considerable period of timea€?. He then describes its course, saying it runs to within 20 miles of the Volga (in effect, the distance between the two rivers at Volgograd is 25 miles) and then flows into the Sea of Azov (Palude Meotida). It is through them that one has to pass if one wants to go through these mountains, which are very high, extend in depth for the distance of twenty day's travelling, and spread for many more days in length. The composite networks of contemporary knowledge (scholasticism, humanism, monastic culture, as well as more technical skills such as marine cartography and mercantile practices) converge in the epistemological unity of the imago mundia€?. In these 15th century documents, Europe therefore emerges as the result of global networks, encompassing trade and knowledge, with the intervening agencies of several cultures. But where they relied on tradition, in his inscriptions Fra Mauro questioned it, on the basis of his own observations, reports received from abroad and from his contacts with contemporary merchants, mariners and visitors to Venice. The expanded depiction of Africa, showing Timbuctu and the rivers Senegal and Gambia, reveals knowledge of the ongoing Portuguese voyages which, with the help of Italian navigators (who had no scruples about passing on information to their compatriots in Venice), were rapidly revealing the true course of the African coast.
Fra Mauroa€™s World Map with a Commentary and Translations of the Inscriptions, Brebols, 2006, Terrarum Orbis + CD ROM. Breve historia del mundo y su imagen (Editorial Universitaria de Buenos Aires, 1968), Figure 15. R., a€?Fra Mauroa€™s representation of the Indian Ocean and the Eastren Islands,a€? Comitato cittadino per la celebrazione Colombiane. It is clear from numerous legends on his map that Fra Mauro was very much aware of the great deference then paid to the cosmographical conceptions of Ptolemy, and the likelihood of severe criticism for any map which ignored them.
Ethyopia extends to the west and south coasts of the continent.A  Thus Mauro weaves Marco Poloa€™s narrative into Arab theory and makes these fit together with the cartographic notions of Abyssinia which he had obtained from a€?first-hand sourcesa€™.
To the north of it, and somewhat squeezed together by the limit of the map, are many islands.A A  As Fra Mauro states that in this region lack of space had compelled him to omit many islands, it no doubt also obliged him to alter their orientation drastically. Need someone else to search for the right candidate for that new position vacant at your company? It easily predates any world map known from either China or Japan and is therefore the oldest such work surviving in the East Asian cartographical tradition, and the only one prior to the Ricci world maps of the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The map by the Tiantai monk Cha€™ing ChA?n (1328-1392) must have been made some forty or fifty years later; it was called Hun-i chiang-li ta€™u [Map of the Territories of the One World].
His map of Korea, which was separately known, was almost certainly the basis for the Korean part of the world map. One of the more interesting correspondences is the name placed by the mountains near the Ptolemaic twin lakes that are the source of the Nile. Li is known to have produced a map of Korea, called the Pa€™altodo, [Map of the Eight Provinces], and it was probably a version of this that appears today on the Kangnido.
Diplomatic initiatives were in progress, and coastal defenses and strategies were undergoing constant development.
But for the joining of Shikoku to Honshu, the three main islands (adding Kyushu; Hokkaido, of course, not included at that time) make a very decent appearance.
As a matter of fact, the first terrestrial globe ever manufactured in China (1267) owes its existence to the Arabic scholar Djamal-ud-Din. In spite of the dangers, real and imagined, adventurers from the Greco-Roman days down to the time of Henry the Navigator persisted in probing the unknown beyond the Canaries, some passing by Cape Verde and others reaching as far as the coast of Sierre Leone. As the map title suggests, it aims at showing the locations of a€?all the countries and major cities in history in a comprehensive coveragea€?.
For those areas that are identifiable, in the northern part of Africa the Sahara is colored in black, like the Gobi in so many Chinese maps (including the famous Kuang Yu Ta€™u, #227), and the position of Alexandria is indicated by the placement of a prominent pagoda-like object representing the famous Pharos. Only in a subsequent version of about 1580 (in the Imperial Palace at Peking) is India shown as a pronounced, separate peninsula between southeast Asia and Africa. The attempt here was to study the best maps available in China, Korea, and Japan, and put together a comprehensive, indeed a€?integrateda€? [honil], map that included every known part of the world, truly a breathtaking objective by the cartographic standards of any nation at that time. It was probably on a screen or a wall in some important palace building frequented by the king and senior officials. The Ryukoku map was reportedly given by Hideyoshi to the Honganji, an important Buddhist temple in Kyoto.
According to Korean historian Gari Ledyard the key element in this proposed hypothetical development is the Arabian peninsula, which with the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea forms a peninsula between the two rivers on the Cha€™onhado. It also seems conceivable that it is reflected in an interesting map entitled Yoji chondo (Yeoji jeondo) [the Complete Terrestrial Map], dated about 1775 (illustrated below).
This is good evidence that the Kangnido tradition was not broken by the Hideyoshi wars, but stayed alive in Korea for two more centuries. It is similar to the 15th century Kangnido in general structure: large Asia, small Africa and Europe, undefined India. 1419-1450) and his son King Sejo (r.1455-1468) extended Korean cartographical foundations by standardizing linear measurement and assembling detailed distance data between Seoul and the approximately 335 districts of the country. The Kangnido is a perfect example of this process: China, either as originator or transmitter, provided Korea with most of the materials for the map, but the transformation and processing of those materials into a genuine world map was conceived and executed in Korea. It was also pursuing a restoration of its northern border and relocation of its population, as well as responding to coastal raids by Japanese pirates. Although, overall, it is less geographically accurate than its Chinese cousin, most obviously in the depiction of rivers and small islands, it does feature some improvements (particularly the depictions of Korea and Japan, and a less cramped version of Africa).
The other map is the Tenri map, located in Tenri University and is called by a similar name (a¤§??Za?‹a?–). Li Hui supplemented many gaps and omissions on Li Zemina€™s map with Koreaa€™s own map, and added a map of Japan, making an entirely new map.
Place names presented on the map suggest that the western portion of the map reflects roughly the situation of the early 14th century. Names based on the former were placed to the north and east of Besh Baliq even if they are actually located to the west. They correspond to the territories of Ilkhanate and the rival Golden Horde respectively, reinforcing Ilkhanate as the main source of information. In particular, the southern tip of Africa is quite clearly depicted, as well as a river that may correspond to the Orange River in Southern Africa.
The map was created in China sometime during the Ming Dynasty and handed over to the new rulers of China, the Manchus. Others maintain a cautious attitude, suggesting that what was revised in 1389 is probably a source map of the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu and that the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu itself was created much later. The situation was changed in 1388 when Uskhal Khan of Northern Yuan was killed and the Khubilaid line of succession was terminated. Other extant maps considered to be based on Lia€™s map are some copies of the Kangnido (1402) and a pair of maps named Dongnan Haiyi Tu (??±a?—?µ·a¤·a?–) and Xinan Haiyi Tu (e??a?—?µ·a¤·a?–), which is recorded in the Kuang Yu Tu (a»?e?‡a?–)(1555) by Luo Hongxian (#227). It presents India as a peninsula while it sinks into the a€?Chinese continenta€? on the Kangnido.
The use of color is particularly effective within China itself, including elegant touches like the ochre tint of the Huang He [Yellow River]. The interior of the continent is extraordinary: a river with twin sources (the common depiction in Classical and Islamic maps of the Nile) starts in the south of the continent, but enters the Red Sea, while the Nile, contrary to the information in non-Chinese maps of the era (though in conformity with a reported Arab geographical legend that farther south from the Sahara Desert is a great lake, far greater than the Caspian Sea) has its source in a vast inland sea. The original text was written in Classical Chinese, but Manchu labels were later superimposed on them. The map was fully described and reproduced on vellum for the first time published by William Frazer in London and Venice, 1804 Manuscript on vellum, BL Add. But among the maps contemporary with that of Fra Mauro are the 1448 world map of Andreas Walsperger (#245), the so-called Borgia world map (#237) of the first half of the 15th century, and the Zeitz mappa mundi (#251) of the last quarter of that century are all oriented to the South. When the stress of the weather had subsided they made the return to the said Cavo de Diab in seventy days and drawing near to the shore to supply their wants the sailors saw the egg of a bird called roc, the egg being as big as a seven gallon cask, and the size of the bird is such that from the point of one wing to another was sixty paces and it can quite easily lift an elephant or any other large animal. He then continues that the less well-known peoples must necessarily be located in the more distant regions, which are bound on three sides by high mountains and on the fourth by the ocean - hence at a great distance from Mount Caspian. In fact, Fra Mauro underlines, the name of Scythia applies to a much larger territory, which is inhabited by innumerable different peoples. The island is very fertile in pastures, rivers, springs and animals and all other things; and it is like Anglia.
In fact, the large island was first colonized around the year 1000, but passed under the political control of Norway in 1261.
He also underlines how trustworthy his information is by stating that he had obtained it from persone degnissime che hano veduto ad ochio [persons most worthy of credit, who have seen with their own eyes]. Then, at Belciman, it turns and runs almost southwest into the Sea of Abache - that is, the Meotide Marshes.
The map is oriented with south and not east at the top (though Jerusalem does receive an especially large vignette).
Fra Mauro was the first mapmaker to make extensive use of the writings of Marco Polo and Niccolo de Conti for his portrayal of the Asian interior and the islands of the Indian Ocean. However, it has also been pointed out by researchers such as Portuguese scholar Professor A. Crawford suggests that this was the origin of the legend about the source of the Nile, and that it was only later that the site was transferred to the Equator. However, by the middle of the eighth century the overland route across Central Asia had become paralyzed, and China was compelled to reorient herself to the warm seas and thus embarked on nearly seven centuries of commercial relations with the Near East. Although it is no longer preserved in Korea itself, there are three versions in Japan; of these the copy in the Ryukoku University Library (Kyoto) is acknowledged to be the earliest, and in the best condition. Both of these maps made their way to Korea in 1399 through the agency of the Korean ambassador, Chin Shih-Heng (1341-1407), and were combined in 1402 by Li Hui and Cha€™A?an.
In the 4th year of the Jianwen era (1402), Left Minister Chin [Shih-Heng] of Sangju, and Right Minister Yi [Mu] of Tanyang, during moments of rest from their governing duties, made a comparative study of these maps and ordered Li Hui, an orderly, to collate them carefully and then combine them into a single map. Judging by Cha€™A?ana€™s description of the monk Cha€™ing ChA?na€™s Hun-i chiang-li ta€™u, it was probably an ordinary historical map of China, compiled in the late 14th century. Though not on the Ryukoku copy of the Kangnido, the Tenri University copy shows the Chinese transcription Zhebulu hama, which Takahashi identifies with Persianized Arabic Djebel alqamar [Mountains of the Moon]. All this was backed by a general Korean effort to improve the governmenta€™s knowledge of Japan, and this involved maps in particular. But this splendid effort seems to be vitiated by orienting the Japanese portion so that west is at the top. The same holds true for the western half of one of the previously mentioned sources, Li Tse-mina€™s map of ca. The source of the Nile and the actual shape of the African continent, however, remained largely subject to speculation among the Europeans. The former treatise mentions, among other things, Mo-lin [Maghrib el Aksa, or the Western Territory] and Cha€™iu-sa-lo [Djezyret], the desert expanse between them, and the customs of the inhabitants. The only European exceptions seem to be the world maps of Albertinus de Virga (1415, #240) and the one in the so-called Medicean or Laurentian Sea Atlas (#233), the lattera€™s presumptive date of 1351 being subject to controversy primarily because of its remarkable depiction of the continent of Africa.
Hence, no names are given for the southern half of Africa and the Indian Ocean except for the area around Zanzibar that was already the key trading center in East Africa. The interior of the continent is filled in by a body of water surrounding an island that is designated as Huang-sha [desert]. The maps of this type are rightly regarded by such authorities as Fuchs as the most magnificent examples of Yuan cartography, completely over-shadowing all contemporary European or Arabic world maps.
To the west, the Arabian peninsula, with a clearly delineated Persian Gulf, and the African continent, with its tip correctly pointing south (and not east, as on many early European maps), hang thinly but with assurance, as if they belonged exactly where they are.
But a good understanding of its function is hampered by the fact that we know nothing of its history after its completion. This institution ultimately was divided into two branches, east and west, of which the latter (Nishi Honganji) is today associated with Ryukoku University, which explains the mapa€™s present location. This map, while clearly influenced by some Sino-Jesuit world map, also shows a strong structural similarity to the Kangnido, as its owner, Yi Cha€™an, has pointed out. Europe and Africa are much more precisely drawn however, and it is possible to make out words such as a€?Atlantic Oceana€? (a¤§e????‹) Mediterranean sea (a?°a?­?µ·), or Italy (?„?a¤§e‡?a?z). As a result of these efforts, an excellent national map was produced in 1463, and a complete geographical survey of the nation, the Tongguk yoji sungam, was compiled in 1481.
At least since Unified Silla and Goryeo periods, Korea was actively trading with Arab nations. It has been suggested that, despite showing most of the rest of the world, the Korean officials who produced the map were less interested in portraying current images of neighboring Asian countries than in presenting an up-to-date image of Korea itself. It is presumed that the RyA«koku map was copied in Korea but it is not clear when the copy was brought to Japan.
It is currently located at the Honkoo-ji Tokiwa Museum of Historical Materials, Shimabara, Nagasaki prefecture in Japan. In the East, geographic information about the west was not updated in the post-Mongol period unless Europeans such as Matteo Ricci brought Western knowledge.
For example, the Talas River, which was important for the Tang Dynasty was placed to the northeast of Besh Baliq although its actual direction is northwest.
To the north of the African continent, beyond the unexplored a€?blacka€? central mass, a pagoda is represented for the lighthouse of Alexandria, and the Arab word Misr for Cairo (al-QA?hira) and Mogadishu (Maqdashaw) are shown among others.
The Buddhist monk Faxian was the first Chinese to sail into the Indian Ocean in the beginning of the fifth century AD, visiting India and Sri Lanka by ship.
It has been kept in the Imperial Palace under the title Qingzi Qian Yitong Tu (??…a­—c°?a?€cµ±a?–) in some catalogs.
Comparative studies of these extant maps are conducted to restore the content of Lia€™s original world map.

It is presumed that India was portrayed as a peninsula on Lia€™s map but shrunk by Korean Confucians due to their anti-Buddhist policy. This is likely to be based on vague information about the several great lakes in the region of modern Tanzania, gained during the course of direct trade between China and southeast Africa. The prominent peninsula on the west coast of the Chinese landmass is Malaysia, but India is represented merely as a collection of place-names northwest of Arabia. Hand-colored woodcut map of China and the World, printed on multiple sheets and folding into later orange-papered covers decorated in lotus flower designs. MS 11267 and by Placido Zurla in II Mappamondo di Fra Mauro Camaldolese, 1806 in Venice (also now in the British Library), and later by Santarem in his facsimile Atlas of 1849. Thus it is not surprising that, around the mid-15th century, a mappa mundi was oriented to the south.
The four most noble kings of his dominions stand one at each corner of this carriage to escort it; and all the others walk ahead, with a large number of armed men both before and behind. Taking up information given by Marco Polo, he says such peoples are those of the kingdom of Tenduch and surrounding territories, which are inhabited by the legendary Gog and Magog. The names for these populations are, however, not very useful because they change from language to language, from period to period and from interpreter to interpreter - as well as being subject to the mistakes made by copyists.
Founder of the Brigittines (Ordo Sanctissimi Salvatoris) at Vasteras, she visited Rome and her Revelationes would be read widely throughout Europe. They live up in the mountains, where the inhabitants - or, at least, most of them - work iron and make weapons and all that is necessary for the military art. When we look at the representations of Europe on these two world maps, the idea of an imagined European superiority and dominion over the rest of the world disappears.
He also tried as far as he could, for instance in his depiction of India which was not to be reached by the Portuguese until 1498, to include information from Claudius Ptolemya€™s Geographia. CortesA?o that, in pursuance of their ambition to hold a monopoly of the trade of West Africa, successive kings of Portugal decided on the suppression of all information calculated to excite the interest and jealousy of other powers.A  This Portuguese colonial policy in the a€?conspiracy of silencea€™, as it has been called,A  reached formality with John II (reigned 1481-1495), using his energies to prevent leakages of the news of discoveries at a time when foreigners were seeking by every means to acquire it. In a footnote Mauro says that he drew the cities of Asia so large because there was simply more room on the map there than in Europe.A A  According to some critics, having enlarged Asia in relation to Europe, our cosmographer has not put the additional space to very good use.
One notable consequence of this 700-year contact was the stretching of the world in Chinese maps farther westward and southwestward, and the appearance of an ever-increasing number of Arabic place-names. The principal distinguishing characteristics of the Ryukoku copy are its generally excellent condition and its preservation of the original Ch'an Chin preface. Insofar as the area east of the Liao River and our own countrya€™s territory were concerned, Tse-mina€™s map had many gaps and omissions, so Li Hui supplemented and expanded the map of our country, and added a map of Japan, making it a new map entirely, nicely organized and well worth admiration.
Cha€™ing Cha€™A?n (1328-1392) was a close advisor to the Hongwu emperor (r.1368-1398), who was the founder of the Ming dynasty and himself an erstwhile monk. All in all there are about thirty-five names indicated on or near the African continent, most of them in the Mediterranean area. Pak Tonji, a military man and diplomatic specialist in Japanese affairs, made at least two trips to Japan, one in 1398-99, the other in 1401, and the second visit resulted in a map. Worse, the whole ensemble is positioned far to the south, so that the first impression of a modern observer is that the Philippines, not Japan, is under view.
In fact, during the heyday of Arab settlement in southern China, Canton alone accounted for no less than 100,000 Arab residents. The Kangnido map, however, proves that the Chinese, via their Arab sources, at least as early as the end of the 13th century, had a more or less correct view of the southern extension of Africa, whereas its northwestern bulge had not been as yet recognized. On the other hand, its broader coverage of Africa and the rest of the known world in the same scale provides a very valuable supplement to Chu Ssu-pena€™s map of southern Africa (#227). In contrast, the Mediterranean Sea is almost entirely shown as terra firma failing to blacken it in as he has other water areas, perhaps because he was not quite sure that it was indeed an ordinary sea. The extent of the lead which the Yuan cartographers had, however, may perhaps best be appreciated by comparing the Korean map with the renown Catalan Atlas of 1375, which also purported to show Asia as well as Europe, or the 14th century oikoumene (for this comparison, see #235). At the top of Africa the Mediterranean supports a less securely grasped Europe, and the entire north fades into mountains and clouds. The Ryukoku Kangnido, judging by Korean place-name indications, is a copy reflecting place-name changes made around 1460. The Honmyo-ji copy (paper scroll), which is entitled Dai Minkoku Chizu [Map of Great Ming], was given to that institution by Kato Kiyomasa, its major patron and one of the senior Japanese commanders on the Korean expedition. During the 1430a€™s Sejong built an astronomical observatory and a variety of astronomical instruments and clocks. One claims that it was purchased by A?tani KA?zui and others assume that it was obtained during the invasion of Korea (1592-1598) and given to the West Honganji temple by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The most important difference is that the place names of China have been updated to those of the Ming Dynasty while the original showed administrative divisions of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty.
Based on two Chinese maps from the 14th century, the Shengjiao guangbei tu [Big map that shows the pronunciation of place names] and the Hunyi jiangli tu [General map of the distances also showing historical capitals [of China]]. Similarly, India and Tibet are based on traditional Chinese knowledge, mainly gained by Buddhist pilgrimage up to the Tang Dynasty. Afterwards, China engaged heavily in sea travel, especially following the expansion of Islam on the continent in the eighth century. It is currently kept in protective storage at the First Historical Archive of China, in Beijing. The Da Ming Hun Yi Tu is especially important because Luoa€™s copies dropped most place names except for coastal areas and islands and the Kangnido was influenced by Korean cartography.
Africa and Arabia on the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu resemble those on the Kangnido while Europe is considerably different.
Another manifestation of the same problem, dependence on external sources for geographical information, can be seen to the south of Korea, at the far right side of the map, where Japan, over-sized and misshapen, confusingly meets the much more correctly sized and positioned Taiwan. The texts taken from the Chinese original are particularly interesting: the legend on the right gives details of the 29 strategic border crossings, and that on the left describes 33 foreign countries, with the European and African place names taken from Jesuit sources such as Riccia€™s 1602 map. Fra Mauro, in fact, did not even think it necessary to address the issue, probably considering it congruent with the wider culture of his readers and patrons. But given that those peoples are at the limit of the earth - something of which I have information that is certain - this explains why all the peoples I listed above know no more about them than we do. Such a note reveals Fra Mauroa€™s sharp awareness of problems relating to the communication - and communicability - of knowledge from one period to another or from one culture to another.
Let it not seem strange that I have shown the mountains as both the Caspian and the Caucasus, because those who live there claim this is a single chain of mountains, which changes name because of the diversity of languages of the people who live up there. A conceptualization and representation of Europe in both mid-15th century European culture and Korean-Chinese culture emerges from, and is also based upon, the existence of channels of communication and trade at a global level; the gathering of global information and the world circulation of knowledge and technology were a relevant part of the circulation of material culture from the 13th to the late 17th centuries between Europe and Asia. However, as Fra Mauro noted, modern discoveries had shown some of Ptolemya€™s information to be incorrect and had uncovered important places completely unknown to him.
In the reign of his successor, Manuel I, the vigilance of the government was even more intensified, especially after the return of Cabral from India. It is, for instance, extremely difficult to comprehend Mauroa€™s representation of southern Asia. While the Terrestrial Continent remained intact until the Jesuit era in Chinese cartography with Fr.
Painted on silk and still preserving its colors well, it is a very large map, nearly square at 171 x 164 cm (5 x 4 ft). Apart from its use as a source for the Kangnido, nothing is known of Cha€™ing ChA?na€™s map. A later report quoted his statement that in 1402 he had been given a map by the title: Bishu no kami, Minamoto Mitsusuke. A possible explanation for this is that the cartographers had run out of space on the right (east) edge of the Kangnido, and so had to place Japan in the open sea to the south. It too must go back to an Islamic prototype that, like the globe, belonged to the later 13th century. Through the ensuing long period of Sino-Arab trade and intellectual exchange, the Chinese, on their part, were able to accumulate a good deal of this valuable information concerning the Indian Ocean and the continent of Africa.
Also his statement concerning the a€?Giant Birdsa€™ there that could swallow camels, appears almost identical to the description by Marco Polo a century later.
It is hardly believable that such a representation should be casual or the result of mere speculation.
The relief features and an additional stream flowing westward in South Africa roughly corresponding to the Orange River, indicates that Cha€™A?an Chin was not entirely negligent on the least inhabited part of that continent.
On the eastern side of the map, a relatively massive Korea, easily occupying as much space as the whole African continent (which, to be sure, is unduly small) identifies itself as a very important place, while Japan, as if randomly flipped off the fingers into the ocean, floats uncertainly in the South China Sea.
Nothing is reported concerning the provenance of the Tenri University copy (silk scroll, no title), but according to a study by Unno Kazutaka, it is a a€?sister mapa€? to the Honmyo-ji scroll; his persuasive analysis of the place names indicates that both maps were copied in Korea about 1568, from a version already cartographically distant from the Ryukoku copy. This provided a foundation for continued research and observation in the reigns of his successors.
To the west of the a€?olda€? India, contemporary place names of India such as Delhi, Badaun and Duwayjir Duwayqir (Persianized form of Devagiri) are shown. The Maghreb and the Iberian peninsulas are depicted in detail, while Genoa and Venice are omitted. The Tang Dynasty writer Duan Chengshi, along with other writers, wrote detailed descriptions of Africa, its coastal commerce, and slave trade. It is also distinct from the Kangnido in the depiction of the source of the Yellow River, which looks very similar to that in Luoa€™s Kuang Yu Tu (#227).
Some explanations also include the influence of the contemporary Islamic cartography, the cosmographical concepts of Aristotle, and, of course, the Venetian maritime commercial focus of Fra Mauroa€™s time of the Indian Ocean and thus towards the south. Hence I conclude that these peoples are very far from Mount Caspian and are, as I said, at the extreme limit of the world, between the north-east and the north, and they are enclosed by craggy mountains and ocean on three sides. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved citya€?.
It is worth underlining that it is the very logic of a€?moderna€™ cartography within which Fra Mauro is working that requires him to consult and compare sources, and thus develop a critical approach that was certainly not the norm in the mappaemundi produced before this date. Alternate influences must have been absorbed through interaction along Asian routes of communication, such as the Silk Road and sea trade routes in the Indian Ocean, with the crucial intervening agency of Islamic traders.
The Earthly Paradise, beautifully depicted by, perhaps, Leonardo Bellini, is exiled beyond the map to the bottom left where an inscription tries to establish its actual physical location. It was first brought to scholarly notice by the Japanese historical geographer Ogawa Takuji, in 1928. By looking at maps one can know terrestrial distances and get help in the work of government. Its chief contribution to the latter is believed to have been the Chinese historical dimension, the indication of the areas and capitals of the earlier dynasties, which was accomplished by a combination of textual notes and cartographic devices.
But since Japan had always appeared east of southern China on Chinese maps, there was some earlier cartographic basis for its placement there.
This being the case, the picture of Africa as given on the lower left of the reproduction is of particular interest. That China was indeed a beneficiary of this Arab monopoly can be evidenced by several Chinese world maps such as those by Chu Ssu-pen ca. Chao Ju-kuo, commissioner of the maritime trade office at Cha€™A?an-chou (Marco Poloa€™s Zaiton) which had extensive contact with the Arab merchants, and author of Chu-fan-chih (1226), provided the first account of the products from the East African coast, Somalia to Zanzibar, including an elaborate description of the ostrich and the giraffe. Most scholars such as Walter Fuchs are inclined to assume that the cartographic heritage of the Arabs had been transmitted to the Chinese, albeit incompletely and probably did not always reflect the actual experiences of their seafarers. To the left of it lies Spain, and to the southeast Arabia is outlined as a long protruding peninsula.
The relative size and disposition of the three major East Asian countries reflects a plausible Korean view of the world in the early 15th century: Korea projecting itself as a major East Asian state, refurbishing its traditional view of China as the major center of civilization, and playing its eternal game of keeping Japan as far away as possible. Many projects were also carried out in meteorology and agronomy which not only led to new scientific understanding in Korea but which provided for rationalized administration and taxation.
The most obvious feature distinguishing this later version from the original Kangnido map is the more correct size and orientation of Japan.
There are over 100 names for the European countries alone, including Alumangia for the Latin word Alemania [Germany]. Wang Dayuan was the first Chinese ship captain to sail into the Mediterranean Sea (by Mamluk Egypt) and as far as Morocco in North Africa during the 14th century.
Matteo Ricci in the late 15th century, it is clearly evident that by the middle of the 15th century, Chinaa€™s own centrality in her concept of the world had been substantially reduced.
Kimble makes it clear that they do not refer to a€?South Africaa€™, for the Mareb and Tagas Rivers with their affluents Mana, Lare and Abavi, can be none other than the Abyssinian rivers Mareb, Takkazye, Menna, Tellare and Abbai; while flumen Xebi and flumen Avasi are traced with such extraordinary fidelity that they can be readily identified with the Ghibie and Hawash Rivers of southern Abyssinia - a region not thoroughly explored until modern times, but such accuracy could have been the result of information received from an Ethiopian mission to Florence in 1441. The upper course of the Quiam [the Yangtse Kiang], the greatest river in the world, is brought too far south; but the Hwang ho has its great upper bend clearly drawn. They are to the north of the kingdom of Tenduch and are called the Ung and the Mongul, which people know as Gog and Magog and believe that they will emerge at the time of the Antichrist. This passage is also very clear on the importance of knowledge regarding the transformation of toponyms if one is to preserve and transmit correct geographical information; such an awareness would only find full expression more than a century later, when Giacomo Gastaldi drew up his concordance tables of place-names for his editions of Ptolemy and his three large maps of the different areas of the world. No monstrous races are depicted in Africa since, Fra Mauro tells us, none have ever been seen, with the exception of the Dog Heads (Cynocephali).
Beyond Tarna, India is broken into two very stumpy peninsulas, resulting in the confusion of relative positions in the interior, and in the placing of C.
The notes attached to some of the islands, giving their direction in relation to others, as in the case of the Maldives already quoted, support this probability.A  Certainly the whole southern outline of the continent as depicted here could scarcely have been taken directly from a chart drawn by a practical navigator. The entire land area was on it, all but the islands of Iki and Tsushima, so added them and doubled the scale.a€? In 1420, this report states, he formally presented this map to the Board of Rites, which was the branch of the Choson [Korean] government that handled foreign affairs.
1320 (#227), the nautical charts from Cheng Hoa€™s expedition of 1405-1433, preserved in the Wu-pei-chih (1621), and, of course, the present map under consideration, Cha€™A?an China€™s.
This north-south extension and shape of Africa can be seen in the cartography of the Arabs as early as the 13th century on Ibn Saa€™ida€™s world map (Book II, #216).
The large, round island east of Arabia is simply named Hai-tao [island], which apparently represents Sri Lanka (Ceylon). On the other hand, Koreans were telling themselves that theirs was not just an East Asian country, but part of the larger world. The geographical knowledge represented in the map beyond China and Korea seems mainly a result of 14th century trade connections within the Mongol Empire. According to some accounts, the Portuguese are stated to have reached the meridian of Tunis (10 degrees East) and perhaps even that of Alexandria. But certainly this mistake is due to the way some force the Sacred Scriptures to mean what they want them to mean. Augustine in De Civitate Dei: a€?For these nations which he names Gog and Magog are not to be understood of some barbarous nations in some part of the world, whether the Getae and Massagetae, as some conclude from the initial letters, or some other foreign nations not under the Roman government. Indeed figures of any sort are missing though the map does depict cities, buildings, ships and fish. Li is mentioned by the Ming cartographer Lo Hung-Hsien (1504-64) as a contemporary and possibly as an associate of Chu Ssu-Pen (see #227). Interestingly, the Korean makers of the Tenri and Honmyo-ji copies corrected the orientation to the north, even while substituting more conventional Gyoki-style outlines.
These cartographic portrayals of the continent of Africa pre-date the Portuguese exploratory efforts by nearly a century.
It should also be mentioned that the southern tip of Africa is shown in almost the same form on Chu Ssu-pena€™s atlas Kuang YuA? Ta€™u, preserved in a copy dated 1541 - 1555 (#227) the original edition of which, the YuA?-Ta€™u, again, is dated 1320, i.e. To the east of Sri Lanka, India betrays its triangular shape only by a river, obviously the Ganges. For John marks that they are spread over the whole earth, when he says, a€?The nations which are in the four corners of the earth,a€? and he added that these are Gog and Magoga€?, and by Nicholas of Lyra in his Postillae sive Commentaria brevia in omnia Biblia. On the whole, however, a fair knowledge of China is displayed; the mid-19th century certainly knew less of the interior of Central Africa than 15th century Europe did of the interior of China.
And it is also said there are many new kinds of animals, especially huge white bears and other savage animals. The scholar Aoyamaa€™s careful study of the Chinese place-names on the Kangnido shows them in general accord with those on Chua€™s map, as preserved in Loa€™s Kuang yu ta€™u, but with variants that would indicate place-name changes made in 1328-1329; this suggests that the Kangnidoa€™s source map was made around 1330.
They also represent the culmination of an era of Sino-Arab exchange of geographical information long before the Jesuit scholars, beginning with Matteo Ricci, ushered in another era in the late 16th century.
The long river emerging to the south is the Hei-shui [Salween], and the great lake in the upper center combines the Black and the Caspian Seas.
Augustine, who in his De Civitate Dei rejects all the opinions of those who claim that Gog and Magog are the peoples that will support the Antichrist. Since Chu explicitly excluded most non-Chinese areas from his map, Aoyama and others have reasoned that Li Tse-min must have found his cartographic sources for these areas elsewhere, the only plausible source being Islamic maps, which made their appearance in China under Mongol rule. Thus the cartographic expression manifested in this map of China€™s reflects the last phase of traditional Chinese cartography that, again, was conceptually based upon the idea of one single Terrestrial Continent of which Africa became considered as an arm. In the utmost northwest, Germany and France are marked phonetically, A-lu-mang-ni-a and Fa-li-si-na; here, in the West, the Azores are also shown. From the Persian Gulf eastwards, he appears to have taken the Ptolemaic outline, but exaggerated the principal gulfs and capes, and to this outline he has fitted the contemporary nomenclature. And Nicholas of Lyra agrees with this claim, explaining the two names by their Hebrew origin. This knowledge, presumably acquired from first-hand experience and Arab contact, not only manifested itself in the emerging world concept of Chinese cartography, but also served to facilitate the spurt of maritime activities in the Indian Ocean and along the coast of East Africa in the early Ming Dynasty (late 14th, early 15th centuries). This representation of the Atlantic island group is indeed remarkable, especially on a map produced in the Far East at such an early time, when comparable detail of the Far East is scant on European maps of the same period. In the Kyujanggak Library of Seoul National University there is a modern Korean hand copy done during the 1980s, considered highly researched and beautifully executed. But for the missing or incomplete detail in the eastern areas of Manchuria, Korea, and Japan, that map bears a very close resemblance to the Kangnido.
Of the two largest capitals in the world, as judged from the selection of symbols adopted by Chin, one is obviously Pyongyang in Korea, and the other is a European city of apparent equal importance, the position of which would suggest the city of Budapest. Based on a legend of the temple, it has been believed naively that the HonmyA?ji map was given to KatA? Kiyomasa by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in preparation for the Korean campaigns. However, the Seonjo Sillok of Korea reports that in 1593 the son of a Korean official who had surrendered to KatA? copied and offered map(s) of China and Korea to him. Michele at Murano we are told that Diab is a great province in parts of which there is an abundance of very good things, its principal town being called Mogadis, which can be none other than Magadoxo of the Somali coast. This map was discovered in the HonkA?ji temple of Shimabara, Nagasaki in 1988 and is much larger than the RyA«koku map.

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