This is a fine print reproduction of the earliest known European map to focus on China. This example is of the second state of Ortelius’ map of China, the first map of China to appear in a western atlas. The map is oriented to the west, with north to the right.
The map is taken directly from reports of the Portuguese mapmaker Luis Jorge de Barbuda (Ludovicus Georgius), who made a manuscript map of China which reached Ortelius via Arias Montanus. Some geographic points of interest include false lakes in Asia's interior and the Great Wall separating the Chinese from the Mongolian tribes to the north. Small vignettes show wind powered charriots in the lower right portion of the map.
First published in 1584, Ortelius' map of China is the earliest western printed map to focus on China and the first to illustrate the Great Wall of China, though only a small section of it. Richly detailed, the map provides significant information regarding an area of the world which was little known to the West. Tooley referred to the map as the standard map of the interior of China for over sixty years.
What can be referred to as modern cartography has been around for over 550 years. Throughout that time an enormous amount of new land was discovered, cities were founded while others perished. International trade and travel became the norm, political borders were ever-changing, and numerous wars were waged. With all that being said, hundreds of thousands of maps were created that show such events and episodes in time.
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