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Map of the World "Gonyeo jeondo" derived from Ferdinand Verbiest

published 1860 in Korea
H=198,2 cm; W=385 cm (screen format)
provenance unknown
Inv. Nr. 1778

Eminent among the Museum's treasures is this map of the world which was published in 1860 in Korea, and of which only two complete copies survive. This map is a Korean reprint of a map which the Jesuit missionary Ferdainand Verbiest produced in 1674 at the imperial court in Beijing. The first Chinese map of the world was produced by Matteo Ricci SJ (+ 1610) in order to spread Western geographical knowledge in China. The Verbiest map was based on the most recent maps produced in Europe and contained some 1250 topographical names. Verbiest also transfered the prime meridian to Beijing.

Korean scholars engaged in a constant knowledge transfer with the Middle Kingdon. They may have obtained a Verbiest map in 1720 which later became the basis for a Korean edition. A similar thirst for knowledge led to the import of Christianity to Korea by Koreans who had learned about this new religion at Beijing.

Bibliography: Hong-Schunka, S. M./Ptak, Roderich: Die koreanische Weltkarte in St. Ottilien: ein Beitrag zur Kartographie des Ferdinand Verbiest, in Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 154 (2004).