Made by the Flemish priest Ferdinand Verbiest (1623–1688) with the help of Chinese collaborators, the map is one of the largest woodblock-printed maps of its type. Verbiest arrived in China after the Ming dynasty had fallen to the Manchu-ruled Qing dynasty. Highly skilled in many disciplines, he became a court adviser, working especially closely with the Kangxi emperor. This ruler was astute in using the service of Jesuit missionaries in ways that furthered his own political power and he enlisted Verbiest’s aid with astronomical predictions, calendrical studies and ballistics.
interactive Verbiest Map and view translations of the Chinese text, images, and more.