“Servant of God”
Contribution and Influence on cartography and Geographical Knowledge in China.
The achievements, contributions and importance of Matteo Ricci China, will be discussed in the ensuing essay.
Matteo Ricci, was a remarkable man of many traits and talents, a true “renaissance man”. Mathematician, first sinologist, cartographer, missionary, astronomer, linguist and geographer. Fascinating first as a man and then as a man of faith, his awareness, and knowledge that he wanted to convey of the greatness that all people of good will can reach. Born in 1552, in Macerata, Spain. He began his education in a Roman Jesuit college studying law and theology. Entering the order itself in 1571, and becoming a member of the Society of Jesus. He became a scholar of mathematics and astronomy. In 1577 he requested to join a missionary expedition to Asia, arriving the next year at Goa, India. There he was ordained a priest. In 1582 he travelled to China, and learned the native language in order to evangelise.*1 He wrote the first Chinese catechism and composed the first ever map of China which he showed the Emperor, to prove that China was not the centre of the earth. He translated the works of Confuscious into Latin and adapted the liturgical rites of Christianity to the mentality of the Chinese. He is a model of dialogue and respect for other believers who carried out a great work of interculturation in China. Using some of the social elements of Confucianism for his pastoral strategy. Translates Euclidean elements of geometry to the Chinese which even the Communist party has acknowledged as having great historical importance. He also introduced clocks to the Chinese. Although his reasons for travelling such vast distances to the orient were to spread the faith of Jesus, the pinnacle of his success in the east is his map, A Map of the Myriad Countries of the World 坤舆万国全图.
It’s important to record why Ricci was chosen...