Vince Ungvary — Mapping the Unknown: The Jesuits in China

Jesuit missionaries started to visit and live in China from the middle of the 16th century. While their missions were primarily to spread Christianity, the Chinese Court and learned classes found the Jesuit’s advanced knowledge of Science, Mathematics valuable.

And so, the Jesuits showed the Chinese Emperors and high officials maps of the rest of the world — which they had never seen before — and using cartographic media, were able to map China and so inform Europe about the country, seen by Europeans as the ‘Mysterious Orient’.

Vince Ungvary, a professional antique map dealer, will discuss what the Jesuit’s maps reveal about the early interactions between East and West. There will also be an opportunity to view some of the stunning original, antique maps of China and Asia from Vince’s collection, including some Jesuit maps from the mid 1600’s.


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