Bellum Tartaricum, or The Conquest of The Great and most renowned Empire of China, By the Invasion of the Tartars, who in these last seven years, have wholy subdued that vast Empire. Together with a Map of the Provinces, and chief Cities of the Counties, for the better understanding of the Story. Written Originally in Latine by Martin Martinius, present in the Country at most of the passages herein related, and now faithfully Translated into English. Martino Martini.
Bellum Tartaricum, or The Conquest of The Great and most renowned Empire of China, By the Invasion of the Tartars, who in these last seven years, have wholy subdued that vast Empire. Together with a Map of the Provinces, and chief Cities of the Counties, for the better understanding of the Story. Written Originally in Latine by Martin Martinius, present in the Country at most of the passages herein related, and now faithfully Translated into English.
Bellum Tartaricum, or The Conquest of The Great and most renowned Empire of China, By the Invasion of the Tartars, who in these last seven years, have wholy subdued that vast Empire. Together with a Map of the Provinces, and chief Cities of the Counties, for the better understanding of the Story. Written Originally in Latine by Martin Martinius, present in the Country at most of the passages herein related, and now faithfully Translated into English.
Bellum Tartaricum, or The Conquest of The Great and most renowned Empire of China, By the Invasion of the Tartars, who in these last seven years, have wholy subdued that vast Empire. Together with a Map of the Provinces, and chief Cities of the Counties, for the better understanding of the Story. Written Originally in Latine by Martin Martinius, present in the Country at most of the passages herein related, and now faithfully Translated into English.
Bellum Tartaricum, or The Conquest of The Great and most renowned Empire of China, By the Invasion of the Tartars, who in these last seven years, have wholy subdued that vast Empire. Together with a Map of the Provinces, and chief Cities of the Counties, for the better understanding of the Story. Written Originally in Latine by Martin Martinius, present in the Country at most of the passages herein related, and now faithfully Translated into English.
First-Hand Account of the Ming-Qing Transition

Bellum Tartaricum, or The Conquest of The Great and most renowned Empire of China, By the Invasion of the Tartars, who in these last seven years, have wholy subdued that vast Empire. Together with a Map of the Provinces, and chief Cities of the Counties, for the better understanding of the Story. Written Originally in Latine by Martin Martinius, present in the Country at most of the passages herein related, and now faithfully Translated into English.

London: Printed for John Crook, and are to be Sold at his Shop at the Sign of the Ship in St. Paul’s Church-yard, 1654. First English edition. With an engraved frontispiece portrait and an engraved folding map (Situs provinciarum imperii Sinici M.DC.LIV.). In later full mottled calf, gilt borders, gilt inner borders and edges of covers, richly gilt spine in six compartments, gilt edges (signed Riviere & Son on the first endpaper). (8), 240 p., and an engraved folding map. From the library of Björn Löwendahl. Sporadical foxing throughout. A brown stain on the lower margin on N8, with no effect on the text. Overall in fine condition.

First English edition (published in the same year as the original Latin edition) of Martini's first-hand account of the Manchu conquest of China, the Transition from Ming to Qing. The first account of the Ming Dynasty to be printed in English.

Martino Martini (1614–1661) was an Italian Jesuit, a historian, and cartographer who spent many years in China. He “entered China in 1643, one year before the collapse of the Ming dynasty. He traveled extensively through numerous provinces and visited the capital and the Great Wall. He took advantage of these travels to determine the precise astronomical position of a number of cities for his Atlas Sinensis. In 1646 he settled for a time in Hangzhou where he founded a new church and devoted himself to mission work. When the Manchus arrived he came under their protection” (Hostetler, p. 353.). Martini traveled back to Europe in 1650, published his accounts and descriptions of the country (Bellum Tartaricum, Novus Atlas Sinensis, and Sinicae historiae decas prima), and in 1657 he returned to China, where “he was warmly welcomed by the Qing emperor, […] invited to the court, and given permission to practice his mission work. He resided mainly in or around Hangzhou until the end of his life in 1661”. (Hostetler, p. 353.)

Bellum Tartaricum is illustrated with the portrait of the Manchu Emperor Theinmingus (probably Nurhaci, whose regnal name was Tianming, which Martini mistook as his name [see: Chang 2015, p. 45, note 43.]), and it includes a map of China from just North of the Great Wall, including the Great Wall, South showing all of the provinces of China, down to Yunnan, including the island of Hainan, Taiwan, Macau, Japan and Korea (this edition pictures it correctly as a peninsula instead of as an island [Cheong, Lee, p. 228.]). Besides providing information on Jesuit mission activities in China, it also satisfied Europe’s growing interest in Chinese history, culture, and geography and it “took on the characteristics of an on-site report of sort on the decline of the Ming Dynasty and the corresponding rise of the Manchu”. (Cheong, Lee, p. 225.), thus “became the most authoritative and best-known description of the conquest” (Lach, Van Kley, p. 1664.).

The etymological importance of this translation is that the word “ginseng” first appears in English here: “[…] the root cal’d Ginsem, so much esteemed amongst the Chineses […]” (p. 9.).

Provenance: From the library of the Swedish Sinologist and antiquarian book dealer Björn Löwendahl (1941–2013).

Ref.: Löwendahl: China illustrata nova. Supplement, 1564.; Wing M 858; Cordier BS I. 625; Lust 441

Bibliography: Chang, D.: Representing China on the Historical London Stage. From Orientalism to Intercultural Performance. New York; Abingdon: Routledge, 2015.; Cheong, S. H.; Lee, K. H.: Accounts on Korea by Jesuit Missionaries in China during the First Half of the 17th Century. In: The Journal of Humanities. No. 35, pp. 205–243. Republic of Korea: The Institute of Humanities Myong Ji University, 2013.; Hostetler, L.: A Mirror for the Monarch: A Literary Portrait of China in Eighteenth-Century France. In: Asia Major, 3rd Series 19.1–2. (2006): 349–376.; Lach, D. F., Van Kley, E. J.: Asia in the Making of Europe. Volume III. A Century of Advance. Book Four: East Asia. Chicago, London: The University of Chicago Press, 1993.

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Price: €5,000.00

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