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Eternal Wisdom, a School Play from Kiev
The school drama is a theatrical form that developed in Ukraine in the 17th and 18th centuries. Students would perform plays written by their teachers as a way of receiving religious instruction and studying the principles of drama. The genre was said to have developed from the dialogic verse of the Christmas and Easter cycles that were popular in Western Europe beginning in the 12th and 13th centuries and that spread to Ukraine in the late 16th–early 17th centuries. This book is a 1912 edition of a Jesuit school ...
Paraguay, or the Province of the Rio de la Plata, with the Adjacent Regions Tucamen and Santa Cruz de la Sierra
This map of Paraguay and the Rio de la Plata basin is the work of Willem Blaeu (1571-1638), the founder of a famous Dutch mapmaking dynasty. Blaeu studied astronomy, mathematics, and globe-making with the Danish scholar Tycho Brahe before establishing his mapmaking studio in Amsterdam. In 1633, he was appointed mapmaker of the Dutch East India Company. In 1635, together with his sons Joan and Cornelis, Blaeu published the Atlas Novus (New atlas), an 11-volume work consisting of 594 maps.
The Marañon or Amazon River with the Mission of the Society of Jesus
This map of the Amazon River is by Samuel Fritz (1654-1728), a Jesuit missionary who mapped the basin of the Amazon River. Born in the province of Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic), Fritz became a priest in 1673. He was sent to Quito in present-day Ecuador as a missionary in 1684 and spent the next 40 years ministering to the native people of the Upper Marañon region. He began mapping the region as part of a project to clarify the borders of missionary lands, Spanish lands, and Portuguese ...
All Essential Matters on Firearms
This treatise, with rich illustrations, is entitled Huo gong qie yao (All essential matters on firearms). Its alternative title is Ze ke lu (Rules for defense). The text was originally dictated by Tang Ruowang (the Chinese name of the German Jesuit missionary Johann Adam Schall von Bell, 1592–1666) in 1643 and copied by the late-Ming scholar and expert on firearms, Jiao Xu (active 1643). Jiao Xu expressed his view that the technical standards of Chinese cannons and other artillery weapons were not inferior to those of the West and ...
Treatise on Friendship
You lun (Treatise on friendship), also entitled Jiao you lun (Treatise on making friends), is by the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci (1552–1610), who also added a Latin title, De Amicitia. Written for the general non-Christian Chinese reader, it elaborates on the concept of virtuous friendship and reflects Ricci’s efforts to bring Renaissance and humanist culture to China. According to Si ku quan shu ti yao (Annotated bibliography of the Imperial Library), the work was recommended by Qu Rukui (born 1549), a member of a noted family of officials ...
The Seven Things to Overcome (Incomplete)
This work was included in Tian xue chu han (First collection of heavenly studies) printed in 1629. The author was Pang Diwo (the Chinese name of Diego de Pantoja, 1571–1618), one of the closest collaborators of the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci. After Ricci’s death in 1610, three Jesuit missionaries remained in China, Nicolò Longobardi (1566–1654 or 1655), Sabatino de Ursis (1575–1620), and Pantoja. Pantoja had come to Beijing with Ricci in 1601 to serve as his assistant. In his missionary activities, Pantoja followed Ricci’s style ...
Calendar Compendium Following the New Western Method
Xu Guangqi (1562–1633), a scholar and official, was a native of Shanghai. He came into contact with Christianity in 1596, later met the Jesuit missionaries Matteo Ricci and João da Rocha in Nanjing, and was baptized in 1603 under the name Paul. After receiving a jin shi degree in 1604, Xu became a bachelor in the Hanlin Academy. From 1604 to 1607 he worked continuously with Ricci, translating works on mathematics, hydraulics, astronomy, and geography, among them Euclid’s Elements, entitled Ji he yuan ben. In 1628 Xu was ...
Extent and Location of the Governments of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Matogroso, Cuyaba, and Towns of Native Americans Called Chiquitos
This map shows the present-day Bolivian provinces of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Chiquitos, and the Brazilian state of Mata Grosso. The map indicates the settlements of native people, known at that time as Chiquitos. This area was a center of Jesuit activity and many of the settlements may have been the remnants of Jesuit centers, called reducciones (reductions or townships). The Jesuits began their missionary work in South America in 1609. At the height of their activity, they sponsored 40 communities that were home to more than 150 ...
Investigation into the Phenomena in the Atmosphere
This scientific work is by Gao Yizhi (the Chinese name of the Italian Jesuit missionary Alfonso Vagnoni (1566–1640)). Vagnoni left Europe for China in 1603, arrived in Macao in 1605, and later was transferred to Nanjing, where he built a new church in 1611. The building of the church caused jealousy and displeasure among the Chinese officials and Buddhist and Taoist monks. In 1616 Shen Que, vice minister of the Nanjing Board of Rites, submitted two memorials to the imperial court, asking for the expulsion of the missionaries on ...
Illustrated Account of the World (Small Edition)
This work is by Nan Huairen, the Chinese name of Ferdinand Verbiest (1623–88), the Belgian Jesuit who joined the order in 1641 and was sent as a missionary to China in 1655. Verbiest arrived in Macau in 1658, together with Wei Kuangguo (Chinese name of Martin Martini, 1614–61), and later transferred to Xiaxi. In 1660, while in Shaanxi, he was summoned to Beijing to assist the German Jesuit missionary Johann Adam Schall von Bell in making a calendar. The first great test for Verbiest came during the so-called ...
Explanation of the Telescope
The author of the work was Tang Ruowang (Chinese name of Johann Adam Schall von Bell, 1592–1666), the German Jesuit missionary, who, together with Jin Nige (Nicolas Trigault, 1577–1628), arrived in China in 1622. After studying Chinese in Beijing, Schall was sent on mission to Xi’an. He returned to Bejing in 1630 to continue the work of Deng Yuhan (Johannes Terentius, 1576–1630), the Swiss Jesuit missionary, on revising the calendar and devising various astronomical instruments. For his work, he received a plaque with the inscription “Imperial ...
Work on Trigonometry
This work is a treatise on trigonometry by Li Madou, the Chinese name of the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552–1610). Ricci left for China in 1581 and arrived in Macao in 1582. Together with Luo Mingjian (Michele Ruggieri, 1543–1607), he began his mission in Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province, where he published his Wan guo yu tu (Map of 10,000 countries), which was well received by Chinese scholars. He was expelled from Zhaoqing and went to Jiangxi, where in 1596 he became the superior of the mission. He lived ...
Geographic Map of Brazil
This map of Brazil was published by Giovanni Battista Albrizzi (1698-1777), a prominent Venetian publisher of books and maps. The notes on the map, in Italian, include various speculative remarks about the people and the geography of the interior of Brazil, then still largely unknown to Europeans. Albrizzi, who inherited his business from his father, was part of a family active in publishing and bookselling in Venice for 150 years. He played an important role in the intellectual life of the city and edited a weekly bulletin, Novelle della Repubblica ...
Brazil, which Coast is a Portuguese Possession, Divided into Fourteen Captaincies, Showing the Middle of the Country Inhabited by Many Unknown Peoples
This coastal map of Portuguese Brazil is by one of the greatest of the French cartographers, Nicolas Sanson (1600-67). Sanson gave geography lessons to both King Louis XIII and King Louis XIV. He also was named official geographer to the king, and his two younger sons succeeded him in this position. Until Sanson, the field of cartography was dominated by the Dutch, whose maps favored aesthetics over exactness. Sanson’s maps, notable for accuracy as well as elegance, marked a shift in the dominance of the field of cartography from ...
Chronicle of Foreign Lands
The Zhifang waiji (Chronicle of foreign lands) is a concise geography of the world, the first of its kind written in Chinese. The Italian Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci produced a map of the world in Chinese in 1584. The map, which followed Western principles of cartography then unknown in China, underwent several revisions between 1584 and 1602. Ricci’s fellow priests Diego de Pantoja and Sabatino de Ursis were instructed by imperial order to compose a book explaining the map. Pantoja died in 1618 and the work eventually was completed ...
A Current Description of the Province of the Society of Jesus in Paraguay with Neighboring Areas
Between 1609 and 1780, the Roman Catholic Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) established an autonomous Christian Indian state on the territory of present-day Paraguay, Uruguay, and parts of Argentina and Brazil. After unsuccessful efforts to Christianize the warlike Guaycurú Indians of northeastern Paraguay, the Jesuits concentrated on organizing the Guaraní Indians into a series of reducciones (reductions or townships), in which a kind of communal living was practiced. The system of reductions was an attempt to correct earlier abuses, in which the Paraguayan Indians were transformed into virtual slaves who ...
Practical Instruction to Order One’s Life According to Saintly Precepts: Offered by Father Antonio Garriga of the Society of Jesus. As a Brief Memorial and Memento of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society.
This book is the only known copy of the second-oldest imprint from the Jesuit Province of Paraguay. It was produced at the mission of Nuestra Señora de Loreto, established in 1610 as the first reduccione (reduction or township) in the province, and known for its printing press, which turned out works in Spanish, Latin, and Indian languages. The book contains a set of religious instructions, written by Father Antonio Garriga (1662-1733). Originally from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Garriga first came to South America in 1696. He is best known as ...
General Geography in Brief for the Whole World
Published in 1843 with the support of many private donors, General Geography in Brief for the Whole World is a reworking in Bulgarian of Samuel Goodrich’s American textbook, Peter Parley's Method of Telling about Geography to Children, but from the Greek translation produced by American missionaries rather than the original English. Other Greek-language geography texts also inspired aspects of this work, notably William Channing Woodbridge’s Rudiments of Geography (1835), which was translated into Greek by missionaries at about the same time as Goodrich’s text. When American ...
The Book of Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Founder of the Jesuit Monastic Order
This manuscript is an Arabic translation of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola. At the beginning of the manuscript, Ignatius (1491–1556) is expressly described as the founder of “Jesuit monasticism.” The text also states that this work was translated from Latin into Arabic in the Phoenician city of Sidon, in the year 1731 by the Jesuit Pierre Fromage (1678–1740). The translation was for the benefit of those in Eastern countries, as it was known that many in Western countries had benefited from the Latin version of the ...
Great Universal Geographic Map
Matteo Ricci was born in Macerata, Italy, in 1552. In 1571, he entered the Society of Jesus and began his novitiate at the College of Rome, where he studied theology and philosophy as well as mathematics, cosmology, and astronomy. In 1577, Ricci asked to be sent as a missionary to Asia. He arrived in Portuguese Goa (present-day India) in September 1578, where he was ordained in July 1580. He worked in Goa and in Cochin (present-day Kochi, India) for four years, until he was summoned to join the fledgling Jesuit ...
This work is part of a collection of sermons by the Jesuit "monk" Būlus (Paul) al-Sanīrī (died 1691), as he is called here. It is in a carefully written script and thoroughly rubricated. In addition to the regular use of rubrication for section title, quotations from the Bible are also given in red, with the exact verse references also indicated in red in the margin. Initial and final pages of the volume have some minor water damage. The manuscript once belonged to the Monastery of Saints Cyprian and Justina at ...