Magni Catay

"Magni Cathay" and "Mappa Imperii Sinarum"

Based on the existing Chinese sources and his knowledge of the Chinese empire, Boym as a geographer compiled the first comprehensive European atlas of China, known as the "Magni Catay", containing detailed maps of the then fifteen provinces of the Chinese Empire, with the main rivers and their tributaries, mountain ranges, previously unknown cities to Europeans, and also, importantly, the locations of the main strategic minerals such as gold, silver, copper, iron, lead and tin. He was the first geographer to correctly interpret the Korean Peninsula as a peninsula rather than an island and describe the Wall of China. He presented the area of ​​China in great detail, especially the hydrographic network and topography. It also accurately reflected the location of the cities.

In addition to the atlas, he also made a general map of the Chinese Empire, which is known as "Mappa Imperii Sinarum". The maps drawn up by Michał Boym were a significant achievement that at that time in Europe, knowledge about China came mainly from the colorful tales of Marco Polo. Moreover, only the coastline was well known, and the interior of the continent was not explored.

Link to the "Magni Catay" issue on the Vatican Library website, click here