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First European book with Chinese characters in it


Lu
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Someone pointed out something interesting to me: the first European book with Chinese characters in it. Here is some information on the book, and most importantly, pictures of the two characters featured. It looks like someone was taught to draw them by someone who was taught to draw them by someone who had seen them without understanding them, and I can't make much of the characters (perhaps that second one has a 手字旁?), but how cool that this exists!

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First one could conceivably be "美"?

If you ignore the flourishing, yes maybe! I'd been thinking 寿, since it's kinda long and complicated, but not sure. If my Latin was still good enough I could see if the text itself shed any light on it...
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My latin is very rusty, and it doesn't look at all like classical latin, but the first page with the characters explicitly mentions the sky (Coelu(m)) and king (Rex) characters, as well as earth (terra), sea (mare), and "other elements ?".

After thinking about it some more I think there may be 3 characters on this page, one I can't read (possibly supposed to be the sky one), the 2nd 王, and the 3rd one could be 雨 maybe.

The 2nd page mentions the city (urbs) but the character doesn't really look much like 城 eh?

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After thinking about it some more I think there may be 3 characters on this page, one I can't read (possibly supposed to be the sky one), the 2nd 王, and the 3rd one could be 雨 maybe.

That makes a lot of sense! Not one but three characters. Perhaps the first one is 太 upside down? Or perhaps there is some significance to how they're all welded together, after all there is a 土 in 王 and if you turn the top one around it could be 大 or 太 or 天. And then only the sea is missing. Or perhaps I'm reading too much it.

The one on the second page doesn't look like 城, I agree. Although the radical could be 土. The little half-moon thingy reminds me of 心.

The book is from the 16th century, so I assume it's medieval Latin (or something close to it).

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