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Ptak, Roderich (2018): Gouguo, The "Land Of Dogs," On Ricci's World Map. In: Monumenta Serica-Journal of Oriental Studies, Vol. 66, No. 1: pp. 71-89
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Abstract

When Matteo Ricci designed his famous world map, he made use of European and traditional Chinese sources, which also concerns the distribution of certain toponyms on the map. The present study looks at one particular item: the name Gouguo, or "Land of Dogs," which appears near the Bering Strait (then called "Strait of Anian"). Several questions arise in this context: Where does the name Gouguo come from? What can we say in regard to the well-known topos of "dog-headed" people? Which were the works consulted by Ricci? Why did he assign Gouguo to such a remote area and how should we interpret the "layout" of the entire region? The discussion will also look at some adjacent regions and names. The final part offers an hypothesis in regard to the possible political background of this arrangement in ca. 1600.