13 hours ago
There are several theories about the origin of the name China or Sina. Although the Chinese refer to their country as 中国 or #Zhongguo (middle kingdom), the rest of the world calls it China or Sina almost everywhere. The Chinese word could have come from the ancient Qin language, the name of the Chinese principality that formed the #Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC). China became the 221 BC. During Qin Dynasty the country was united and become an empire. Since then, Qin's name may have followed a path along the Silk Road to Europe.
Beside „China“ or „Sina“, there was also
Cathay (/kæˈθeɪ/) used as an alternative historical name for China in English.
Originally, Cathay was the name applied by Central and Western Asians and Europeans to northern China; the name was also used in Marco Polo's book on his travels in China. During the early modern period Europeans thought of Cathay as a completely separate and distinct culture from China. However, when the Portuguese reached South-East Asia (Afonso de Albuquerque conquering #Malacca in 1511) and the southern coast of China (Jorge Álvares reaching the Pearl River estuary in 1513), they started calling the country by the name used in South and South-East Asia: China. It was not immediately clear to the Europeans whether this China is the same country as Cathay known from #marcopolo. Therefore, it would not be uncommon for 16th-century maps to apply the label "China" just to the coastal region already well known to the Europeans and to place the mysterious Cathay somewhere inland.
#cathay #cathaypacific #historynerds #china #mindanao #raremap #coastline #raremaps #oldchina #philippines #chinae #instahistory #southeastasia #eastasia #16thcentury #16thcenturyart #map at Guangdong