The Afterlife of Eurasian Long-distance Correspondence: From Jesuit Epistle to European Print

Yuval Givon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article carefully examines the long trajectory of a seventeenth-century letter in order to contribute to scholarship on the circulation and reproduction of information from Asia in European print in the early modern period. The letter was written by the Jesuit missionary and traveler Johann Grueber (1623–1680) to his colleague in Rome, the renowned scholar Athanasius Kircher (1602–1680). Spanning over a century of circulation and moving between the original context of Chinese missionary work in which the letter was composed and the scholarly networks throughout which it later circulated in Europe, the article elucidates the spread and evolution of Eurasian long-distance information in the early modern period, particularly between manuscript and print. It also examines how writers and publishers in Europe made selective use of the information within those manuscripts in their printed works, from the seventeenth century into the era of Enlightenment. The article thereby offers insights into questions of composition, authorship, reproduction, and distribution in the making of long-distance Eurasian information exchanges during the early modern period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-501
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Early Modern History
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Athanasius Kircher
  • Eurasian information
  • Jesuit networks
  • early modern letters
  • early modern print
  • long-distance communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History


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