Not only Chinese chronology but also its pictorial language proved a controversial site of contention in Renaissance intellectual forum. The middle decades of the seventeenth century saw the publication of a series of book-length treatises on China, such as Alvaro Semedo’s (1586-1658) The History of that Great and Renowned Monarchy of China (1655), Martini’s Sinicae historiae decas prima (1658), Athanasius Kircher’s (1602-80) China Illustrata (1667), and Webb’s An Historical Essay … the Language of the Empire of China is the Primitive Language (1669). So it is no wonder that the Eastern language found itself implicated within at least three mutually informing strands of intellectual development in early modern Europe.