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Jean Joseph Marie Amiot Edit Profile

also known as Qián dé míng

missionary

Jean Joseph Marie Amiot was a French Jesuit missionary in Qing China, during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor.

Background

Joseph Marie Amiot was born on February 8, 1718 at Toulon.

Career

Amiot entered the Society of Jesus in 1737 and was sent as a missionary to China in 1750.

While in China, he helped verify certain geographical locations, thereby making a major contribution to the perfection of the Jesuits’ project of mapping the empire.

He soon won the confidence of the emperor Qianlong and spent the remainder of his life at Beijing.

Amiot’s other writings are to be found chiefly in the Mémoires concernant l’histoire, les sciences et les arts des Chinois (1776–91; “Memoirs Concerning the History, Sciences, and Arts of the Chinese”); the Vie de Koung-Tsée (“Life of Confucius”), the 12th volume of that collection, is complete and relatively accurate. He died in Peking in 1793, two days after the departure of the British Macartney Embassy.

Achievements

  • Jean Joseph-Marie Amiot was a Jesuit missionary whose writings made accessible to Europeans the thought and life of East Asia. Among his achievements was the compilation of a Tatar-Manchu dictionary; like his other works, it was written in French.