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Tavernier, Jean Baptiste

Jean Baptiste Tavernier (zhäN bätēst´ tävĕrnyā´), 1605–89, French traveler in Asia. He undertook six voyages, which took him as far as the East Indies and Java, and he acquired a fortune in the trade of precious stones. Ennobled (1669) by Louis XIV, he took the title baron d'Aubonne after an estate he bought near Geneva. A Protestant, he left France after the revocation (1685) of the Edict of Nantes and died on a seventh journey, which was to take him to Asia by way of Russia. His Six Voyages en Turquie, en Perse et aux Indes (1676–77) contains a wealth of information and has been frequently reprinted. It has been translated into English by Valentine Ball as Travels in India (2d ed., 2 vol., 1925).

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