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Amiot, Jean Joseph Marie


Missionary to China; b. Toulon, Feb. 8, 1718; d. Peking, Oct. 8, 1793. He entered the Jesuits in 1737 and spent 42 years as a priest in China. He was a prolific writer on Chinese and Tartar art and history. As an astronomer and mathematician he served at the court of the Emperor Ch'ien Lung. His Paris correspondent, Bertin, published many of his writings in Memoires concernant l'histoire des Chinois, par les missionaires de Pekin (16 v. 17761814), of which volume 12 is his study of Confucius, based on the best Chinese accounts of the philosopher. Amiot translated a history of Chinese music and compiled a ManchuFrench dictionary. The Manchu grammar attributed to him is a translation and abridgement of a Latin work, probably by F. Verbiest.

Bibliography: h. cordier, La Grande encyclopédie, 2:758759. e. m. riviÈre, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 2:127577. h. chomon, Dictionnaire de biographie française (Paris 1929) 2:674677. Enciclopedia de la Religion Católica, 7 v. (Barcelona 195156) 1:567. j. a. otto, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 1:439.

[b. lahiff]

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