Herdtrich, Christian Wolfgang

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Jesuit missionary and mathematician; b. Graz, Austria, June 25, 1625; d. Hangzhou, China, July 18, 1684. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1641 and departed for the Far East in 1656. He spent two years on the island of Sulawesi before entering the Chinese provinces of Shanxi and Henan in 1660. In 1671 he joined the group of Jesuit mathematicians attached to the imperial court of Kangxi in Beijing. He wrote what is probably the first Chinese-Latin dictionary and collaborated on a Latin translation of the writings of Confucius, Confucius, Sinarum Philosophus, sive Scientia Sinensis exposita studio et opera Prosperi Intorcetta, Christiani Herdtrich, Francisci Rougemont, Philippi Couplet, P.P. Soc. Jesu (Paris 1678). From this work European scholars became acquainted with the teachings of the Chinese philosopher. During the last nine years of his life, Herdtrich was superior of the mission at Hangzhou.

Bibliography: l. koch, Jesuiten-Lexikon: Die Gesellschaft Jesu einst und jetzt (Paderborn 1934); photoduplicated with rev. and suppl., 2 v. (Louvain-Heverlee 1962) e. t. hibbert, K'ang Hsi, Emperor of China (London 1940). a. h. rowbotham, Missionary and Mandarian: The Jesuits at the Court of China (Berkeley 1942).

[j. v. mentag]