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Jean Joseph Marie Amiot

Jean Joseph Marie Amiot (1718 - 1793), a French Jesuit missionary, was born at Toulon in February 1718. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1737 and was sent in 1750 as a missionary to China. He soon won the confidence of the emperor Qianlong[?] and spent the remainder of his life at Beijing, where he died October 9, 1793. He used a Chinese name (錢德明) while he was in China.

Amiot made good use of the advantages which his situation afforded, and his works did more than any before to make known to the Western world the thought and life of the Far East. His Dictionnaire tatare-mantchou-franšais (Paris, 1789) was a work of great value, the language having been previously quite unknown in Europe. His other writings are to be found chiefly in the Memoires concernant l'histoire, les sciences et les arts des Chinois (15 volumes, Paris, 1776-1791). The Vie de Confucius, the twelfth volume of that collection, was more complete and accurate than any predecessors.


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