Skip to content

Der Sinologus Berolinensis (1762–1829) und Rußland. Drei Schreiben von Antonio Montucci nach St. Petersburg

Hartmut Walravens

Pages 189 - 210


Summary: Antonio Montucci trained as a lawyer but worked as an Italian master abroad. In England he learned the Chinese language from two Chinese clerics who were on their way home. He developed the idea to compile and publish a Chinese dictionary for Europeans; for this purpose he assembled all available Chinese dictionaries and had 21,000 movable types cut, at his own expense. The paper documents his attempts to win a monarch to support him. All his efforts were in vain as the Napoleonic wars overshadowed such scholarly projects. Other dictionaries, by Chr. Desguignes and by Robert Morrison were published, and the technological development offered new options for printing Chinese. Montucci tried to sell his Chinese books and his Chinese typography in Russia but failed; finally Pope Leo XII acquired the collection. Montucci was not only a pioneer in Chinese printing and lexicography but also in propagating the tangram puzzle in Germany.


Export Citation