Confucius Sinarum Philosophus, sive Scientia Sinensis latine exposita studio et opera Prosperi Intorcetta, Christiani Hedtrich, Francisci Rougemont, Philippi Couplet

Bibliographic Data

Translator(s)/Commentators(s)Intorcetta, Prospero
Herdtricht, Christian Wolfgang
Rougemont, François
Couplet, Philippe
Place of translationParis -- Administrative.City
Book TypePrint, manuscript
Place of First PublicationParis -- Administrative.City
Publisher's ImprintApud Danielem Horthemels, via Jacobaea sub Maecenate
Chinese textFew characters and transliterations in MS, none in printed book


Classical Source(s)Doctrine of the Mean (中庸)
Great Learning (大学)
Analects (论语)



Di Giovanni, Vincenzo. “Prospero Intorcetta, il primo traduttore Europeo di Confucio.” In Atti della Accademia di scienze, lettere ed arti di Palermo, vol. 4, pp. 1–15. Palermo: Ufficio tipografico di Michele Amenta, 1874.

Meynard, Thierry. “Translating the Confucian Classics: The Lunyu in the Confucius Sinarum Philosophus (1687)", in Lawrence Wang-chi Wong, Bernhard Fuehrer, Sinologists as Translators in the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries, Chinese University Press, Hong Kong, 2015.
Thierry Meynard SJ, The jesuit reading of Confucius, the first complete translation of the Lunyu (1687) published in the west, Brill, 2015.
Thierry Meynard SJ, The Confucius Sinarum Philosophus: The first translation of Confucian Classics, Institutum historicum Societas Iesu, Rome, 2011.
Golvers, Noel. "The Development of the `Confucius Sinarum philosophus' Reconsidered in the Light of New Material", In R. Malek (ed.), Western Learning and Christianity in China: the Contribution and Impact of Johann Adam Schall von Bell S.J. (1592-1666), Nettetal: Steyler Verlag (Monumenta Serica), p. 1141-1164, 1998.
Golvers, Noel. “An Unobserved Letter of Prospero Intorcetta, S.J., to Godefridus Henschens, S.J., and the Printing of the Jesuit Translations of the Confucian Classics (Rome– Antwerp, 2 June 1672).” In Syntagmatia, Essays on Neo-Latin Literature in Honour of Monique Mund-Dopchie and Gilbert Tournoy, edited by D. Sacré and J. Papy, pp. 679– 98. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2009.
Lundbaek, Knud. “The First European Translations of Chinese Historical and Philosophical Works.” In China and Europe: Images and Influences in Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries, edited by Thomas H.C. Lee. Hong Kong: Chinese University, 1991.
Lundbaek, Knud. “The Image of Confucianism in the Confucius Sinarum Philosophus.” In Journal of History of Ideas 44/1 (1983): 19–30.
Luo Ying, “The Jesuits’ Latin Translations of the Zhongyong 中庸 During the 17th and 18th Centuries”. In Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture 26 (2016), p.1-24.
Mungello, David. “The Jesuits’ Use of Chang Chu-Cheng’s Commentary in their Translation of the Confucian Four Books (1687).” In China Mission Studies Bulletin (1981): 12–22.
Mungello, David. “The Seventeenth-Century Translation Project of the Confucian Four Books.” In East Meets West: The Jesuits in China, 1582–1773, edited by Charles Ronan and Bonnie Oh, pp. 257–60. Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1988.
Von Collani, Claudia. "Philippe Couplet's Missionary Attitude Towards the Chinese in Confucius Sinarum Philosophus." In Jerome Heyndrickx (ed.) Philippe Couplet, S.J. (1623-1693): The Man who Brought China to Europe, Nettetal: Steyler Verlag, pp. 37-54, 1990.
CataloguesIn Pfister, Louis (1932-1934). Notices biographiques et bibliographiques sur les Jésuites de l'ancienne Mission de Chine: 1552-1773, Imprimerie de la mission Catholique, Shanghai:

114. Le P. Philippe Couplet, 12. pp. 311-312
120. Le P. Prosper Intorcetta, pp. 326-328.
Summary412 pages plus illustrations, including the translation in Latin of three of the 4 Books (Great Learning, Mean, Analects) produced by Prospero Intorcetta and other missionaries, with the Proemialis Declaratio of Intorcetta expanded by Couplet (pp. ix-cxxiv), and also the Vita Confucii of Da Costa and Intorcetta (pp. cxvii-cxxiv), as well as other documents:
-Tabula Chronologica Monarchiae Sinicae (pp. I (restart)- 20)
-Tabula Chronologica Trium Familiarum Imperialium Monarchiae Sinicae (pp. 1 (restart) -8)
-Tabula Chronologica Monarchiae Sinicae Juxta ciclos annorum LX (pp. 21-104)
-Imperii sinarum et rerum in eo notabilium. Synopsis. (pp. 105-109).
The original manuscript with notes by Couplet is preserved by the BNF, MS Latin 6277, with the title Scientiae Sinicae libri tres.

1687 Translation of Analects (论语) (Chapter)

Title of sectionScientia Sinicae liber tertius
Start page1 (restart)
End page159
Translation of >Analects (论语) (Chapter)

1687 Translation of Doctrine of the Mean (中庸) (Chapter)

Title of sectionScientia Sinicae liber secundus
Start page40
End page108
Translation of >Doctrine of the Mean (中庸) (Chapter)

1687 Translation of Great Learning (大学) (Chapter)

Title of sectionScientia Sinicae liber primus
Start page1
End page39
Translation of >Great Learning (大学) (Chapter)

1 copies

Copy of Confucius Sinarum Philosophus, sive Scientia Sinensis latine exposita studio et opera Prosperi Intorcetta, Christiani Hedtrich, Francisci Rougemont, Philippi Couplet held in Biblioteèque Nationale de France

Name or TitleScientiae Sinicae libri tres
Call numberMS Latin 6277
Current locationBiblioteèque Nationale de France -- Thematic.Institution
Copy TypeSource Manuscript