Gerbillon, John Francis

, one of the Jesuit missionaries in China, and author of some historical observations on great Tartary, and accounts of some of his travels, inserted in Du Halde’s History of China, was born in 1654, became a Jesuit in 1670, was sent to China in 1685, and arrived at Pekin in 1688. He obtained the highest favour with the emperor, for whom, he wrote “Elements of Geometry,” from Euclid and Archimedes; and a practical and speculative geometry, which were splendidly published at Pekin in the Chinese and Tartarian languages. The emperor permitted him to preach, and to appoint preachers throughout his vast dominions, bttt was always desirous to have him about his person. He died at Pekin in 1707, superior general of all the missions in China. He wrote an account of his journey to Siam, which has not been published. 2