BRUEYRE, Benjamin (1810-1880), et al.
Dictionarium Latino-Nankinense. / Dialogi Nankinensi lingua. / Dictionarium Latino Nankinense. Juxta materiarum ordinem dispositum.
An extremely rare Nanjing Mandarin-Latin dictionary, accompanied by its two scarcely-recorded supplementary works (a chrestomathy and a glossary in the same languages). All three works were compiled and printed by the Jesuit missionary Benjamin Brueyre and his Chinese assistants in the small seminary at Wamdam, near Shanghai.
I. Dictionarium Latino-Nankinense. Wam-dom A. M. D. G. 1846, scribebant Semin. Nank. Alumni. Small quarto, recent marbled papered boards, xylographically printed on Chinese paper, pp [1 title page set within floral decorated border], [2 blank], [1 frontispiece illustration of the Virgin], [1 blank], [2 table of French and Italian phonetic equivalents to Chinese sounds], [1 blank], 1-650, text in 2 columns (Latin in the left and Chinese characters and Romanized transliteration in the right); I-XXII (Nomina Propria); I-XXIV (Grammatica compendiata de lingua Nankinensi seu Sonkianensi); I-XVI (Propriae Nankinensium locutiones); final page with tailpiece incorporating crucifix and the Jesuit motto A[d] M[aiorem] D[ei] G[loriam]; some restoration at fore-edges of the preliminary leaves, frontispiece strengthened; else clean and sound throughout.
II. Dialogi Nankinensi lingua. Wam-dom, A. M. D. G. 1846. Small quarto, recent marbled papered boards, xylographically printed on Chinese paper, title leaf set within decorative floral border (small loss along fore-edge), pp IV, 178, [2 Index Dialogorum]; tailpiece at foot of page 178 incorporating the Jesuit motto A[d] M[aiorem] D[ei] G[loriam]; occasional marginalia in a nineteenth century hand; clean and sound throughout.
III. Dictionarium Latino Nankinense. Juxta materiarum ordinem dispositum. Wam-dam, 1847 Scribebant semin. Nank. alumni. Small quarto, recent marbled papered boards; xylographically printed on Chinese paper, pp [iv], 60; most leaves with tiny amount of worming to fore-edge margin and mild water stain to bottom margin, else clean and sound throughout.
‘It was not until 1841 that the first missionaries of the new SJ arrived in China, namely the Savoyard Claude Gotteland (1803-1856) and the two Frenchmen Benjamin Brueyre (or Bruyère) (1810-1880) and François Estève (1807-1848), to assist in and eventually take over the evangelization of the padroado Diocese of Nanking. When the Dioceses of Nanking and Peking were suppressed in 1856, Jesuits (mainly French) were assigned to the newly established Vicariates Apostolic of Kiang-nan and South-East Zhili.’ (Tiedemann, R.G. Reference Guide to Christian Missionary Societies in China from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, Armonk, NY : M.E. Sharpe, 2009, p. 41)
The first work is Father Brueyre’s substantial dictionary of the Nanjing dialect (also referred to as Nankinese, or Nanjing Mandarin) in Latin. By the mid nineteenth century, the Nanjing dialect was being replaced by the Beijing dialect as the base for the Mandarin used in Chinese administration (the late imperial lingua franca). However, even though the prestige of the Nanjing dialect was waning, many sinologists and missionaries maintained their preference for it.
The second work is a language primer containing dialogues in the Nanjing Mandarin dialect with parallel translations in Latin. It comprises 25 dialogues in Chinese characters, Romanized transliteration and Latin translation.
The third work, a Latin-Nanjing Mandarin glossary, is arranged thematically under Latin headings such as Domus, Familia, Corpus, Professiones, Gubernium, Ecclesia, Cultus Religiosus, etc., with the translations given in both Romanized transliteration and Chinese characters.
Cordier, Sinica, 1600 (the first two works only, bound in one volume; Cordier makes no mention of the frontispiece or table of phonetic equivalents in his collation of the first work); the third work does not appear in any of the major bibliographies.
No copies of either of the first two works located in OCLC or COPAC; the only institutional copy we can locate of the third work is held in the Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon (the catalogue description interpreting the title page date ‘1857’ in error, and recording a folding plate – although there is no evidence to suggest a plate was ever bound into the present copy).