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Ferdinand Erbiest (Nan Huairen)

Ferdinand Erbiest (1623-1688), a Belgian, joined the Society of Jesus in 1641 and came to China in 1659. At first, he missionized in Shaanxi Province, then he was invited to Beijing by the Qing Dynasty government to help the latter revise the calendar.

In 1668, he was appointed chief of the department in charge of astronomy and compiling calendar. In 1680, he began to assist the government to make cannons, thus winning appraises from the emperor. In 1676, he took part in China's negotiations with Russia as an interpreter. Twelve years later, he died in Beijing.

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