10 Facts about Ferdinand Verbiest

Get the insight about the Flemish Jesuit missionary during Qing dynasty in China on Facts about Ferdinand Verbiest. He was born on October 9th, 1623 and died on January 23rd, 1688. He was often known as Father Ferdinand Verbiest. The birthplace of Verbiest was located in Pittem near Tielt. Today, it is located in Belgium. The Chinese people called him Nan Huairen. Verbiest was known for presenting the more accuracy of European astronomy than Chinese astronomy on the court of Kangxi emperor. He was recognized as an astronomer and mathematician. Let us get other interesting facts about Verbiest below:

Facts about Ferdinand Verbiest 1: Chinese calendar

The Chinese calendar then was fixed by Verbiest after his accurate ideas on the European astronomy.

Ferdinand Verbiest

Ferdinand Verbiest

Facts about Ferdinand Verbiest 2: the high post

Verbiest was appointed as Head of the Mathematical Board and Director of the Observatory. He was commissioned to reconstruct Beijing Ancient Observatory.

Facts about Ferdinand Verbiest 3: teaching

Verbiest gave teaching on music, philosophy and geometry to Kangxi emperor who became his close friend.

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facts about Ferdinand Verbiest

facts about Ferdinand Verbiest

Facts about Ferdinand Verbiest 4: languages

Verbiest mastered as a number of languages such as Italian, Hebrew, Latin, Spanish, Dutch and German.  Therefore, he also worked as a translator. His occupations also included a cartographer, writer, and a diplomat. During his life, he had produced 30 books.

Facts about Ferdinand Verbiest 5: the first self-propelled vehicle

It was believed that the first- self-propelled vehicle was actually constructed by Verbiest in 1670s. However, some experts are skeptical about the claim.

Facts about Ferdinand Verbiest 6: parents

His father was a bailiff and tax collector.  Ferdinand was the first kid in the family. Verbiest had his education in Bruges and Kortrijk under the Jesuits.  He also learned mathematics and philosophy for a year at Lelie College in Leuven. On September 2nd, 1641, he joined the Jesuits or Society of Jesus.

Facts about Ferdinand Verbiest 7: as a priest

In 1655, he was ordained as a priest after finishing his education in theology in Seville.

Ferdinand Verbiest 1674

Ferdinand Verbiest 1674

Facts about Ferdinand Verbiest 8: in Rome

When he was in Rome, he studied in theology and astronomy. At first, he wanted to go to Central America as a missionary. However, he was sent to Far East.

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Facts about Ferdinand Verbiest 9: in China

Verbiest reached China from Lisbon in 1658 for a missionary work.  There were 35 missionaries, Father Martino Martini, Verbiest, Portuguese Viceroy of the Indies and other passengers on board to reach China.

Ferdinand Verbiest Priest

Ferdinand Verbiest Priest

Facts about Ferdinand Verbiest 10: arriving in China

In 1659, they arrived in Macau. However, only 10 passengers were alive. Others had died along the journey.

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