Strange Tales Of An Oriental Idol: An Anthology Of Early European Portrayals Of The Buddha

Hardcover | November 10, 2016

EditorDonald S. Lopez Jr.

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We tend to think that the Buddha has always been seen as the compassionate sage admired around the world today, but until the nineteenth century, Europeans often regarded him as a nefarious figure, an idol worshipped by the pagans of the Orient. Donald S. Lopez Jr. offers here a rich sourcebook of European fantasies about the Buddha drawn from the works of dozens of authors over fifteen hundred years, including Clement of Alexandria, Marco Polo, St. Francis Xavier, Voltaire, and Sir William Jones.

Featuring writings by soldiers, adventurers, merchants, missionaries, theologians, and colonial officers, this volume contains a wide range of portraits of the Buddha. The descriptions are rarely flattering, as all manner of reports—some accurate, some inaccurate, and some garbled—came to circulate among European savants and eccentrics, many of whom were famous in their day but are long forgotten in ours. Taken together, these accounts present a fascinating picture, not only of the Buddha as he was understood and misunderstood for centuries, but also of his portrayers.
 

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We tend to think that the Buddha has always been seen as the compassionate sage admired around the world today, but until the nineteenth century, Europeans often regarded him as a nefarious figure, an idol worshipped by the pagans of the Orient. Donald S. Lopez Jr. offers here a rich sourcebook of European fantasies about the Buddha dr...

Donald S. Lopez Jr. is the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. His many books include the companion volume to this title, From Stone to Flesh: A Short History of the Buddha, also published by the University of ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:November 10, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226493180

ISBN - 13:9780226493183

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter One: From 200 to 1500
St. Clement of Alexandria (d. 215 CE)
St. Jerome (ca. 347–420)
Socrates of Constantinople (b. ca. 380)
Anonymous (ninth century)
St. Euthymius of Mount Athos (ca. 955–1028)
King Het‘um I of Armenia (1215–1270)
Marco Polo (ca. 1254–1324)
Rashid al-Din (1247–1318)
Odoric of Pordenone (1286?–1331)
Chapter Two: From 1501 to 1600
Anjiro (1511–1550?)
St. Francis Xavier (1506–1552)
Guillaume Postel (1510–1581)
Martín de Rada (1533–1578)
Bernardino de Escalante (ca. 1537 to after 1605)
Juan Gonzáles de Mendoza (ca. 1540–1617)
William Adams (1564–1620)
Cesar Fredericke
Chapter Three: From 1601 to 1700
Matteo Ricci (1552–1610)
Samuel Purchas (1577?–1626)
Nicolas Trigault (1577–1628)
Roberto de Nobili (1577–1656)
Richard Cocks (1566–1624)
Cristoforo Borri (1583–1632)
Álvaro Semedo (1585–1658)
Athanasius Kircher (1602–1680)
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1605–1689)
Robert Knox (1641–1720)
Abbé de Choisy (1644–1724)
Alexandre, Chevalier de Chaumont (1640–1710)
Fernaõ de Queyroz (1617–1688)
Tomás Pereira (1645–1708)
Guy Tachard (1651–1712)
Nicolas Gervaise (ca. 1662–1729)
Simon de la Loubère (1642–1729)
Louis le Comte (1655–1728)
Engelbert Kaempfer (1651–1716)
Chapter Four: From 1701 to 1800
Ippolito Desideri (1684–1733)
François Valentijn (1666–1727)
Jean Frédéric Bernard (1683–1744) and Bernard Picart (1673–1733)
Jean Baptiste du Halde (1674–1743)
Adriano di St. Thecla (1667–1765)
Antonio Agostino Giorgi (1711–1797)
Denis Diderot (1713–1784) and Jean le Rond d’Alembert (1717–1783)
Voltaire (1694–1778)
Peter Simon Pallas (1741–1811)
Guillaume le Gentil (1725–1792)
William Hurd
Jean-Baptiste Grosier (1743–1823)
Sir William Jones (1746–1794)
Thomas Maurice (1754–1824)
Louis-Mathieu Langlès (1763–1824)
Paulinus a S. Bartholomaeo (1748–1806)
Francis Wilford (1761–1822)
Colin Mackenzie (1753–1821)
Captain Mahony
Michael Symes (1761–1809)
Vincenzo Sangermano (d. 1819)
Chapter Five: From 1801 to 1844
Joseph Endelin de Joinville
Francis Hamilton (1762–1829)
Alexander Hamilton (1762–1824)
Edward Moor (1771–1848)
Francis Wilford (1761–1822)
William Erskine (1773–1852)
George Stanley Faber (1773–1854)
Michel-Jean François Ozeray (1764–1859)
Robert Fellowes (1770–1847)
Francis (Hamilton) Buchanan (1762–1829)
R. N. Golownin (1776–1831)
John Crawfurd (1783–1868)
John Davy (1790–1868)
Julius Heinrich Klaproth (1783–1835)
Thomas Abercrombie Trant (1805–1832)
Samuel Davis (1760–1819)
Horace Hayman Wilson (1786–1860)
Karl Friedrich Neumann (1793–1870)
Charles Coleman
Edward Upham (1776–1834)
Jean-Pierre Abel-Rémusat (1788–1832)
George Turnour (1799–1843)
Alexander Csoma de Korös (1784–1842)
Eugène Burnouf (1801–1852)
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

Strange Tales of an Oriental Idol presents English translations of a wide variety of early writings produced by travelers, Christian missionaries, soldiers, civil servants, and armchair and professional scholars. These sources are very important indeed, and the work that Lopez has done to assemble them is truly impressive. I can think of nothing that rivals this book.”