A Manuscript Russian-Chinese-Manchu Dictionary (from before 1737) in T.S. Bayer’s Papers in Glasgow University Library. Part I: Authorship of the Dictionary

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This article presents an anonymous Russian-Chinese-Manchu manuscript dictionary (from before 1737) held in the papers of Theophilus Siegfried Bayer (1694–1738) in Glasgow University Library’s Special Collections. Part I of the article introduces the Manchu materials found in the papers of T.S. Bayer, a member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences from 1726 to his death, and the history of the arrival of the Bayer papers in Glasgow. Previous scholarship on the dictionary is then summarized and possible candidates for its authorship are reviewed. Although it is not possible to identify the author of the dictionary, it is clearly a product of the language-learning activities of the members of the first Russian Ecclesiastical Mission to Peking. Part II will discuss the Manchu and Chinese lexicon of the Bayer collection dictionary and the dictionary’s annotations.

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A Manuscript Russian-Chinese-Manchu Dictionary (from before 1737) in T.S. Bayer’s Papers in Glasgow University Library. Part I: Authorship of the Dictionary[*]

The Bayer Collection and the Manchu material in Glasgow

Theophilus (or Gottlieb) Siegfried Bayer was born into a Pietist family in Kцnigsberg in 1694. His father was a painter, and his mother the daughter of a painter. He studied theology and philosophy, as well as Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, at the University of Kцnigsberg, defending a doctoral thesis on the last words of Christ in 1716. The city of Kцnigsberg then awarded him a scholarship for a study tour, and he built up a working library by recopying manuscripts and books — including missionariesʼ dictionaries and grammars of Chinese1 — over the course of six months in which he visited Berlin, Halle, Leipzig, Frankfurt an der Oder, Wittenberg and Stettin. After returning to Kцnigsberg, he worked as a librarian and Privatdozent. He left Prussia in 1726 to take up an invitation to join the just-founded (1725) Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, where he first held the Chair of Classical Antiquities and then, from 1735, the Chair of Oriental Antiquities. Whilst in St. Petersburg he corresponded and exchanged books with the Peking Jesuits, and in 1730 he published a manual of Chinese, the Museum Sinicum.2 His contributions to the Acts of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences ranged from essays on the history of the Church in the East to the Tibetan script, and included a study of the Manchu script.3

Unhappy with his low salary, he had resigned from the Academy of Sciences on several occasions only to be persuaded to stay, but in 1737 his decision to leave St. Petersburg was fixed, and he sent some of his books and papers ahead to Kцnigsberg. However, he then fell ill with a fever and died in St. Petersburg on the 21st of February 1738. His wife, Anne Dorothea nйe Bollner (1694–1758), who would have been looking after four children under the age of seventeen,4 sold the material that had been sent ahead to Heinrich Walter Gerdes (b. 1690 in Hamburg, d. 1741 in London), pastor of the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in London. Bayer and Gerdes had corresponded during Gerdes’ work on a multilingual paternoster for which Bayer sent him the Chinese text.

In 1752 Gerdes’ widow, Anna Bertels (1702/1703–1787), put his books and manuscripts up for sale for a minimum of 100 guineas. The Bayer collection remained an ensemble and was then or at some later date bought by the Scottish but London-based anatomist, obstetrician and collector William Hunter (1718–1783) who added it to his catalogue with the note “At last in Dr. Hunter’s library”. Hunter bequeathed his library and collections to Glasgow University where they form the base of the Hunterian museum. Apart from the Bayer collection, Chinese books were not at the centre of Hunter’s interests (anatomy, natural history, medicine; incunabula, Greek typography; curiosities but not chinoiseries).5 Perhaps his keen interest for the collection was down to its most spectacular item, a copy of Ferdinand Verbiest’s (1623–1699) Kunyu quantu 坤輿全圖 world-map incorporating engraved images of animals and plants which Dominique Parrenin, S.J. (1665–1741) sent to Bayer in August 1732. However, in the Hunterian, the map was only restored and put on display in 2007, and likewise Bayer’s books and papers seem to have sat largely ignored until in the 1980s head of special collections David Weston unwrapped “brown paper parcels” and began cataloguing them,6 and the collection had no influence on the development of Scottish sinology or Manjuristics.

The Manchu material held in Glasgow includes copies and manuscript drafts of Bayer’s publications on Manchu (Ms Hunter 607; Ms Hunter B/E3a and E3b); his manuscript recopyings of a Manchu and Mongolian syllabary (Ms Hunter 382) and of Ferdinand Verbiest’s Manchu-Chinese description of the solar eclipse of 19th April 16697 (Ms Hunter 377); copies of Manchu syllabaries and descriptions of the Manchu language can also be found inside the scrapbooks Bayer organised his material into (Ms Hunter 213, copy of a Manchu grammar attributed to Gerbillon, also insert with copy of a syllabary; Ms Hunter 299 copy of a letter from discussing Manchu; Ms Hunter 392 copy of the Dalai Lama’s quadrilingual seal); some passages on Manchu in letters from Peking from the Jesuits Dominique Parrenin (Ms Hunter B/A18) and Antoine Gaubil (Ms Hunter B/E63); and two manuscript pamphlets (Ms Hunter B/E 11 Sermo cum Mangjuro and Ms Hunter B/E 31 Sermo cum legatis sinicis) where Bayer records his meetings with Qing ambassadors and with a captured Manchu soldiers, which also contain loose inserts of paper where they write their names, and the words for tea and silk.

Glasgow University Library also holds twenty-six Manchu blockprints.8 Twenty-four of these certainly come from Bayer’s collection: fourteen calendars, the earliest for 1723 and the latest for 1737;9 six descriptions of lunar eclipses in Peking,10 three eighteenth-century Jesuit translations of earlier Chinese-language catechistic and theological texts into Manchu, the Tumen jaka-i unenggi sekiyen (True Origin of the Ten Thousand Things) (translated from Giulio Aleni’s (1582–1649) Wanwu zhenyuan 萬物真原) (HC 76) (a copy of the first, 1694, translation), the Abkai ejen-i enduringge tacihiyan-i oyonggo gisun (Essence of the Heavenly Lord’s Sacred Teaching) (translated from Joгo Soeiro’s (1566–1607) Tianzhu shengjiao yueyan 天主聖教約言) (HC 77), and the Geren holo be milarabuha bithe (Refutation of Errors) (translated from Xu Guangqi’s 徐光啓 (1562–1633) refutation of Buddhism, the Piwang 闢妄 Refutation of Errors) (HC 78); and a copy (E9) of Kangxi’s “Red Decree” (Hongpiao 紅票), a Latin/Manchu/Chinese “open letter” printed by the Wuyingdian 武英殿 Imperial Press in Peking for distribution by the governor-general of Canton to any European who arrived, stating that until the Jesuits sent to Rome by Kangxi as envoys returned, or information about their whereabouts was given, he would not give credence to any news about the position of Rome on the rites controversy11. The two remaining blockprints, which may have belonged to Bayer or may have been acquired by William Hunter or the University at a later date, are both dictionaries: a copy of the 1702 edition of the Manchu-Chinese dictionary Tongwen guanghui quanshu 同文廣彙全書 (Enlarged and complete dictionary in corresponding translations) (HC 67) (first edition 1693) and a copy of the 1699 Xinke Qingshu quanji 新刻清書全集 / Ice foloho Manju-i geren bithe (Newly engraved complete dictionary of the Manchu language) (HC 69).

The Dictionary

The Bayer collection includes a manuscript Russian-Chinese-Manchu dictionary (Ms Hunter B/E1). On the dictionary’s first page, to the top right, Bayer has written:

Vir Nobilissimus Gothofredus Paschke, vetus amicus, hoc Lexicon Russicum, Sinicum, Mangjuricum dono mihi dedit 23. jun st.v. 1737. T.S. Bayer.

[The most noble Gottfried Paschke, an old friend, gave me this Russian-Chinese-Manchu Dictionary as a gift on the 23rd of June (Old Calendar) 1737. T.S. Bayer].

The fact that the dictionary must have been compiled in or before 1737 makes it the earliest dated example of a dictionary between Manchu and a European language in any direction. It is also from only a few decades after the first dated and extant Manchu dictionaries, Shen Qiliang's 沈啟亮 1683 monolingual Manchu dictionary Daicing gurun-i yooni bithe/ Da Qing quanshu 大清全書 (Complete dictionary of the Qing language) and the 1690 bilingual Manchu-Chinese dictionary Manju nikan љu adali yooni bithe/ Man Han tongwen quanshu 滿漢同文全書 (Complete dictionary of Manchu and Chinese in corresponding translations).12 Gottfried Paschke (d. 1740, St. Petersburg), who gave the dictionary to Bayer, had come to St. Petersburg together with Bayer in 1726, and then served as librarian of the Academy. He left to study law in Halle in 1728, but at some point afterwards returned to St. Petersburg to work in the Collegium of Justice. He does not seem to have been particularly interested in China, and could not have been the dictionary’s author.13

The Bayer collection dictionary is bound into two volumes in patterned (a mixture of zigzags and two different sorts of flower bud) silk covers (19.3Ч21.8 cm, first volume 114 ff., second volume 103ff.).14 The dictionary contains 2,328 Russian headwords, with Chinese and Manchu definitions. Each page is arranged in three columns enclosed in a 14.5Ч17.2 cm ruled frame. The headword at the left is in Russian, the middle column gives the Chinese translation and the right-hand column the Manchu translation. The entries on each page are evenly spaced with place for a maximum of eleven entries. Many pages do not contain the all eleven entries for which there is space, and there are several pages which contain only one entry. Folio numbers (in Arabic numerals) have been added in pencil to the top corner of the recto of each folio (from 1 to 114 for the first volume, from 1 to 103 for the second volume).

As well as the dictionary entries, which are written in black ink, the Bayer collection dictionary contains two layers of annotations. In Bayer’s hand Latin, and sometimes German, (and on occasion Russian) translations or notes have been added to most of the Russian head-entries in the first volume and to the first two pages of the second volume. The ink used appears brown and is identified by Weston as iron gall ink. The work and business of the Russian Academy of Sciences was conducted in Latin or in German until 1773,15 and biographies of Bayer note that he did not learn Russian,16 despite living in St. Petersburg from 1726 and 1738 and his interest in languages (as well as Latin and Greek, and Chinese and Manchu, he also studied Hebrew, Coptic, Persian, Sanskrit, Arabic, Mongolian, and Tibetan). These annotations in his hand demonstrate that he did in fact also attempt and begin to study Russian.

The other layer of annotation is in black ink. It consists in the transcription of the Chinese and Manchu entries into a mixture of Latin and Cyrillic letters written above the original entries in a smaller size and with a much finer-tipped writing instrument. The colour of the black ink is not discernibly different from that of the original entries. Sixty pages (a total of 321 entries) have been annotated. Where transcription is given the Chinese and the Manchu are always both transcribed.


Pl. 1. Hunterian Library, Special Collections, University of Glasgow. Ms Hunter B/E1. vol. 1, f. 3r. Photo: A. Crowther, 2016.


The first page of the first volume contains both layers of annotation and the entries are given here as an example of the sort of information the dictionary provides. The conventions used are: in italics the annotations in black ink; Bayerʼs annotation underlined; between square brackets my transcription of the Manchu script according to the Mцllendorf system.


a ɛlDzjooe [uthai] oetgaij

абие 一會兒 i goij [dartai sidan] darthaij шид=н


аГ ͡  глъ17 Angelus 天神 then ши=н [abkai enduri] abgaij in, doe, ri

аГнецъ Agnus 羊羔 jank kaoe [honin-i deberen] gonin, ni, deberen

John Dunn of Glasgow University’s Russian Department published three articles between 1987 and 1996 focusing on the possible authorship of the dictionary; the relationship between Russian and Church Slavonic in the head-entries;18 and the transcription of Chinese in the dictionary’s annotations.19 However, the Manchu entries have not been studied, and the Chinese entries have not been examined by a Sinologist.

Authorship of the Dictionary

Looking at the Russian headwords, Dunn concludes that the dictionary drew on Fedor Polikarpov’s (1671–1730) 1704 eight hundred-page Russian-Greek-Latin dictionary, possibly through the intermediary of a modified copy differing from the published version.20 The entries are organised on the same principal of groupings under the first two letters of a Russian word — however in the manuscript dictionary within groups with the same first two letters the ordering is not always alphabetical, and there is often space for additional entries. The lexicon of the two dictionaries also has many similarities, especially in the first volume of the manuscript dictionary — although Bayer’s dictionary is both much shorter, and also contains some words not included in Polikarpov (e.g. the list of fifteen different types of horses found in vol. 2, f. 11v).


Pl. 2. Hunterian Library, Special Collections, University of Glasgow. Ms Hunter B/E1. vol. 2, f. 11r. List of types of horses. Photo: A. Crowther, 2016.


On the question of authorship, Dunn contends that the author was not a native speaker of Russian. His grounds for this are: occasional possible confusions between Latin and Cyrillic alphabet in the head entries (e.g. в used for б); mistakes confusing voiced and unvoiced consonants where the spoken distinction between the two would be maintained; occasional confusion of ш and с, ж and з, и and ы; some strange words that it seems must be copied from a text the author did not completely understand.21 He also concludes that the headwords of the dictionary are in a combination of contemporary Russian and Church Slavonic, a large proportion of the Slavonic being in the entries taken from Polikarpov, and the Russian in the other entries — but some Church Slavonic words from Polikarpov appear in a “Russified” form in the dictionary, and on the other hand some of the additional material is in Church Slavonic, perhaps indicating that a clear division between the two was not drawn in the author’s perspective.22

From an examination of the writing of the Chinese and Manchu entries and hands (see part two of this article forthcoming in the next issue), it seems clear that the dictionary was produced through a collaboration between a Russian-speaker who wrote the Russian headwords and either a Manchu scribe bilingual in Chinese or two scribes, one Chinese and one Manchu. Given the length of the dictionary, the collaboration must have been able to continue for a certain length of time (several weeks at a minimum). The most probable site for such a collaborative working process to have been possible is the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Peking, which was established in 1716. The first Russian students, whose presence was authorized as part of the treaty of Kiakhta (1727), arrived there on December 26th 1727. They were Luka Voeikov, a student from the Moscow Slavonic-Greek-Latin Academy (where Polikarpov had taught, and where he would certainly have encountered the 1704 trilingual Russian-Greek-Latin dictionary), Ivan Pukhort, and Feodot Tret’iakov. The two students originally chosen for the mission had been Luka Voeikov and Ivan Shestopalov-Iablontsov, but the head of the embassy Count Sava Vladislavich-Raguzinskii (1668?–1738)23 replaced Voeikov with, first, Stepan Pisarev, and then, instead deciding to employ Pisarev as his personal secretary, with Ivan Pukhort, who had been his page.24 Then, when Shestopalov-Iablontsov died in a border skirmish, Voeikov was reinstated to replace him. Feodot Tret’iakov was added after a petition from his father, a translator of Mongolian (or possibly a caravaner). In June 1729, with the arrival of the mission’s head Archimandrite Antonii Platkovskii (1682–1746, head of the Second Mission from 1729 to 1736), came three new students from the school for the teaching of Mongolian he had set up in Irkutsk: Gerasim Shulgin, an orphan from a Siberian monastery, Mikhail Ponomarev, the son of a priest, from the settlement of Ialutorskii-Rogatorsk in Siberia, and Ilarion Rossokhin (1717–1761), from Selenginsk, also the son of a priest. Rossokhin’s translation work on his return to St. Petersburg, even though mostly unpublished and at the time overlooked, qualifies him as one of the founders of Russian sinology. In 1732, they were joined by Aleksei Vladykin and Ivan Bykov, who arrived in a caravan led by Lorents Lange (1690–1752), a Swede in Russian service.25 In 1736, with the arrival of Lange’s next caravan came another new student, Ivan Shikhirev, but given the short time between his arrival in Peking and Paschke’s presentation of the dictionary to Bayer, he can be discounted as an author. Lange’s caravans were an important route for the transfer of letters and books between Peking and St. Petersburg in these years, and it seems possible that the dictionary was sent to St. Petersburg with the return of either the 1732 or 1736 caravan. The most probable candidate for authorship of the dictionary would be one of these eight students, or Platkovskii. Lange himself, who made six trips to Peking between 1716 and 1737, and spent over 18 months there in 1720–1722, is also a possible author of the dictionary.26 The fact that the dictionary, written on fine paper and bound in silk, represents a significant investment of both time and resources and would have been an invaluable tool further suggests that if it had passed out of its author’s hands before 1737 this was because by this date the author had either died, or had left Peking and had no more need to use the Chinese or Manchu languages.27 Ponomarev remained in Peking until his death there in or before 1740. Rossokhin stayed until 1741. Vladykin and Bykov both remained until 1746.28 For this reason, the most probable compilers are: either Ivan Pukhort or Feodot Tret’iakov, who both returned to Saint Petersburg in 1729; Luka Voeikov, a student from the Slavonic-Greek-Latin Academy, who died in Peking in 1734; Gerasim Shulgin, a student from the Mongolian school in Irkutsk, who died in Peking in 1735; or Archimandrite Platkovskii, who was arrested and forcibly recalled to St. Petersburg in 1736.

Dunn’s hypothesis that the author was not a native Russian speaker leads him to think that the most likely candidate is Ivan Pukhort, who appears in a 1750 archival list of foreigners employed by the Academy of Sciences.29 After his return to St. Petersburg from Peking in 1729 he worked in the Academy as a German copyist for a time.30 At one point he later served as a stable clerk in a Polish cavalry regiment31. For Dunn, his work as a copyist would correspond to the “normal scribe’s hand of the early eighteenth century” of the Russian handwriting, his return to St. Petersburg in 1729 would explain why he no longer needed the dictionary, and his employment by the Academy would have brought him into contact with Paschke.32 However, as Dunn acknowledges, this identification remains a hypothesis unless future archival research allows an identification of the authorship of the dictionary on the basis of comparison with handwriting samples.

There is evidence of work on the compilation of other language study tools by other students of the Mission, although all those to which dates are assigned are slightly later than the Bayer collection dictionary. At some point between 1738 and 1746 Rossokhin translated the Slavonic grammar of M.G. Smotritskii (1578–1633) Grammatiki Slavenskija Pravilnoe Sintagma (1619), which he used for teaching Russian, into Manchu, with the help of two Manchus called “Fulehe and Maиa” [Ma. Maca].33 Feodot Tret’iakov’s language study may be attested by a manuscript annotation in Manchu script on the front of a copy of the Manchu syllabary in twelve heads held by the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts: Volkova transcribes it and identifies it as possibly being Feodot Tret’iakov’s name.34 Aleksei Vladykin later worked with Aleksei Leont’ev (1716–1786), who had arrived in 1743, on the compilation of a Manchu-Chinese-Russian dictionary.35

There are several undated and anonymous manuscript trilingual dictionaries held in collections in St. Petersburg which may possibly originate from the Ecclesiastical Mission, however these are from Chinese or Manchu into Russian and are manifestly not related to the dictionary from the Bayer collection. C49mss36 in the collection of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts in St. Petersburg is very short (10ff.) and gives Chinese head-phrases (e.g. one page gives未 / 未必是這樣呢 / 未有/ 未初 / 未正) followed by Manchu and then Russian translations. C43 Mss in the IOM has Manchu head phrases and their translation into Chinese and Russian.37 Plg 9638 in the collection of St. Petersburg State Universityʼs Faculty of Oriental Studies Library gives Chinese characters and their definitions in Chinese, ordered by radical, annotated (in many but by no means all cases) in a more brown-coloured ink with Manchu and/or Russian translations; there is a second layer of annotation in Russian in blue ink.39

The involvement of members of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in the compilation of dictionaries at this time, which was the background to this dictionary’s creation, can also be seen in a letter from Parrenin to Bayer (in Latin, dated 13th July 1734) (Ms Hunter B/A8) which mentions the help given him by Luka Voeikov (before his death from illness), who knew Latin and had been studying Chinese, in making a copy of his Latin-Chinese dictionary, and that Archimandrite Platkovskii had also asked to borrow this dictionary to transcribe it and add Russian glosses.40 In a letter to Count Sava dated 30th July (new style) 1734 Parrenin then mentions that Platkovskii was still in the middle of making a copy of this dictionary.41

No members of the Jesuit Mission in Peking had knowledge of Russian sufficient to be responsible for the manuscript dictionary. However it is worth noting that during this period the Peking Jesuits did feel a need for a Russian dictionary. A letter from Antoine Gaubil, S.J. (1689–1759) to Joseph Nicolas Delisle (1688–1768, Astronomer at the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences) dated 15th May 1732 requests a Latin-Russian or Russian-Latin dictionary and a basic grammar of Russian written in either Latin, French, Italian, or Spanish.42

In his analysis of the Russian lexicon of the dictionary, Dunn mentions the occurrence of a number of words — not found in Polikarpov — from Trans-Baikalian or Siberian dialects.43 Authorship by one of the students from Irkutsk should therefore also not be discounted. The presence in Peking of a Russian community — the “Russian company” (Ch. Eluosi zuoling 鄂羅斯佐領/ Ma. Oros niru) which was incorporated into the Eight Banner system — descended from soldiers who had surrendered to the Qing or been captured along the Russian border in Siberia in the late seventeenth century and who had taken Manchu or Chinese wives should also be noted.44 Members of this company taught in a Russian school intended to train interpreters and translators for diplomatic exchanges with Russia which was founded during the Kangxi period. At some point — during or after the Yongzheng reign (1723–1736) — because members of the company were no longer capable of teaching the Russian language, the teaching was taken over by students attached to the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission.45 The well-attested, and authorized, contact between the “Albazinian” community (often so-called in contemporary Western writings because many of them were descended from soldiers captured when the Qing took the Russian fortress of Albazin in 1685) — and the fact that prolonged contacts between foreigners resident in Peking and Chinese or Manchus were not encouraged by the Qing state — and the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission suggests that it is possible that a member of the Albazinian company may have been involved in the dictionary’s compilation, and perhaps have been responsible for the Chinese and Manchu entries.


I hope that this preliminary presentation may interest Manjurists with knowledge of eighteenth-century Russian and German, and linguists, to carry out further research on the Bayer collection manuscript dictionary — the earliest known dictionary between Manchu and a European language, — the transcriptions it contains, and (perhaps through palaeographic research in archives if possible) the identity of its authors. It occupies an important place in the history of the creation of linguistic tools for the study of Manchu and of the beginnings of Manchu studies in Europe, as well as being evidence of the important role exchanges between native speakers and Europeans played in the creation of these tools.


[*] I sincerely thank David Weston, director of Glasgow University Library’s Special Collections, for having taken the time to speak with me when I visited the library in August 2016, and in particular for allowing me to consult a draft version of his catalogue of the Bayer collection before its publication.

1 Three of the eight extant manuscript copies of Martino Martini (1614–1661)’s Chinese grammar manual were made by Bayer during his stay in Berlin and are now held in Glasgow. See Bertuccioli 2003: 631, which identifies five manuscripts (in Glasgow, Berlin, and Kra­kow). Since then Luisa M. Paternicт has identified three other manuscript copies (in Cambrai Municipal Library, in the private archive of the mathematician and sinologist Gio­vanni Vacci (1872–1953) in Rome, and in the Vigevanese Diocesan Archives), and a printed version. See Paternicт 2011.

2 Information taken from Knud Lundbaek's biography of Bayer (Lundbaek 1986) and the biographical information in David Weston's catalogue of the Bayer collection (Weston 2018: 7–15). Note also Michel Mervaud's introduction in Jouteur & Mervaud 2004: 11–26. See also Pekarskii 1870: I, 180–196; Kononov 1996.

3 “De Litteratura Mangjurica”, Commentarii Academiж Scientiarium Imperialis Petro­politж VI (1732–1733), 1738: 325–328. He had published a first essay treating the Manchu script in 1731: “Orthographica Mungalica, quam Academiж Petropolitanж tradidit, A. 1730, Cal. Dec.”, Acta Eruditorum 1731: 307–319. On Bayer’s study of Manchu, see Saarela 2020: 180–189. On Bayer’s study of Tibetan, and for an English translation of his Latin essay on the Tibetan script (“Elementa literaturae brahmanicae, tangutanae, mungalicae”), see Walravens & Zorin 2017: 183–241.

4 The Bayers married in 1720. In a letter (Ms Hunter B13, summarized in Weston 2018: 8, 121–122) to Dominique Parrenin dated 5th January (Old Style) 1735 Bayer mentions his four daughters. His tombstone (transcribed in de Chauffepiй 1750: 496–497) records that he had two sons and six daughters, and that four children survived him.

5 See Pearce 2015: 263–281. Hunter had studied at Glasgow University from the age of thirteen to eighteen. He had petitioned the British government for a building to house his anatomical preparations — the heart of his collection — and as a site for anatomy lectures. However this was not granted as the government dared not “venture to openly patronize dis­section”, and so in his will he instead left his collections to Glasgow University. See Teacher 1900: lxx–lxxi.

6 Weston 2018: 11.

7 康熙八年四月初一日癸亥朔日食圖/ Elhe taifin-i jakыci aniya duin biyai ice de рun be jetere nirugan, 1669. A digitalized version of the original blockprint Bayer copied during his study tour has been made available by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, see (shelfmark Libri sin. 22–2): https://digital.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/werkansicht/?PPN=PPN1041996543 (last acces­sed 05/08/2021).

 [8] For descriptions see Weston 2018: 196–227.

9 Hunter Chinese (HC) 1/1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/7, 1/8, 1/9, 1/10, 1/11, 1/13, 1/14, 1/15, and 1/16. On the first page of each of these blockprints the text is in seal script and in Manchu, as well as in Chinese, with the rest of the ephemera being only in Chinese. On the front cover of each there is a note in Bayer's hand giving a descriptive title.

10 With notes in Bayer’s hand on title page. HC 41/1 (for the year 1720), 41/2 (1726), 41/3 (1731), 41/4 (1731), and 41/5 (1732), HC 82 (1732).

11 David Helliwell lists seventeen other copies. See his discussion: https://serica.blog/
2011/11/09/the-red-decree/. See also The Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History (University of San Francisco), “The Red Manifesto” (http://www.ricci.usfca.edu/the-red-manifesto.html).

12 Both woodblock prints not manuscripts. On early Manchu dictionaries, see the chrono­logical list of Qing-dynasty Manchu dictionaries appended to Larry V. Clark’s list of Tungu­sic dictionaries (updated by Hartmut Walravens) (Clark 2006: 132–134), and also Marten Sцderblom Saarela's Princeton PhD thesis (Saarela 2015: 271–292). See also, for bibliogra­phical descriptions of Qing-era Manchu dictionaries (but not covering dictionaries between Manchu and European languages), Chunhua 2008.

13 Dunn 1987: 13 notes that on his death Paschke’s library of 503 books contained only two works dealing with China. (Weston 2018: 142, 253).

14 For this and for all measurements see David Weston’s catalogue description: “The paper is Chinese, folded in double leaves, stitched into four holes into coloured (faded pink) floral-patterned silk covers”. (Weston 2018: 141–143). Today the pink is faded so as to appear dark blue/purplish at a first glance.

15 Marker 1985: 46.

16 E.g. Lundbaek 1986: 21. Bayer's lack of knowledge of Russian is frequently referred to in passing mentions of him, e.g. Marker 1985: 47 (“individuals who, like the Orientalist Gottlieb Bayer, absolutely disdained learning Russian or teaching Russian students”); Trevor-Roper 2010: 56; Sheiko & Brown 2014: 103 (“Bayer had expertise in a great many languages. The striking exception was Russian”).


18 On the Russian entries, see also Cleminson 1988: 54–55, for whom they are “in the vernacular language, with few Church Slavonic elements”.

19 Dunn 1987, 1992, 1996.

20 Dunn 1987: 9–11; Dunn 1996: 15–27.

21 Dunn 1987: 11–12.

22 Dunn 1996: 54–72.

23 Russian ambassador to the Qing Empire between 1725 and 1728. Of Serbian origin, his title of count had been awarded by the city-state of Venice during a period of residence there. He was ennobled in Russia in 1722.

24 Another page linked to Count Sava was Pushkin’s African great grandfather, who Sava bought as a slave in Constantinople when he was the Russian ambassador there, and then presented to Peter the Great as a page.

25 Widmer 1976: 79–80, 99, 181.

26 Dunn finds it unlikely that he was the author as he finds no other evidence of Lange having learnt Chinese or Manchu. He does however note similar idiosyncrasies in documents written by Lange as those found in the head-words of the dictionary, notably confusion of ш and щ, and и and ы (Dunn 1987: 16–17).

27 It is of course also possible that the dictionary was given away to pay a debt, or stolen. (Afinogenov 2020: 75) notes that Rossokhin and other students stole Platkovskii’s diary in October 1731 and gave it to Lange who took it back to St. Petersburg where it is now kept in the synodal archives held in the Russian State Historical Archive (reference given as RGIA, f. 796, op. 11, d. 23, 1137–155.) It is therefore not impossible that a dictionary could also have been stolen and sent back to St. Petersburg with Lange (although the motivation for the theft of the diary seems to have been to use it as evidence in the internal disputes and appeals to the synod of the mission, not simply mischief or larceny). The fine quality of the paper and binding could be an argument for Platkovskii’s authorship as the mission — but above all its students — always had very little money. It would be very interesting to be able to compare Platkovskii’s handwriting with that of the Bayer collection dictionary. On the indebtedness of members of the Russian mission, see e.g. the references in Antoine Gaubil’s letters (Gaubil 1970: 635–637, 639.) The Bayer collection dictionary includes a number of words related to the repayment of debts, e.g. vol. 1, f. 80r. должникъ/欠賬的人/edelehe [debtor]; долгъ плачу/
還賬/bekdun toodambi [to repay a debt], etc. See also the entries found in vol. 1, f. 96r.

28 On their return the Jesuit Antoine Gaubil wrote to St. Petersburg recommending their characters, and their ability in Chinese and in Manchu: “2 йcoliers Russiens, apellйs Yvan et Alexis, s’en retournent en Russie. Ils se sont toujours ici bien comportйs, ils sont habiles en chinois et en tartare, et j’ai toutes sortes de raisons pour m’intйresser pour eux. […] ils pourront vous кtre utiles pour les monuments chinois et tartares chez vous”. (“2 Russian students, called Yvan and Alexis, are returning to Russia. They have always behaved well here. They are at ease in Chinese and in Manchu, and I have all sorts of reasons to be interested on their behalf. […] they may be of use to you for the Chinese and Manchu texts you have there”). (Letter dated 13th June 1746, received 15th April 1747, cf. Gaubil 1970: 569–570). Also (Gaubil 1970: 568, another letter to Delisle with the same date of 13th June 1746): “Messieurs Yvan et Alexis se sont toujours ici trиs bien comportйs par leur sagesse et application au chinois et au tartare. Tartares, Chinois, et Europйans, tous les estiment et ayment. J’ay en particulier grand sujet d’кtre satisfait de leurs bonnes maniиres а mon йgard” (“Messrs Yvan and Alexis have always behaved very well here through their good sense and application to [the study of] Chinese and Tartar. Tartars, Chinese, and Europeans all esteem and like them. I have particular cause to be satisfied with their good conduct towards me”).

29 Dunn gives as his source Sukhomlinov 1885: IV, 739 (Dunn 1987: 18).

30 Dunn 1987: 18.

31 Widmer 1976: 161.

32 Dunn 1987: 8, 18.

33 Pang 1991: 124; Volkova 1965: 61, no. 109, call number л I.

34 Volkova 1965: 55, no. 96, call number AI31.

35 Pang 1991: 125. The British Library holds a manuscript topically-organized (101 sec­tions) Manchu/Chinese-Russian(-Latin) lexicon (with German translations added) (call number Add. Ms 18104) which has sometimes been attributed to Leont’ev (e.g. Simon and Nelson 1977: 23 (no. I.7); Clark (ed. Walravens 2006: 129) because of an inserted title page with a handwritten note claiming that that it was composed by Leont’ev in 1773 and that the German translations were appended by a certain Gerhard Mertens, ‘an Aulic Councillor in the Medical College of Irkutsk in Eastern Siberia’ (consiliarii aulici in Collegio medico Irkutskae in Siberia orientali). However, Cleminson’s examination of watermarks in the dictionary shows sheets used which can be dated to 1798, 1799, 1801, 1802, and 1803 (Cleminson 1988: 72–73). Moreover there was no Medical College in Irkutsk at the time, nor was there an Aulic Councillor called Gerhard Mertens. The dictionary came from an auction of books belonging to the notorious forger and book thief Guglielmo Libri (1803–1869), and it seems probable that this forged note claiming Leont’ev as author can be attributed to Libri.

36 Pang 2001: 127, no. 291.

37 1 fasc., 33 ff., 21Ч16.5 cm, 8 lines/page. “A collection of colloquial Manchu phrases with Chinese and Russian translation” (Pang 2001: 139, no. 237).

38 6 fasc., 31Ч20 cm, three columns (in a grid layout ruled in black ink)/page, approx. 25,000 entries, ordered by radicals (Jachontov 2001: 119–120, no. 341).

39 Consultation of manuscript dictionaries in St. Petersburg was made possible by a fieldwork grant from the China and Inner Asia Council of the AAS in 2018.

40 See the summary of the contents of the letter made by David Weston (Weston 2018: 101–102). Parrenin gives Luka Voeikov’s name as Lucas Woijekoff, and Platkovskii as Archimandrite Pliekoff. The only known copy of Parrenin’s dictionary is Ms Hunter 392 (V.2.12) Lexicon Latino-Sinicum, which was a copy made by Valentin Chalier, S.J. (1693–1747) (“Pиre Challier” in the letter) for his own use which Parrenin sent to Bayer with this letter in 1734. See Weston 2018: 86–87. Divided into two columns with clearly-defined margins and written in a clear hand, it is a phrase-book for use in everyday life, e.g., f. 238 contains phrases such as: Quanti valet tuus Equus 你的馬值多少 [How much is your horse worth?]/ Parvi valet ille Equus/ 那馬不值錢 [That horse is worthless.] Pronunciations are included, added beneath the Chinese characters in Latin script.

41 Ms Hunter B/C15. Summary of contents given in Weston 2018: 130.

42 “Les Jйsuites qui sont ici ont trop а faire pour joindre а leurs occupations l’йtude de la langue Russienne, cependant dans bien d’occasions un dictionnaire russien et latin, ou russien et latin nous seroit trиs utile et mкme nйcessaire. De mкme on seroit bien aise d’avoir une grammaire russienne dont les rиgles fussent en latin, ou franзais, ou italien ou castillan. On ne demande pas une grammaire parfaitte, on se contenteroit des petites concordances et des rиgles pour les dйclinaisons et conjugaisons de la langue russienne”. (“The Jesuits here have too much to do to add the study of the Russian language to their occupations, however there are many occasions when a Russian and Latin, or Latin and Russian dictionary would be very useful, even necessary, for us. It would also be very convenient for us to have a Russian grammar with the rules in Latin, French, Italian, or Castilian. We don’t ask for a perfect grammar, we would be happy with a few concordances and rules for the declensions and conjugations of the Russian language”). The original letter is held in the French National Archives: Marine, 2 JJ 62, no. 82. Cited in Chabin 1983: 194. Also reprinted in Gaubil 1970: 305–307. There is a manuscript copy in the Bayer papers held in Glasgow (Ms Hunter B/C3).

43 He gives a list of 14 words (Dunn 1996: 69–70).

44 Pang 1999: 132–139.

45 Stary 1999: 140–146.


About the authors

Alice Crowther

École pratique des Hautes Études/Centre de recherches sur les civilisations
de l'Asie orientale

Author for correspondence.
Email: alice.crowther@me.com
France, Paris


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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
1. Pl. 1. Hunterian Library, Special Collections, University of Glasgow. Ms Hunter B/E1. vol. 1, f. 3r. Photo: A. Crowther, 2016.

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2. 18

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3. Pl. 2. Hunterian Library, Special Collections, University of Glasgow. Ms Hunter B/E1. vol. 2, f. 11r. List of types of horses. Photo: A. Crowther, 2016.

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