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Cosmopolitismes en Asie du Sud

 | 
Corinne Lefèvre
, 
Ines G. Županov
, 
Jorge Flores

Langues/traductions // Languages/translations

Vulgaris seu Universalis. Early Modern Missionary Representations of an Indian Cosmopolitan Space

Vulgaris seu Universalis. Représentations missionnaires de la première modernité d’un espace cosmopolite indien

Paolo Aranha

Résumé

L’histoire missionnaire a été reconnue au cours des dernières années en tant que cadre fondamental pour l’émergence de l’orientalisme européen. En particulier, une image plus claire se fait jour de la pertinence culturelle spécifique des missionnaires catholiques en Inde, travaillant sous le Patronage Royal Portugais (Padroado Real), envoyés par la Congrégation romaine De Propaganda Fide ou s’appuyant sur le soutien de la Couronne Française. Cet article analyse les efforts du Capucin français François-Marie de Tours († 1709), essentiel à la fois dans l’éclatement de la querelle des Rites Malabares et dans l’émergence d’un corpus de savoirs linguistiques sur l’hindustani. Je soutiens que ces deux aspects sont l’expression d’un effort unique et cohérent adressé à la constitution d’un christianisme indien « cosmopolite », caractérisé par la fluidité sociale entre les castes, la mobilité physique le long des côtes du Sous-continent et une ouverture vers des influences européennes avouées. Au contraire, les missions jésuites en Inde (en particulier celles de Madurai, de Mysore et du Carnatique) apparaissent comme caractérisées par une adaptation étendue du christianisme aux hiérarchies sociales locales et articulées dans les langues régionales de l’Asie du Sud, dont beaucoup bénéficiaient d’une tradition plus prestigieuse que celle de l’hindustani. Cependant, cette étude considère aussi un engagement jésuite avec l’hindustani très spécifique et jusqu’ici presque inconnu, développé dans la mission de l’empire moghol selon un projet distinct de celui proposé sans succès par François-Marie de Tours.

Texte intégral

Early Modern Oriental Knowledge and Missionary Debates in India

  • 1 The extraordinary attention paid to the figure of Matteo Ricci, particularly on the 400th anniversa (...)
  • 2 The first ambition of the authors was to “contribuer au renouvellement de l’historiographie des mis (...)

1The history of religious missions, in particular the early modern European Catholic ones, has drawn a remarkable interest in recent years, both among scholars and by the general public.1 Such a trend can be explained by several reasons, although all of them seem to be related to the processes of globalization or mondialisation that are seen at work with special intensity in our time. The religious missions are indeed a phenomenon that exemplifies in an eloquent way the intellectual exercise of a global history aiming to find connections and exchanges, both material and cultural, among different parts of the world. Missionaries can be seen also as professional brokers of cultural diversity, evoking just too easily—and not necessarily in a very pertinent way—current debates on multiculturalism and encounters of cultures. Moreover, European religious missions are an obvious benchmark for endorsing or criticising the category of “orientalism,” as developed—both influentially and controversially—by Edward Said (1978). As religious missions draw a growing attention, it has been recently suggested that these might be considered less predominantly than in the past in terms of a religious specificity. Pierre-Antoine Fabre and Bernard Vincent claimed in the introduction to a recent collective book that the historiography on early modern missions has been developed lately in function of “a research horizon independent from the traditions connected to religious history.”2 Such an observation seems to be confirmed in the case of the Jesuits, the single most studied religious order of early modern Catholicism, to the point that “currently, in danger of being lost sight of is precisely the religious dimension of the Jesuit enterprise” (O’Malley 2013: 33). It is useful to verify whether such a growing “independence” from religious history and such a risk of losing sight of the religious dimension may be verified in different disciplinary niches, and particularly in the case of the historiography on South Asian Christianity, with special reference to its Jesuit missions.

  • 3 Rajamanickam 1972. In addition to Rajamanickam’s numerous contributions to the study of Nobili, par (...)
  • 4 Particularly interesting are the studies by Ventura 2011; Chakravarti 2012; Trento 2010.

2It is indeed possible to ascertain, as a reflex of a more general trend, a growing attention paid by scholars to the contribution given by early modern Catholic missionaries to the emergence of a substantial body of orientalist knowledge that well preceded the indological endeavours undertaken at the time of the British Raj. Forty years ago, at a time in which “Orientalism” was still understood as an honourable branch of learning on Asian languages and cultures, the Italian Jesuit Roberto Nobili (1577- 1656), founder of the Madurai mission, had been portrayed as “the first oriental scholar.”3 After the Saidian twist of the category of Orientalism, Nobili found a competitor in a Portuguese secular officer, Afonso Mexia, claimed to be “the first Portuguese orientalist,” thanks to his compilation in 1526 of the customs followed by the Goan village communities, the Foral de usos e costumes dos Guancares (Axelrod & Fuerch 1998: 453-456). In a recent ambitious attempt to reconstruct the very “birth of Orientalism,” special attention has been paid to the contribution given by missionaries, in particular French Jesuits and German Lutherans in Eighteenth century South India (App 2010). The Croatian Discalced Carmelite Paulinus a Sancto Bartholomæo (Johann Philipp Wesdin, 1748-1806), author also of the first printed Sanskrit grammar, has been ascribed to “the last generation of Catholic missionary Orientalists still willing to believe in the Kircherian dream of the intrinsic connectivity of all knowledge” (Županov 2006: 97). Furthermore, a new generation of scholars is exploring with new impetus Portuguese representations of the Indian religious traditions and the Christian literatures in languages such as Marāṭhī, Sanskrit, Tamiḻ and Telugu, expanding in new directions the debate on European Orientalism in early modern India.4

  • 5 In the last decades the traditional discipline of Church history has undergone a number of mutation (...)

3The studies of Ananya Chakravarti and Margherita Trento on the Christian literatures respectively in Marāṭhī on the one hand, and in Sanskrit, Tamiḻ and Telugu on the other, are further examples of a particularly promising research agenda. However, it does not seem that the historiography on the early modern Catholic missions to South Asia, and particularly to India, has departed fundamentally from the questions examined by religious and Church history—disciplinary fields—it should be noticed, that are very active even today and whose scientific standards distinguish them clearly from any sort of denominational apologetics or institutional self-glorification.5 On the contrary, it is precisely the connection between the religious and the cultural sphere that is at the centre of various researches undertaken on the history of the Catholic missions in South Asia, and exemplified in particular in a recent book by Ângela Barreto Xavier and Ines G. Županov (2015).

  • 6 Xavier (2006: 87-94) proposed approaches to cast a greater light on other missionary religious orde (...)

4This chapter proposes a reflection that aims exactly at connecting the religious specificity of a particular missionary experience with the hypothesis of a “cosmopolitan” early modern Indian cultural and social landscape. If Jesuit missionaries have been—for a number of good reasons—privileged objects in the study of early modern Christianity in India, the emphasis in this paper is on the role played by French Capuchin missionaries.6 In particular, I will argue that Fr. François-Marie de Tours († 1709) developed a consistent strategy that was at the same time theological, linguistic and social. François-Marie’s role in the Malabar Rites controversy and his contributions to the grammatical and lexicographical tradition of Hindustani will then appear as two sides of the same coin. The opposition to the Jesuit method of accommodatio, at the core of the Malabar Rites controversy, and the advocacy of Hindustani as a principal mean for Catholic evangelization can be interpreted both as a consistent and unsuccessful Western representation of a “cosmopolitan” Indian space, addressed both to the Church authorities and the emerging European public sphere.

François–Marie de Tours’s Lobbying in Rome

  • 7 The information on this friar are scarce. His secular name is not known, nor is his date a birth. I (...)
  • 8 See Fatinelli 1704. A biography of Tournon is still missing. Particularly useful, in order to under (...)
  • 9 It is therefore not possible to claim that “Pope Clement XI appointed the same man [as the one in c (...)
  • 10 Guy Tachard was one of the five French Jesuits who were appointed in 1685 as “Mathematicians of His (...)
  • 11 Lettre du R. P. Paul de Vandome Capucin Missionaire des Indes Orientales, au R. P. Francois Marie d (...)
  • 12 ASV, Fondo Albani 248, ff. 233r-235v, particularly 235r. There Tournon specifies that he was sendin (...)

5In March 1703 the Cardinals of the Congregation de Propaganda Fide received several requests and petitions from Fr. François-Marie de Tours, acting as Procurator of the French Capuchin missionaries in India.7 The friar had undertaken the voyage to Europe at the same time when the Papal Legate Carlo Tomaso Maillard de Tournon (1668-1710), Titular Patriarch of Antioch, was on his route to China, via Tenerife, the Island of Bourbon, Pondicherry and Manila.8 Such a synchronicity of opposite directions is significant, as it has been claimed erroneously that Tournon’s decree Inter graviores of 28 June 1704, condemning the customs that later came to be known as “Malabar Rites,” had been issued in response to a memorandum of François-Marie de Tours that we will consider later.9 On the contrary, Tournon neither met the Capuchin missionary nor corresponded with him. Furthermore, in a letter sent from Pondicherry on 4 February 1704 to the Secretary of State Cardinal Fabrizio Paolucci (1651-1726), Tournon hinted at two Capuchins who had published in France a defamatory libel against Guy Tachard (1651-1712), Jesuit missionary in that South Indian French settlement.10 The reference was clearly to a printed letter of Paul de Vêndome to François-Marie de Tours, sent from Blois in October 1702.11 The scandal caused by such a publication, spread by 1704 already to the Asian missions, induced Tournon to suggest the Holy See that neither of the Capuchins should be allowed to sail back to India.12

  • 13 APF, SoCG 544, ff. 244r, 247v. The two requests were classified under the categories “East Indies – (...)

6However, in March 1703 Tournon was still waiting for the arrival of the ship Maurepas in the Island of Tenerife (Combaluzier 1950: 274), whereas François-Marie de Tours begain at that very moment his lobbying campaign with the Congregation de Propaganda Fide. The first step of his strategy consisted in creating for himself a reputation of expertise and competence. In the General Congregation held on 6 March 1703, two different requests of the Capuchin were discussed. First of all, François-Marie requested Propaganda Fide to publish a set of linguistic tools that he had prepared in order to ease the learning of the “Indian” language. Moreover, he proposed a candidate to the Urbanian College, the institution where Propaganda Fide trained native clergy for the mission territories.13 Let us consider in detail the two requests. The manuscript texts that the Capuchin offered to the Roman Congregation were

  • 14 “Grammatica ad modum nostræ grammaticæ latinæ per declinationes, coniugationes, et per certas regul (...)

a grammar composed on the model of our Latin grammar, through declensions, conjugations and precise rules. A Latin-Indian dictionary written with its own specific characters [propriis caracteribus, i.e. in devanāgarī script], which are also explained [explicantur] in Latin script [i.e. the “Indian” equivalents of the Latin headwords are transliterated also in Latin script]. This [dictionary] is composed of two volumes in-folio. Another one-volume Indo-Latin dictionary, written with its own characters [i.e. with “Indian” headwords in devanāgarī script], explained [explicatis, in the sense of “defined”] on the side with native characters [vernaculis litteris, presumably a synonim of propriis caracteribus, meaning here devanāgarī characters].14

Fig. 1. French equivalents and romanization of the Hindustani equivalents for the first 22 Latin headwords. BNF, Indien 840, p. 2.

Fig. 1. French equivalents and romanization of the Hindustani equivalents for the first 22 Latin headwords. BNF, Indien 840, p. 2.
  • 15 Usually spelled as Sirula, this was a village in the peninsula of Bardez. Souza 2009; 2nd English e (...)
  • 16 Aleixo’s illiteracy in Koṅkaṇī might be related to the proposals made in Goa by certain Franciscan (...)
  • 17 Aleixo’s “referees” were Fr Nicolò Pio Pascoli, Fr Appiani (certainly Ludovico Antonio and not Giov (...)
  • 18 François-Marie says that Aleixo had come from Goa to a mission of the French Capuchins, without spe (...)
  • 19 The scholarly literature specifically devoted to Mateus de Castro is quite narrow. Cavallera 1936, (...)
  • 20 “Ad p.um §= Ad Em.um Franciscum. Ad § con altro= Arbitrio E.mi Barbarini.” APF, SOCG 544, f. 247v. (...)
  • 21 The admission of Andrea Remires, requested by the former missionary Fr Nicolò Pio Pascoli, was disc (...)

7The description hints at a coherent body of linguist knowledge, that could have produced a lasting influence on the formation of European orientalism. This was, however, not the case and François-Marie’s work fell into a man induced oblivion. Let us consider now the request concerning the admission to the Urbanian College (APF, SoCG 544, ff.245rv). The candidate was a certain Aleixo Fernandes, a 22 year old Christian of Brahman caste, coming from the village of Sirla (oriundus de villa Sirola), parish of the Holy Saviour, in the region of Goa.15 Aleixo spoke French, Portuguese, the “Indian language” and Koṅkaṇī (linguam Canarinam). He was literate (scit legere et scribere) in Latin as well in all these languages, except Koṅkaṇī.16 Since he spent some time in Italy, he had also learnt Italian. Fr. François-Marie extolled the moral virtues of the young Brahman, who was known to those missionaries who had recently returned to Europe from their Indian missions.17 Moreover, Aleixo had in his possession two curious recommendations. Two Brahmans from Pondicherry had certified in writing before the vicar of the Bishop of Meliapur, residing in the French fortress, that the young man was really a Brahman.18 In his request for financial support by Propaganda Fide for his studies in Rome, Aleixo Fernandes was presented by François-Marie as meritorious because of his intelligence and virtues. He was even more recommendable for his association with the Capuchins and his belonging to the Brahman caste. This last circumstance recalled a foundational moment in the history of Propanda Fide, namely the appointment of the Goan Brahman Mateus de Castro (1594-1677) as the first Apostolic vicar in India and lieutenant of the Holy See against the jurisdictional pretensions of the Portuguese Padroado Real.19 François-Marie was both asking help for a bright and deserving young man and performing a social practice aimed at highlighting the loyalty of the Capuchins to Propaganda Fide against other possible sources of ecclesiastical legitimation, such as the Padroado. The General Congregation of 6th March 1703 decided to defer to Cardinal Francesco Barberini both the decision on the publication of the indological works of the Capuchin and on Aleixo Fernandes’ admission to the Urbanian College.20 Incidentally, it should be noticed that Aleixo was not the only Indian candidate applying then for a place in that institution. There was also a certain Andrea Remires, a young man from Bengal, claiming a Brahmanical status and fluency in Portuguese, English, French, and Italian, in addition to three Asian languages, namely Persian, “that is the Mohammedan language of the Indies” (Parsis, ò altrimenti lingua mahometana dell’Indie), the “Gentile one” (la gentile) and “the Indian one” (l’Indiana).21 We will see later what these two idioms stood for.

  • 22 APF, Acta 73 (1703), ff. 79v-80v. on the Jesuit missionary and then bishop Gaspar Afonso Álvares se (...)

8On the 26th March 1703, the Cardinals of Propaganda Fide discussed a second report submitted by Fr. François-Marie. After having attempted to secure a credible position in the eyes of the Congregation, the Capuchin launched an attack on Dom Gaspar Afonso Álvares (1626-1708), Bishop of Meliapur (1693-1708), for shifting the jurisdiction over the Malabar Christians in Pondicherry from the Capuchins to the Jesuits.22 As a result Propaganda Fide sent to the Bishop of Meliapur a copy of a rather ambiguously worded decree issued by the Congregation on 28 April 1698, in response to a similar Capuchin request concerning the pastoral care of the Catholics in Surat. The decree had struck a Salomonic balance between the friars and the Jesuits. on the one hand, it was affirmed that missionaries (as in the case of the Capuchins in Surat) could not be considered official Parish priests for the mere reason of having opened a church and performing funeral rites. On the other hand, it was also banned to transfer the parochial jurisdiction from missionaries holding an official status of parish priest, to some other missionary organisation. By extending the decree of Surat also to Pondicherry, Propaganda was not responding directly to the request of the Capuchins, who were now implicitly compelled to demonstrate that they had been officially appointed some time earlier as parish priests, and not merely exercising parochial duties beyond or even against the authority of the local Bishop.

  • 23 Questions Proposées a la Sacrée Congregation De La Propagande Sur Les Ceremonies Payennes Que Certa (...)
  • 24 I have presented a preliminary analysis of the Questions Proposées, Arahna 2010: 79- 104, particula (...)

9However, the name of François-Marie de Tours has been known until now less for his linguistic accomplishments and patronage of Indian young men, than for his authorship of a booklet containing 36 doubts. These were submitted to Propaganda Fide and then printed, without any visible superior authorization, in Liège in 1704, as Questions that had been proposed to the Congregation.23 It is impossible to examine here each and every dubium, but it may be sufficient to pay attention to three basic facts. First, François-Marie de Tours’ Questions and the decree that Tournon issued in India in June 1704 addressed precisely problems of an allegedly excessive adaptation of Christianity to the South Indian social and cultural conditions. Secondly, François-Marie’s memorandum contained also doubts concerning Capuchin behaviour with the “heretical” (Protestant) European Christians settled on the Coromandel Coast. These questions were totally unrelated to those practices later known as “Malabar Rites” and rather had to do with problems of marriages affected by impediments of mixta religio.24 Finally, and most importantly, the dubia were accompanied by a series of appendixes, including narrative accounts on specific processions organized by the Jesuit missionaries in Pondicherry in 1700 and 1701 on the night preceding the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (15 August) (Questions proposées…: 50-57). In this case François-Marie was denouncing not a specific superstitious practice, but an entire religious phenomenon. These two processions were disturbing for a number of elements that, considered individually, would have hardly been considered as idolatrous, but that combined together gave the impression that the boundaries between Catholicism and paganism had become indistinguishable. These processions had been held in the middle of the night and with the participation of pagans. The religious function was accompanied by a great noise, produced by trumpets, gun shots and fireworks. Instead of candles, the participants used torches of the same kind employed on the occasion of wedding parades. The image of the Blessed Virgin that was brought in procession was barely visible, as it was obscured by the smoke from torches. Finally, only one priest presided over the event, but he played an almost insignificant role, limiting himself to incense the image of the Virgin occasionally, while no processional cross was to be seen anywhere. Importantly, the decree that a year later Tournon issued in Pondichéry was concerned with most of the points in François-Marie de Tours’ Questions, but did not address the problems implicitly raised by the Capuchin in his description of such ambiguous processions. If the Papal Legate had no difficulties in stigmatizing specific rites and customs, he was not in a position to ban all possible sources of contamination of Christianity with paganism. He definitely could not ban Catholic religious processions simply because these could resemble similar rituals practised by the gentiles, on account of being held in analogous terms and circumstances. Similarly, all the further Papal confirmations of Tournon’s decree, until the final one in 1744, did not provide solutions to the general concern conveyed by François-Marie on the blurring of the distinction between Christianity and paganism, due to elements that were not superstitious per se but only within the context of a Hindu-dominated society.

  • 25 “Dato in manu Domino Origgi Secretario Datariæ ad præsentandum Papæ, die 14. Martii 1703. Die 17. M (...)
  • 26 Following the practice usual at that time, the printed version of the Questions proposées did not s (...)
  • 27 See the proceedings of the General Congregation of Propaganda Fide, held on 28 January 1704. APF, S (...)
  • 28 The information was appended to the two manuscript exemplars of the Latin-Indian dictionary, namely (...)

10François-Marie presented his 36 Questions to Carlo Agostino Fabroni (1651-1727), Secretary of the Propaganda Fide, on 7 March, the day after the interlocutory deliberation of the Congregation regarding his requests about his linguistic works and the admission of Aleixo Fernandes to the Urbanian College. On 14 March, still without reply from Fabroni, François-Marie addressed the Questions to Pope Clement XI through Mons. Curzio Origo, Segretario dei Memoriali.25 The purpose was clearly to bypass the bureaucratic apparatus of the Holy See and establish a direct contact with the Pope. The manœuvre failed since three days later Mons. Origo informed the Capuchin that the issue had to be discussed with the Secretary of Propaganda Fide. François-Marie then presented a new memorandum to Fabroni on 28 April, who was then supposed to propose it to the Cardinals of that missionary department. This evaluation took place on 2 July, but the conclusion was simply that the whole practice should pass to the Congregation of the Roman Inquisition (Questions proposées…: 4-5). Such a convoluted bureaucratic itinerary eloquently shows that François-Marie de Tour’s denunciation of alleged Jesuit abuses faced enormous obstacles. The absence of an immediate action by the Holy See, represented both by Propaganda Fide and the Inquisition, can explain the decision to publish the Questions, at a time (1704) when the decree of Tournon had not become known to Europe or even had not been issued yet.26 François-Marie’s lobbying action in Rome ended with his appointment in January 1704 to lead a new Capuchin mission to Tibet.27 Those friars were indeed interested in setting foot in the Himalayan region and François-Marie’s appointment was a request made explicitly by the Procurator of his religious order, on account of his linguistic skills and experience. However, it is curious to observe that after the suppression of the Jesuits, the deployment of François-Marie was interpreted as a plot of the Society of Jesus to remove him from Rome.28

A Cosmopolitan Christianity

11François-Marie’s mission to Rome had a number of purposes: the approval and publication of his linguistic works; the admission of a Goan Brahman to the Urbanian College; the complaint about the Capuchin loss of the Malabar Christian parish in Pondicherry, and the denunciation of rituals that the Jesuit missionaries allowed to their Indian neophytes. These different issues were all related. They can be considered as part of a single missionary vision of an Indian cosmopolitan Christianity. First of all it is necessary to understand what sort of language François-Marie had been codifying in morphological and lexicographical terms and how it related to the total linguistic landscape of India. In the introduction to his Grammatica Mogolana the Capuchin distinguished three different types of Indian languages (APF, Miscellanea Generale 12, ff. 308rv):

    • 29 Such a remark has to be interpreted considering “that a truly transregional form of writing, Devana (...)

    Lingua Scientifica, known to the Europeans as lingua Brachmanica, according to François-Marie it was called by the Indians as sanscurta. This was the language in which were written the laws, sciences, fables, histories, prayers and the descriptions of the sacrifices of the Indians. According to the Capuchin, the knowledge of this language was restricted to the Brahmans, who learnt it since they were children, following an extremely well ordered grammar. The missionary believed that this lingua scientifica used a script all of its own, different from the ones of the other languages (ipsa scribendi modum ab aliis linguis habet diversum, sibique particularem).29

    • 30 “The Indians call the alphabet kekko because it starts with the letter [= ka].” APF, Miscellanea Ge (...)

    Lingua Vulgaris, seu universalis: this language was understood everywhere and was defined as lingua Indiana and lingua Mogolana, as spoken primarily in the Mughal empire, but also in its bordering regions. François-Marie emphasized that this was the language that one could hear all throughout the coastal areas of India. While the universal use of this lingua vulgaris made it somehow trite and hackneyed, nonetheless it possessed rules as much as other languages more noble or important (nobilioria et principalia idiomata). The language was particularly easy to learn and would be of great use to different people. This lingua vulgaris was the way that could lead missionaries to their own missions and offer a “method” to take care of them (via, quæ pro Missionibus suscipiendis missionarios conducat, methodumque subministret). Thanks to its diffusion, this lingua universalis would help merchants in dealing their business and would accompany the travellers in all their peregrinations. It is clear that this language corresponds to the lingua Indiana spoken also by Andrea Remires. The script that François-Marie presents as proper of this language is defined generically by him as Alphabetum Indicum or, using a local expression, as kekko.30 It is basically devanagari, although the Capuchin does not use this expression.

  1. Lingua Gentilitia was each regional language of India. According to François-Marie, the knowledge of one of these idioms was not sufficient to be understood in a different region, hence it was necessary to resort to the lingua vulgaris. If we consider Remires’ linguistic skills, it appears clear that the lingua gentile he claimed to speak corresponded to the lingua gentilitia in François-Marie’s taxonomy. The specific language meant by Remires would then be Bengālī.

Fig. 2. “Cacco seu Kekko,” namely the “Indian Alphabet” and the romanization scheme adopted by François-Marie de Tours. APF, Miscellanee Generali, 12, f. 333r.

Fig. 2. “Cacco seu Kekko,” namely the “Indian Alphabet” and the romanization scheme adopted by François-Marie de Tours. APF, Miscellanee Generali, 12, f. 333r.
  • 31 BNF, Indien 839 and 840, as we have seen before at fn. 22.
  • 32 Husain 1967 quoted by McGregor (2001: 9). McGregor deals with François-Marie’s linguistic contribut (...)
  • 33 Kowalsky 1961; Kowalsky, Metzler 1983, 2nd ed; 3rd enlarged edition in 1988). The Thesaurus was des (...)
  • 34 Cf. Golub 1988; Mrkonjić 1989. The old Pastrizi met by Cardinal Domenico Passionei has been describ (...)
  • 35 China Monumentis, Qvà Sacris Qva Profanis, Nec Non Variis Naturae & Artis Spectaculis, Aliarumque R (...)

12François-Marie’s typology is striking for the absence of any reference to Persian as a language that played a role in the Indian linguistic landscape. On the contrary, we have seen that Nicolò Pascoli mentioned that language as one of the Asian idioms known to Remires, defined as Parsis or lingua mahometana. While François-Marie’s lingua scientifica and lingua gentilitia can be easily identified, the lingua vulgaris is a form of Hindustani or Hindavi whose precise nuances (in terms of region and register) are yet to be determined. A certain prudence is required particularly because the literature on François-Marie’s linguistic work is almost non-existent. His Thesaurus linguae Indianae seu Mogolanae (the two volumes dictionary, conserved in two copies in Paris)31 has drawn the attention of only 4 scholars in the last 50 years32. The Grammatica Mogolana had already been ignored since the first decades of the eighteenth century. It was mentioned once again only in 1961, in the first edition of the official printed catalogue of the historical archives of the Propaganda Fide33 and then again—slightly less laconically—in 1990 by Mons. Ivan Golub in an article published in Croatian (Golub 1990: 199-203). Unfortunately it is not surprising that Golub’s Croatian essay passed unnoticed by indologists. Moreover, Golub did not aim to identify the specific quality and character of the language described by François-Marie de Tours, called by the author with the generic expression of indijski jezik, “Indian language,” a mere translation of one of François-Marie’s own expressions. Ivan Golub had came across the Grammatica Mogolana because it had become part of a collection belonging to Ivan Paštrić (1636-1708), a Dalmatian intellectual and ecclesiastic, better known as Joannes Pastritius or Giovanni Pastrizio. A professor of theology at the Urbanian College, founding member and Secretary of the Conferenza dei Concili, Scriptor Hebraicus of the vatican Library since 1695, Paštrić was indeed a remarkable figure in the Roman intellectual scene.34 As it seems that Paštrić had been a “revisor” for the Polyglot Press of the Propaganda Fide only for six months in 1669 (Henkel 1971: 346), the presence of the Grammatica Mogolana among his papers cannot be interpreted as a sign that the text was on fast track towards publication. It is rather more probable that Carlo Agostino Fabroni gave Paštrić the manuscript as a sort of oriental curiosity that would be appropriate in the hands of an erudite of his distinction. Such a hypothesis appears even more probable given the use of the devanāgarī script, which had been made known to the European Respublica litterarum by Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680). In his China Illustrata (1667) the Jesuit polymath had inserted a section on Sanskrit and the devanāgarī writing system derived from the unpublished work of his confrère Heinrich Roth (1620-1668).35 Paštrić would have indeed found in François-Marie de Tour’s work a far richer sample of the exotic devanāgarī script than the one offered by Kircher in his section on the writing system of the “Lingua Hanscret,” that had been inserted as five engraved tables within the printed text of the China Illustrata.

Fig. 3. Sign of the cross and “our Father” in Hindustani, both romanized and in devanāgarī script. Biblioteca Capitolare Fabroniana di Pistoia, Ms. 72, pp. 1-2.

Fig. 3. Sign of the cross and “our Father” in Hindustani, both romanized and in devanāgarī script. Biblioteca Capitolare Fabroniana di Pistoia, Ms. 72, pp. 1-2.

Fig. 4. Frontespice of François-Marie de Tours “Thesaurus Linguæ Mogolanæ.” Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF), Indien 840.

Fig. 4. Frontespice of François-Marie de Tours “Thesaurus Linguæ Mogolanæ.” Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF), Indien 840.

Fig. 5. First 22 Latin headwords and their Hindustani equivalents in “Thesaurus Linguæ Mogolanæ.” BNF, Indien 840, p. 1.

Fig. 5. First 22 Latin headwords and their Hindustani equivalents in “Thesaurus Linguæ Mogolanæ.” BNF, Indien 840, p. 1.
  • 36 BCFP, Ms. 72, 24 loose folia. In theory the Biblioteca Capitolare Fabroniana was supposed to contai (...)

13Totally unknown until now was a fragment of François-Marie’s linguistic opus that Carlo Agostino Fabroni conserved in his private library before it ended in the Biblioteca Fabroniana of Pistoia.36 This “Fabronian fragment” contains a collection of Christian prayers, a list of Hindustani months and a Supplementum to the Thesaurus. It has not yet been possible to find the one-volume Indo-Latin dictionary. However, what has remained is already a remarkable linguistic collection. A first step towards its study is the annotated edition and translation of the Grammatica Mogolana and the “Fabronian fragment,” a project I am currently working on. By now it is already possible to claim that François-Marie is the author of the most ancient Hindustani grammar using devanāgarī script that we are aware of to this day. The Grammatica Mogolana is dated 1703 and just before, in 1698, Joan Josua Kettler (alias Ketelaar) composed his Hindustani grammar, entirely written in Latin script (Bhatia 1987: 16-45). Ronald Stuart McGregor was the first to analyse the language described by François-Marie in the Thesaurus. Throughout the text he found “a proportion of loanwords of Sanskritic origin that, though not large, cannot be overlooked.” Those words belonged “to very varied categories of meaning: feeling or emotion, religious faith, aspects of everyday experience, or technical terms, as from astronomy or grammar.” In McGregor’s view the Thesaurus, consisting of circa 10,000 entries, was indeed “a work of some scholarship” (McGregor 2001: 13).

  • 37 The grammar composed by Roth has been published by Camps, & Muller, eds., 1988. See also P.-S. Fill (...)
  • 38 Among several Tamiḻ works, in manuscript or (more rarely) in printed form (using the Tamiḻ script), (...)
  • 39 Stephen’s grammar was published posthumously, under the title of Doutrina Christam em lingoa Braman (...)
  • 40 The work known as Kristapurāṇa was actually entitled Discurso sobre a vinda do Jesu-Christo Nosso S (...)
  • 41 For a useful orientation see Colas & Colas-Chauhan 1995.
  • 42 In such a scholarly void is fundamental Edward Noronha, “Date and Authorship of Two Early Catholic (...)
  • 43 Historia de las Missiones que han hecho los Religiosos de la Compañia de Iesus, para predicar el Sa (...)
  • 44 Manuel da Assumpção is celebrated particularly for hisVocabulario em idioma bengalla, e portuguez. (...)

14With a clearer idea of François-Marie’s linguistic enterprise, it is now possible to examine to what extent he put forth a vision of a cosmopolitan Christianity. His advocacy of Hindustani as a lingua vulgaris, seu universalis was unprecedented among Catholic missionaries and in striking contrast with the approach followed by the Jesuits. Roberto Nobili (1577-1656) had learnt Sanskrit, namely François-Marie’s lingua scientifica, already at the beginning of the 17th century. From the middle of that same century, first Heinrich Roth (1620-1668), then Johann Ernst Hanxleden (1681-1732) and Jean-François Pons (1698-c. 1753), all Jesuit missionaries, wrote their Sanskrit grammars.37 Between the 16th and the 18th century Jesuits composed grammars and composed devotional works in no less than eight linguae gentilitiæ. A place of honour belonged to Tamiḻ, used by missionaries such as Henrique Henriques (1520-1600) on the Fishery Coast and Roberto Nobili in the Madurai mission.38 Koṅkaṇī, the local language of Goa, was clearly a priority for the missionaries in Portuguese Asia. It is slightly paradoxical that this language, believed for a long time to be a mere dialect of Marāṭhī, may also boast of the fact of being the first Indian language described in a printed grammar, composed by the English Jesuit Thomas Stephens (c. 1549-1619), who for many years worked as a missionary in the Salsette Peninsula.39 Indeed Marāṭhī, the literary language of the Hindus in Goa and on the Konkan coast, was the object of very substantial investments, both intellectual and financial. In this language were composed and published (although using the Roman script) two massive works. The most influential, even in recent times, was Thomas Stephen’s Kristapurāṇa, a purāṇic poem on the life of Christ and on its prefigurations in the old Testament. This work, remarkable for literary qualities and not characterized by extreme polemics against the non-Christian religions of India, became very popular among the Catholics in Western India. Less palatable to modern ecumenical taste, but extremely promising as a historical source, is the poem on the life of the Apostle Peter composed by Étienne de la Croix (1579-1643), a French Jesuit working under the Portuguese Padroado. As his work is primarily a confutation of “gentilism” addressed to the Goan neophytes, it can provide fundamental insights on the effective knowledge of Hinduism possessed by the Jesuit missionaries in the seventeenth century.40 Malayāḷam was the spoken language of the Saint Thomas Christians, hence any attempt to change their customs and discipline by the Latin Chuch needed to be conveyed in this idiom. For this reason the decrees of the Synod of Diamper (1599), where the Jesuits played a major role, were also translated into Malayāḷam, as it is attested by the manuscript versions conserved in the Vatican Library (BAV, Vaticani Indiani 18; Borgiani Indiani 3; Borgiani Indiani 21). Telugu was cultivated already by Nobili, as it was one of the literary languages patronized by the Nāyak rulers of Madurai (Rajamanickam 1972: 81-82). However, it was only with the establishment of the French Jesuit mission in the Carnatic, at the very start of the eighteenth century, that Telugu became a top priority. While no works were printed by the confrères of Guy Tachard, the National Library in Paris conserves various Telugu Catholic manuscripts that have not yet been studied in detail.41 An insufficient scholarly attention can be deplored even more in the case of Kaṇṇaḍa, the language spoken in the important Mysore mission, established by the Jesuit Leonardo Cinnami (1609-1676) in the seventeenth century along the lines of Nobili’s experiment in Madurai.42 Jesuits composed works even in Bengālī. The missionaries Francisco Fernandes and Domingos de Souza, who reached Bengal in 1598, composed in the local language “a treatise in confirmation of the things of our Faith, and confutation of the sects of the Moors and Gentiles, and a short Catechism”.43 Nonetheless, the major Catholic contribution to Bengālī would come only one century and half later and at the hand of the Augustinian Frey Manoel de Assumpção.44

15In addition to the linguae gentilitiae, the Jesuits tackled also two literary languages used in South Asia but originating from the Middle East. On the one hand, Jesuits like Francesc Ros (1557-1624), missionary and then Archbishop of Cranganore, cultivated Syriac, the literary language of the Saint Thomas Christians of Malabar. Contrary to previous assumptions on an alleged decadence of Syriac learning in Malabar due to the Latin influence, the emergence of a language that was “an otherwise non-existent entity, a blend of East Syriac, Indian and European humanist elements” has been demonstrated. This language testifies “to a revival of Classical Syriac, which has become, due to the interaction of the missionaries, who had received and were keen on transmitting to their Indian disciples a humanist education, and the local Syriacising elite, a kind of modern literary language in South India” (Perczel 2009: 307). The other literary language practiced in India by the Jesuits and not originary to the subcontinent was Persian. The mission at the Mughal Court would have been impossible without the learning and literary practice of this idiom (Camps 1957: 13-39, 2000a: 33-46).

  • 45 Thomas Stephens, famous for his Marāṭhī and Koṅkaṇī works, has been also associated erroneously to (...)
  • 46 Breve Ragguaglio sopra le Missioni della Compagnia di Giesù della Provincia Goana nell’Indie Orient (...)

16It is precisely the great interest shown by the Jesuits towards Persian, particularly through the apostolate of Jerónimo Xavier (1549-1617), grandnephew of Francis Xavier, at the courts of Akbar (r. 1556-1605) and Jahāngīr (r. 1605-1627), that sets the background on which an assessment of the concern of the Society of Jesus for Hindustani has to be placed. This eighth lingua gentilitia, to use once again François-Marie’s expression, was the one spoken most widely within the Mughal empire. The Jesuits mastered it and we have evidence that they used it for literary works.45 Fr. Jerónimo Xavier composed a Hindustani Catechism (Doutrina em Lingoa Indostana), now lost or not yet retrieved. Hindustani was also a common interest in a long term religious and intellectual friendship, the one between the Italian Jesuit Francesco Morando and Mīrzā Zūlʾqarnain, an Armenian officer and grandee of the Mughal empire. In a report drafted in 1649 Morando was credited for being a “great master of the Parthian and the Hindustani language” (gran maestro della lingua Partia, et Industana).46 In a later report, composed sometimes after 1670, António Botelho recalled the opinion of his late confrère on the literary qualities of his Armenian patron:

  • 47 English translation of a Portuguese document in the British Library, Add. Mss. 9855, ff. 41r-45v by (...)

Fr. Francisco Morando told me […] that Mirza was not only a good Christian, but that he had been also a Martyr for Christ. Mirza had aptitudes and talents of a high order. He became such a great poet in the Industane tongue that he had among the Moors the same reputation as a poet as Camois [= Camões] has here with us. He was also a good singer, and he himself put to music the songs which the King [the Emperor Jahāngīr] made.47

17The high esteem of the Jesuits for Mīrzā Zūlʾqarnain’s literary accomplishments in Hindustani, as well as in music, was not due to Christian bias. The very emperor Jahāngīr not only defined him in his memoirs as someone “intelligent and fond of work,” but also stated in the following terms his literary merits:

He is an accomplished composer of Hindi songs. His method in this art was correct, and his compositions were frequently brought to my notice and were approved (Beveridge 1914, 2: 194).

  • 48 SOAS, Ms. 11952. The manuscript has no title and consists of 143 folios written on both side. Consi (...)

18Until now it has been possible to identify only a single surviving work dealing with Hindustani and produced in all probability in the context of the Jesuit Mughal mission. This is a Portuguese—Hindustani—Persian vocabulary collected by the English orientalist William Marsden (1754-1836) and conserved today in London by the School of Oriental and African Studies.48 The original library collected by Marsden contained also “A Vocabulary, Portuguese and Hindustani, in the Nagri character. Sm. fol. [= Small folio size]” (Marsden 1827: 307). This text, lost or not yet retrieved, could precede by several decades François-Marie’s Thesaurus as first dictionary of Hindustani employing the devanagarī script. In consideration of the extended intellectual partnership between Francesco Morando and Mīrzā Zūlʾqarnain, it would not be surprising if both the Hindustani dictionaries that ended up in the Marsden collection had been produced into that Mughal Christian milieu.

  • 49 I am referring to the dychotomy of Jesuit “aristocratic analogies” and “demotic descriptions” devel (...)

19While the Jesuits did pay attention to Hindustani, as much as to the various linguae gentilitiæ, they did not attribute a special status to the former. If François-Marie de Tours considered Hindustani a language that exceeded regional confines and defined a sort of cosmopolitan Indian space, the Jesuits did not attribute any preminence to Hindustani vis-à-vis the other literary languages they cultivated, but rather treated it as just another lingua gentilitia. Furthermore, in a social perspective, they clearly subordinated Hindustani to an eminently courtly language such as Persian. It would be inaccurate to characterize the Jesuit understanding of Hindustani as a sort of a dismissive aristocratic gaze over a “demotic” language.49 As we have seen, Hindustani benefited even of the interest of the Emperor Jahāngīr. However, to use François-Marie’s terms (who apparently did not consider the role of Syriac and Persian in his linguistic taxonomy), the Jesuits had chosen to focus on a language proper to the Brahmans (i.e. Sanskrit) and on a number of languages belonging specifically to certain regions that were, to a lesser or greater extent, not mutually understandable. At the same time, François-Marie argued also that the Jesuits (specifically the French Jesuits), who used to intrude in missions established previously by the Capuchins, allowed to their neophytes rituals and customs that were patently pagan and superstitious. Finally, François-Marie showcased to Propaganda Fide a model Indian priest: a Goan Brahman who spoke a number of Indian and European languages and merited to be trained to priesthood in Rome, in the very heart of Catholicism. All these elements constitute indeed a cosmopolitan Christian vision.

***

  • 50 The principle of social separation went to the extreme. In particular, by the first half of the eig (...)
  • 51 APG, SoCG 561, ff. 84r-85v. on the Capuchin Procurator see d’Alençon, ed., 1907 (5th ed.).
  • 52 “… nell’Anno 1703 il P. Franc [esc] o Maria da Tours Missionario Ap [osto] lico fece che si stampas (...)

20If the Jesuits had developed missions extending in the internal lands of India (let us think of the three missions of Madurai, Mysore and the Carnatic), François-Marie and his confrères had experienced the world of the Indian coastline where a European mercantile presence was more sensible: Surat, Pondicherry, Madras and Chandernagore (in this last case a coast of internal waters). In this space the Capuchins had been able to alter the local social order, not hindering processes of upward social mobility activated or facilitated by the conversion to Christianity. If the Jesuits in the internal missions of South India incorporated untouchability within the very fabric of the Catholic sacramental life,50 the Capuchins were able to challenge this social separation, even though it would be anachronistic and incorrect to describe them as opposed to caste divisions as such. Finally, one of the alleged merits of their protégé Aleixo was precisely the fact of being a Brahman. However, friars such as François-Marie de Tours could hope that Catholicism would flourish on the Indian coastline, in a pan-Indian space of contact and circulation where social hierarchies were perceived as more fluid and where people could communicate easily by means of a language that was universal because of being “vulgar.” on this scale the limits between different regions of India would appear blurred and people such as Aleixo Fernandes, fluent both in Indian and European languages, at home in both Indian and European culture, would be in the forefront of sustained cultural exchanges within an early colonial context. Such a vision failed to gain recognition in Rome. The Grammatica, the Thesaurus and the now lost Indo-Latin dictionary were never published. On 23 January 1708 Fr Timothée de la Flèche, Capuchin Procurator to the Holy See, suggested once again to publish these works or at least to return the original manuscripts to the friars, so that they could publish them in France.51 The Congregation requested information from Cardinal Francesco Barberini (1662-1738), who explained why the works had not been printed. Barberini defined the opus, with remarkable confusion, as a Grammatica et Vocabolario Bracmano. The confusion of the lingua scientifica with the lingua vulgaris shows how unsuccessful François-Marie’s theorization of a universal Indian language had been in the Roman circles. Moreover, Barberini stated that François-Marie’s request to have his work published at the expense of Propaganda Fide—a request that he had made as an individual—was interpreted as motivated less by a sincere zeal for conversion and the expansion of Christianity, than by mere “curiosity” and erudition, and by the desire of being the one to publish for the first time a book on that language.52

  • 53 The importance of François-Marie de Tour’s contribution is finally acknowledged in our times. Thank (...)

21The cosmopolitan linguistic and missionary dream of François-Marie de Tours found here its end. Shortly after, in May 1709, he died in Patna (le Tréguilly & Morazé 1995: 68). In the following years his Capuchin confrères continued to quarrel with the Jesuits about the Malabar Rites and in relation to jurisdiction over the mission in Tibet. New theological and orientalist devices were put in place, but the specific cosmopolitan vision of François-Marie de Tours faded away.53

Abbreviations

APF Archivio di Propaganda Fide

ASV Archivio Segreto Vaticano

ARSI Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu

BAV Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana

OFM Ordo Fratrum Minorum

SOCG Scritture Originali Congregazioni Generali

Bibliographie

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Notes

1 The extraordinary attention paid to the figure of Matteo Ricci, particularly on the 400th anniversary of his death (1610- 2010) shows how an early modern Catholic missionary may become even a model for today’s interaction of the West with China. A similar role, particularly in relation to Japan, has been advocated even for Alessandro Valignano, who has been considered no less than a model for “cross cultural managers” within multinational companies. See Volpi 2008: 316- 319.

2 The first ambition of the authors was to “contribuer au renouvellement de l’historiographie des missions modernes, désormais abordées (le plus souvent en fonction d’une connaissance de terrain et d’un horizon de recherche indépendant des traditions liées à l’histoire religieuse) hors du champ des histoires ‘institutionelles, ’ doublement caractérisé, outre ses présupposés et ses fins apologétiques, par ses limites nationales et pas le privilège accordé à un ordre particulier” Fabre & Vincent 2007: 1.

3 Rajamanickam 1972. In addition to Rajamanickam’s numerous contributions to the study of Nobili, particularly useful are Bachmann 1972 and Županov 1999.

4 Particularly interesting are the studies by Ventura 2011; Chakravarti 2012; Trento 2010.

5 In the last decades the traditional discipline of Church history has undergone a number of mutations. First of all, it has embraced an ecumenical perspective, moving beyond artificial denominational divisions. Moreover, church historians have developed a greater attention for the local dimensions, problematizing the relation between centres and peripheries. Furthermore, as a consequence of, or in parallelism with the theological preferential option for the poor, there has been a conscious effort at representing the perspective of the oppressed. Finally, oral history methodologies have been employed in order to give voice to actors who did not display their historical agency in written form. See Camps 2000b.

6 Xavier (2006: 87-94) proposed approaches to cast a greater light on other missionary religious orders active in the regions, such as the Franciscans. As far as the missions to Asia are concerned, no religious order has been able to conserve archival collections as systematic and comprehensive as the Jesuit fonds Goana et Malabarica and Provincia Iaponiæ et Viceprovincia Sinensis (the two collection are usually quoted as Goa and Jap. Sin.) in the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu (ARSI).

7 The information on this friar are scarce. His secular name is not known, nor is his date a birth. In previous studies he was remembered primarily as Prefect of the first Capuchin mission in Tibet. See Petech, ed., 1952. For an introduction to the history of the Capuchins in India, see Celestine 1982; D’Souza 1993.

8 See Fatinelli 1704. A biography of Tournon is still missing. Particularly useful, in order to understand the Jesuit perspective on the Papal Legate, will be the edition of the Acta Pekinensia, a massive manuscript with which Kilian Stumpf, a German missionary of the Society of Jesus to China, sought to describe in detail the action undertaken by Tournon, the Jesuits and other missionaries at the Court of the emperor Kāngxī. See Rule 2008.

9 It is therefore not possible to claim that “Pope Clement XI appointed the same man [as the one in charge of solving the Chinese Rites controversy], Charles de Tournon, to investigate de Tour’s claims,” as in Pomplun 2010: 139.

10 Guy Tachard was one of the five French Jesuits who were appointed in 1685 as “Mathematicians of His Majesty to go to China.” See in particular Vongsuravatana 1992 and 1994; Hsia 1999.

11 Lettre du R. P. Paul de Vandome Capucin Missionaire des Indes Orientales, au R. P. Francois Marie de Tours Religieux Capucin & Missionaire des Indes, touchant le different qui est entre le Jesuites & les Capucins établis à Pondicheri sur la Côte de Malabar. The libel, comprising 12 pages, did not report any date or place of publication. A copy of the pamphlet, sent to Clement XI by the very Tournon, can be found within a collection of original letters sent by the Papal Legate, namely Archivio Segreto Vaticano (ASV), Fondo Albani 248, ff. 243r-248v.

12 ASV, Fondo Albani 248, ff. 233r-235v, particularly 235r. There Tournon specifies that he was sending also a copy of the libel with Paul de Vandome’s letter, which clearly is the one at ff. 243r-248v.

13 APF, SoCG 544, ff. 244r, 247v. The two requests were classified under the categories “East Indies – Press – Urbanian College” (Indie Orientali – Stampa – Coll. Urb.). On the institution and early activities of the Urbanian College (so called because established by Pope Urban VIII on 1627), see Jezernik 1971, vol. 1, t. 1: 465-482.

14 “Grammatica ad modum nostræ grammaticæ latinæ per declinationes, coniugationes, et per certas regulas digesta. Dictionarium latino-Indicum, propriis caracteribus, qui et Latinis caracteribus explicantur descriptum; illudque duobus voluminibus in folio habetur. Aliud etiam Dictionarium Indo-Latinum propriis caracteribus scriptum, et ad latus vernaculis litteris explicato uno volumine.” APF, SOCG 544, ff. 244v, 247r. The document proceeds from f. 244v to 247r, having another document inserted at ff. 245r-246v. The Indo-Latin dictionary has not been retrieved until now, hence it is not clear what sort of lexicographical arrangement François-Marie’s vague descriptions hints to. On the contrary, the grammar and the Latin-Indian dictionary are conserved respectively in APF, Miscellanee Generali 12, ff. 302r-400v and Bibliothèque Nationale de France [henceforth: BNF], Indien 840 (two parts in a single bound volume, with a copy in BNF, Indien 839, made by the famous orientalist Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron between December 1783 and March 1784).

15 Usually spelled as Sirula, this was a village in the peninsula of Bardez. Souza 2009; 2nd English ed; 1st ed. 1979: 201-202 reports a section (translated in English) from the proceedings of the village council held in Sirula on 16 February 1674. The document, belonging to the private collection of the late A. Soares, illustrates how Sirula was organized just before the time in which Aleixo Fernandes was born.

16 Aleixo’s illiteracy in Koṅkaṇī might be related to the proposals made in Goa by certain Franciscan friars and enforced by a viceroyal decree issued in 1684, aiming to uproot the use of that language in the religious and official sphere, replacing it with Portuguese as an exclusive medium even for the Indians. Cunha Rivara 1858: 35-38, 64-70. As for the effects of such proposals, “Konkani remained the mother tongue of the majority of Goans, despite its lasting neglect in the colonial politics of education, while Portuguese only gradually became the language of high-caste Catholics.” However, the decree did have an immediate impact on the written culture, marking for instance “the end of the production of Christian purāṇas and their prohibition for Christian instruction.” Henn 2014: 73.

17 Aleixo’s “referees” were Fr Nicolò Pio Pascoli, Fr Appiani (certainly Ludovico Antonio and not Giovanni) and a certain Dominican Fr Antonius a Jesu.

18 François-Marie says that Aleixo had come from Goa to a mission of the French Capuchins, without specifying the precise location. The certificate of the two Brahmans may suggest that it was in Pondicherry.

19 The scholarly literature specifically devoted to Mateus de Castro is quite narrow. Cavallera 1936, 3 vols.; Ghesquière 1937; Combaluzier 1943; Metzler 1967; Souza 1975; Sorge 1986; Kamat 1999: 95-105.

20 “Ad p.um §= Ad Em.um Franciscum. Ad § con altro= Arbitrio E.mi Barbarini.” APF, SOCG 544, f. 247v. “Con altro” was the incipit of the paragraph in which was summarized the request concerning Aleixo Fernandes. The Congregation was attended by the Cardinals Cenci, Noris, Colloredo, Sacripanti, Francesco Barberini, Spada, Tanara, Pamphili, as well as by the judge Vallemanus and the Secretary Fabroni. APF, Acta 73 (1703), f. 61. Carlo Antonio Fabroni, Secretary of the Congregation, annotated on François-Marie’s request that a similar case had been discussed recently. During the General Congregation held on the 22nd January, an application for studying at the Urbanian College had been presented on behalf of a young Indian named “Giovanni Belalla” from Pondichéry, brought to Rome by the same Appiani who knew also Aleixo Fernandes. Belalla stood for veḷḷāḷa, one of the upper castes in the Tamiḻ region. In the application to the College of Propaganda Fide, it was specified that he was the son of “Pietro,” a catechist, and “Ignazia,” his family being noble (di famiglia nobile). APF, SOCG 544, f. 60. Eventually Belalla had been sent to the Seminary of Monte Fiascone, a town near Rome, to study at the direct expenses of the Pope, as there was no vacant place in the Urbanian College. APF, SOCG 544, f. 63v. Fabroni observed that Giovanni Belalla was “among the called nations” (è tra le nazioni chiamate), namely the castes that were considered worthy of providing priests. on the vellāla caste it is still useful Thurston & Rangachari (1909, vol. 7: 361- 389). Fabroni described in his note that the young Brahman would have been appointed a student of the Urbanian College by the Cardinal Prefect of the Propaganda Fide, replacing the Armenian student Melchior Tasbas, who was about to return home. APF, SOCG 544, f. 247v.

21 The admission of Andrea Remires, requested by the former missionary Fr Nicolò Pio Pascoli, was discussed in the General Congregation held on the 16th April 1703. Remires was described as the offspring of both Brahmans and “Coijbut” people (proveniente dalla casta de Brhamen e Coijbut). APF, SOCG 545, f. 24r and 27v. These two castes were defined as “the two most noble castes of India.” The puzzling spelling Coijbut might stand for the Kānyakubja Brahmans, also known as Kannaujas, whose specificities can suggest to consider them “more as a caste than as a subcaste” among the Brahmans of North India (Khare 1960: 349). Throughout the year 1703 Andrea Remires was unable to obtain the admission to the Urbanian College. He then escalated his application process, writing directly a petition to Pope Clement XI, examined on 7 January 1704. Here he redefined his linguistic skills, adding Spanish and removing the “Indian” language. He also simplified his family background. Remires claimed that his parents were Brahmans converted to Christianity and he made no reference to a Coijbut descent. APF, SoCG 547, ff. 12rv. This omission could be an argument in favour of the identification of Coijbut with a specific type of Brahmans, such as the Kānya-kubjas.

22 APF, Acta 73 (1703), ff. 79v-80v. on the Jesuit missionary and then bishop Gaspar Afonso Álvares see Santos Hernández 2000, 2: 126-128.

23 Questions Proposées a la Sacrée Congregation De La Propagande Sur Les Ceremonies Payennes Que Certains Missionaires Permettent Aux Chretiens Malabares Dans Les Indes Orientales. Par Le R.P. François Marie De Tours Capucin, Missionaire Aux Indes Orientales. A Liege Chez Guillaume Schupper, Ruë Des Maures, Proche La Grande Église. M. DCC. IV.

24 I have presented a preliminary analysis of the Questions Proposées, Arahna 2010: 79- 104, particularly 84-86.

25 “Dato in manu Domino Origgi Secretario Datariæ ad præsentandum Papæ, die 14. Martii 1703. Die 17. Martii reddito, cum responso quòd D. Fabronio referantur, & de iis loquatur.” Questions Proposées: 4. It seems that François-Marie was referring to Mons. Curzio Origo (or Orighi, 1661-1737) and confused the office of Segretario dei Memoriali with the one of Segretario della Dataria. origo’s function was to receive, filter and transmit the pleas (memoriali, literally “memoranda”) addressed to the Pope. In 1712 he was created a Cardinal. Ritzler & Sefrin 1952, 5: 28-29.

26 Following the practice usual at that time, the printed version of the Questions proposées did not specify the day and month in which the publication took place.

27 See the proceedings of the General Congregation of Propaganda Fide, held on 28 January 1704. APF, SoCG 547, ff. 79r- 84v, specif. f. 70r. François-Marie was appointed as “Direttore,” whereas the “Prefetto” of the new mission was Giovanni Francesco da Camerino. On the trip of François-Marie from Rome to Tibet, passing through the Middle East, see Bonnichon 1987: 263-264.

28 The information was appended to the two manuscript exemplars of the Latin-Indian dictionary, namely BNF, Indien 839 and 840, Italian notes containing Notizia dell’Autore, e scrittore del presente Libro, at the end of the volumes, respectively at p. 420 and p. 427. This biographical sketch was written before 1771, because it is immediately followed by an original note composed on 20 August of that year by Stefano Borgia, Secretary of Propaganda Fide, concerning the correction of the dictionary by the Capuchin former missionary Cassiano Beligatti da Macerata (b. 1708).

29 Such a remark has to be interpreted considering “that a truly transregional form of writing, Devanagari, would not come into wide use until the fourteenth or fifteenth century, at the end of the cosmopolitan period,” a circumstance that “is only another of the wonderful incongruities of the Sanskrit cosmopolis.” In fact, “in southern Asia, no writing system was ever so determinative of Sanskrit (until, ironically, Devanagari attained this status just as the cosmopolitan era waning).” Pollock 2006: 229, 273. François-Marie does not claim that such a specific script of Sanskrit corresponded to the one he actually presented for writing the Lingua mogolana, namely devanagari. It is possible that the Capuchin had no direct experience of Sanskrit texts.

30 “The Indians call the alphabet kekko because it starts with the letter [= ka].” APF, Miscellanea Generale 12, ff. 309r. François-Marie spells the name also as kecco (f. 332v) and cacco (f. 333r).

31 BNF, Indien 839 and 840, as we have seen before at fn. 22.

32 Husain 1967 quoted by McGregor (2001: 9). McGregor deals with François-Marie’s linguistic contributions at pp. 6, 9-17. Unknown to McGregor were the references in Orsatti 1996: 19-20, 176, which have been used by Lorenzen 2006: 119-120.

33 Kowalsky 1961; Kowalsky, Metzler 1983, 2nd ed; 3rd enlarged edition in 1988). The Thesaurus was described in the following terms, within the summary devoted to the volume APF, Miscellanee Generali XII: “Miscellanee Pastrizio T. II. Epistolae ad Ioannem Pastritium ac alios diversos, necnon varij characteres et Grammatica Mogolana et Doctrina Caldaica [Thesaurus linguae Indianae seu Mogolanae. Authore fr. Francisco Maria Turonensi Capucino Missionario Apostolico]” (3rd ed., p. 76).

34 Cf. Golub 1988; Mrkonjić 1989. The old Pastrizi met by Cardinal Domenico Passionei has been described as a “vecchio religioso, esperto d’ogni cosa che riguardasse l’Illiria, Grecia e scismatici d’Oriente.” Caracciolo 1968: 38.

35 China Monumentis, Qvà Sacris Qva Profanis, Nec Non Variis Naturae & Artis Spectaculis, Aliarumque Rerum Memorabilium Argumentis Illustrata, Auspiciis Leopoldi Primi, Roman. Imper. Semper Augusti, Munificentissimi Mecenatis. Amstelodami, Apud Jacobum à Meurs, in fossa vultò de Keysersgracht, Anno M. DC. LXVII, annex between pp. 162 and 163. On Roth’s grammar see infra, fn. 37.

36 BCFP, Ms. 72, 24 loose folia. In theory the Biblioteca Capitolare Fabroniana was supposed to contain only the books donated by Carlo Agostini Fabroni in 1726, with the exclusion of the official documents pertaining to his role as Secretary of the Congregation de Propaganda Fide. However, the early modern Roman Curia — as much organized as it could be—did not follow a strict Weberian bureaucratic rationality and rules on the conservation and confidentiality of documents could be easily eluded. On the history of this library, see Agostini 2011.

37 The grammar composed by Roth has been published by Camps, & Muller, eds., 1988. See also P.-S. Filliozat 2012. Hanxleden’s grammar has been rediscovered in 2010 and published by Van Hal & Vielle, eds. (2013). Pons’ grammar remains unpublished (BNF, Sanscrit 551) but was described in detail by J. Filliozat 1937.

38 Among several Tamiḻ works, in manuscript or (more rarely) in printed form (using the Tamiḻ script), particularly remarkable is the translation of the Flos Sanctorum (i.e. the Legenda Aurea of Jacopo da Varagine), composed by Henriques and printed in India around 1586. See Shaw 1993: 39-50. The other copy of this printed work is in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (henceforth BAV), Vaticani Indiani 24. Henriques was also the author of a Tamil grammar, the Arte da Língua Malabar which eventually was not printed and whose only known manuscript copy is conserved today in Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, Cod. 3141. The work has been published by Vermeer & Morath, eds. (1982) [new edition by Hein & Rajam 2013]. A work as impressive as Henrique’s Flos Sanctorum was Roberto Nobili’s major cathechism, printed in 1677 in Ambalacatta (i.e. Ambazhakkad, in Kerala), “na officina de Ignacio Archamonio.” At present are known only two partial copies of this printed work, namely part 1-3 in the Goa Central Libray (shelfmarks I-1a and I-1b, without frontispiece) and part 4 conserved in the Bibliothèque Municipale de Châlons-en-Champagne (Livre patrimoine – GT 6216). Nonetheless, the work had a wide manuscript circulation among the Tamiḻ Christians, being called Gnāṉōpadēsam or Kāṇḍam. See Rajamanickam 1972: 119-122.

39 Stephen’s grammar was published posthumously, under the title of Doutrina Christam em lingoa Bramana Canarim. Ordenada amaneira [sic] de Dialogo pera ensinar os mininos. Co [m] posta pollo Padre Thomas Esteuaõ da Companhia de IESUS. natural de Lo [n] dres. + IHS. Empressa no Collegio de Rachol da Co [m] panhia de IESUSAnno 1622. (A copy with a precious binding bearing the distinctive Barberini family coat of arm of Pope Urban VIII is conserved in BAV, Stampati Barberiniani, v. XIv, 126). Koṅkaṇī was also the first Indian language to be described in a printed grammar, namely the one composed by the English Jesuit missionary Thomas Stephens (c. 1549-1619) and published with further improvements as Jesus Maria Arte da lingoa canarim (1640). Influential, but also controversial in terms of future developments, was the choice to adopt the Roman script.

40 The work known as Kristapurāṇa was actually entitled Discurso sobre a vinda do Jesu-Christo Nosso Salvador ao mundo. It was printed in Rachol (near Goa) in 1616, and once again in 1649 and 1654. While no copies of these early printed editions have been found, Stephens’ work had an extremely wide manuscript circulation. See the English translation, by Falcao (2012), who also studied comprehensively the poem in his book on Kristapurāṇa, a Christian-Hindu Encounter… (2003). Impressive in dimensions but rather neglected in scholarly terms is Étienne de la Croix’s Discursos sobre avida [sic] do A/postolo Sampedro [sic], em que se refutam os principais erros do Gentilismo deste Oriente: & se declarão varios mysterios de nossa Sancta Fee: com varia Douctrina vtil & necessaria a esta noua Christandade. Compostos em versos em lingoagem Bramana Marasta pello Padre Estevão da Cruz da Companhia de IESUS. Frances. + IHS. Empressos em Goa na caza Professa de IESUS [sic]. Com licença da Sancta Inquisição & ordinario & com aprouação dos Superiores. Anno do nascimento de Christo Senhor Nosso de 1634. Particularly precious is the copy in BAV, Stampati Barberiniani LLL. III, 1.

41 For a useful orientation see Colas & Colas-Chauhan 1995.

42 In such a scholarly void is fundamental Edward Noronha, “Date and Authorship of Two Early Catholic Manuscripts Written in the Kannada Language” (Noronha 1986: 105-125). He examines the manuscripts 12903 and 7078 conserved in the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, suggesting that those texts may be the most ancient Christian works in Kaṇṇaḍa.

43 Historia de las Missiones que han hecho los Religiosos de la Compañia de Iesus, para predicar el Sancto Euangelio en la India Oriental, y en los Reynos de la China y Iapon. Escrita por el Padre Luis de Guzman, Religioso de la mism Compañia. Primera Parte en la qual se contienen seys libros tres de la India Oriental, uno de la China, y dos del Iapon. Dirigida a Doña Ana Felix de Guzman, Marquesa de Camarasa, Condesa de Ricla, Señora del Adelantamiento de Caçorla. IHS. Año 1601. Con privilegio. En Alcala, por la Biuda de Iuan Gracian: 169. The two works in Bengālī have not been retrieved yet.

44 Manuel da Assumpção is celebrated particularly for hisVocabulario em idioma bengalla, e portuguez. Dividido em duas partes, Assumpçéão 1743.

45 Thomas Stephens, famous for his Marāṭhī and Koṅkaṇī works, has been also associated erroneously to Hindustani. We can read that “he learned Hindustani” in Zwartjes (2011: 46). It has been even claimed that Stephens “was the first to make a scientific study of Canarese. He also plunged into Hindustani, and wrote grammars and books of devotion in those languages.” Thomas J. Campbell S.J. (1921: 142). The spurious association of Stephens with Hindustani and Kaṇṇaḍa (i.e. “Canarese”) was based on a gross misunderstanding of the expression lingua Bramana-Canarina, often used in early modern Portuguese sources to indicate Koṅkaṇī. See Saldanha, ed., 1945: 31-33.

46 Breve Ragguaglio sopra le Missioni della Compagnia di Giesù della Provincia Goana nell’Indie Orientali: appresentato all’Eminentissima Congregatione de Propaganda Fide dal Padre Giovanni Marracci, della medesima Comp [agni] a, Procurator della detta Provincia in Aprile dell’Anno 1649. ARSI, Goa 34, ff. 377r-385v, part. f. 381v. This Italian manuscript report, together with two others concerning the Provinces of Malabar and Japan, as well as the Vice-province of China, had a French printed edition, namely the Relation de ce qui s’est passé dans les Indes Orientales en ses trois Provinces de Goa, de Malabar du Iapon, de la Chine, & autres païs nouvellement descouverts. Par les Peres de la Compagnie de Iesus. Présentée a la Sacreé Congregation de la Propagation de la Foy, Par le P. Iean Maracci Procureur de la Province de Goa, au mois d’Auril 1649. A Paris, Chez Sebastien Cramoisy, Imprimeur ordinaire du Roy, & de la Reyne Regente: et Gabriel Cramoisy. Ruë S. Iacques aux Cicognes. M. DC. LI. Avec Privilege du Roy. Here the Hindustani language was spelled as Industanne.

47 English translation of a Portuguese document in the British Library, Add. Mss. 9855, ff. 41r-45v by Seth 1992; 1st ed. Calcutta, 1937: 74.

48 SOAS, Ms. 11952. The manuscript has no title and consists of 143 folios written on both side. Considering that each page contains around 30 headwords and that some pages are partially or fully blank, the size of the entire vocabulary can be estimated around 8000 headwords. The paleographic and codicological features of the manuscript would suggest that the text was written by a single scribe with Portuguese training, although using different pens. There are no ex libris, notes of possessions or religious symbols demonstrating cogently that the work was produced by the Jesuits of the Mughal mission. However, it is difficult to imagine who else would have been interested in and able to compose a work that displayed for each Portuguese headword one or more Hindustani and Persian glosses. Furthermore, it is proved that the manuscript collection gathered by Marsden (today scattered across the King’s College London, the SOAS, the School of Slavonic & East European Studies and the British Library), contained “original Portuguese records taken from the Jesuit Archives at Goa, after the dissolution of the Company of Jesus in the Lusitanian domains by Pombal in 1759.” Boxer (1949: 61). I am particularly grateful to Jiang Wei for providing me a digital reproduction of the SOAS Ms. 11952.

49 I am referring to the dychotomy of Jesuit “aristocratic analogies” and “demotic descriptions” developed by Županov 1999.

50 The principle of social separation went to the extreme. In particular, by the first half of the eighteenth century the churches in the Madurai mission were divided in such a way that the Christians of higher castes would not mingle with their “parrea” cor-religionists. I study this issue in Aranha 2014.

51 APG, SoCG 561, ff. 84r-85v. on the Capuchin Procurator see d’Alençon, ed., 1907 (5th ed.).

52 “… nell’Anno 1703 il P. Franc [esc] o Maria da Tours Missionario Ap [osto] lico fece che si stampasse à spese della Sag. Cong [regazio] ne la Gram [mati] ca, e Vocabolario Bracmano da lui composto; Mà p [er] che parve, che l’istanza del solo Autore procedesse più tosto dall curiosità et eruditione, non essendo mai stato stampato libro alcuno in d [ett] a lingua, e dal desiderio di vedere comparire alla luce le sud [dett] e opere, che dal zelo della propagazione della n [ost] ra Religione, non ne seguì l’impressione.” APG, SoCG 561, ff. 81r- 82v. The Italian texts mentions the absence of books printed in that Indian language and François-Marie’s desire to see published the works he had composed, without saying explicitly that a driving motive was the ambition of the Capuchin to be the first person to publish in the lingua Bracmana [sic!]. However, the contexts leads precisely to such a reading. It is possible that Barberini chose a diplomatic phrasing, so as not to accuse explicitly François-Marie with vainglory. Card. Barberini’s report is remarkable also for the reconstruction of the history of François-Marie’s textual corpus. The prelate declares that the original of the Thesaurus should not be returned to the Capuchins, as François-Marie had already made a copy of his own when he submitted the original exemplar of the Thesaurus to Propaganda Fide. François-Marie’s copy has not been found yet but could correspond to a manuscript that was on sale in 1872 by the Parisian bookshop Maisonneuve. See Catalogue de Livres de Linguistique anciens et modernes… (1872: 204, n. 2647). I am grateful to Anna Pytlowany for informing me about this catalogue. It is remarkable that the same catalogue (p. 197, n. 2549) lists also a Dictionnaire français-maure, namely a French-Hindustani dictionary. The catalogue specifies that the work employed Latin characters only and it was easy to read. In a manuscript note appended by Anquetil Duperron at the beginning of both the original exemplar of the Thesaurus Linguæ Mogolanæ and the copy he made of it in 1783-1784 (BNF, Indien 840 and 839) it is stated that in 1758 he saw a Dictionnaire Maure-françois in the Capuchin convent of Surat. This dictionary was “badly written” (mal écrit) and contained also some words in Persian characters. The text seen by Anquetil and the one put on sale by Maisonneuve are clearly not the same, but might still be related, particularly considering the use of “Maure” to describe what François-Marie had called Lingua Indostana or Lingua Mogolana. It is possible that the two dictionaries held by Maisonneuve around 1872 (one clearly of Capuchin origin and the other one with no authorship’s indications) belonged once to the library of a Capuchin convent suppressed at the time of the French Revolution.

53 The importance of François-Marie de Tour’s contribution is finally acknowledged in our times. Thanks to the generous efforts of Gunilla Gren-Eklund and Heinz Werner Wessler, an international research team has been created around the University of Uppsala, with the purpose of using François-Marie’s Thesaurus and other early modern dictionaries as tools to understand the historical development of Hindustani. I am contributing to this collective endeavour with the inputs provided by the religious and cultural history of the early modern Catholic missionaries to Asia, as well by coordinating an edition of the Grammatica Mogolana.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1. French equivalents and romanization of the Hindustani equivalents for the first 22 Latin headwords. BNF, Indien 840, p. 2.
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/23222/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 38k
Titre Fig. 2. “Cacco seu Kekko,” namely the “Indian Alphabet” and the romanization scheme adopted by François-Marie de Tours. APF, Miscellanee Generali, 12, f. 333r.
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/23222/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 38k
Titre Fig. 3. Sign of the cross and “our Father” in Hindustani, both romanized and in devanāgarī script. Biblioteca Capitolare Fabroniana di Pistoia, Ms. 72, pp. 1-2.
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/23222/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 67k
Titre Fig. 4. Frontespice of François-Marie de Tours “Thesaurus Linguæ Mogolanæ.” Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF), Indien 840.
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/23222/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 31k
Titre Fig. 5. First 22 Latin headwords and their Hindustani equivalents in “Thesaurus Linguæ Mogolanæ.” BNF, Indien 840, p. 1.
URL http://books.openedition.org/editionsehess/docannexe/image/23222/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 30k

Auteur

He is a Research Fellow of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the SAR of Macao, as well as Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Evangelical Theology of the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU), Munich. He has studied Political Sciences at Rome University « La Sapienza » and History at the European University Institute (Florence). He has been a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow at the Warburg Institute (London) and Marie Curie -Gerda Henkel Fellow at the LMU. He is about to defend a doctoral dissertation on the Malabar Rites controversy.
Publications
– 2006 Il Cristianesimo latino in India nel XVI secolo, Milano, Franco Angeli.
– 2014 “The Social and Physical Spaces of the Malabar Rites Controversy,” in G. Marcocci, W. de Boer, A. Maldavsky, I. Pavan, eds., Space and Conversion in Global Perspective, Leiden/Boston, Brill, pp. 214-232.
– 2014 “Early modern Asian Catholicism and European colonialism: Dominance, Hegemony and Native Agency in the Portuguese Estado da Índia,” in K. Koschorke & A. Hermann, eds., Polycentric Structures in the History of World Christianity / Polyzentrische Strukturen in der Geschichte des Weltchristentums, Wiesbaden, Harassowitz Verlag, pp. 285-306.

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