The very name of Confucius is a constant reminder that the “foremost sage” in China was first known in the West through Latin works. The most influential of these was the
Confucius Sinarum Philosophus (Confucius, the Philosopher of China), published in Paris in 1687. For more than two hundred years, Western intellectuals like Leibniz and Voltaire read and meditated on the sayings of Confucius from this Latin version.
Thierry Meynard examines the intellectual background of the Jesuits in China and their thought processes in coming to understand the Confucian tradition. He presents a trilingual edition of the
Lunyu, including the Chinese text, the Latin translation of the
Lunyu and its commentaries, and their rendition in modern English, with notes.