The Voyage of Siam, of the French Jesuit Guy Tachard

Journal title STORIA URBANA
Author/s Simonetta Sitzia
Publishing Year 2016 Issue 2016/151
Language Italian Pages 31 P. 99-129 File size 1204 KB
DOI 10.3280/SU2016-151004
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For a long time, Siam remained unknown to the Europeans. The reports written by French Jesuits started to provide an ever more accurate picture of Siam. The Voyage de Siam, compiled by Guy Tachard, was among these informative reports. It was written between 1685 and 1686, during a mission mandated by Louis XIV. This journey represented an attempt to strengthen the relationship with the Siamese King Phra Naï, with an eye to a stronger French presence in the East. Tachard collected scores of extremely detailed information of astronomical, naturalistic, anthropological, religious, architectural and artistic nature. The long journey becomes an itinerary through Jesuit past. Tachard recalls the lives of several brothers who had been harassed for their faith. Among them the Italian Fuciti, whom he met in Batavia. In Siam he was fascinated by the vastness of the land, by the majesty of civil and religious architectures, and by local traditions. His greatest interest was Buddhist spirituality, to which he dedicated several pages in the Voyage

Keywords: Tachard Siam Buddhism Pagoda Ceremonies

Simonetta Sitzia, Il Voyage de Siam del gesuita francese Guy Tachard in "STORIA URBANA " 151/2016, pp 99-129, DOI: 10.3280/SU2016-151004