Hyacinth (Bichurin)

Nikita Yakovlevich Bichurin ( Никита Яковлевич Бичурин ) (* August 29, 1777, † May 11, 1853 ), better known by his monastic name Iakinf ( Иакинф, ie Hyacinth ), Hyacinth Bichurin, was one of the founding fathers of Russian Sinology.


Bichurin was born into a family of Chuvash priests and studied at the seminary of Kazan. He was sent to the head of the Russian mission to Beijing. His interests lay in the field of Chinese history and language. He translated a number of ancient and medieval Chinese manuscripts, the hitherto unknown in Europe. In the following decades, he published a series of writings on China, Mongolia, Tibet, etc., mostly from Chinese sources on Chinese and Mongolian history, geography, religion, statistics and agriculture. He was a member of several European scientific academies.


  • Comments about Mongolia (Petersburg 1828)
  • Description of Tibet (Petersburg 1828)
  • Description Dzungaria and the Eastern Turkistan (Petersburg 1829, 3 vols )
  • China, its people, customs, manners and education (Petersburg 1840)
  • Statistical description of China (Petersburg 1841)
  • Grammar of the Chinese language (Petersburg 1838)
  • Chinese -Russian dictionary
  • History of the Manchus until their entry into China ( in communion with another member of the Beijing mission Leontjewski )
  • (together with Archimandrite Daniel Sybillow ) Description of the westerly kingdoms of China