Philippe Avril

Philippe Avril (1654 – 1698 (presumed)) was a Jesuit explorer of the Far East. He was born at Angoulême, France on 16 September 1654.[1]

Philippe Avril
Born(1654-09-16)September 16, 1654
Died(presumed) 1698(1698-00-00) (aged 43–44)
Known forExploration

Avril was a professor of philosophy and mathematics at Paris when he was dispatched to the Jesuit missions of China. Following the instructions of Ferdinand Verbiest, another Jesuit, then at Peking, he attempted an overland journey,[2] and traveled for six years through Kurdistan, Armenia, Astrakhan, Persia, and other countries of eastern Asia.[3]

Arriving at Moscow, Avril was refused permission to pass through Tatary, and was sent by the Government to Poland, whence he made his way to Istanbul and from there went back to France.[4] Though exhausted by disease, he set out again on a vessel, which was lost at sea. Avril presumably died in a 1698 shipwreck.

Avril's journal and writings provide a significant amount of useful material for modern historians and demographers.


  1. ^ Cordier, Henri (1907). Bibliotheca sinica: Dictionnaire bibliographique des ouvrages relatifs à l'Empire chinois (in French). E. Guilmoto. pp. column 2088.
  2. ^ Carhart, Michael C. (2019). Leibniz discovers Asia : social networking in the Republic of Letters. Baltimore. ISBN 978-1-4214-2754-6. OCLC 1089445730.
  3. ^ Vermote, Frederik (2017). "Travellers Lost and Redirected: Jesuit Networks and the Limits of European Exploration in Asia". Itinerario. 41 (3): 484–506. doi:10.1017/S0165115317000651. ISSN 0165-1153. S2CID 165853363.
  4. ^ Love, Ronald S. (2003). "A Passage to China:A French Jesuit's Perceptions of Siberia in the 1680s". French Colonial History. 3: 94. doi:10.1353/fch.2003.0009. S2CID 144658053.