of a Hindu sanyasi (mendicant) and worked exclusively with the low castes of south India. For his forthrightness he was tortured and then beheaded in February 1693 at Oriyur in Tamilnadu. According to his biographer, 'he was a man of the rank and file. He may have had the zeal and enthusiasm of a Francis Xavier but he was never called upon to exercise them on the whole east, his labour being practically confined to Tamil Nadu. Nor was it his lot to inaugurate new missionary methods like Robert de Nobili. He came to a field ripe for the harvest and without casting about for new tools or new methods he seized the old sickle and joined the reapers.'1
The founder of the Madurai, Kanara and Mysore Jesuit missions was Fr Leonardo Cinnami. He came to recognize that his initial four years in the missions had not borne fruit, mainly because he had been viewed as a Portuguese priest. By 1649 he began dressing as a sanyasi, had his ears pierced and his head and neck smeared with ashes. Besides his great mission work, he left several devotional works in the local Kanada language, the most notable being Istoria del Canara (1648).
What is striking about the growth of the church in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century India is the number of priests and laymen who produced important literary and religious works. One recalls such sixteenth-century works as Homem das Trinta e duas perfeigo es (Archbishop Francisco Garcia Mendes), Discursos sobre a vida do apostolo Sam Pedro (Estevao da Cruz), Coloquios dos simples e drogas medicinais (Garcia da Orta); and such seventeenth-century works as Historia do Malavar (Diogo Goncalves), and the treatises on Hinduism by Jean Venance Bouchet and a Konkani grammar by Karel Prikryl. The Italian Jesuit Constanzo Guiseppe Beschi (1680-1747) wrote classical epics, philosophical treatises, commentaries, dictionaries, grammars, translations, and tracts for both Hindus and Christians. His epic poem Tembavani ('Unfading Garland') and his public disputations with Hindu scholars won him great renown, ensuring him a lasting legacy as a scholar of Sanskrit and Tamil literature.
Others who were equally well known as writers included Heinrich Roth (1620-68) who composed a Sanskrit grammar in Latin, and John Ernest Hanxleden (1681-1732), author of MishiadaPana (1728) and of a Sanskrit Malayalam Portuguese dictionary and a Malayalam grammar in Portuguese. Gaston Coeur-doux (1691-1777) had served in Pondicherry, Kanara, and Tranquebar. He was well versed in the Sanskrit and Telugu languages and wrote a Telugu-Sanskrit-French dictionary and was the first to show the linguistic connections of Sanskrit with Latin, Greek, German, and Russian. Jean Calmette (1693-1739) served in the Tamil mission in Kanara and was the first European to get a copy of
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