Ferdinand Erbiest (Nan Huairen) (1623-1688), a Belgian, joined the Society of Jesus in 1641 and came toChinain 1659. At first, he missionized inShaanxiProvince, then he was invited toBeijingby the Qing Dynasty government to help the latter revise the calendar.
In 1668, he was appointed chief of the department in charge of astronomy and compiling calendar. In 1680, he began to assist the government to make cannons, thus winning appraises from the emperor. In 1676, he took part inChina's negotiations withRussiaas an interpreter. Twelve years later, he died inBeijing.