Cultural clashes, political turmoil, civil war — adventure boils over in Ippolito Desideri’s diaries from his time as an Italian missionary in Tibet. Two Madison scholars have translated the priest’s writings into “Mission to Tibet” from Wisdom Press.
“He was an indomitable figure,” translator Michael Sweet said about Desideri, an Italian Jesuit who traveled to Tibet in 1716 and stayed until 1721. “His writing is wonderful. It’s a very accurate description of the land, the customs, the commerce, the people, the religion,” Sweet said.
Sweet and Leonard Zwilling are the driving forces behind the translated book, a project they embarked on years ago.