GRÜBER, Johann Baptist. Linz 28.10.1620 — Sárospatak 30.9.1680. S.J. Austrian Missionary and Traveller. After Jesuit gymnasium in Linz joined S.J. in 1641 in Vienna. After studies of philosophy and mathematics in Vienna, Leoben and Graz he was gymnasium teacher in Leoben, Graz and Ödenburg. After studies of theology ordained priest in 1655 in Graz. With another father, Bernhard Diestel, he was sent to explore the land route to China and reached Iran, but then war forced them to take ship to India and further to Macao. Worked in China in 1656-61. Together with —> d’Orville he travelled in 1561-62 through Tibet (visiting Lhasa as the first known Europeans there) and Nepal to India. D’Orville died in Agra and Grüber continued with —> Heinrich Roth via Persia and Turkey reaching Rome in February 1864. In 1665 he was sent to explore another possible land route, now via Russia, but fell ill in Constantinople and had to return. In poor health he became a minister in Hungary, in Trencsén (now Trenčín in Slovakia) and Sárospatak.
Publications: He gave his journals and maps to —> Athanasius Kircher, who published some materials from them in his China illustrata. Amsterdam 1667; the journal is not preserved, but five letters by him and a few other documents are published (Wessels 140ff.). A short account in Th. Ashley’s Collection of Voyages. 4. 1747, was republished by C. R. Markham in Narratives of Bogle’s Mission to Tibet and Manning’s Journey to Lhasa. L. 1876, 295-302.
Sources: Wessels 1924, 139-170; Wikipedia (more details in German version).
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