marco dalla Tomba y la misión de Tibet
Marco della Tomba (1726-1803) was a Capuchin friar and missionary from a village near Senigallia who was in India from 1757 to 1773 and from 1783 until his death in 1803. Most of his time in India was spend in Bihar (Bettiah, Patna and Bhagalpur). The mission he belonged to was called the Tibet Mission although it was forced to leave Tibet in 1745, long before Marco arrived in India. The mission was financed by Propaganda Fide, not by the Portuguese crown. Marco is important today chiefly for the essays, translations, and letters he wrote about his experiences and researches in India. Many of these texts are still available in the Vatican Library and the archives of Propaganda Fide. Among them is a translation a part of Tulsi Das’s Ram-carit-manas. From about 1759 to 1761. Through several passages taken from Marco’s writings, this essay attempts to evaluate his importance as an eye-witness to historical events in this period and as a precursor and contemporary of Sir William Jones and other early Orientalist scholars.