Ferdinand Verbiest (1623-1688) was a Flemish missionary and astronomer. He went to China in 1658 as a missionary, with the dual purpose of providing instruction in western (and Christian) mathematics and astronomy. Following imprisonment and a resounding victory in an astronomy competition with the leading Chinese astronomer, he was instated as the President of the Board of Mathematics. With no little audacity, he first altered the inaccurate Chinese calendar, and went on to translate the first six books of Euclid into Manchi for the Emperor, before in 1673 completely rebuilding and refitting the Imperial Observatory at Peking. His instruments were revelatory to the Chinese and even advanced by western standards at the time of their construction. The instruments built were: a six-foot radius quadrant; a six-foot diameter azimuth compass; an eight-foot radius sextant; a six-foot diameter celestial globe; and six-foot diameter ecliptic and equinoctial armillary spheres.