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A new history of Ethiopia.

Being a full and accurate description of the kingdom of Abessinia. Vulgarly, though erroneously, called the Empire of Prester John. In four books. Wherein are contained, I. An account of the nature, quality, and condition of the country; and inhabitants;... II. Their political government; the genealogy and succession of their Kings; a description of their court,... III. Their ecclesiastical affairs; their conversion to the Christian religion, and the propagation thereof, their sacred writings,... IV. Their private oeconomy, their books and learning, their common names,... Illustrated with copper plates. By the learned Job Ludolphus,... The second edition. To which is added, a new and exact map of the country: as also, a preface,... with the life of Gregorius Abba;... Translated out of his learned manuscript commentary on this history. Made English, by J.P. Gent.

Stock Code 107284

London, Printed for Samuel Smith, at the Princes Arms in St. Paul's Church yard, 1684

Original price £5,000.00 - Original price £5,000.00
Original price £0.00
£5,000.00 - £5,000.00
Current price £5,000.00
The father of modern Ethiopian studies. Scarce English edition. Ludolf (1624-1704), is regarded as the father of modern Ethiopian studies. 'A work full of recondite and important information on the origin of the Abyssinians, the climate, soil, productions, etc.' (Lowndes).

'The land of Ethiopia had long fascinated Europeans, not merely as an exotic and foreign land full of strange beasts, as evidenced by the incredibly ferocious looking hippo portrayed below, but also as an ancient and independent Christian empire beyond the realms of Islam which hemmed them in. It had adopted Christianity in the 4th century A.D. but had been cut off from Western Europe by the spread of Islam across northern Africa and the Middle East. In the Middle Ages the myth of Prester John, a powerful Christian prince and potential ally against the Muslim world, grew in the minds of Europeans, and when contacts were re-established with Ethiopia in the 15th century it seemed to fit the bill. When the Portuguese sent military aid, to counter Islamic threats to their trading interests in the region in the 16th century, Jesuit missionaries followed them. They became so influential at court that they converted the Emperor and became a threat to the native Monophysite church, leading to their expulsion in 1632' (St. John's College, Cambridge online)

Second English edition; folio (32 x 22 cm), [38], 88, 151-370, 375-398 pp., large folding map, 9 engraved plates (8 folding), genealogical table, woodcut initials, contemporary panelled calf, spine gilt in compartments, carmine edges, neat repairs to joints, a fine copy.


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A new history of Ethiopia.


Stock code: 107284



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