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Instructions for Carsten Niebuhr's expedition to Arabia

MICHAELIS, Johann David.
Recueil de questions, proposées à une société de savants, qui par ordre de Sa Majesté Danoise font le voyage de l'Arabie.
Amsterdam, S.J. Baalde; Utrecht, J. van Schoonhoven & comp., 1774. 4to. Set in roman type with incidental Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac and 1 word in Coptic. Near-contemporary tanned sheepskin, gold-tooled spine.
€ 3,500
Hans Bernhard Merian's French translation of Michaelis's Fragen an eine Gesellschaft gelehrter Männer (1762), prepared during the early stages of Carsten Niebuhr's Danish expedition to the Middle East. It is the first edition in any language to be printed in the Netherlands. Johann David Michaelis, a famed German Orientalist and theologian, was one of the scholars who prompted the important Danish expedition to Egypt, Arabia and Syria (1761-1767), led by Carsten Niebuhr. Michaelis hoped to investigate the relationship of the southern Arabic dialects to Hebrew, and to verify obscure botanical and zoological information in the Bible. For this purpose he composed the present 100 "questions". It includes the instructions for the expedition by Frederick V of Denmark, a 35-page account of Yemen and an extract of Carsten Niebuhr's account of Arabia (not included in the first French edition of 1763).
Back of first free endleaf with traces of removed bookseller's(?) ticket. With an occasional small rust spot, but otherwise in very good condition and only slightly trimmed, leaving large margins. Binding with minor suface damage and wear at the hinges and extremities, but otherwise also very good. Important preparatory studies concerning Egypt, Arabia and Syria, written and first published during the early stages of a voyage.
Chadenat 1933; Gay, Bibl. de l'Afrique en de l'Arabie 3366; STCN (3 copies); Macro, Bibliography of the Arabian Peninsula 1593.
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Cartography & exploration  >  Middle East & Islamic World | Voyages & Travel
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