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Unusually favourable introduction to Islam and the Ottoman Empire

POSTEL, Guilliaume.
De la republique des Turcs: & là ou l'occasion s'offrera, des meurs & loy de tous Muhamedistes, ...
Including:
-Histoire et consideration de l'origine, loy, et coustume des Tartares, Persiens, Arabes, Turcs, & tous autres Ismaelites ou Muhamediques, dits par nous Mahometains, ou Sarrazins.
-La tierce partie des orientales histoires, ou est exposee la condition, … de l'empire Turquesque: …
Poitiers, Enguilbert de Marnef, 1560. 3 parts in 1 volume. 4to. With Marnef's printer's device on title-page (repeated on the 2 part-titles). Contemporary blind- and gold-tooled calf, restored and rebacked with a large part of the original backstrip laid-down, modern endpapers.
€ 22,500
Rare first edition of Postel's three-part work on the Ottoman Empire, introducing "French readers to the life of the Prophet, the history of Islam, the Arabic language, as well as the religion, laws, customs of the Ottoman Turks. … It offers an unusually favourable account of Muslim manners and customs. While not wholly uncritical of the way of the Turks, he thought that they were better than Christians in the way that they arranged marriages and divorces, in their charity, in their provisions for education and in the decorous quiet of their prayers" (Irwin).
Guilliaume Postel (1510-1581), the foremost expert on Arabic and Islam in Europe in his day, wrote the present work around 1539, after his voyage to the Ottoman Empire, accompanying the French ambassador sent by Francois I to Suleiman the Magnificent in Constantinople in 1535-1537. He did not publish it at the time and may have revised it after his voyage to the Holy Land in 1549.
With early owner's inscription on title-page and two marginal annotations. Minor restorations to the gutter of the lower margins of the first four leaves, title-page slightly soiled, a few occasional stains and marginal thumbing, and a small corner torn off of one leaf, but still a good copy. Binding rebacked and restored, with scuff marks and a few wormholes.
Adams P2015; Göllner 1004; USCT 1282 (5 copies); cf. Atabey 977; Blackmer 1335; Irwin, For lust of knowing: the orientalists and their enemies (1996).
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Related Subjects:

Early printing & manuscripts  >  Asia & Middle East | Religion & Devotion
Middle east & islamic world  >  Turkey & Ottoman Empire
Religion & devotion  >  Islam & Qurans