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CHICK, Herbert.

A Chronicle of the Carmelites in Persia,

and the Papal Mission of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries.

Published: London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1939

Stock code: 95110

Price: £3,000

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First edition. Important contribution to the history of the region based on extensive documentation from Archivio di Propaganda Fide and Casa Generalizia dei Carmelitani in Rome. “In 1604 Pope Clement VIII, with the support of Sigismund III Vasa of Poland, dispatched a mission of Discalced Carmelite fathers to Persia; the embassy represented the culmination of a policy of seeking alliances against the Ottoman empire that had been initiated by Pius V when he had attempted to formalize relations with Shah Tahmasb … they received a very warm welcome from Shah ?Abbas I (1588-1629) and were permitted to settle at Isfahan in 1608. As ambassadors, they were given a royal residence near the Meydan-e Mir, where they established a handsome monastery. For many years it sheltered a varying number of fathers from a wide range of national backgrounds. In 1752 the last Carmelite departed, only a short interval after the death of Philippe-Marie de St.-Augustinl, bishop of Isfahan, in 1749 … The primary importance of the Carmelites in Persia was as witnesses to history; they were observers of political and social events through the reigns of ?Abbas I and Safi I (1629-42), the fall of the Safavids, and the subsequent period of troubles. In addition, as great travelers, the Carmelite missionaries were often reassigned to new posts and covered hundreds of kilometers in order to join their provincial chapters” (Encyclopaedia Iranica). Described on its recent reissue as “an unparalleled source of detailed information on the politics, diplomatic rituals, foreign policy concerns and matters of court ceremony of the time”.

2 volumes quarto. Original black cloth, title gilt to the spine, blind panels to the boards, Portrait frontispiece and 39 other plates, folding map. Slightly rubbed, spines relined, hinges repaired, endpapers browned, pale toning to the text, some inked marginalia in volume I, slight tide-marks at the fore-edge of both volumes.

Bibliography: Not in Wilson.

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