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SACY, Antoine Isaac Silvestre de.

Exposé de la Religion des Druzes.

Tiré des livres religieux de cette secte, et précédé d'une introduction et de la vie du Khalife Hakem-Biamr-Allah.

Paris: l'Imprimerie royale, 1838 Stock Code: 117632
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The classic treatment of the early history and doctrine of the Druze of Lebanon

First edition of "one of de Sacy's principal works, the classical treatment of the early history and doctrine of the Druze", which took more than 40 years to complete (Daftary, The Assassin Legends: Myths of the Ismailis, p. 132). "The Druze religion was initially an Isma'ili schismatic movement, organised during the final years of the Fatimid caliph al-Hakim's reign (996-1021) But in time, the Druzes came to represent a separate religious community, beyond the confines of Isma'ilism or perhaps even Shi'i Islam. De Sacy's study of the Druzes dated back to the early 1790s As in other areas of his scholarly endeavours, de Sacy began his study of the Druzes on the basis of their own literature, a sacred scripture consisting mainly of the writings and letters of the founders of the Druze religion, notably Hamza and al-Muqtana" (ibid.) De Sacy (1758-1838) is remembered as "a monumental figure in the development of oriental studies in France" (Atabey). Uncommon: six copies only listed at auction in the last 50 years, including two at the Aboussouan sale in 1993, and the Atabey copy in 2002.

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2 volumes, octavo (215 x 132 mm). Later 19th-century red-brown half morocco, raised bands, gilt tiles and brown rules to spines, marbled sides and endpapers, top edges gilt, others untrimmed.


From the library of British Arabist and colonial agent Colonel Samuel Barrett Miles (1838-1914), with printed bookplates noting his widow's bequest of the collection to Bath Public Library in 1920, and associated manuscript shelf-marks and blind-stamps as usual. With half-titles and the errata leaf; original printed wrappers bound in to rear of each volume. Spines sunned, pale spotting, a very good copy.


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