The History of the Arabians,
under the Government of the Caliphs, from Mahomet, their Founder, to the death of Mostazem, the fifty-sixth and last Abassian Caliphs; containing the space of six-hundred thirty-six years. With Notes, Historical, Critical, and Explanatory: together with Genealogical and Chronological Tables; and a Complete Index to each volume... Translated from the French, with Additional Notes.London: Printed for T. Payne, D. Wilson and T. Durham, 1758 Stock Code: 144269
"Marigny's positive account of Arab civilisation"First English edition, originally published at Paris in 1750, decidedly uncommon and presented here in an attractive period binding. This is an important history, covering the period from the foundation of Islam down to the death of the last Abbasid caliph Al-Musta'sim (reigned 1242-1258), executed following the Mongol sack of Baghdad.
The Abbé François Augier de Marigny (c.1690-1762), who knew no Arabic, based his work on Barthelemy Herbelot's Bibliotheque orientale (1697), which in turn drew on the immense Arabic bibliography, the Kashf al-Zunun by the 17th-century Ottoman polymath Hadji Khalfa (Katip Çelebi). "Marigny's history was a popular work aimed at a general readership" and was translated into German by the writer and philosopher Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, who defended Marigny from criticism "on the grounds that he had used the best non-Arabic sources then available, and that a history of this kind is much better than no history at all. But the real motive for his defense is his own sympathy with the Islamic world and his desire to publicise Marigny's positive account of Arab civilisation" (H. B. Nisbet, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: His Life, Works & Thought, 2013, p. 154).
4 volumes, octavo (204 x 127 mm). Contemporary cat's paw calf sometime neatly rebacked to style, spines with dark red and green twin labels, compartments blind stamped with urns, sides with border of single gilt fillets and dog-tooth rolls, gilt foliate edge roll, Turkish pattern marbled endpapers.
4 letterpress tables in vol. I.
Front cover of vol. I slightly sprung, small burn mark at foot of covers, a little wear to extremities, scattered foxing. A very good set, complete with half-titles.
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