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Voyages. Voyages. Voyages. Voyages. Voyages.


Texte arabe, accompagné d'une traduction par C. Defrémery et B. R. Sanguinetti.

Availability: In stock

Published: Paris l'Imprimerie nationale, 1859-79

Stock Code: 94276

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First edition of the index volume, second editions of the four text volumes. Defrémery and Sanguinetti's edition of Ibn Battutah's Rihlah, originally published 1853-8, was the first complete publication of the renowned Arabic narrative by "the greatest traveller of pre-modern times" (Dunn, The Adventures of Ibn Battuta, a Muslim Traveller of the Fourteenth Century, p. 1).
Ibn Battutah (1304-1368/9) was a legal scholar from Tangiers who, upon completing the hajj, decided to take advantage of the extensive trade routes then linking the western Eurasian landmass to the Far East. Travelling over land and sea, he "is estimated to have covered 75,000 miles in forty years" (Howgego), his wanderings encompassing North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Africa and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China. His Rihlah ("Journey") was without doubt the most important, "longest and in terms of its subject matter, the most complex" (Dunn, p. 4) example of a popular Arabic genre, which usually just told of a pilgrim's progress from the Maghreb to Mecca.
The work was unknown outside Muslim countries until the beginning of the 19th century, when some partial translations were offered, Johann Gottfried Ludwig Kosegarten's in German in 1819 followed by Samuel Lee's English edition, this last based on an abridgement purchased by Burckhardt in Egypt and deposited by him at Cambridge in 1829. But following the French conquest of Algeria five manuscripts emerged. "These documents were subsequently transferred to the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris. Two of them represent the most complete versions of the narrative that have ever come to light. The others are partial translations, one of which carries the autograph of Ibn Juzayy, Ibn Battutah's editor. Working with these five documents, two French scholars, C. Defrémery and B.R. Sanguinetti published a printed edition of the Arabic text, together with a translation in French and an apparatus of notes and variant textual readings. Since then, translations of the work, in every case prepared from this text, have been published in many languages" (ibid.)

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5 volumes in 4, octavo (216 x 133 mm). Near-contemporary burgundy half morocco, marbled boards and endpapers, title gilt direct to spine, top edges gilt, others uncut. Bound with half-titles, wrappers to the first, last and index volumes bound in.


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. Light toning, scattered pale foxing. a very good set, handsomely bound.


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