Sciagraphia historiae Aethiopicae, sive regni Abessinorum, quod vulgo perperam Presbyteri Johannis vocatur, deo volente, aliquando in lucvem proditurae.
Title page and 38 unnumbered pages of text. Half cloth binding from around 1870 with gilt spine-lettering and marbled boards.
This is a preliminary outline of the material to be covered extensively in Ludolf's "Istoria Aethiopica", which was published in three volumes from 1681 to 1693. Job Ludolf, a German German scholar, and the "founder of Ethiopian studies" (Katalog der Eutiner Landesbibliothek) gathered the most important information available about Ethiopia in his time, working for a time in collaboration with one of the Ethiopian monks who stayed in Rome. In addition to his monumental history of the country, he wrote dictionaries and grammars of Ge'ez and Amharic. His intensive studies of Ethiopian culture and life made his work the best 17thcentury source on the region described. "A most important work on Abyssinia" (cf. Paulitschke), "of an importance transcending his own time". Very good condition outside, text shows browning and foxing. Stamp on reverse of title page. A particularly scarce and hardly known work, preceding Ludolf's famous publication on Ethiopia by a full 5 years and at the same time Ludolf's very first publication!