In Arabia: Jeddah, Aden, Muscat, Ormuz

[Anatomy of the Ottoman Empire]. L'Anatomie de l'Empire des Ottomans. Declarant l'Origine, Conquestes, Loix, Religion, rentes et fortes des Turcs [...].

No place, 1661.

4to (167 x 235 mm). French manuscript on paper. (1 blank, 4), 75 ff. Cursive script in light brown ink, per extensum, left and right margins ruled in lead pencil. Contemporary unsophisticated cardboard with handwritten calligraphic title, date and a skilfully executed drawing of a grashooper to upper cover.


Unpublished, highly interesting 17th century French manuscript about the history, religion, and topography of the Ottoman Empire, written to convey in brief the essentials of the Muslim world. Chapters include "Origine des Turcs et leurs conquestes", "De la Secte de Mahomet et des Loix et Polices des Turcs" (an extensive discussion of Islam and the Prophet), "Estat present de l'Empire des Ottomans" (on the Ottoman state), "Princes confinans avec l'Ottoman", "Princes pretendans sur cest Empire", "La maniere de faire une ligue contre les Ottomans", and "Moyen d'attaquer, abbatre et aneantir l'Empire des Turcs". At the end, the manuscript also mentions Arabia "on the Red Sea" and the port of Jeddah, "where the pilgrims of Mahomet disembark for Mecca". Further, the author discusses navigation of the Red Sea (dangerous at night) and the coast of the Arabian Peninsula, including the port of Aden, Ras Fartak, Norbat (Ash Shuwaymiyyah) opposite the Khuriya Muriya Islands, Muscat, the Kingdom of Ormuz and other places in the Gulf under Portuguese rule.

Occasional slight brownstaining, lower half of title-page defective and rebacked (apparently without loss), otherwise a well-preserved, well-legible manuscript, untrimmed in its original 17th century binding.