Russell, Alexander. The Natural History of Aleppo.

London, printed for G. G. and J. Robinson, 1794.

4to. 2 vols. XXIV, 446, XXIII, (3) pp. VII, (1), 430, XXXIV, (26) pp. With engraved frontispiece and 20 numbered engraved plates (5 of which folded) on 19 sheets. Contemporary full calf with giltstamped spine labels. All edges red.


Second edition of this authoritative account of Aleppo and Ottoman life and manners, based on Russell's experience as physician to the British factory in Aleppo from 1740 to 1753. Enlarged with 3 additional plates compared to the 1756 first edition. Includes an engraved frontispiece with a view of the city, a plan by Carsten Niebuhr (vol. I, plate I), and an additional plate showing fish (vol. II, plate VI). Apart from the Syrian flora and fauna as well as the local climate, Russell's monograph discusses the everyday life of the local population, including that of European merchants living in Aleppo, the organisation of their trade activity, and their social life. Also includes a section on the plague and other epidemic diseases in the 1740s. The descriptions of the education system, of the production of manuscripts, and of the commercial activity in Syria are unusually detailed and can be considered unique in contemporary travel literature on the Ottoman Empire (cf. Chatzipanagioti-Sangmeister). The botanical plates were produced by G. D. Ehret, and one plate of fish bears the name of W. Skelton, while the remainder of plates, including the ones depicting birds and domestic life, are unsigned, but were probably produced by Russell himself.

Binding lightly scuffed; interior fresh and extremely well preserved. A charmingly bound set documenting an era of scientific and economic prosperity in Syria.

Blackmer 1458. Nissen BBI 3534. Navari 1458. Cox I, 227. Chatzipanagioti-Sangmeister 893. ESTC T149605. Cf. Atabey 1064 (1762 Dutch edition).

Art.-Nr.: BN#52070 Schlagwörter: , ,