La Croze, [Mathurin] V[eyssière de]. Histoire du christianisme des Indes.

Den Haag, freres Vaillant & N. Prevost, 1724.

8vo. (16), 570, (54) pp. Title printed in red and black. With engr. frontispiece, engr. title vignette, 1 folding engr. map, and 3 engr. plates. Contemporary brown full calf with richly gilt spine in six compartments. Marbled endpapers. All edges red.


First edition of this missionary history of India, based not only on the works of Goueva, Geddes, Bernier, and Tavernier, but also on the manuscripts of Ziegenbalg, whose Danish mission is described on pp. 536-566. Includes an account of the trial and execution of a King of Ormuz for sodomy, "un peché infame fort connu à Rome aussi-bien qu'en Orient" (p. 340), and a defence of Islam against the common charge of being a religion established and maintained through war and violence (p. 525). The author "questions the logic of corrupt Portuguese authority over good Indians; religion is merely a pretext for European domination, it would be more appropriate for the Indian subjects to give religious instruction to their European rulers" (Teltscher). The plates show the Hindu godheads Brahma, Ishvara (Shiva), and Vishnu.

Binding slightly rubbed; hinges weakened. Occasional slight foxing. From the library of Swedish antiquarian bookdealer Björn Löwendahl (1941-2013).

OCLC 18426305. Cf. K. Teltscher, India described. European and British writing on India 1600-1800 (Delhi, OUP, 1995), pp. 89f. & 100f.

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