"no-one will be hurt by learning more about these people against whom Christendom has so long struggled"

[Pritius, Johann Georg]. Constantinopolitan- oder Türkischer Kirchen-Staat, in welchem die vornemste[n] Glaubens-Puncten des Alcorans, wie nicht weniger der gantze Mahometanische Gottesdienst nebst des falschen Propheteu [!] Mahomets Leben, in einer kurtz-gefaßeten doch gewissen und deutlichen Erzehlung vorgestellet wird.

Leipzig, Friedrich Groschuff, 1699.

12mo. (20), 168 pp., including a folding genealogy of Mohammed as *10, bound here before *2. With a woodcut vignette of the Blue Mosque (?) on title-page as well as an engraved frontispiece of Mohammed presenting the Qur'an to the world, along with Zulfiqar (his legendary double-bladed sword), and a dove on his shoulder.

Bound with (II): Orientalischer Kirchen-Staat. Gotha, Jakob Mevius, 1699. (2), 155, (1) pp. (and 2 other works). Contemporary vellum.


Very rare sole edition of this detailed exposition of the Qur'an for German readers, replete with a frontispiece depicting Mohammed giving the 'Alcoran' to the world as well as a folding genealogy of the Prophet. The preface discusses the threat which Islam poses to the West; and yet Pritius remarks that "meanwhile no-one will be hurt by learning a little more precisely about the opinions of these people, against whom Christendom has so long struggled" (*2v).

Chapter I covers the tenets of Islamic faith, rituals, customs, and pilgrimage. This includes numerous excerpts from the Qur'an and a lengthy discussion of the entire process of the Hajj, as well as the rituals the pilgrims take part in once they arrive in Mecca (pp. 89-113). Chapter II concerns the role of "muftis, priests, monks, and hermits" in Islam; and Chapter III recounts the life and death of Mohammed, taken from the usual European sources.

The inner workings of Islam had long fascinated the German Protestants, who saw an ally in their struggle against the common enemy of the Habsburgs / Roman Catholic Church. The present work is exceptionally detailed, however, and offers far more than the usual brief discussions of Mohammed's life; indeed, it is evident that Pritius had access to one of the Qur'an translations available in Europe at the time.

Extremely rare: OCLC shows no copies in American or UK libraries; VD 17 shows holdings in six German libraries.

Bound at the end of the volume is a manual of the various faiths of the orient, which includes a chapter on Islam and a discussion of the schism between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Two other theological works bound first: (III) Spener, Philipp Jakob. Die Seligkeit der Kinder Gottes [...]. Frankfurt, Johann David Zunner, 1692. (138), 427, (25) pp.

(IV) Schmidt, Sebastian. Regenten-Predigten, welche zu gewissen Zeiten des Jahrs der christlichen Gemeine in Straßburg aus dem Alten Testament erkläret und vorgetragen worden. Braunschweig, Caspar Gruber, 1694. (2), 308 pp.

Some browning and occasional waterstaining throughout; binding darkened. Some edge chipping to the genealogical plate.

VD 17, 39:144883H. Chauvin XI, p. 186, no. 667. Imaginationen des Islam: Bildliche Darstellungen des Propheten Mohammed, no. 20. Cf. also Fischer, Bildung durch Reisen? Deutsche Aufklärung und Islam II, p. 85 (note); on Pritius cf. ADB XXVI, 602ff.

(II): VD 17, 39:144877G. BL (German books) O224.

Stock Code: BN#46630 Tags: , , ,