Based on an Arabic source

Bec-Crespin, Jean du. Histoire du grand Tamerlanes, ou sont descrits les rencontres, escarmouches, batailles, sieges, assauts, escallades prinses de villes & places fortes, deffendues & assaillies avec plusieurs stratagemes de guerre. Nouvellement reveuë, & corrigée.

Brussels, Rutger Velpius, 1602.

8vo. (6), 504 pp. With engraved portrait frontispiece. Contemporary full vellum with ornamental gilt tooling (oxydized) to both covers and spine; traces of cloth ties. All edges gilt and sparsely goffered.


Rare account of the life of Tamerlane (Timur), the successful and barbaric 14th-century Turkish conqueror, based strongly on Arabic sources. Jean du Bec (1540-1610) was Bishop of St-Malo. He had visited the Middle East sometime before he became Abbé de Mortemer in 1578 and was so introduced to an Arabic history of Timur by an author referred to as "Alhacen", which was translated for him by an Arab who knew Italian. His book was first published at Rouen in 1595, shortly after Timur was once more made famous in the West through Christopher Marlowe's play "Tamburlaine" (1590).

Old ink ownership and small red Chinese collection stamp to title-page. Front pastedown shows armorial bookplate of the Esterházy de Galántha family's library at Nordkirchen castle near Münster, owned by the Esterházys between 1833 and 1903. A good, clean copy.


Brunet II, 846. Graesse I, 319. Cf. Cordier III, 1926 (English translation in Purchas His Pilgrimes).

Stock Code: BN#53157 Tags: , , ,