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Spandugino, Teodoro (aka Theodore Spandounes and Theodoros Spandouginos); Lodovico Domenichi

I commentari di Theodoro Spandugino Cantacuscino dell'origine de principi Turchi, & de' costumi di quella natione

      Lorenzo Torrentino, Florence 1551 - Octavo (16 cm); [16], 202, [1], [3 blank] pages (a8, A-N8). Woodcut device of Medici crest with putti, crown and garland on title page. Woodcut initials. Bound in later vellum (c17?) over boards. Old shelf mark in ink on spine. Some stains on upper board, small chip from upper joint near crown. Title page torn away at right edge and bottom edge, artfully remargined and mounted on period paper, not affecting text. Light scattered foxing. In sixteenth-century Europe, most of the best-selling books about the Ottoman expansion trafficked in dumb fright. By contrast Spandounes, a Greek-speaking Byzantine who moved to Venice in the mid 1400s, wrote one of the first objective accounts based on familiarity and close study. He wrote the book (according to an unpublished letter quoted by Legrand) "in order to understand and know the origin and the deeds of the Ottomans, and by what means and by whose hands they arrived at such exaltation and greatness I was not content with the brief histories and facts that are commonly found in so many annals of the Turks, but I want to invest the time and diligence necessary to understand and explain the orders of the court, the dignitaries, officers and ministers both in peace and war, and the customs, beliefs and culture of the Turkish nation." Göllner comments that "his evaluation and description of Turkish customs and habits is free from the prejudices of his contemporaries." The text was compiled from French and German editions of Spandugino's writing, curated and translated by the humanist scholar Lodovico Domenichi. References: Adams S-1531; Legrand, Bibliographie Hellénique, 534 ("rare"); Göllner, Turkica, II, 912; Atabey 1163 [Attributes: First Edition]

      [Bookseller: Rodger Friedman Rare Book Studio, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2010-05-07          Check current availability from:     Abebooks


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