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Descriptio regni Iaponiae. Cum quibusdam affinis materiae, ex variis auctoribus collecta et in ordinem redacta.
Amstelodami [Amsterdam]: Apud Ludovicum Elzevirium 12mo (11 cm; 4.25"). 2 vols. in 1. I: [24] ff., 267 [i.e., 287], [1 (blank)] pp. II: [4] ff., 120 [i.e., 320] pp.; fold. table.. 1649 Varenius (1622–50) was born in Germany, studied medicine, settled in Amsterdam, abandoned medicine to study geography and learn of the new discoveries being made by the Dutch explorers, and died young and impoverished. This is the first edition of his first published work, a description of Japan, and is based on previously published and unpublished sources that were available to him thanks to his association with the Elzevir firm and friendship with Willem Blaeu. The second part of the work, "Descriptio regni Siam," is a translation into Latin of J. Schouten's Beschrijvinge van de regeringe, macht, religie, coustuymen, traffijcquen, en andere remercquable saken, des koninghrycks Siam. Both texts treat of religions, customs, political organization, society, and history. As a coda to the "Descriptio regni Siam," pp. 225 to the end provide "Brevis informatio de diversis gentium religionibus," including large sections on the religions of Africa and Asia (including China); a page on those of Mexico, Peru, and Chile; sections on ancient Greece and Rome; and pages on Russia, Armenia, and Islam. The volume begins with an engraved title-leaf showing a royal audience chamber with many people kowtowing to the emperor, and, in another portion of the page, Asian scholars with a book and map. Provenance: 19th-century Hungarian stamp on verso of title-page "Teleki Pal Gr Pribekfalva. Contemporary vellum, soiled. Title-leaf loose but present; lightly reattached. A very little old underlining in ink; a good copy.
      [Bookseller: Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Co]
Last Found On: 2016-03-21           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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