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Catechismus, ofte onderweyzing in de Christelicke leere, die in de hervormde kerken en schoolen geleerd word, ten dienst der kerken en schoolen, in de Tamulsche spraak overgezet, en, op goed-keuring van de hooge overheid deezes eilands, in 't licht gegeven, ...Colombo, Johann Bernhardt Arnhardt at the VOC's printing office, 1754. 4to. Set in roman, italic and 3 sizes of Tamil types, with the pages numbered in Tamil alphabetic numerals. Later 18th-century maroon sheepskin. Rebacked in red morocco, new endpapers.
Landwehr, VOC 701. Rare first edition of a Tamil translation of the Heidelberg catechism by the reverend Sigisbertus Abrahamsz. van Bronsveld, printed and published in Colombo, Ceylon for the Tamil-speaking Protestant congregation there, for schools and for missionary work. In 1741 the VOC's press in Colombo had printed Willem Konyn's Sinhalese translation of the Heidelberg catechism, but it had received disappointingly little use and Bronsveld hoped his own Tamil translation would meet greater success. The VOC had brought a printing press to Ceylon in 1732 to set up the island's first printing office together with the Dutch Reformed Church, the first book (a Sinhalese prayer book) appearing at Colombo in 1737, followed soon after by religious works in Tamil. A major impetus for setting up the press was the fact that after the Dutch wrested control of much of Ceylon from Portugal with help from the indigenous population in 1640, the Portuguese Catholic priests still retained a great deal of influence and were able to convert some Tamils and Sinhalese. The VOC saw this as a threat to its powerbase and economic position, which centred on the cinnamon trade. They therefore encouraged the Dutch Protestant Church to expand its missionary work, hoping it would curtail the Portuguese Catholic missionary work.With stains from former mildew (treated), mostly in the foot margin of the first few and last few pages. Otherwise in good condition. The binding has been rebacked as noted, but is otherwise good.
      [Bookseller: ASHER Rare Books (Since 1830)]
Last Found On: 2017-10-24           Check availability:      NVvA    


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