Venice. 1543. 40 leaves. 12mo. Modern half morocco over marbled boards, spine gilt. Occasional very minor spots, some leaves expertly restored in lower margin, not affecting text. Leaf C3 bound before C2, leaf C7 bound before C6. A very good copy. Item #WRCAM37356
The rare third edition of Contarini's account of his travels from Venice to Persia and Russia between 1473 and 1477. A member of a prominent Venetian family, the author was delegated by the republic, which at the time was at war with Mahomet II, to travel to the court of Hussum Hasan Bey, the sovereign of Persia. The purpose was to encourage that ruler to continue to wage war against the Ottomans, who were threatening Venetian interests in the Middle East and Europe. Unable to travel by sea, Contarini traveled by land through Poland to the Crimea, crossing the Black Sea and continuing to his destination through Mingrelia and Armenia. "Contarini encountered Hussum Hasan at Esfahan, accompanied him to Tabriz, and then returned homeward by way of Derbent and the Caspian Sea to Astrakhen. From there he ascended the Volga to Moscow, where he was politely received by the grand-duke of Muscovy. Contarini returned to Venice in 1477" - Howgego.
First published in 1487, a second edition followed in 1524. In addition to this 1543 edition, the account was reprinted the same year with that of the Venetian traveler, Josafa Barbara. Confirming continuing interest in Contarini's travels throughout the Renaissance, the account was also included by Ramusio in his great collection of voyages and travels published between 1550 and 1559, and Antonio Minutio's collection of writings on Persia printed in Frankfurt in 1607.
A rare edition of this early European account of travels to Persia and Russia. OCLC locates ten copies. BELL CATALOG C570. BRITISH MUSEUM (ITALIAN BOOKS 1465-1600), p.195. ADAMS C-2557. OCLC 36528737. HOWGEGO C170.