Rich, Claudius James
Narrative of a Journey to the Site of Babylon in 1811.
Seller ID: 56
Memoir on the Ruins; with engravings from the original sketches by the author; Remarks on the Topography of Ancient Babylon; Second Memoir on the Ruins, and Narrative of a Journey to Persepolis… with hitherto unpublished Cunei form Inscriptions Copied at Persepolis. London: Duncan and Malcolm, 1839. First edition (pp. xvi [xvii], xlvii, 324, Appendix). Small folio (23 cm) in original dark blue publisher’s cloth, decoration in blind, gilt titles to spine; twenty-six plates--plans, site sketches, and tablets engraved by S. Williams and Maj. Rennell. Collated complete. Claudius James Rich (1787- 1821) was at the time of his death Resident of the East India Company at Bagdad where he had begun his investigations of the geography, history, and antiquities of the ancient past in the region. An adventurous traveller and linguistic adept (he was familiar with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew and later with various Arabic dialects, Persian and Turkish), he set out at seventeen or eighteen to make his way to Constantinople, much like Leigh Fermor not quite a century later, and on to Smyrna and Alexandria where he served as assistant to the British consul-general. Rich moved on to Damascus, where he entered the great mosque in disguise, and to Bombay where he was received as a guest by Sir James Rich whose daughter Mary he married and with whom he moved shortly thereafter to Baghdad as resident of the EIC. He was twenty-one or twenty-two at the time. Rich’s explorations extended throughout Asia Minor and included Basra, Ninevah, Babylon, Shiraz, and Persepolis among other ancient sites. His widow, Mary MacIntosh Rich, earlier published another account of Rich’s investigations in the region as Narrative of a Residence in Koordistan… (London, 1836). Rebacked, the original backstrip laid down, some mild damp-staining to the first few pages. A very good copy.
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