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The Present State of the Morea, called anciently Peloponnesus: which hath been near two hundred years under the dominion of the Turks and is now very much depopulated. Together with a description of the city of Athens, Islands of Azant, Sstrafades, and Serigo. Bernard RANDOLPH.

The Present State of the Morea, called anciently Peloponnesus: which hath been near two hundred years under the dominion of the Turks and is now very much depopulated. Together with a description of the city of Athens, Islands of Azant, Sstrafades, and Serigo.

London: 1686. [2],26pp. Disbound.

Contemporary notations and stains to titlepage. Moderate wear and foxing. Irregularly trimmed, shaving a few letters in the foredge of leaf C4. Good.

First printed in 1686 in two editions, the present London edition and an edition in Oxford. Blackmer argues that the Oxford edition should have precedence, though both editions are scarce, and this London edition is known in fewer copies. This London edition includes a description of Cerigo, not found in the Oxford edition.

Randolph's description of the Morea, also known as the Peloponnesus, is a valuable account of southern mainland Greece, based on his own firsthand observations while a merchant there. He describes several important port cities, their attributes, suitability for commerce, and the quality of life there for the Greek and Turkish residents. "By 1664 he was living in Smyrna and he traded extensively through the Aegean region of the Ottoman empire until after 1680. Between 1683 and 1684 he travelled three times to Massachusetts to assist his elder brother Edward as deputy collector of customs. Back in England he published in 1686 The Present State of the Morea, a brief account of the port cities of the Peloponnese" - DNB.

Blackmer praises the work for its accuracy: "Randolph writes from the point of view of a merchant rather than an antiquary, from personal observation of actual conditions, prompted by his economic interests. The Venetian invasion of the Morea had just occurred and possibly this event prompted Randolph to set down what he knew of the area."

Blackmer owned a copy of the Oxford edition, but not of this scarcer London printing. Blackmer's copy had a folding map, and he asserts that the London edition should as well. The ESTC description does not mention a map, however, and the three copies of this London edition listed by ESTC in the United States, at Yale, the Huntington, and UCLA, do not contain a map. Only Blackmer's Oxford edition appears at auction in the last 35 years.

Blackmer Catalogue 1384 (Oxford edition); Blackmer Sale 274 (Oxford edition); ESTC R13431; WING R235.

Item #25749

Price: $1,250.00

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