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Item #41431 Documentos Arabicos para a historia Portugueza copiados dos originaes da Torre do Tombo. João DE SOUSA.
Documentos Arabicos para a historia Portugueza copiados dos originaes da Torre do Tombo
Documentos Arabicos para a historia Portugueza copiados dos originaes da Torre do Tombo

Documentos Arabicos para a historia Portugueza copiados dos originaes da Torre do Tombo

Lisbon: Academia Real das Sciencias, 1790. First Edition. [viii], 190, [4] pp., Arabic and Portuguese text, woodcut ornament on title.

Contemporary decorated paper wrappers, housed in a modern cloth clamshell case, entirely uncut

This unique collection of Arabic letters from the reigns of Portuguese Kings Manuel I and João III reveals a compelling transformation in Portuguese-Islamic relations, offering a rare glimpse into the lives and interactions of diverse Islamic leaders and illuminating various aspects of Portugal's East Indian trade during the late 18th century.

In the wake of Portugal's triumphant liberation from nearly five centuries of Islamic rule in the 13th century, relations between Portugal and the Islamic world, particularly Morocco, had been marked by hostility and distrust. However, a profound transformation began to take shape during the Portuguese Enlightenment of the late 18th century, with a spirit of open-mindedness and intellectual curiosity sweeping through the educated elite in Lisbon and Porto. Leading the charge in fostering amicable Portuguese-Islamic relations was the extraordinary João de Sousa. Born in Damascus to parents from Portuguese India, de Sousa displayed remarkable linguistic prowess from an early age. Proficient in Arabic, he effortlessly mastered French, Spanish, Italian, and Latin alongside his native Portuguese. His linguistic talents earned him the prestigious role of Secretary of the University of Coimbra in 1758. However, it was in his position as an official in the Navy Ministry that de Sousa's pivotal role came to the fore. He served as the chief interpreter and senior negotiator for diplomatic affairs with North African nations. In 1792, de Sousa's contributions were further recognized as he was appointed as the Professor of Arabic at the University of Lisbon. Initially reserved for priests, his courses were opened to the public in 1795, reflecting his firm belief in the broader societal advantages of learning the Arabic language. The work at hand stands as a testament to his dedication to disseminating this knowledge. This unique collection represents the sole edition of a series of letters composed in Arabic during the reigns of Portuguese Kings Manuel I and João III. Spanning from 1503 to 1528, these letters constitute an integral part of the official Portuguese state correspondence. Originating from diverse regions, including North Africa, the Gulf, East Africa, India, and the East Indies, they bear the voices of a wide array of individuals, from Kings, Princes, and Governors to Wazirs, Sheikhs, and Noblemen. Among the notable correspondents are Kings "Mahomed Xáh" and "Mir Abanasar" of Ormus, King "Azarkam" of Barus in Sumatra, and rulers of Fez, Malindi, and Calicut/Kozhikode. These letters hold profound significance, shedding light on various facets of Portugal's East Indian trade and providing a rare glimpse into the lives and perspectives of Islamic leaders during this pivotal period.

Schnurrer Bibliotheca Arabica 186; Palau 320779; Marco 2098; Innocêncio IV, 41-42; Palha 2777; Krek, Typographia Arabica, p. 36, no. 3; Streit XVII, 6441. Not in Blackmer or Atabey.

Item #41431

Price: $3,600.00

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