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First Italian edition of first overland journey from Spain to the East Indies, by way of Iran

Peregrinazione del mondo.
Naples, Giuseppe Criscolo, 1683. 4to (15.5 x 20 cm). With an additional engraved title and 2 portraits. Contemporary paper-covered boards with handwritten lettering on the spine. [8], 339, [5] pp.
€ 18,000
First Italian edition of an interesting and detailed account of the first overland journey from Spain to the East Indies (1671-80) made by the Spanish missionary Sebastian Pedro Cubero. Interestingly, Cubero covered most of his route by land, as Careri would later, allowing him to constantly observe the customs, religions, ceremonies and costumes of the peoples he visited, describing them in considerable detail. After spending time in Italy, where he was appointed as a missionary to Asia and the East Indies, Cubero travelled by way of Istanbul and Moscow to Iran, visiting Isfahan ("Hispaham") and Bandar Abbas, after which he finally arrived in India. After crossing to Malacca he was imprisoned by the Dutch and later banished from the city. He then proceeded to the Philippines and ultimately, by way of Mexico, returned to Europe. "After a stint as confessor in the imperial army in Hungary, Cubero became one of the notable travellers of the seventeenth century. What set him apart was the variety of his travellers hats. Most obviously a missionary ..., he also became ... a representative figure of the whole exploratory enterprise. By circumnavigating the globe in his travels, he was recognized in his own time to be another Magellan, Drake, or Cavendish" (Noonan). Included are three very detailed chapters devoted to China, Tartary and the Chinese-Tartarian wars. Additionally, it gives an important discussion of Persia, India, Malacca, the Philippines and Mexico; chapter XX (pp. 136-156) contains an extensive discussion on Islam, the birth and death of Mohamed, and Mecca and Medina. Chapter XXXIII (pp. 225-229) contains a discussion of the Kingdom of Ormuz and Bandar Abbas, the city on the Straits of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.
Bookplate of the New York "Explorers Club" (James B. Ford Library) on the paste-down. Old inscriptions on the front flyleaf; occasional stains. Lacks a flyleaf at the end; small tear in the corner of O4 with the loss of some text. We find no other copy of this edition in auction records or in the trade during the last 30 years. Howgego C225; cf. Palau 65757; Sabin 17820; for the author: F.T. Noonan, The road to Jerusalem: pilgrimage and travel in the age of discovery (2007), p. 104.
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Middle east & islamic world  >  Cartography & Exploration | Central & West Asia | South & Southeast Asia