ROGER, Eugène. La Terre saincte ; ou Description topographique très particuliere des saincts Lieux, & de la Terre de Promission. Avec un Traitté de quatorze nations de differente Religion qui l’habitent, leurs mœurs, croyance, ceremonies, & police. […] Le tout enrichi de figures. Paris, Antoine Bertier, 1646.
4to [227 x 174 mm] of (1) bl.l., (10) preliminary ll. including a folding map, 440 pp. including 36 full-page plates, (32) pp., (1) bl.l. Small restoration in the outer blank margin of a leaf not affecting the text. Full overlapping ivory vellum, remains of ties, flat spine, mottled edges. Contemporary binding.
Extremely rare first edition of this important work about the Holy Land. Blackmer 1443; Weber, II, 303; Atabey 1051 (for the second edition).
“Roger spent five years in Palestine and, in addition to an accurate description of the country, he gives an early and detailed description of fourteen middle-eastern ‘nations’: Druzes and Maronites, as well as the Armenian, Georgian and other minorities of the region”. (Atabey)
Chadenat (964), who only owned the second edition of this estimated work, said: “Engravings, views, costumes and map. – Interesting and very rare work.”
“Father Eugène Roger, Recollect, who remained in the Holy Land several years, & in Nazareth twenty months, gives in his work about the Holy Land, a map of the city of Nazareth, & of the church built by Sainte Helene. He says that though he had seen several provinces in Asia, Africa, & in Europe, he hadn’t seen any region comparable to Nazareth; that from December to April, all the hills, the lands and the paths, were scattered with anemones, chalcedonies, buttercups, narcissus, cyclamens … & with many other little flowers, intermingled with always green trees and shrubs. He adds that the air quite temperate, & that we almost didn’t meet anyone sick.” (Pièces fugitives pour servir à l’histoire de France, p. 91)
“Eugène Roger, Recollect and missionary of the 17th century, tells us that his curiosity had him spend part of his youth visiting most of the provinces of Europe, several places in Africa, Egypt, the Arabias, Syria, part of Greece, all the islands of the Mediterranean… where he was as much faithful as curious to notice what’s most considerable. However he only wanted to describe the Holy Land. He left from this country in 1634, after having spent five years. […] His work is divided into two books: the first one describes the country; the second one encloses details about the peoples the author saw there. Roger is a good observer. Having lived a long time in the lands he mentions, the information he gives are accurate. He had been particularly linked with the emir Fahkr-eddin, and he tells a lot of curious peculiarities about this emir. He also tells the story of Zaga-Christ, who came to France and died in Ruel in 1638. He had known this Ethiopian, who pretended to be one of the king of Abyssinia’ sons. The figures on Roger’s book are very well drawn; they are attributed to Mellan”. (Michaud, Biographie universelle, p. 314)
The superb illustration is composed of 36 full-page copper-engravings representing plans, views or costumes, as well as a very beautiful folding map depicting the Holy Land.
A superb and very pure copy, preserved in its first overlapping ivory vellum, complete with the map of the Holy Land which is often missing.