[INCUNABLE] de SUCHEN, LUDOLPHUS. [Iter ad Terram Sanctam]. Full title, head f.2r: De terra sancta et itinere iherosolomi...
. Full title, head f.2r: De terra sancta et itinere iherosolomitano et de statu ei et alijs mirabilibus que in mari conspiciuntur videlicet mediteranco. [Strassburg: Heinrich Eggestyn, i.e. Eggestein, about 1475-80, per BM and GW]. One of two Eggestein editions, the other (existing in two variants) printed in single long lines rather than two columns (priority unclear, though Goff lists the single-line version before this). Modern marbled paper boards, vellum spine with lettering strip in black, fore-edge sprinkled red. 10 x 7 inches (25.5 x 18 cm); 34 ff., f.1 register, initials, section marks and initial letters all rubricated in red throughout, printed in two columns in a semi-Gothic type, 40-42 lines per page. Occasional pale stains, apparently from the fluid medium of the rubricated initials, pages trimmed at the fore-edge, leaving a narrow margin generally clear of the text, but one page with a few letters lost at the foot of the column, occasional marginal comments (often trimmed) and penned emphasis marks on a few leaves, clean two-inch tear into the text of the last two leaves, for all that overall a clean copy of a rare work (six copies, including this, recorded in the US).
Ludolphus de Suchen dispenses practical advice to the pilgrim travelling to the Holy Land. He gives much information on the cities of the Mediterranean through which he had passed, of Constantinople (a primary point of departure), and a secondhand account of the fall of Acre in 1291. He provides details of many of the cities of the Holy Land (Gaza, Nazareth, Damascus, Hebron among others, as well as Jerusalem), of Egypt, the Nile and Jordan rivers and other natural features. Naturally, there is information on the most sacred spots in Christendom: Mount Carmel, the Sepulchre, Calvary, the Sinai desert, the Mount of Olives and much else. Included also are the various perils of the voyage out, including errant winds, shoals, and dangerous fish (the latter appears likely to be an imposition of tall tales on Ludolphus by a sailor). Suchen (also called Ludolf von Sudheim) travelled in the Levant between 1336-1341, and his account circulated in manuscript from about 1350. Printed by Eggestein from one such manuscript, this narrative of his travels is among the earliest published guide books, and an important early first-person account of the Near East. Goff L363; Hain 10308*; Klebs 624.2; Proctor 292; BMC I 74; GW M44168.
C The Explorers Club Collection
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