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Concepts of Antiquarianism and the European Exchange of Books with the Middle East

Riedel, Dagmar A.

On 3 January 1608, the Safavid ruler Shah ʿAbbās I (r. 1588–1629) received in Isfahan from the envoys of Pope Clement VIII (1592–1605) several books as diplomatic gifts. Among these were Arabic books recently printed by the Typographia Medicea in Rome, as well as the so-called Crusader Bible, a picture bible whose production is ascribed to mid-thirteenth France (Morgan Library MS M.638). The art historians Sussan Babie, Vera Bash Moreen, and M. Shreve Simpson have noted, with some surprise, that the picture bible did not have any impact on Safavid book production, even though Persian and Judeo-Persian marginal notes indicate that the image cycle of Old Testament stories was closely examined by readers in Iran. Against this background, I will explore notions of value and fashion with regard to the appreciation of “foreign” books in early modern Europe and the Middle East.

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Center for Iranian Studies
Published Here
October 5, 2015

Notes

Slides of the presentation at the symposium "Agents of Contact: Books and Print between Cultures in the Early Modern Period," organized by Andras Kisery (CCNY) and held on 25 September 2015

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