Domini nostri Iesu Christi Testamentum novum Turcice redittum. Opera [William] Seaman.: Bible. New ... Domini nostri Iesu Christi Testamentum novum Turcice redittum. Opera [William] Seaman.: Bible. New ...

Domini nostri Iesu Christi Testamentum novum Turcice redittum. Opera [William] Seaman.

Bible. New Testament. Turkish. -Nogai)

Published by Oxford: H. Hall, 1666
From Blackwell's Rare Books ABA ILAB BA (Oxford, United Kingdom)

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FIRST EDITION, Latin title, followed by Turkish title and text in Arabic script, slightly browned around the edges, a few spots, including rust spots with the occasional loss of a letter or two, tear in lower margin of 3h3, not affecting text pp. [iv], 160, 600, small 4to, contemporary blind ruled calf, a bit worn at corners, skilfully rebacked, Macclesfield bookplate and blind stamps, with a number of corrections to the text in a contemporary hand, very good. 'In December 1655 Seaman was appointed secretary of the trade committee (which met at Westminster) at a yearly salary of £100. Some years later he became involved in an international project of evangelization of the Levant, originating in the circle of Samuel Hartlib, whose millenarian convictions included belief in the imminent conversion to Christianity of the Muslims and a determination to hasten the process. In England the plan was fostered by Hartlib himself, Henry Oldenburg, John Durie, and above all Robert Boyle, with Edward Pococke and John Worthington taking a marginal role. It obtained even more support in the Netherlands, thanks mainly to the Bohemian scholar Jan Amos Comenius and the French refugee Petrus Serrarius. A fundamental role was to be played by the translation of the Bible into Turkish. The Dutch, who relied on a Polish convert to Islam in Constantinople, were slow, however, and only the Old Testament was completed. Boyle then turned to Seaman, who had already translated the Johannine epistles into Turkish in 1659, asking him to translate the entire New Testament. By 1664 Seaman had done so and two years later his translation was published at Boyle's expense in Oxford, making Seaman the first European to publish a Turkish translation of the New Testament' (Alastair Hamilton in ODNB). Scarce. Like so many books from the Macclesfield library, this is an interesting copy. At the end of the text there is an oval medallion stamp giving the title of the work in Turkish, indicating that this was one of the copies intended for export. We don't know when it entered Shirburn Castle, but it seems more likely than not that it ever strayed very far from its place of printing. Scattered throughout the volume are corrections to the text, and in one place a marginal note in Turkish. In collating we have noticed these on 15 pages, sometime two or three to a page: a really painstaking examination would probably discover more, since some of them are very slight, just a letter. In addition, starting about half way through the volume, there are numerous dots placed right by the fore-margin which will have some significance. The notes are accomplished in a practiced hand, and such a hand was not in abundant supply in England in 1666. One candidate for the notes is Edward Pococke, and intriguingly the initials EP appear in MS in a couple of combinations on the inside back cover. But they are next to what seems to be a collation note and perhaps signify something pertaining to their acquisition rather than ownership. We are grateful to Professor Gerald Toomer who has looked at the inscriptions, concluding that as regards Pococke 'the verdict is non liquet.' (Darlow and Moule 9345; Madan 2727 'A noticeable volume, as being the first New Testament printed at Oxford'; ESTC R31588, recording 5 copies outside the UK, 2 in Germany, and 3 in the US: Huntington, Texas, and Yale). Bookseller Inventory # 49885

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Domini nostri Iesu Christi Testamentum novum...

Publisher: Oxford: H. Hall

Publication Date: 1666

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