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RHODES, Alexandre de

Published by Paris Sebastien et Gabriel Cramoisy 1652. (1652)

Used First Edition

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From: Martayan Lan (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

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About this Item: Paris Sebastien et Gabriel Cramoisy 1652., 1652. First French edition of this first-hand account of 17th-century Vietnam (first Italian ed. 1650), which played an important role in fostering French interest in the region. Rhodes, who earned the favorable opinion of Louis XIV, is often heralded as the founder of Vietnamese Christianity, and remembered for his important dictionary of Latinized Vietnamese. The Relation was written from Macao in 1645, and published in Italian when Rhodes returned to Rome in 1650. "Part I of Rhodes’s relation provides A VALUABLE ETHNOHISTORY OF TONGKING; Part II relates the history of the Jesuit mission there. Rhodes also published an Annamite-Latin-Portuguese dictionary, presumably for the use of his successors in Vietnam, and a Latin-Annamite catechism for the converts HIS PUBLISHED WORKS WERE TO BECOME FOUNDATION STONES FOR THE MISSION EDIFICE OF INDOCHINA ERECTED DURING THE LATTER HALF OF THE 17TH CENTURY" (Lach, III.1.381).Throughout his sojourn in Rome, Rhodes campaigned to his superiors about the need to dispatch capable bishops to Indochina. He felt strongly that the order’s future lay not in China, but in Indochina, where the mission could be expanded with the aid of a faithful native clergy. In 1652 Pope Innocent X sent Rhodes to Paris to recruit suitable personnel. "Here he found enthusiasm and financial support for a new mission under French leadership in court circles, in the Assembly of the Clergy of France, and among the French Jesuits After the Fronde, the young Louis XIV became interested in the travels of his subjects overseas, and looked favorably upon Rhodes’s activities" (Lach, p. 408) Alexandre de Rhodes (1591-1660) was born in Avignon, entered the novitiate in Rome, was ordained in 1618 and shortly thereafter went on his first mission. Originally destined for Japan, he arrived at Macao in 1623, and was then sent instead to southern Vietnam, where he managed to preach to the indigenous people in their own language after only six months. His initial visit was curtailed when the missionaries were expelled in 1625 and his next mission was to northern Vietnam in 1627. Eventually, the animosity of the local ruler led to the ejection of all the missionaries, and in 1630, Rhodes was back in Macao, where he taught theology for ten years and baptized 6700 converts. He managed to go back to Cochinchina from 1640 to 1645, before being permanently banished. Rhodes returned to Rome in 1645, bringing with him a Chinese convert from Macao. He published this Relazione De’ felici successi della Santa Fede predicata da’ Padri della Compagnia di Giesv nel regno di Tvnchino (Rome, Luna, 1650; 4to. with a folding map). A second Italian edition appeared in Milan in 1651. The work was then condensed and translated into French by Henry Albi, S.J. with an introduction by Father Jacques de Machault in 1652. This edition was dedicated to Marie-Eléonore de Rohan de Montbazon, abbess of Trinité de Caen (d. 1682). A Latin translation, Tvnchinensis historiae libri duo 1627-46, was published in Lyons by J. B. Devenet the same year. OCLC lists one copy at NYPL; copies at Nat’l Library of Canada, BL and BNF. * De Backer/Sommervogel VI.1719.5; Brunet V.1269 (also mentions Italian ed.); Cordier, Indosinica, 1619; Stephen Neill, History of Christian Missions (1982), pp. 195-6. Seller Inventory # 3475

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RHODES, Alexandre De [1591-1660].

Published by Rome: Giuseppe Luna, 1650. (1650)

Used Hardcover First Edition

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From: D & E LAKE LTD. (ABAC/ILAB) (Toronto, ON, Canada)

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About this Item: Rome: Giuseppe Luna, 1650., 1650. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. small 4to. pp. 8 p.l., 326, [1 leaf]errata. double-page engraved map. woodcut printer's device on title. woodcut ornaments & initials. contemporary vellum (slight worming to lower spine, lacking front flyleaf, front hinge cracked). First Edition of the first separately published description of the whole of Vietnam, containing what appears to be the earliest detailed map of North Vietnam. It is preceded by Cristóforo Borri's Relatione della nuova missione.della Cocincina (1631), which dealt only with South Vietnam. In addition to presenting a first-hand account of missionary activity in the country from 1627 to 1646, Rhodes gives details respecting the manners and customs of the native inhabitants, politics and government, natural resources and commerce, &c. French and Latin translations were published in 1652. Rhodes, a French Jesuit, was assigned to the missions of the East Indies and spent several years in Goa, Malacca, Batavia, and Macao, before proceeding to Cochin China (South Vietnam) in 1624, where fellow Jesuits had been working since 1615. He arrived with five colleagues under the leadership of Gabriel De Matos. Within six months he had learnt Cochinchinois, invented the quoc-ngu, by which Vietnamese could be represented by Roman characters, and evangelized much of the region between the coast and the Annamese highlands. (Howgego) In 1627 he proceeded to Tongking (North Vietnam), where he met with equal success, reputedly personally converting over 6000 souls, until he was expelled in 1630. He spent the next ten years in Macao making occasional excursions into Canton. Allowed to return to South Vietnam in 1640, he was later arrested and imprisoned and again expelled, returning to Rome via Persia in 1646. He later obtained permission to establish a new mission in Persia, and there died at Ispahan in 1660. Bell R264. Brunet IV 1269. Cordier, Indosinica, 1619. cfCordier, Sinica, 2080. Graesse VI 104. De Backer & Sommervogel VI, 1718. Howgego R33-R34. Seller Inventory # FODlaRHO91

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Relation des progrez de la Foy au: RHODES, Alexandre de.

About this Item: Cordier, Indosinica, col. 1921; De Backer & Sommervogel VI, col. 1719, no. 5. First edition, in French, of an account of Cochin China (now southern Vietnam) and the Jesuit missionary work there, by Father Alexander de Rhodes (Avignon 1591 or 1593 - Isfahan in Persia 1660). Although Rhodes had published an account of Cochin China in Italian in 1650 (see below), the present edition is not simply a translation and appears to include material not found in the earlier work. It was prepared for the press by the Jesuit Jacques de Machault (1599-1676 or 1678) at Caen, who signed the 7-page dedication to Princess Marie Léonor de Rohan and may have written the unsigned "avant-propos". Perhaps he combined information from the Italian work with information from other sources, but the fact that the text is signed by Rhodes from Macao in 1645, while he signed the preliminaries to the 1650 publication from Rome in 1650, suggests that Machault may have worked from a manuscript.With the title-page somewhat worn, but otherwise in very good condition. A first-hand Jesuit account of Vietnam, with a somewhat mysterious origin. Seller Inventory # 89LE6EED2GIG

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