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IAKINTH (- IAKINF, JAKINF, JAKINTH, HYACINTH, HYACINTHE) (BITCHURIN, BITHSCHURIN, BICURIN, BYTSJURIN) - NIKITA J. BICURIN. - [HIGHLY IMPORTANT ACCOUNT OF MONGOLIA]

Zapiski o Mongilij. S prilozheniem kartui mongolij i raznuich kostiumov. [Russia, i.e.: Account of Mongolia. With an engraved Map of Mongolia and (engreved plates) of different Costumes]. 2 Volumes, 4 Parts.

lyn42203

Sank Petersburg, Karla Kraija, 1828. 8vo. Bound uncut in one very nice contemporary green half calf binding with gilt spine. With four of the five lithographs, consisting in the large folded map of Mongolia with Iankinth's route from Peking to Kiakhta, outline-coloured in contemporary hand, the hand-coloured frontispiece-plate and three hand-coloured plates of costumes, without the one depicting the Chinese in summer dress (not always present?). A beautiful copy in absolutely excellent condition, with the frontispiece, three of the four plates, the map, both errata-leaves, both tables of contents, and title-pages for both volumes. First volume with light pencil-underlinings and light pencil-marginalia. XII, 230, (2); VI, (2), 339 pp. + frontispiece, three plates, and folded map. ¶ The exceedingly rare first edition of Monk Hyacinth's (i.e. Jakinf's/Iankinth's) important work on the history of Mongolia, which constitutes one of the earliest important travel accounts of the region since the middle ages. The work contains a description of Hyacinth's route up north of Mongolia (then under Manchu rule), a history of Mongolia and the Mongol regimes in China, descriptions of costumes, etc., and a section on regulations concerning the Mongols. As such, this important early work came to play a significant role in all later travel literature about Mongolia and was seen as a work of refenrence and great authority, which was frequently quoted by other writers on the field.

"Little was reported to the West about Mongolia between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries. During this period the Mongol empire rapidly disintegrated... When Christian missionaries began arriving in (Outer) Mongolia, beginning in 1798, they found an impoverished people ruled by a "living Buddha", the Bogd Khan... The Catholic missionaries was followed by a wave of Protestant missionaries" (Speake 2: 803), but most of the accounts of these missionaries are from the late nineteenth century and thus much later than Hyacinth's.

"The archimandrate Hyacinth, late chief of the Russian mission at Peking, from whnce he returned in 1821, with Mr. Timkowski, is about to publish, at St. Petersburg, an "Account of Mongolia", in four volumes. The first volume will contain a narrative of his journey through Mongolia, and his return from Peking to Kakhta; the second, a geographical and statistical account of Mongolia; the third, a short history of the Mongols; and the fourth, the code of laws by which this nomade people is giverned. This work will contain a map of Mongolia, engravings of costumes, &c.

The work was translated into German in 1832 under the title "Denkwürdigkeiten über die Mongolei". Both the Russian original and the German translation are of great scarcity.

Lust: 186. Not in Greasse, not in Brunet.

44 721 SEK

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