Travelling to the Levant in Early Modern Europe
This exhibition looks at a selection of four travel accounts written over a time span of more than a century and a half that are held in the Edward Worth Library. All of them describe journeys and voyages carried out in countries and islands along the eastern Mediterranean, which the historical geographical term ‘Levant’ can be applied to. The term is derived from either the French word ‘Levant’ or the Italian word ‘Levante’ that both refer to ‘rising’, as in sunrise, meaning the east. A fifth book entitled A journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem at Easter, A.D. 1697 by the Church of England clergyman Henry Maundrell (bap. 1665 – d. 1701) is discussed in the April 2021 Book of the Month.
Fig. 1: Paul Lucas, Voyage du Sieur Paul Lucas, fait en 1714, &c. par ordre de Louis XIV. dans la Turquie, l’Asie, Sourie, Palestine, Haute & Basse Egypte, &c. … (Amsterdam, 1720), Carte de la Natolie et des pays voisins parcourus par Mr Paul Lucas en 1717 [Map of Anatolia and neighbouring countries travelled by Mr Paul Lucas in 1717], v. 1, facing p. 110.
Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq (1522-1592)
Fig. 2: Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq, Augerii Gislenii Busbequii d. legationis Turc. epistolae IV. eiusdem de re militari contra Turcam consilium, & Solimanni Turc. Imp. legatio ad Ferd. I. Imp. Rom. … (Munich, 1620), Portrait of Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq. Source: http://eng.travelogues.gr/collection.php?view=261.
The earliest travel account was written by Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq (1522-1592), a writer, herbalist and diplomat who was born in Comines in West Flanders, then a province of the Holy Roman Empire. Busbecq studied at the University of Leuven before continuing his studies in Paris, Venice, Bologna and Padova. He served in the court of the Habsburg ruler Ferdinand I (1503-1564) who later became Holy Roman Emperor when his brother Charles V (1500-1558) abdicated in 1556. He attended the marriage of Mary Tudor (1516-1558) and the future Philip II of Spain (1527-1598) in Winchester Cathedral in 1554 as part of an imperial delegation. Ferdinand I named him imperial ambassador to the Ottoman Empire under the rule of Sultan Suleiman I (1494-1566), commonly known as Suleiman the Magnificent, in 1554 and again in 1555. He was sent to Constantinople to negotiate a border treaty over the disputed territory of Transylvania. Busbecq left Turkey in 1562 and was entrusted as tutor to the grandchildren of Ferdinand I, the two sons of future emperor Maximilian II (1527-1576) upon his return to Vienna. He spent the remainder of his life in the employ of the imperial family, ending his career as guardian of Elisabeth of Austria (1554-1592), Maximilian’s daughter and widow of French King Charles IX (1550-1574).
Busbecq wrote a series of four letters in Latin to a fellow Habsburg diplomat Nicholas Michault describing his experiences and travels as Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, which provide analyses of its politics, administration, court life, military strategy and tactics, history, geography, religion, social classes, ethnic composition, daily life and customs, costume, diet, coinage, technology, medicine, art, architecture, and flora and fauna. The first letter was printed at Antwerp in 1581 under the title Itinera Constantinopolitanum Et Amasianum Ab Augerio Gisslenio Busbequij … and contains an account of Busbecq’s journey to Constantinople and to Amasia, the capital of Cappadocia. The second letter appeared in 1582, together with a reprint of the first. The first collected edition of all four Turkish letters entitled Augerii Gislenii Busbequii d. legationis turcicae Epistolae quatuor. Quarum priores duae ante aliquot annos in lucem prodierunt sub nomine Itinerum Constantinopolitani et Amasiani. Adiectae sunt duae alterae. Eiusdem de re militari contra Turcam instituenda consilium was published in Paris in 1589. The Edward Worth Library has a copy of an edition printed in Paris in 1595. Other collected editions were printed in Frankfurt am Main in 1595 and in Hanover in 1605.
Fig. 3: Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq, Augerii Gislenii Busbequii d. legationis Turc. epistolae IV. eiusdem de re militari contra Turcam consilium, & Solimanni Turc. Imp. legatio ad Ferd. I. Imp. Rom. … (Munich, 1620), Portrait of the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I. Source: http://eng.travelogues.gr/collection.php?view=261.
The earliest translation of Busbecq’s Turkish letters from the Latin text was a German edition translated by Michael Schweicker that was published in Frankfurt am Main in 1596. The first edition in French, translated by S. Gaudon, was printed in Paris in 1646, and another edition appeared in 1649. The first edition in Spanish of the Turkish letters, translated by Esteban López de Reta, was published in Pamplona in 1610. The first edition of the Turkish letters in English, The four epistles of A.G. Busbequius concerning his embassy into Turkey being remarks upon the religion, customs, riches, strength and government of that people : as also a description of their chief cities, and places of trade and commerce : to which is added, his advice how to manage war against the Turks / done into English, was printed in London in 1694. Later English editions were published in 1744 and 1761.
Busbecq discovered an almost complete copy of the ‘’Res Gestae divi Augisti’’, descripting the achievements and accomplishments of the Roman Emperor Augustus (63 BC-14 AD) inscribed on the walls of the Temple of Augustus and Rome, Monumentum Ancyranum, in Ankara. The temple was visited almost a century and a half later by the botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, who provided an account and included an illustration of the temple, which is reproduced later in the exhibition. The following description by Busbecq of the temple and the inscriptions is taken from the English translation of his first letter.
‘Here we saw a stately Superscription, and a Sampler of those Tables, wherein the Atchievments of Augustus, were summarily comprehended. I caused as much of it, as we could read, to be transcribed. It is cut in the Marble Walls of that Structure, which heretofore was the Town-hall, but is now demolished, so that one part of it is visible to those that enter on the right Hand, and the other to those that enter upon the left. The top Chapiters are almost entire; the middle is full of Clefts, and the lowermost part of it is so battered with Clubs and Hatches, that it cannot be read; which Loss cannot be sufficiently lamented by all Lovers of Learning; and so much the more, because the Commons of Asia, dedicated this City to Augustus.’
Fig. 4: Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq, Augerii Gislenii Busbequii d. legationis Turc. epistolae IV. eiusdem de re militari contra Turcam consilium, & Solimanni Turc. Imp. legatio ad Ferd. I. Imp. Rom. … (Munich, 1620), Portrait of Sultan Suleiman I. Source: http://eng.travelogues.gr/collection.php?view=261.
Busbecq provides the following description of Sultan Suleiman I, taken from the English translation of his first letter, with whom he had his first audience in the city of Amasia.
‘If you Ask me, What manner of Man Solyman was? I’le tell you, He was an Ancient Man, his Countenance, and the Mean of his Body, was very Majestick, well becoming the Dignity which he bore; he was Frugal and Temperate, even from his Youth, tho’ he might have taken a greater liberty to himself by the Rules of their own Religion. In his Younger Days he was not given to Wine, nor to Masculine Venery … so that his very Enemies could object nothing against him on those accounts; but that he was too Uxurious, and his over-Indulgence to his Wife … He is now Sixty Years of Age; and, for a Man of his Years, he enjoys a moderate proportion of Health, and yet his Countenance doth discover, that he carries about him some hidden Disease, ’tis thought a Gangrene, or Ulcer, in the Thigh; yet at solemn Audiences of Embassadors, he hath a Fucus to paint his Cheeks, that he may appear sound and healthy to them, and thereupon be more dreaded by Foreign Princes, their Masters. Methought I discovered some such thing at my Dismission, for his Countenance was as soure when I left him, as it was at my first Audience.’
Christoph Fürer von Haimendorf (1541-1610)
Fig. 5: Christoph Fürer von Haimendorf, Christophori Füreri ab Haimendorf, … Itinerarium Aegypti, Arabiae, Palaestinae, Syriae, aliarumque regionum orientalium (Nuremberg, 1621), Portrait of Christoph Fürer von Haimendorf.
Our second text was by Christoph Fürer von Haimendorf (1541-1610), a member of one of the oldest patrician families in the imperial city of Nuremberg. He served as a councillor (Ratsherr) and was appointed a senator in 1570. Fürer travelled widely between 1563 and 1566, initially in Italy and subsequently to the Ionian Islands, Egypt and Palestine. His travel journal mostly recounts the latter sites he visited alongside another nobleman on their journey in 1565-1566 that included Alexandria, Cairo, the Pyramids and the Nile, Mount Sinai, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Dead Sea, Damascus, and Tripoli. Fürer also gives some information on the Greek islands of Corfu, Zakynthos, Crete and Cyprus. He was the first person to provide a description of the tomb of the Flemish anatomist, physician, and author Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) who died and was buried on Zakynthos.
The text was edited and translated into Latin by Georg Richter (1592-1651) from Fürer’s manuscript journal and published posthumously in 1620. A reissue of the sheets of the 1620 edition was published in 1621. It is a copy of this reissue that Edward Worth purchased at the sale of the library of clergyman Cornelius van Arckel (1670-1724) in Rotterdam in May 1725. An edition in German was published in 1646.
Fig. 6: Christoph Fürer von Haimendorf, Christophori Füreri ab Haimendorf, … Itinerarium Aegypti, Arabiae, Palaestinae, Syriae, aliarumque regionum orientalium (Nuremberg, 1621), View of the interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, plate facing p. 60.
Like many other travellers in the Levant, Fürer was particularly interested in visiting holy sites and he includes this view of the interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in his book. A description of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre may also be found in Worth’s copy of Henry Maundrell’s A journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem at Easter, A.D. 1697 (Oxford, 1703).
‘The Church is less than one hundred paces long, and not more than sixty wide: and yet is so contrived, that it is supposed to contain under its Roof twelve or thirteen Sanctuaries, or places consecrated to a more than ordinary veneration, by being reputed to have some particular actions done in them relating to the Death and Resurrection of Christ. As first, the place where he was derided by the Souldiers: Secondly, where the Souldiers divided his Garments: thirdly, where he was shut up, whilst they dig’d the hole to set the foot of the Cross in, and made all ready for his Crucifixion: fourthly, where he was nailed to the Cross: fifthly, where the Cross was erected: sixthly, where the Souldier stood, that pierced his side: seventhly, where his Body was anointed in order to his Burial: eighthly, where his Body was deposited in the Sepulcher: ninthly, where the Angel appear’d to the Women after his Resurrection: tenthly, where Christ Himself appear’d to Mary Magdalen, &c. The places where these and many other things relating to our Blessed Lord are said to have been done, are all supposed to be contain’d within the narrow precincts of this Church, and are all distinguished and adorned with so many several Altars.
In Galleries round about the Church, and also in little Buildings annext to it on the out side, are certain apartments for the reception of Fryars and Pilgrims; and in these places almost every Christian Nation anciently maintain’d a small Society of Monks; each Society having its proper quarter assign’d to it, by appointment of the Turks: Such as the Latins, Greeks, Syrians, Armenians, Abyssines, Georgians, Nestorians, Cophtites, Maronites, &c. all which had anciently their several apartments in the Church.’
Fig. 7: Christoph Fürer von Haimendorf, Christophori Füreri ab Haimendorf, … Itinerarium Aegypti, Arabiae, Palaestinae, Syriae, aliarumque regionum orientalium (Nuremberg, 1621), View of Mount Sinai and Saint Catherine’s Monastery, plate facing p. 36.
Fürer’s description of Saint Catherine’s Monastery was translated and excerpted in a very popular work of the time: Samuel Purchas’ Hakluytus Posthumus, or Purchas his pilgrimes in five books … (London, 1625).
‘The thirteenth [day of November 1565], we came to the Monasterie of Saint Katharine in a narrow Valley, at the foot of Mount Sinai, built of square stones, founded (as they say) by the Emperour Justinian, strong, high, and compassed with pleasant Gardens. The length of it, is one hundred twentie five paces. In it we saw the Sepulchre of Saint Katharine; after that wee saw a Chappell built on that place, where they say was the Bush in which first God appeared to Moses. It hath fifteene Temples, twenty five Chappels, and diuers little Cels, in which Greeke Calogeri doe keepe. In the adjoyning Valley is a Hill of marvellous aspect, as if it were all burnt and covered with Ashes, where (they say) Moses kept Jethros sheepe. Neere the Monastery, before Mount Sinai, is the place in Mount Horeb, in which God commanded Moses to goe into Egypt to deliver the Israelites.’
On the eighteenth of November, Fürer writes that his party came to the city of Thora [El Tor] on the shores of the Red Sea and that they saw:
‘… Mermaids skinne taken there many yeares before, which in the lower part ends Fish-fashion: of the upper part, onely the Nauill and Breasts remaine, the armes and head being lost.’
Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708)
The Edward Worth Library has works by two authors that reflect the interest Louis XIV (1638-1715) had in exploration of the Levant. The first is a copy of a third edition of Joseph Pitton de Tournefort’s Relation d’un voyage du Levant, fait par ordre du Roi, contenant l’histoire ancienne & modern de plusieurs isles de l’archipel, de Constantinople, des côtes de la Mer Noire, de l’Armenie, de la Georgie, des frontieres de Perse & de l’Asie Mineure … that was published as two parts in one volume in Amsterdam in 1718.
Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708) was a French botanist and physician who was born in Aix-en-Provence. He had commenced studying theology, but turned his attention to the study of botany after his father’s death and also studied medicine in Montpellier. Tournefort was appointed as Professor of Botany at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris in 1688, which was a position he held until his death. Tournefort’s earlier botanical expeditions and system of plant classification is discussed in the Botany at the Edward Worth Library online exhibition. He published Élémens de Botanique ou Méthode pour Connoître les Plantes in three volumes in 1694, which explained his classification system and included 10,146 species under 698 genera. He subsequently translated his work into Latin and developed it further, publishing Institutiones Rei Herbariae in three volumes in 1700, a set of which was collected by Edward Worth.
Fig. 8: Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, Relation d’un voyage du Levant … (Amsterdam, 1718), Lunaria fruticosa, perennis, incana, Leucoii folio, v. 1, plate facing p. 92.
He was sent on a mission to the Levant by King Louis XIV in 1700 and was accompanied by the German physician and botanist Andreas von Gundelsheimer (ca. 1668-1715) and the French illustrator and botanical artist Claude Aubriet (1651-1742). Aubriet, whose drawings were engraved for the resultant published work, had previously been commissioned by Tournefort to illustrate the Elemens de Botanique. Tournefort visited thirty-eight Greek islands, spending a considerable length of time in Crete, before travelling to Constantinople and Anatolia/Asia Minor, the southern coast of the Black Sea, Armenia, and Georgia, returning to France in 1702. Tournefort discovered new plants on his voyage to the Levant, which led him to publish a supplement to his work of botanical classification entitled Corollarium Institutionum rei herbariae : in quo plantae 1356. munificentiâ Ludovici Magni in Orientalibus regionibus observatae recensentur, & ad genera sua revocantur in 1703, which Edward Worth also collected.
Tournefort died in 1708 after he was struck by a carriage having prepared only the first volume of Relation d’un voyage du Levant for publication and before the second volume was ready for the press. Publication of the first volume was held back until the second volume had been edited in full and both volumes were published posthumously at the same time in 1717. The first edition was published in Paris in two volumes while a second edition was published in Lyon in the same year in three volumes. The 1718 Amsterdam edition held in the Edward Worth Library was published as two parts in one volume. The first English edition, translated by J. Ozell, was published in London in 1718, while a Dutch translation appeared in 1737 and a German translation was published in 1777.
The text takes the form of twenty-two letters to the Minister of the Exterior M. de Pontchartain, who sponsored Tournefort’s mission. The letters provide information on the history, topography, economy, architecture, administration, ethnic composition, religions, dress, and customs of the inhabitants of each island and region he visited. The engraved plates after Aubriet’s drawings illustrate maps and views of cities and seaports, many of which are shown in isometric projection as well as costumes, plants, animals, monuments and archaeological ruins.
Fig. 9: Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, Relation d’un voyage du Levant … (Amsterdam, 1718), Pieces qui composent l’Habillement des Femmes de Mycone [Part of the Apparel of the Myconian Women], v. 1, plate facing p. 109.
The following excerpt taken from the English translation gives a description of the several parts, lettered on the image above, of the dress worn by the women of the Greek island of Mykonos.
‘The first is a sort of Under-Smicket A. it has wrist-banded Sleeves, and is usually made of Muslin, or a kind of fine Buckram, or Silk set off with Gold Lace or Embroidery: and thus are their richest Smickets no better than a penitential Shirt, their Trimming making a Print on the Skin.
Over this Smicket they wear a large Smock B of Cotton or Silk, with Sleeves as large as a Surplice: this reaches to their Mid-leg and serves for an Under-Petticoat. It is garnish’d with Lace, or embroider’d with Silk or Thred of Gold and Silver.
The third Piece is a sort of Gorget or Stomacher C. cover’d with Gold or Silver Embroidery this they apply to their Neck.
Then they clap on a Corslet D. with two Wings on the sides, and two Openings to let the Arms through; ’tis a kind of Bodice, without Sleeves: ’tis embroider’d with Gold and Silver, adorn’d with Pearls; in Winter they wear ’em with Sleeves.
This Bodice extends three or four inches over the Colubi, a kind of Under-Petticoat F. very thick and full of Pleats, reaching no farther than the Knees; they fasten it before with Ribbands.
The sixth Piece is an Apron H. made of Muslin or embroider’d Silk. Embroidery being an Invention of the Levant, they wear nothing without it: and to speak truth, they excel even the French in that sort of Work, as to Neatness; but their Patterns are not so well fancy’d.
In Summer they wear Cotton Stockings, and in Winter red Cloth, trimm’d with Gold or Silver Lace: these Stockings are all full of Pleats, for they wear four or five pair one over another. Their Garters are Ribbands edg’d with Gold and Silver Lace, fasten’d through Loop-holes.
Their Slippers are Velvet; but the upper part so short, that they cover nothing but the Toes, which gives the Ladies an ill Gait in walking. Some among ’em have Venetian Shoes, which they tie with huge laced Ribbands.
Lastly, Their Kerchief is a Veil of Muslin or Silk, usually seven or eight foot long, and two broad, which they twine about their Head and round their Chin, in a very agreeable manner, and which gives ’em a sprightly Air.’
Fig. 10: Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, Relation d’un voyage du Levant … (Amsterdam, 1718), Monumentum Ancyranum, Ankara, v. 2, plate facing p. 178.
The above image is a view of the interior of the Temple of Augustus and Rome, Monumentum Ancyranum, in Ankara, Turkey. The Habsburg diplomat Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq (1522-1592) had drawn attention to the temple and its inscriptions in the letters he wrote over a century and a half earlier that described his time as an Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, which were subsequently published and are discussed further above. The following description of the temple by Tournefort is taken from the English translation.
‘The Emperor Augustus did, no doubt, beautify Ancyra [Ankara], seeing Tzetzes calls him the Founder of it; and it was probably in acknowledgment that the Inhabitants consecrated to him the greatest Monument ever yet in Asia. You shall judge, my Lord, of this Beauty of the Building by the Design of it, which you commanded me to take. It was all of white Marble, in large Pieces; and the Corners of the Vestibulum, which yet remain, are alternately of one Piece, returning with a Corner, in manner of a Square; the Sides or Legs of which are three or four feet long. These Stones are moreover cramp’d together with Pieces of Copper, as appears by the Hollows in which they lay. The chief Walls are still thirty or five and thirty feet high. The Front is entirely destroy’d; there remains only the Door by which they went out of the Vestibulum into the House. This Door, which is square, is twenty four feet high, and nine feet two inches wide; and its Posts, which are each of one Piece, are two feet three inches thick. On the side of this Door, which is full of Ornaments, was cut above seventeen hundred Years ago the Life of Augustus in fine Latin, and handsome Characters. The Inscription is in three Columns on the Right and Left: But besides the defac’d Letters, ’tis full of great Hollows, like those wherein they cast Bullets for Cannon. These Hollows, which have been made by the Peasants, to get out the Pieces of Copper with which the Stones were cramp’d together, have destroy’d half the Letters. The Facings of Stone are of an oblong Square, very near, jetting out one inch. Without reckoning the Vestibulum, this Building is within-side fifty two feet long, and thirty fix and a half wide. There remain still three grated Windows of Marble, with great Squares, like those of our Windows. I don’t know how there were furnish’d, whether with a transparent Stone, or, with Glass.’
Fig. 11: Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, Relation d’un voyage du Levant … (Amsterdam, 1718), Chevre d’Angora [Angora Goat], v. 2, p. 185.
There are four illustrations of animals in Relation d’un voyage du Levant …, although three are referred to only very briefly in the text: a small lizard, a partridge, and a lynx. The description of the Angola Goat, illustrated above, also describes the trade in producing the lustrous fibre known as mohair.
‘They breed the finest Goats in the World in the Champaign of Angora [Angara]. They are of a dazzling white; and their Hair, which is fine as Silk, naturally curl’d in Locks of eight or nine inches long, is work’d up into the finest Stuffs, especially Camlet: but they don’t suffer these Fleeces to be exported unspun, because the Country People gain their Livelihood thereby. Strabo seems to have spoken of these fine Goats: In the Neighbourhood of the River Halys, says he, they breed Sheep, whose Wool is very thick and soft, and besides, there are Goats, not to be met with any where else. However it be, these fine Goats are not to be seen only within four or five days Journey of Angora and Betbazar [Beypazari]; their Young degenerate if they are carried farther. The Thred made of this Goat’s Hair is sold from four Livres to twelve or fifteen Livres the Oque; there is some sold even for twenty or five and twenty Crowns the Oque; but this is only made up into Camlet for the Use of the Grand Signior’s Seraglio. The Workmen of Angora use this Thred of Goat’s Hair without mixture, whereas at Brassels they are oblig’d to mix Thred made of Wool, for what reason I know not. In England they mix up this Hair in their Perriwigs, but it must not be spun. In this consists the Riches of Angora; all the Inhabitants are employ’d in this Trade. ‘Tis with reason that they prefer the Goat’s Hair of Angora to that of Cougna, which is the antient City of Iconium, where Cicero assembled the Roman Army ; for the Goats of Cougna are all either brown or black.’
Paul Lucas (1664-1737)
Paul Lucas (1664-1737) was a French merchant, naturalist, physician and antiquary who was born in Rouen. He served with the Venetians at the siege of Negreponte, which is modern day Chalcis on the island of Euboea in Greece, in 1688. Lucas returned to France in 1696 with a large collection of medals and other antiquities that he sold to the Cabinet du Roi. This attracted the attention of the royal court and Lucas began a series of three voyages to the Levant on behalf of King Louis XIV, for which he became famous.
He travelled to Egypt, Cyprus, Persia and Syria on his first voyage from 1699 to 1703. An account was edited from Lucas’s notes by Charles César Baudelot de Dairval (1648-1722) and published in two volumes in Paris in 1704 as Voyage du Sieur paul Lucas au Levant On y trouvera entr’autre une description de la haute Egypte, suivant le cours du Nil, depuis le Caire jusques aux Cataractes, avec une Carte exacte de ce fleuve, que personne n’avoit donné. A second edition was published in The Hague in 1705, a third appeared in 1714, and a ‘nouvelle edition’ in Paris in 1731. A German translation was published in Hamburg in 1707.
Fig. 12: Paul Lucas, Voyage du Sieur Paul Lucas, fait en 1714, &c. par ordre de Louis XIV. dans la Turquie, l’Asie, Sourie, Palestine, Haute & Basse Egypte, &c. … (Amsterdam, 1720), Carte de la Basse Egypte et du Cours du Nil de puis le Caire jusqu’a ses Embouchures Dressée sur les lieux par Mr. Paul Lucas en l’année 1717 [Map of Lower Egypt and course of the Nile], v. 1, facing p. 274.
Lucas made a second voyage from 1705 to 1708 that covered Greece, Macedonia, the Archipelago, Asia Minor, the Holy Land and Egypt. An account of this voyage entitled Voyage du Sieur Paul Lucas, fait par ordre du Roi dans la Grèce, l’Asie Mineure, la Macédoine et l’Afrique was edited from his notes by Étienne Fourmont (1683-1745) and published in Paris in 1712. A second edition was printed in Amsterdam in 1714.
The third voyage at the behest of King Louis XIV was undertaken between 1714 and 1717, which took him to Constantinople, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. His account was edited by abbé Antoine Banier (1673-1741) and the first and second editions were published at Paris and Rouen in 1719. The two-volume third edition entitled Voyage du Sieur Paul Lucas, fait en 1714, &c. par ordre de Louis XIV. dans la Turquie, l’Asie, Sourie, Palestine, Haute & Basse Egypte, &c. …, a set of which was collected by Edward Worth, was published in Amsterdam in 1720. It contains two folding maps, illustrated here, of the Greek Archipelago and Asia Minor, and the Nile Delta as well as 32 engraved plates (some folding), many of which illustrate Egyptian antiquities. A German translation was published in Hamburg in 1722. Lucas made a fourth voyage to the Levant in 1723, which was not published and remains in manuscript.
Fig 13: Paul Lucas, Voyage du Sieur Paul Lucas, fait en 1714, &c. par ordre de Louis XIV. dans la Turquie, l’Asie, Sourie, Palestine, Haute & Basse Egypte, &c. … (Amsterdam, 1720), Coupe de la Grande Pyramide d’Egypte [Cross-section of Great Pyramid of Giza], v.1, facing p. 366.
The above image showing a cross-section of the Great Pyramid of Giza is accompanied by a perspective view of the pyramid. The Pyramids of Giza are discussed in the Architecture at the Edward Worth Library online exhibition. Among the other structures illustrated, although probably less known to today’s tourists, are two fold-out plates depicting a view and plan of a Nilometer, a device to measure the height of the waters of the river Nile, on Rhoda island in Cairo; and a cross-section of Joseph’s Well (or Bir Yusuf) at the Citadel of Cairo. The 85-metre deep well was built by Saladin (1174-1193), first sultan of Egypt and Syria and founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, when he constructed the still standing, though much altered, citadel in Cairo.
Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, Travelogues: Travellers’ Views, Places – Monuments – People, http://eng.travelogues.gr.
Busbecq, Ogier Ghislain de, The four epistles of A.G. Busbequius concerning his embassy into Turkey being remarks upon the religion, customs, riches, strength and government of that people : as also a description of their chief cities, and places of trade and commerce : to which is added, his advice how to manage war against the Turks (London, 1694).
Maundrell, Henry, A journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem at Easter, A.D. 1697 (London, 1714).
Natural History Museum, London, ‘Tournefort, Joseph Pitton de (1656-1708)’, Plant Collectors, Global Plants on JSTOR, Available online: https://plants.jstor.org/stable/10.5555/al.ap.person.bm000010179.
Navari, Leonora, Greece and the Levant : the catalogue of the Henry Myron Blackmer collection of books and manuscripts (London, 1989).
Navari, Leonora, The Ottoman world : the Sefik E. Atabey Collection ; books, manuscripts and maps, 2v. (London, 1998).
Navari, Leonora, Greek civilization through the eyes of travellers and scholars : from the collection of Dimitris Contominas (New Castle, Delaware & Goy-Houten, The Netherlands, 2004).
Purchas, Samuel, Hakluytus Posthumus, or Purchas his pilgrimes in five books … (London, 1625).
Tournefort, Joseph Pitton de, A voyage into the Levant : perform’d by command of the late French King. Containing the antient and modern state of the islands of the Archipelago; as also of Constantinople, the coasts of the Black Sea, Armenia, Georgia, the frontiers of Persia, and Asia Minor … (London, 1718).
Texts by Mr Antoine Mac Gaoithín (Library Assistant at the Edward Worth Library).
 Busbecq, Ogier Ghislain de, The four epistles of A.G. Busbequius concerning his embassy into Turkey … (London, 1694), p. 81.
 Ibid., pp 100-101.
 Henry Maundrell, A journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem at Easter, A.D. 1697 (London, 1714), pp 69-70.
 Purchas, Samuel, Hakluytus Posthumus, or Purchas his pilgrimes in five books … (London, 1625), v.2, p. 1377.
 Tournefort, Joseph Pitton de, A voyage into the Levant … (London, 1718), v. 1, pp 219-220.
 Ibid., v. 2, pp 335-6.
 Ibid., v. 2, p. 350.