Lot 325 of 613:
Burton explores Syria, 1872  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$390
$500 - $800

Unexplored Syria. Visits to the Libanus, the Tulúl el Safá, the Anti-Libanus, the Northern Libanus, and the 'Aláh

Burton, Richard F. & Charles F. Tyrwhitt Drake


Tinsley Brothers



2 volumes. xviii, [2], 360; [8], 400 pp. Volume one with frontispiece, large folding map, and 10 folding plates printed in brown. Volume two with frontispiece plus 15 plates (one of which is folding); woodcuts in the text, 1 full page which is sometimes counted as a plate. 22.3x13.5 cm (8¾x5¼), 19th century blue cloth, leather spine labels. First Edition.

Following Burton's appointment as British consul at Damascus, he arrived in October 1869. "Unexplored Syria" contains two items of great archaeological interest. The first was the assertion (much derided) that the Hamath stones were of Hittite origin, a matter not finally decided in Burton's favor until the 1920s. The second concerned a Moabite inscription recently discovered near the Dead Sea, which suggested that the true result of the conflict with Israel, as narrated in the Book of Kings, was a Moabite victory. The enthusiasm with which Burton challenged the biblical version of events may well have hastened his dismissal from Damascus. Drake went to Damascus in 1871 and lived with the Burtons. The expeditions they carried out resulted in this work and also Lady Burton's "Inner Life of Syria". Penzer, p.85-6.

Lot Amendments

Front cover of volume 1 detached, front joint of volume 2 cracked, hinge repaired; bookplates; overall very good.

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