Jean-Jacques Barthélemy

Barthélemy, Jean-Jacques

French archaeologist and numismatist (1716-1795). Autograph map. N. p. o. d. Oblong folio. 1 p. on bifolium.
$ 8,839 / 7.500 € (80961/BN52887)

Schematic map of Asia Minor in brown ink and red pencil showing in detail the routes of two journeys, entitled: "Route de Busbek de Constantinople a Amasie" and "Route de M. des Monceaux d’Alexandrette a Smyrne", charting numerous towns, important ancient sites such as Pergamon, Ephesus, and Laodicea, as well as geographic markers. The route from Constantinople to Amasya is a graphic reconstruction of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq's famous travel account "Itinera Constantinopolitanum et Amasinianum" from 1581.

The Flemish humanist and botanist Busbecq (1522-92) served as the ambassador of Emperor Ferdinand I at the Sublime Porte from 1555 to 1562. In the first year of his term, he accompanied Suleiman the Magnificent to Amasya in Anatolia, where the Sultan signed a peace treaty with Shah Tahmasp I that ended the Ottoman-Safavid War (1532-55). Busbecq, who devotedly collected local plants, ancient manuscripts and coins, proved a capable diplomat and an unprejudiced observer of Ottoman society. Soon after his travelogue he published some of his diplomatic relations in separate volumes and, as a collection, "Legationis Turcicae Epistolae Quatuor" (1589), which remains an important source for studies of the 16th century Ottoman court. - The life of the French treasurer and early Fellow of the Royal Society André de Monceaux (d. after 1671), famous during his lifetime for his journeys to the Near and Middle East, remains largely obscure. A copy of a collection of Greek and Oriental manuscripts at the French national library is tied to his name, together with instructions by State Minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert dated 30 December 1667 to aquire rarities for the royal collection and a mémoire on Greek manuscripts by Colbert's assistant, Charles Perrault (BNF: R 138637). De Monceaux "was to look for fine copies of ancient manuscripts in Greek, Persian and other Middle Eastern languages; antique medals, provided they were struck, not moulded; antique engraved stones; and fine goatskins [...]" (Meynell, p. 12); it appears he returned with 62 thick volumes of Greek manuscripts. In a letter to the secretary of the Royal Society, Henry Oldenburg (dated Paris, 26 July 1670), de Monceaux mentions that "he had no wish to publish his own notes unless ordered to do so by the King" (ibid.). According to Bernard de Montfauçon these travel notes were later in the possession of de Monceaux' sister but have since been lost. - For his detailed reconstruction of the route from Alexandretta to Smyrna (Izmir) Barthélemy must have been familiar with de Monceaux' notes or other now unavailable sources. Since both travellers collected coins and medals as well as manuscripts, Barthélemy's interest in their journeys is unsurprising, but the context of his map remains open. It may be connected to the extensive research he performed for his "Travels of Anacharsis the Younger in Greece" (1788), which comprised several professional maps. - Jean-Jacques Barthélemy is best remembered today for deciphering the Palmyrene and Phoenician alphabets and for his early research on Egyptian hieroglyphs. His "Anacharsis" was a considerable literary success and contributed to the growth of European philhellenism. - Some browning and foxing towards the borders. Folded..

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Barthélemy, Jean-Jacques

French archaeologist and numismatist (1716-1795). Autograph letter signed. In French. Paris. Small 4to. 2 pp. on bifolium. With autograph address. Includes an engraved portrait, 133 x 205 mm (neatline).
$ 3,300 / 2.800 € (81051/BN53014)

In French, to the architect and archaeologist Julien-David Le Roy (1727-1803) with questions concerning Le Roy's description and reconstruction of the Propylaea at the entrance to the Athens Acropolis. Probably referring to the second edition of Le Roy's seminal publication "Les ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grece" (1770), Barthélemy inquires about the function of the two annexes of the famous gateway, speculating that they may have been the temple of Athena Nike and a building that held paintings by the famous painter Polygnotus, as described by Pausanias: "you placed two buildings in front of the central structure that form some sort of wings and whose facades have three columns.

It seems to me that you do not specify what functions these buildings could have served. Does not the building on the right have to be the temple of Victory without wings and the one to the left the building whose interior walls had been covered with the paintings of Polygnotus?" Despite his desire for clarification, Barthélemy praises highly Le Roy's reconstruction, which was the result of only three months of studies at Athens, and condemns the apparent inaccuracies of the descriptions in Richard Chandler's "Travels of Greece" (1776) and Jacob Spon's and George Wheler's famous travelogue "Voyage d'Italie, de Dalmatie, de Grèce et du Levant" (1678). - Barthélemy is best known for deciphering the Palmyrene and Phoenician alphabets and for his contributions to the early research on Egyptian hieroglyphs. In 1788 he published the imaginary travel journal "Travels of Anacharsis the Younger in Greece" after 30 years of research and writing. Julien-David Le Roy's publication and the travelogues mentioned in the letter were important sources for Barthélemy's detailed descriptions and the high quality illustrations of the book. "Anacharsis" was a considerable success and contributed to the growth of European philhellenism. - Traces of folds and seal. With one minor tear, small pinholes, and traces of old mounting. - Includes a well-preserved early 19th century portrait of Barthélemy in Roman attire with biographical data, published in Paris "chez Ménard & Desenne". Mounted on cardboard and covered with a tissue guard..

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Barthélemy, Jean-Jacques

French archaeologist and numismatist (1716-1795). Autograph note signed (in third person). N. p. 8vo. ½ p.
$ 4,125 / 3.500 € (81052/BN53015)

Presenting the historian, writer and Encyclopédiste Jean-François Marmontel (1723-99) with a copy of one of Barthélemy's books: "L'abbé Barthelemy fait mille compliments a Monsieur Marmontel et le prie de vouloir bien placer dans son cabinet cet exemplaire qu'il a l'honneur de lui presenter, comme un faible hommage de sa reconnaissance et de tous les sentiments qu'il lui doit et qu'il lui rend [...]". - Barthélemy is best known for deciphering the Palmyrene and Phoenician alphabets and for his contributions to the early research on Egyptian hieroglyphs.

In 1788 he published the imaginary travel journal "Travels of Anacharsis the Younger in Greece" after 30 years of research and writing. The book was a considerable success and contributed to the growth of European philhellenism. Given the temporal proximity of its publication to the note at hand, this is likely the work here gifted to Marmontel. - With small traces of old mounting..

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