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An Arab's Journey to Colonial Spanish America: The Travels of Elias Al-Musili in the Seventeenth Century files An Arab's Journey to Colonial Spanish America: The Travels of Elias Al-Musili in the Seventeenth Century, read online An Arab's Journey to Colonial Spanish America: The Travels of Elias Al-Musili in the Seventeenth Century, free An Arab's Journey to Colonial Spanish America: The Travels of Elias Al-Musili in the Seventeenth Century, free An Arab's Journey to Colonial Spanish America: The Travels of Elias Al-Musili in the Seventeenth Century, An Arab's Journey to Colonial Spanish America: The Travels of Elias Al-Musili in the Seventeenth Century cb7ad48d4 In 1905, The Jesuit Scholar Ant N Rabb T Discovered The Writings Of Elias Al M Sili In A Jacobite Diocese In Aleppo, Syria Al M Sili, A Seventeenth Century Arab And A Priest Of The Chaldean Church, Traveled Widely Across Colonial Spanish America, Becoming The First Person To Visit The Americas From Baghdad Rabb T Transcribed Into Arabic And Published Those Portions Relating To Al M Sili S Travels.Surrounded By A World Seemingly Filled With Exotic Miracles, Al M Sili Shares His Perceptions Of Native Peoples And Their Customs, Beliefs, And Treatment By Spanish Conquistadors Because Of The Uniqueness And Significance Of His Journey, Al M Sili Was Supported By The Pope And Authorized By The Queen Regent Of Spain He Provides Thoughtful Descriptions Of High Level Officials And Clerics In The New World And Rare Insight On A Voyage That Would Turn Into A Twelve Year Adventure.Acclaimed Middle Eastern Historian Farah Is The First To Make These Writings Available In English Translation, Providing An Invaluable Document For Scholars Of Middle Eastern History And Of The Church In Latin America.


10 thoughts on “An Arab's Journey to Colonial Spanish America: The Travels of Elias Al-Musili in the Seventeenth Century

  1. says:

    From a seventeenth century engravingTired of domestic chores but not ready for some heavy reading, I cast about for something light and way off the beaten track Un irakien en Am rique au XVIIe si cle 1668 16832011 by Elias al Mawsili, probably born close to Mosul around 1630 and died in Rome some time after 1692 Though a scion of a family of clerics in the Nestorian Catholic church, he became a fervent Roman Catholic and apparently rubbed shoulders with the highest dignitaries at th From a seventeenth century engravingTired of domestic chores but not ready for some heavy reading, I cast about for something light and way off the beaten track Un irakien en Am rique au XVIIe si cle 1668 16832011 by Elias al Mawsili, probably born close to Mosul around 1630 and died in Rome some time after 1692 Though a scion of a family of clerics in the Nestorian Catholic church, he became a fervent Roman Catholic and apparently rubbed shoulders with the highest dignitaries at the Vatican He also came into the graces of the Queen of Spain, who provided him with a passe partout for all of the Spanish colonial empire in the Americas, which made possible the central interest of this text a trip to the Caribbean and Central and South America from 1675 to 1683 during which he spent time in most of the countries south of the Rio Grande However, this text is an account of the entire trajectory from Baghdad in 1668 to Jerusalem, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, the trip to the Americas, and the return to Rome in 1683 A text of only one hundred pages cannot provide the wealth of detail I would have loved to have read the portions concerning his years in Europe were primarily lists of cities passed through and dignitaries who received him with all honors Nevertheless, al Mawsili did report that upon arrival in Europe at the port of Venice he and his fellows were placed in a quarantine for forty one days to be certain that they weren t carrying a plague, and it is evident from the text that this was standard practice Fortunately, the details flowgenerously in America, and notwithstanding the occasional excursion into the remarkable, not to say literally incredible, here I was engaged by the reports about the travails of the journey, the commercial activities and populous cities, the flora and fauna, and the habits of the colonial Spaniards and the Indians At last, after reading as a boy that the Indians believed the mounted Spaniards to be creatures on the order of centaurs, I found that al Mawsili interviewed an ancient Indian and one of the nuggets he retrieved confirmed the old claim that never failed to set me on a long reverie whenever I thought of it Al Mawsili spentthan a year in the provincial capital of Lima, where he composed much of this text, so the information about that city and its environs is particularly rich We learn much, from the notable fact that seven monasteries and four convents were located at Lima each allegedly containing a thousand inhabitants to how one went about mining and extracting mercury in seventeenth century Peru As poisonous as mercury is, those poor miners must have had a miserably short life, but al Mawsili is silent on this He wasn t always silent about the bad treatment of the Indians by the Spanish, however the massacre of a village is described, as is the forced labor of the Indians in the mines Al Mawsili might have traveled a bit into what are now called Argentina and Chile, but he certainly traveled up the west coast of Central America and crossed over to Mexico City, and made a stop at Havana on the way back across the Big Water, but I ll suppress the interesting details including an assault on the port of Vera Cruz by pirates during al Mawsili s six month sojourn in Mexico City to keep this relatively short Curiously, at no point does al Mawsili say why he undertook such a long and perilous journey, though the editor of this text does suggest that al Mawsili returned to Europe stinking rich If he composed some kind of report for some sovereign or other, there is apparently no sign of it This text he wrote in Arabic for an audience eager for stories of far away and remarkable places, which had been brought up on such books as Ab H mid al Gharn t s 12th century report on his decades of wanderings from Grenada to the Middle East and beyond De Grenade Bagdad, La relation de voyage d Ab H mid al Gharn t , 1080 1168 It is amusing therefore to find a river in Ecuador compared to the Tigris and the sands in Peru compared to those in Egypt Even the standard preamble of classic Arabic texts in which Allah, the Prophet and various saints are praised is present in this text, with the obvious necessary amendments This book is a pleasant, diverting read well suited for the unredeemably curious In the Introduction of this French edition the existence of an English translation of this text by Paul Lendy is mentioned, but a web search turned up no trace of it There is, however, apparently a recent Spanish translation Un viaje poco conocido la visita de Elias al Mawsili sacerdote caldeo iraqu , a la Am rica Colonial 1669 1680. The text mentions on the side some gifts received and some business activities carried through These must have been lucrative indeed


  2. says:

    El Diluvio Le D luge Catedral de PueblaCet ouvrage est la relation d un voyage effectu au XVII me si cle par un arabe chr tien originaire de Bagdad non seulement dans plusieurs pays du couchant de l Europe, mais galement dans les colonies Espagnoles des Indes occidentales, en particulier au P rou et en Nouvelle Espagne, l actuel Mexique L auteur n tait pas qu un simple particulier son rang d eccl siastique lui valait l amiti du pape et des t tes couronn es catholiques d Europe, si bien El Diluvio Le D luge Catedral de PueblaCet ouvrage est la relation d un voyage effectu au XVII me si cle par un arabe chr tien originaire de Bagdad non seulement dans plusieurs pays du couchant de l Europe, mais galement dans les colonies Espagnoles des Indes occidentales, en particulier au P rou et en Nouvelle Espagne, l actuel Mexique L auteur n tait pas qu un simple particulier son rang d eccl siastique lui valait l amiti du pape et des t tes couronn es catholiques d Europe, si bien que son voyage, en dehors des difficult s inh rentes aux conditions mat rielles de l poque, taient tout simplement id ales Envoy par la reine d Espagne, il est partout accueilli avec les plus grands gards par les puissants, lesquels se disputent l honneur de l obliger, et lui m me en retour se pique de faire profiter ses h tes de sa diplomatie pour teindre les inimiti s L aura qui se d gage d un homme venant de J rusalem, parlant l aram en, la langue du Christ, et officiant des messes dans cette langue, est blouissante, au sein des communaut s chr tiennes du Nouveau Monde.Le r cit de voyage est crit dans un style exempt des appr ts et des fioritures auxquels quelques r cits orientaux m avaient habitu s pas de ronflantes formules, ni de vocabulaire recherch , ni d images po tiques, le style est au contraire pr cis, clair, nerveux et rapide le regard p n trant, le jugement droit, m me si l auteur laisse une certaine part au merveilleux et au miracle C est donc une lecture non seulement ais e et tr s agr able, mais aussi instructive et difiante Outre le r cit des p rip ties de son voyage, de l accueil de ses h tes et des bons offices qu ils s changent, Al Mawsil porte beaucoup d int r t la culture, aux exploitations, aux mines, la botanique, aux arts m caniques, c est un esprit sensible aux sciences de la nature et l conomie C est ainsi qu on apprend comment sont cultiv s l indigo et le cacao, comment sont extraits l or et l argent des entrailles de la terre, par quels proc d s chimiques ils sont isol s, quels sont les plantes avec lesquelles on peut se nourrir.Il ne manque pas non plus d observer les m urs des Indiens, de discuter avec eux, et toutes les anecdotes qu il remonte sont infiniment int ressantes En effet, il porte un regard ext rieur plut t neutre, sensible aux injustices faites certains indiens, mais qui reste bienveillant et juste l gard des espagnols, loin des clich s et des mensonges v hicul s par la l gende noire, n e de l envie et de la jalousie des nations europ ennes rivales de l Espagne cette poque Le soin pris par l auteur aplanir les diff rents et les aigreurs le fait estimer non seulement par ses h tes, mais aussi par le lecteur Une lecture tr s profitable et instructive


  3. says:

    I appreciate the translator s footnotes offering clarifications of terminology, details the author mistook, and historical clarifications The travel narrative itself is concise, but offers an intriguing window into a Christian Arab s perception of the New World Alas, when reading the appendix it was not always clear to me what was the translator s words, what was al M sili s the traveler , and what was Rabb t s a 1905 editor of the text I shall have to take another, closer look.


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