BARTHELEMY, Jean-Jacques (1716-1795). Recueil de Cartes Geographiques, plans, vues et medailles de l'Ancienne Grece; relatifs au Voyage du Jeune Anacharis,... Paris: Chez de Bure,... 1790

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Atlas volume only. 4to., (10 x 8 inches). 31 exceptionally fine engraved folding maps, plans and views. Contemporary calf backed, speckled paper boards, the spine gilt-ruled in eight compartments, red morocco lettering-piece in one, the others decorated with fine gilt tools, vellum corners (a bit worn with minor loss at the head and foot of the spine).


An internally very fine copy of the third edition of the Atlas volume which accompanies Barthelemy's fictional account of Anacharsis the younger's voyage. In 1754 Barthelemy was sent to Italy on a scientific mission. On his way, he gathered a large number of medals, and conceived the idea of the book which made his name famous, "Voyage du Jeune Anacarsis en Grece vers le milieu du IVe siecle avant l'ere vulgaire". This book, begun in 1756, was not finished until 1788, and was a description of ancient Greece, of Hellenic civilization, institutions, arts, history, philosophy, and literature, appealing to every class by reason of its charming narratives and vivid pictures. In successive reprints and English translations (London, 1790, 1800), it still finds readers. Recent archaeological discoveries have shown some of the statements to be erroneous, but on the whole the book remains a very successful attempt to diffuse a correct knowledge of Greek manners and customs" (Catholic Encyclopedia online).