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The voyages & travels of the ambassadors sent by Frederick, Duke of Holstein

The voyages & travels of the ambassadors sent by Frederick, Duke of Holstein to the great Duke of Muscovy and the King of Persia

From John Davies' translation of Adam Olearius, The voyages & travels of the ambassadors sent by Frederick, Duke of Holstein to the great Duke of Muscovy and the King of Persia, London, Thomas Dring and John Starkey, 1662

State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, RARESF 915 OL2

Adam Olearius travelled to Persia in 1637 as secretary to the ambassador for the German state of Holstein. While the mission failed in its attempt to secure the direct importation of Persian silk, Olearius’s detailed account provided Europe with invaluable new information on Persian geography, history, government, religion, language and customs.

First published in 1647, his enlarged edition of 1656 found a large audience and was soon published in Dutch, French, Italian and English.

In 1654, with the aid of a Persian emissary who had travelled to Holstein in a counter-delegation, Olearius translated Saʿdi’s Gulistan into German. This translation would later be an important source for Goethe.