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SCHWEIGGER, Salomon. Ein newe Reiss Beschreibung auss Teutschland nach Constantinopel und Jerusalem, Nuremberg / Graz, Johann Lantzenberger / Akademische Druck 1608 / 1964.

Salomon Schweigger (1551-1622) was a German Lutheran theologist and diplomat, son of a noble notary. He studied Classics at the University of Tübingen and was appointed chaplain to the Habsburg Embassy in Istanbul, headed by ambassador Joachim von Sintzendorff. Schweigger started out on his voyage from Vienna in 1577. He was member of a diplomatic mission sent by Emperor Rudolph II to Sultan Murad III. He travelled to Istanbul through Southeastern Europe by land. Schweigger stayed in the city until 1581 and then travelled to Egypt, Palestine and Syria. On his return trip, Schweigger sailed from Crete to Venice and later reached Tübingen. He remained a member of the clergy, served in various cities and died in Nuremberg.

He corresponded frequently with humanist Martinus Crusius, who published their letters in 1582. A manuscript album by Schweigger, mentioning various eminent personalities from the entourage of the Patriarchy, whom he had met while in Istanbul, is kept at the Library of Tübingen. Schweigger was the first to translate the Quran into German, in 1616. For his translation he used the Italian version, which in its turn was based on the Latin one. The chronicle of his voyage was published in 1608. Both the wood engravings and his text testify to the author’s insightful outlook on life, institutions and society in the Ottoman empire.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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