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FÜRER, Christoph, von Haimendorff. Itinerarium Aegypti, Arabiae, Palestinae, Syriae aliarumque regionum orientalium..., Nuremberg, Abraham Wagenmann, MDCXX [=1620].

Christoph Fürer von Haimendorff (1541-1610) was a Nuremberg nobleman and councillor (Ratsherr). He was appointed senator in Nuremberg in 1570. Fürer travelled extensively from 1563 to 1566, first in Italy and then to the Ionian Islands, Egypt and Palestine. His work first appeared in Latin, under the title Itinerarium Aegypti, Arabiae, Palaestinae, Syriae, aliarumque Regionum Orientalium (Itinerary of Egypt, Arabia, Palestine, Syria, and other Oriental Regions), edited by Georg Richter from Fürer's manuscript, in 1620.

In his travel account Fürer describes the sites visited on a journey with another noble man in 1565-1566, including Alexandria, Cairo, the Pyramids and the Nile, Mount Sinai, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Dead Sea, Damascus, and Tripoli. Fürer also provides some information on Corfu, Zakynthos, Crete and Cyprus. He was the first to give a description of the Flemish anatomist Andreas Vesalius’s tomb on Zakynthos.

Fürer was able to see the Orient with clear eyes, not affected by the colourful but fantastic descriptions still current at that period. His report is enriched by many classical and biblical quotations, but also contains interesting contemporary material on Arab life and European diplomats in Egypt. Like many other travel reports of the later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the author's personal observations contributed to creating a new image of the Near East. The work was also a forerunner of the “gentleman traveller” literature of later centuries.

The six illustration plates which accompany the text are detailed representations of Mounts Sinai and Catharine, a plan of Jerusalem in bird's-eye view, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (exterior, 2 interiors and a floor plan).

Hamilton, Alastair. Arab Culture and Ottoman Magnificence in Antwerp’s Golden Age. London: Arcadian Library and Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 38-39.

Knight, Sarah and Tilg, Stefan. The Oxford Handbook of Neo-Latin. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 289-290.

Written by Nicolas Nicolaides

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