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ARUNDELL, Francis Vyvyan Jago. A Visit to the seven Churches of Asia, with an Excursion into Pisidia …, London, J. Rodwell, 1828.

Francis Vyvyan Jago Arundell (1780-1846) was an English antiquary and clergyman, who studied at Oxford and later took up a curacy in his native county of Cornwall. From his youth, Arundell was passionate about antiquarian studies. In 1811 he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. In 1817 he published in the journal "Archaeologia" an article on Theodoros Palaiologos, a descendant of the last Palaiologan emperor, who died in 1637 and was buried at Landulph.

After his marriage to the daughter of the consul-general in Constantinople, in 1815, Arundell turned his interests to the East. At his own request, he was appointed chaplain to the British factory of the Levant Company at Smyrna, a position he held for fourteen years. From March to September 1826, Arundell was in charge of a well-organized pilgrimage to the Seven Churches of Asia Minor and an excursion into Pisidia. The publication of the chronicle of this journey was well received by the reading public.

This success encouraged Sandys to dare a second journey, in 1833, to locations unknown to the Europeans, such as Antioch in Pisidia. He published the account of this expedition in 1834. During the years 1835 and 1836 Arundell travelled in Palestine. From his time in Smyrna, Arundell had acquired a vast collection of antiquities, coins and manuscripts, which he sold to the British Museum when he returned to England. He had also recorded old stories of Smyrna and of his birthplace Launceston, which he probably intended to publish. However, this material was never used and was probably lost.

Arundell prefaces this particular edition with a review of the English travellers who visited the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamus, Thyateira, Sardes, Philadelphia and Laodicea) during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This is followed by a map with his itinerary in the Asia Minor heartland and a highly interesting account of his journey, in which historical information alternates with the author’s personal experiences.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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