Ce sont les chappitres ordōnes estres fais Par le roy nostre sire touchant le fait de la chose publicque avec les oppinions. Et responces des gens sages des bōnes villes de son Royaulme. Avec la lettre du turcq envoye au grant maystre de Roddez le. xxvij. de Aoust. Mille cinq cens et. xvj. Cum privilegio. Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Selim I, King of France Francis I, Jean Hesselin.
Ce sont les chappitres ordōnes estres fais Par le roy nostre sire touchant le fait de la chose publicque avec les oppinions. Et responces des gens sages des bōnes villes de son Royaulme. Avec la lettre du turcq envoye au grant maystre de Roddez le. xxvij. de Aoust. Mille cinq cens et. xvj. Cum privilegio.
Ce sont les chappitres ordōnes estres fais Par le roy nostre sire touchant le fait de la chose publicque avec les oppinions. Et responces des gens sages des bōnes villes de son Royaulme. Avec la lettre du turcq envoye au grant maystre de Roddez le. xxvij. de Aoust. Mille cinq cens et. xvj. Cum privilegio.
Sultan Selim I’s 1516 Letter of Conquest From Aleppo

Ce sont les chappitres ordōnes estres fais Par le roy nostre sire touchant le fait de la chose publicque avec les oppinions. Et responces des gens sages des bōnes villes de son Royaulme. Avec la lettre du turcq envoye au grant maystre de Roddez le. xxvij. de Aoust. Mille cinq cens et. xvj. Cum privilegio.

[S.l.]: [s.n.], [n.d., but after August 27 1516]. First edition. Title page with large woodcut illustration showing the King on his throne surrounded by the delegates. In Bastarda type, with two floral woodcut initials. In later hard paper. Gilt title vignette on spine, damaged. [20] p. Concise marginal notes and page-numbers in ink by a contemporary hand throughout. Trimming of the leaves slightly affects the glosses, with no effect to legibility, otherwise, the margins are wide. Title page crinkled at the upper right corner, with a small tear, that only affects the margin. Narrow inkblot to the lower margin throughout. B4 with two light brown stains, C1 crinkled at lower corner. Bookplates on the inner front panel (G. J. Arvanitidi; Antoine Mouradian). Overall in very good condition.

A bibliographically unrecorded, early sixteenth-century French book about royal ordinances regarding the commonwealth, along with the French translation of Sultan Selim I’s letter of conquest (fethname) addressed to the Grand Master of Rhodes.

The first and major part of the book presents nine concepts of orders of Francis I (1494–1547, King of France from 1515 until his death) regarding the commonwealth (chose publique). The drafts concern such topics as the commerce of spices and drugs, wool, cloth, and other goods (chapter 1–4), the weights and equivalents of coins, and the recognized foreign currencies (chapter 5), the recognized units of measures (chapter 6), the regulation of the extravagance of clothing (chapter 7), the inn trade (chapter 8), and the money that goes to Rome, for obtaining Bulls (chapter 9).

The second section comprises the responses to the aforementioned concepts of the representatives of the Good Cities (Bonnes Villes), Provence and Dauphiné who had been previously assembled in Paris by the order of the King in March 1516. In most cases they requested a delay of reply, to discuss the matters with those who they were representing.

The third section presents the grievances and requests delivered to the King by the delegates, regarding the provincial councils (conciles provinciaux), the prolixity of the trials, the tariffs, the public officers, the superior courts (cours souveraines), the land taxes (tailles), and the abuse and plunder by the soldiers crossing the kingdom.

These sections were recorded and written down by the court clerk Jean Hesselin, Seigneur of Girodon. Hesselin mentions himself twice (p. [14] and [17]), once by name (p. [14]) within the text.

The final part is the French translation of the Ottoman Sultan, Selim I’s fethname (letter of conquest), sent on 27 August 1516, from Aleppo, to Fabrizio del Carretto (1455–1521), Grand Master (Magnus Magister) of the Knights Hospitaller in Rhodes, between 1513 and 1521. The fethname, accordingly to its genre, details Selim’s expedition and the conquest, and emphasizes the power and grandeur of the Sultan and his army.

Selim I (1470–1520) ascended the throne as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire in 1512. He is remembered for the enormous expansion of the Empire during his reign, thus raise the Ottomans to the leaders of the Muslim world. Selim’s most notable deed was the conquer of the Mamluk Sultanate, which included Levant, Hejaz, and Egypt in 1516 and 1517 at the Battles of Marj Dabiq and Ridaniya.

The Battle of Marj Dabiq, near Aleppo, took place on August 24, 1516, where Selim defeated the Mamluk Sultan Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghuri. This was a decisive victory of the war between the Ottoman Empire and the Mamluk Sultanate, which ended in the conquest of much of the Middle East. Such an expansion of the Ottoman territory was a clear threat to Rhodes, which was the nearest Christian possession to the coast of Asia, halfway between Constantinople and Egypt. At the time the Grand Master in Rhodes was the Italian admiral Fabrizio del Carretto (1455–1521; Grand Master from 1513 to 1521), for a short interlude of a course of fifty-five years of Frenchmen serving as the supreme heads of the Order. Selim announced his victory and forecasted his threat to del Carretto in a fethname, (presented here in French translation), however eventually he did not have the time to conduct the campaign against Rhodes. It was his successor Suleiman I, who conquered the island in 1522, thus gained control over the eastern Mediterranean for the next centuries. By the time of the siege, the commander of the Order was again a Frenchman, Grand Master Philippe Villiers de L’Isle-Adam (1464–1534). Suleiman allowed him and the surviving knights to leave unmolested and eventually the Hospitallers were quartered permanently on Malta in 1530.

To the best of our knowledge the original fethname has not survived, and we could not trance any other printed version or edition of the French translation. We could find one surviving copy of a Spanish translation of Selim’s letter, which was addressed to Pope Leo X, titled Carta de nuevas grandes buenas y ciertas embiada a nuestro s. padre Leon X de las cosas que han passado en Levante entre el gran turcho y el gran solda (Valencia, Juan Viñao, 1517?; Norton 1256, IB 11215, USTC 344377), kept at Cambridge University Library (F151.d.8.12).

Provenance: Bookplate of Georgios Arvanitidis (1876–1953), a noted Constantinopolitan collector of books on Turkish and Greek history. Bookplate with the motto “On abuse du vrai” of Antoine Mouradian.

Ref.: Bibliographically unrecorded.

Bibl.: Setton, K. M., Hazard, H. W. (ed.): A History of the Crusades. Vol. 3. Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1975. pp. 332–335. Pedani-Fabris, M. P.: Ottoman Fetihnames. The Imperial letters announcing a Victory. In: Tarih İncelemeleri Dergisi 13 (1998). 181–192.

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Price: €35,000.00