St John's College I.42 (James 333)

'Le Sieur de la Croix, Les Eglises orientales'. French, c. 1690


Le Sieur de la Croix, diplomat and orientalist (c. 1630s-1704): 'Les Eglises orientales grecque, Armenienne, et Maronite'. De la Croix's authorship is recorded at p. xvii. The work was published in Paris, 1695. It was written after 1673 (see p. vii). On the author, see Paul Sebag, 'Sur deux orientalistes français du XVIIe siècle', Revue de l'Occident Musulman 25 (1978), 89-117. 

Manuscript extra information

250x195 mm. [xlviii]+450+[iv] pp. (original pagination). From the library of Hastings Robinson (1792-1866), Fellow of St John's College, and apparently presented by him in 1861 (inscriptions on the first two flyleaves). The second of these inscriptions, a note dated Warley, Essex, 1861 in Robinson's hand, states that 'this volume professing to be a History of the Greek, Armenian and Maronite Churches, appears to have been written for and dedicated to Louis XIV, by De la Croix, Secretary to the French Embassy at Constantinople. It seems, from the royal arms impressed on the binding, to have belonged to the King's Library. It was, however, purchased by me at an old-book stall near the Quai Voltaire, at Paris, in 1817.' The date of first acquisition is further refined to 14 Feb. 1817 in an earlier inscription on the same page. Despite the 1861 inscription above, this MS is recorded as having been presented by Robinson to St John's in 1817 in SJC, MS U.5*, a 'Catalogue of Dr Newcome's Books in Ii'. It is not, however, in Cowie. The donor may possibly have taken it with him to Warley Rectory when he resigned his Fellowship in 1828, at his marriage, returning it to St John's many years after.

Handsome, very fine presentation copy, a single hand throughout. Paper, slightly wormed at the end, the text measuring c. 140x105 mm, twelve lines to the page. Fine red morocco binding with the royal arms of France in gold, and brightly coloured marbled endpapers, the title on the spine: 'Les Eglise Oriental'.