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The Thomas Christians on the Malabar coast

GOUVEA (or GOVEA), Antonio and Aleixo de MENEZES.
Histoire orientale des grans progres de l'eglise Cathol. Apost. & Rom. en la reduction des anciens Chrestiens ...
Brussels, Rutger Velpius, 1609.
(2) GLEN, Jean Baptise de and Aleixo de MENEZES. La messe des anciens Chrestiens, dicts de S. Thomas, en l' évesché d' Angamal és Indes Orientales ...
Brussels, Rutger Velpius, 1609.
2 works in 1 volume, the 2nd in 2 parts. 8vo. With a small woodcut vignette on both title-pages, some woodcut head- and tail-pieces, and woodcut decorated initials. Ad 1 with an engraved illustration depicting a Biblical scene mounted as a frontispiece on the verso of the second free flyleaf. Contemporary brown calf, sewn on 4 supports with corresponding raised bands on the spine, gold-tooled spine with the title lettered in gold in the second compartment, red sprinkled edges. [1], [1 blank], [42], 748; [1], [1 blank], [10], 123, [1] pp.
€ 9,500
Ad 1: First French edition of António de Gouvea's account Jornada do Arcebispo de Goa Dom Frey Aleixo de Menezes, first published in Portuguese in Coimbra, 1606. It details the Jesuit-Portuguese success in aligning the St. Thomas Christians of Malabar with the Latin Church, which was related to the trade struggles in the 16th and early 17th century between the Portuguese and their European and Indian rivals. The original Portuguese text was translated into French by Jean Baptiste de Glen (1552-1613), an Augustinian theologian. There are two issues of this edition with two different imprints: one published by J. Verdussen in Antwerp, and one (our copy) published in Brussels by R. Velpius. The text was also translated into Spanish by Francois Munoz, but remained in manuscript.
Ad 2: Published under a separate title, these two texts do, in fact, belong together. The Historie orientale and the two texts in La messe des anciens Chrestiens form a single book. Following the dedication to Abbot Gilles de Sprimont, is the Remonstrance Catholique by Jean Baptise Glen. He expands on the Histoire Orientale and presents the edifying lessons the inhabitants of the Southern Netherlands can draw from it, including interesting remarks on the Christian Syro-Malabar ritual and liturgy, purified from the influence of Nestorianism, a Christian heresy that held Jesus to be two distinct persons.
The subsequent part is by Aleixo de Menezes on the Mass of the first Christians, La messe des anciens Chrestiens on pp. 77-123 in which he deals with the content of the Mass and in which he gives the full Latin text. These two parts together, published as one book, are considered as a major contribution to the history of Christianity in India in general and the St. Thomas Christians on the Malabar Coast in particular.
With a contemporary manuscript inscription on the recto of the second free flyleaf and a contemporary manuscript inscription on the title-page of ad 1. The binding shows some signs of wear, second free flyleaf, the title-page and the the first page of the dedication to ad 1 are restored in the upper outer corner, the top margin is cut rather close to the text, without affecting it. Otherwise in good condition. Bibl. Belg. III, G3; Cioranescu, 33232, 33233; Lach, Asia in the Making of Europe, III, I, pp. 320-1, 395; USTC 6167300 (7 copies); cf. STCV 6689348 (1 copy, other issue)
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