Trajecti Batavorum: Ex libraria Guilielmi Broedelet, 1714. First edition. Hardcover. Two octavo volumes with continuous pagination, Vol. 1: 1 - 511 pp. Vol. 2: , 515 - 1068 pp. + 84 unpaginated index. Original full calf with gold lettering and tooling on spines. Raised bands. Additional engraved title page. Large folding frontispiece portrait of the author. Title-pages in red and black lettering with engraved vignettes. Illustrated headpieces. Decorative initials. This remarkable work is a fascinating geographical survey of biblical Palestine. Reland was eminently qualified to conduct this exhaustive survey: He was a geographer, cartographer and a polylinguist, possessing - in addition to the European languages - full command of Hebrew, Arabic and classical Greek. His work encompasses 2500 sites mentioned in the Bible, Mishna and Talmud. He began by mapping Eretz Israel, employing plane-table topography, triangulation and a sextant for an extremely accurate map.... He then identified each and every site mentioned in the Bible, Mishna and Talmud with the source of its name. If it was a Jewish source, he quoted the appropriate text from Scripture. If the place name was Roman or Greek in origin, he supplied the source for those. He also conducted a census of each such habitation, with the following data:
1. Not one place in Eretz Israel has a name that originates in Arabic.
Place names are Hebrew, Greek or Roman (Latin), that were given meaningless Arabic derivations. Akko, Haifa, Yafo, Nablus, Gaza or Jenin have no meaning in Arabic, and city names like Ramallah, Al-Khalil and Al-Quds lack historic or philological Arab roots. In 1696, the year of the survey, Ramallah was called Bt’ala (=Beit-El), Hebron was Chevron, and the Cave of the Machpela was Al-Khalil, Arabic for patriarch Avraham.
2. The country was a wasteland. Its few inhabitants were concentrated in cities like Jerusalem, Acre, Safed, Jaffa, Tiberias and Gaza. Most of the city folk were Jewish or Christian, and only a few Muslims, usually Bedouins. Nablus (Shechem)was an exception, home to some 120 Muslims and 70 Shomronim (Samaritans). Natzeret (Nazareth), capital of the Galilee, was inhabited by 700 Christians. Some 5000 people lived in Jerusalem, most of them Jews. Interestingly, Muslims are mentioned only as nomadic Bedouins, who served as seasonal agriculture and construction workers. The population of Gaza was equally divided between Jews and Christians. The Jews raised grapes, olives and wheat crops..., while the Christians were occupied in commerce and transportation of goods. Safed and Tiberias also had Jewish communities, but the only occupation mentioned is fishing in the Sea of Galilee. A city like Um-al-Fahm, for example, is mentioned as a small village consisting of 10 Christian families, with a small Maronite church."
Thus, the main testimony of this survey is that the area referred to as "Palestine" was virtually empty, except for settlements of Jews and few Christians.
This work is profusely illustrated with 9 original steel engraved maps, a genealogical table of the Herods, a table comparing ancient measures of distance, a folded portrait of the author plus 2 other engraved plates. Vol. 2 has a number of steel engraved illustrations of ancient coins as well as a number of tables displaying Semitic linguistic scripts. Heavy rubbing on bindings. Head and tail of spines partly chipped. Hinges starting. Previous owner's stamp on each title page. Minor and sporadic browning and foxing throughout. Text in Latin. Bindings in overall poor to fair, interior in good+ to very good condition. g. Item #31784
Adriaan Reland was a Dutch scholar, cartographer and philologist. One of the early Orientalists, Reland instead became professor of philosophy at the University of Harderwijk . He became well-respected for his thorough and (for those days) objective studies of the Islam and for his knowledge of languages.