Enquiries touching the Diversity of Languages, and Religions through the cheife Parts of the World…. Edward BREREWOOD.
Enquiries touching the Diversity of Languages, and Religions through the cheife Parts of the World…
Enquiries touching the Diversity of Languages, and Religions through the cheife Parts of the World…
Enquiries touching the Diversity of Languages, and Religions through the cheife Parts of the World…
Enquiries touching the Diversity of Languages, and Religions through the cheife Parts of the World…
Enquiries touching the Diversity of Languages, and Religions through the cheife Parts of the World…

Enquiries touching the Diversity of Languages, and Religions…
Enquiries touching the Diversity of Languages, and Religions through the cheife Parts of the World…

London: Printed for John Bill, 1614.

Small quarto, bound with another work in contemporary limp vellum; boxed.

"The Inhabitants of that South continent, are Idolaters"

First edition: containing a little noticed discussion of the Southern Continent and its likely inhabitants. Brerewood, Professor of Astronomy and scholar in many fields, explores the spread of ancient, eastern and modern languages, discusses the tongues in which the liturgy is celebrated, and identifies the parts of the world where Christians live, and the other parts where 'idolaters' flourish. Along the way there are digressions on the height of mountains, the depth of the sea, and the dimensions of whales and elephants. "Besides presenting the religions of the world and the areas dominated by them, Brerewood discusses the size and populations of little-known regions and even speculates on the size of the Great Southern Continent…" (James Ford Bell). There are also a number of references to America, including reports on the religious practices encountered by Spanish and Portuguese explorers, a report of converts "above the Bay of California, of whom as yet, histories make so little report, that of their number I can make no estimate", and an attempt to prove that the indigenous Americans were descended from Tartar stock.

First edition: containing a little noticed discussion of the Southern Continent and its likely inhabitants. Brerewood, Professor of Astronomy and scholar in many fields, explores the spread of ancient, eastern and modern languages, discusses the tongues in which the liturgy is celebrated, and identifies the parts of the world where Christians live, and the other parts where 'idolaters' flourish. Along the way there are digressions on the height of mountains, the depth of the sea, and the dimensions of whales and elephants. "Besides presenting the religions of the world and the areas dominated by them, Brerewood discusses the size and populations of little-known regions and even speculates on the size of the Great Southern Continent…" (James Ford Bell). There are also a number of references to America, including reports on the religious practices encountered by Spanish and Portuguese explorers, a report of converts "above the Bay of California, of whom as yet, histories make so little report, that of their number I can make no estimate", and an attempt to prove that the indigenous Americans were descended from Tartar stock.

Of great interest is the extended reference to "Beach", the supposed Australia of Marco Polo, the "southern continent not yet discovered" ("Beach" is an old corruption, perpetuated by Mercator, stemming from a misprint of "Locach" in the 1532 edition of Grynaeus): "But if the South or Antarctique continent, be so large, as I am verily perswaded it is (even no lesse, than that of the East before mentioned, which containeth Europe, Afrique, and Asia together) then will the Idolaters be found to surpasse all the other religions, in exceeding great proportion, for that the Inhabitants of that South continent, are Idolaters, there is no question at all (as I take it) to bee made, both because in the parts hitherto known, as namely in the region of Beach, over against Java, they were found to be so: And also, because they are knowne to be no other than Idolaters, that inhabite all those parts of the other continents, that neighbour most towards them…" (p. 119). This is followed by quite a long discussion of antipodal weights and other arguments about the Southern Continent.

Brerewood's book is bound here with another work by him, a study of ancient coins: De Ponderibus, et Pretiis Veterum Nummorum (also London, 1614).

Provenance: Matthew Hutton (1639-1711, antiquarian, Rector of Aynhoe, and like Brerewood a graduate of Brasenose College, Oxford), with signature on front endpaper.

James Ford Bell, B488; Parker, Books to Build an Empire, pp. 236 & 262; STC, 3618 and 3612.

Price (AUD): $9,850.00  other currencies Ref: #3907227

Condition Report