Xavier, Francisco de (1506-1552), et al.
Diversi Avisi Particolari Dall’Indie di Portogallo : riceuuti, dall’anno 1551. fino al 1558,
dalli Reuerendi padri della Compagnia di Giesv; Dove S’Intende Delli Paesi, delle genti, & costumi loro, & la grande conuersione di molti popoli, che hanno riceuuto il lume della santa sede, & religione Christiana; Tradotti nuouamente dalla lingua Spagnuola nella Italiana. (Parts 2-5 titled: Nuovi Avisi delle Indie [or dell’Indie] di Portogallo … … ). In Venetia : Per Michele Tramezzino, 1558 [part 1]; 1559 [part 2]; 1562 [part 3]; 1565 [part 4]; In Brescia : per Giacomo & Policreto Turlini, 1579 [part 5]. All first editions. Five volumes, duodecimo, uniformly presented in fine signed bindings by R. Petit, full red crushed morocco ruled in gilt, spines in compartments with gilt ornament; all edges gilt; ff , 286 [i.e. 294]; , 59; , [1 blank], 316; , 189, [1 printer’s device recto]; , 93; motto around woodcut printer’s device on titles of parts 1-4: “Qual piu fermo–e il mio foglio–e’ il mio presagio.”; part 5 title with woodcut Jesuit device; parts 1-5 with woodcut initials; the first part has the required “A tergo” on leaf iii, and the title states “Anni XV’ – 1558 (see Palau 74650); translated from the Spanish into Italian.
An important collection of early letters from Jesuit missionaries written in the late 1540s and 1550s from Brazil, Ethiopia, Goa, Malacca, China (Macau) and Japan. It is rare to find a complete set of the Tramezzino first editions, together with the fifth part printed in Brescia in 1579.
Lach comments that such letters “were the first to provide Europe with regular information on the progress of the Eastern missions” (Donald F. Lach, Asia in the Making of Europe, I, i, p. 314). Loyola insisted on regular reports from missionaries, and apart from the expected religious content their missives contain much new knowledge concerning geography, ethnology and customs, and current events. Printed versions of letters were circulated by the Jesuits at little or no cost (Lach, ibid., 319). Included is Francis Xavier’s 1549 letter from Kagoshima.
Cordier, Japonica, 47-8; Leclerc 3051.