Kazan': University typ. 1849. Item #203
xv, , 339, 149, ,  pp. Octavo. With eight lithographed plans and views (e-catalogues of Russian State and Russian National libraries call for nine plates, but the e-copy from the catalogue of Russian State Library is identical to our copy; a copy from the Warsaw University calls for eight plates). Contemporary half leather with marbled paper boards and color stamped title on the spine. Ink library numbers on the title page and p.17, and library paper labels on the top of the front cover and the spine. Binding rubbed and worn, with cracks on the top and bottom of the spine, a few of first and last leaves with mild stains on corners of the pages, but overall a very good internally clean copy.
First edition. Very rare.
Historically important well written account of travels to Dagestan and modern Azerbaijan by a noted Russian Orientalist, Turkologist, later professor of Kazan University (1846-55) and St. Petersburg University (since 1855) Ilya Berezin (1818-1896). Shortly after his graduation from the Eastern faculty of the Kazan University with the degree of Master in Eastern Philology Berezin was sent on an extensive scientific travel to the Caucasus, Persia, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Turkey, which lasted for over three years (1842-45). This book gives a detailed account of the first part of his travel – in the southern provinces of the Russian Empire: Dagestan and the Transcaucasia (modern Azerbaijan). Berezin went from Astrakhan to Tarki (now a suburb of Makhachkala), and from there to Derbent (Dagestan), Quba, Baku, Salyan, Lankaran and Astara (Transcaucasia). He gives a detailed and valuable description of the history and geography of the region, overviews Russian expeditions to the Caspian Sea, talks about Muslim antiquities and architecture, local people, their occupations, manners and customs, language, food; notes about the Caucasian War (1817-1864) and rebel forces of Imam Shamil; special chapters are dedicated to Derbent and Baku and describe their history, architecture, population, trade and industries at length.
150-page comments refer to numerous sources in Persian, Arabic, Turkish, French and Latin, used by Berezin. The supplements include tables of meteorological observations; tables of distances between Tarki and Astara, from cities of Dagestan and Transcaucasia to Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Tiflis; statistical tables showing population, buildings, industries, churches, mosques etc. of Derbent and Baku; alphabetic catalogue of the library of a Baku bibliophile; alphabetic index of geographical names et al.
The illustrations include a plan of the Derbent Wall; two views of Derbent (the mosque and the Kyrkhlyar cemetery); general plan of the fortress and the city of Derbent; plan of the Palace of the Shirvanshahs in Baku; two leaves of facsimile of inscriptions on the walls and tombstones in Derbent; and a map of the mouths of the Kura River and the Ghizil-Agaj bay of the Caspian Sea. Second revised and enlarged edition of the book was published in Kazan in 1850 (in three parts, with different numeration, but under one title page). Second part of the account of Berezin’s travels titled ‘‘Travel to the Northern Persia’’ was published in Kazan in 1852.
Only two paper copies found in Worldcat (Leiden University, Warsaw University).