Travels in the Levant: The Observations of Pierre Belon of Le Mans on Many Singularities and Memorable Things Found in Greece, Turkey, Judaea, Egypt, Arabia and Other Foreign Countries (1553) by Pierre Belon (Paperback, 2012)
In 1546, Pierre Belon - already a naturalist of some rewn - travelled to Constantiple in the entourage of the French Ambassador to Suleiman the Magnificent. En route, he visited Venice, Ragusa, Corfu and Crete, and over the next two years travelled throughout the Ottoman domains, - to Egypt, Anatolia, Arabia, and the Holy Land - returning to France in 1549. Wherever he went, Belon described plants, birds, mammals and fish, and recorded the customs of the inhabitants - what they ate, how they reared their children - collecting information on almost every aspect of the lands through which he passes. He did t rely on hearsay, on previous accounts, or on authority: what we have are his own observations, and the result of assiduous questioning and meticulous recording. His Observations, 'written in our ordinary French tongue', were published in 1553. In April 1564, Pierre Belon was murdered by persons unkwn while crossing the Bois de Boulogne. Although Pierre Belon is well kwn as a naturalist, and - with his treatises on fish and birds - as a founder of comparative anatomy, his Observations have t previously appeared, in full, in English. Following a distinguished career as a civil servant, James Hogarth acquired a reputation as a versatile and punctilious translator. His translations span travel guides, archaeological texts, and vels. His 2002 translation of Victor Hugo's Travailleurs de la Mer was awarded the French-American Foundation Translation Prize. He died in 2006.