Arsāniyūs Shukrī al-Ḥakīm’s Account of His Journey to France, the Iberian Peninsula, and Italy (1748–1757) from Travel Journal to Edition

In: Philological Encounters
Feras Krimsti University of Oxford

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In 1748, the monk Arsāniyūs Shukrī al-Ḥakīm (1707–1786), a member of the Lebanese Maronite Order in Mount Lebanon, was sent to Catholic Europe, tasked with securing financial support and the protection of the French King for his indebted order. The literary byproduct of this journey through the Christian lands of Western Europe was an extensive travel account. Based on recent manuscript findings, the present contribution examines the different versions in which this ego-document has been transmitted, including the original travel journal written en route by Arsāniyūs himself, copies by contemporaries who turned the travel journal into a travelogue, an excerpt included in an anthology dating to the 1870s, and finally the edition by the Jesuit scholar Ferdinand Taoutel (1887–1977). The account of the journey, it is argued, remained the object of a philological engagement that was meant to guarantee the continuity of its relevance and use in changing contexts.

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