A translation of the Jewish scholar, Jacob d'Ancona's account of his journey to Zaitun, the City of Light in China, from Italy in 1270 which describes the mercantile economy he found there, as well as throwing light on the contemporary relationship of Jews and Christians.
In 1270, Jewish scholar-merchant Jacob d'Ancona embarked on a remarkable voyage from his native Italy to Zaitun, the City of Light, a vast coastal metropolis in Southern China. Translated and edited by David Selbourne from a manuscript hidden from the outside world for centuries, it is a brilliant work of historical significance, a fascinating first-person insight into life in the 13th century. It describes a thriving mercantile economy, whose vigorous manufacture and lavish consumption in the shadow of the impending Mongol invasion represent the swansong of a wealthy, decadent and surprisingly 'modern' society. Jacob d'Ancona's participation as a foreign trader in the grand civic debates shed unique light on, for example, the contemporary relationship of Jews and Christians, and the role for the individual in society - arguments of enduring relevance. It includes an end-piece by David Selbourne discussing the reaction to the 1997 hardback publication.
Why buy from World of Books
Our excellent value books literally don't cost the earth
Puts Marco's prose in the shade ... far too grand a book to do justice to in a short review Robyn Davidson, THE TIMES A lost masterpiece of early travel writing, a gutsy fascinating account Charles Nicholl, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY One of the most important manuscripts ever discovered ... the extraordinary adventure of a merchant-scholar which will lead us into the past once again blazing with light SUNDAY TELEGRAPH This book is a many-splendoured achievement. Moreover it is a feat of scholarship. OBSERVER
About Jacob D'Ancona
David Selbourne was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Oxford and for two decades taught at Ruskin College, Oxford. He is a philosopher and author of THE PRINCIPLE OF DUTY, and THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE.
The City Of Light by Jacob D'Ancona
Used - Very Good
Little, Brown Book Group
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.