The French author and traveller Constantin-Francois de Chasseboeuf
(1757-1820) adopted the pen name Volney, which combined the name of
Voltaire and Ferney, where the great philosopher lived. A friend of
Thomas Jefferson and other Enlightenment figures, Volney used an
inheritance to further his education by travelling to Ottoman Egypt
and the historical region of Syria, visiting areas of present-day
Lebanon and Israel. He chose these lands as he believed he would
gain political and philosophical insights from their ancient
heritage. Very little had been written in the West about these
areas before he published this two-volume account in 1787. It
enjoyed great popularity and even accompanied Darwin aboard the
Beagle on his own voyage of discovery decades later. Reissued here
is the revised and corrected French second edition, which also
appeared in 1787. Volume 1 delves into the geography, ethnic
divisions, religious beliefs, commerce and politics of Egypt and
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