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Missione Al Gran Mogor del P. Ridolfo Aquaviva della Compagnia di Giesu. Sua Vita e Morte E d'altri quattro Compagni uccisi in odio della Fede in Salsete in Goa

Bartoli, P. Daniello

Rome. Per Il Varese... Con Licenza de'Superiori. 1663
First edition of Bartoli's account of the mission of the Jesuit Ridolfo Aquaviva to the Court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great in 1580.

Daniello Bartoli (1608 - 1685), the most important historian of the Jesuits, recounts the life and mission of Father Ridolfo Aquaviva to the court of the enlightened Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great in 1580. Summoned by Akbar from Goa, Aquaviva, the first Jesuit missionary to be admitted to the Mughal court and a man whom Akbar appears to have liked personally, took part in many of the religious debates instigated by Akbar between Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Catholics and even secular atheists. Aquaviva hoped to convert Akbar to Christianity, thereby introducing Catholicism as the state religion, however the Emperor, with his rationalist approach to the divine, made benign use of the missionary and his teachings as a tool against the entrenched Muslim hierarchy and hoped to introduce Christianity as another religion in his quest for religious toleration. Further, Akbar wished to open diplomatic channels with the Pope, the King of Spain and Aquaviva's uncle, Father Claudio Aquaviva, the head of the Jesuit order; these intentions chimed in no way with Portuguese policy and Akbar's envoys were impeded and forestalled at Goa. Aquaviva, despite the Emperor's wish for him to remain at court and in his determination to be martyred for his faith, returned to Goa and eventually fulfilled his determination in Salsete in 1583 in company with four others: the Jesuits Alfonso Paceco, Pietro Berni and Antonio Franceschi and the Dominican Francesco Aragna.

Bartoli, who entered the Jesuit order in 1623, was highly regarded for his prose and was called to Rome in 1650 where he was installed as the historian of the order. This independent publication was later incorporated into Bartoli's general history of the Jesuits. A second edition was published the following year in Milan.

Bartoli's work is rare: only this copy appears in auction records for the last 35 years and COPAC lists no copies in the British Isles.
pp. 218, (ii). 12mo. (145 x 80 mm). Printed title with woodcut vignette, leaf with short Latin preface and privilege verso, dedication leaf, five-line woodcut decorative initial to first leaf of text, discreet red stamp (illegible) to title page. Condition: small hole to title with no loss of text, leaf A4 with central horizontal tear not affecting text, degree of browning throughout, hinges and joints of vellum splitting. Full contemporary vellum, manuscript title and call number to spine.