George Sandys is the author of A Relation of a Journey begun An. Dom. 1610. The earliest extant version of this text was printed in 1615. Further editions appeared in 1621, 1627, 1637, 1652, and 1673. The book, which is elegantly illustrated with copperplate engraved maps and images, is an account of Sandys’s exploits and observations during a trip that he began in 1610. His journal commences its narrative in Venice and describes Ionia, the Aegean, Smyrna, and Constantinople, where he stayed as the guest of the English ambassador, Sir Thomas Glover. He then traveled to Egypt and Palestine and returned to England via Italy and France, arriving home in 1611. Sandys, an aristocratic humanist and translator of Ovid, sprinkles his report with allusions to classical history, literature, and religion. He also has a great deal to say about Ottoman society, its customs, religion, wealth, and power. The excerpt included here, describing the Ottoman sultan Ahmet I and his seraglio, is taken from the 1615 text (George Sandys, A Relation of a Journey begun An. Dom. 1610. Foure Bookes. Containing a description of the Turkish Empire, of Aegypt, of the Holy Land, of the Remote parts of Italy, and Ilands adjoyning [London, 1615]).
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