[SOLAR ECLIPSES / FIRST PERSIAN EDITION OF FLAMMARION’S BOOK] Risala-e hay’at-e jadîd: Char-e gusûf. [i.e., Tractate of New Sky: Four Solar Eclipses]

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Matbaa-e Majlis, Tehran, 1312 = [1933].

In modern brown full morocco. Foolscap 8vo. (18 x 12 cm). In Persian. 156, [1] p., richly illustrated with reproduced woodcuts from Flammarion’s “Petit astronomie”, taken from its Russian edition, and a portrait of translator Talibov at the end.

Rare first Persian edition of Flammarion’s “Petit astronomie”, translated from an early Russian edition, by Mirza Abdul'Rahim Talibov Tabrizi (1834-1911), also known as Talibov, was an Iranian Azerbaijani intellectual and social reformer. This book was published as a supplement to the Series of “Gâhnâmâ”, which was one of the first steps in providing the knowledge of astronomy to the public in Iran by Seyyed Jalaladdin Tehrânî (1894-1987), an Iranian astronomer, mathematician, and politician during the Pahlavi era.

The book includes a richly illustrated and remarkable description of the solar eclipses besides briefly the usual subjects of astronomy. Flammarion also reported the 17 April 1912 Hybrid eclipse, a total solar eclipse occurred at the Moon's ascending node of the orbit on April 17, 1912 (Gregorian Calendar) (April 4, 1912, in Julian Calendar, Russia, Turkey, and Balkans).

TRANSLATOR: Talibov wrote all his works after the age of fifty-five. He had by then attained a degree of financial security that enabled him to devote the next twenty-one years of his life to writing and translating from Russian into Persian. Except for his last two books, he published all his works at his own expense. Of his last two books, the first, Īzāhāt dar Khosus-e Azādi (Explanations Concerning Freedom), was published in Tehran after the victory of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, and the second, Siyāsat-e Tālibi (Tālibian Politics), was published posthumously in Tehran a few months after his death in 1911. During his lifetime, two of Talibi's works, namely Ketāb-e Ahmad yā Safineh-ye Tālebi (Ahmad's Book or the Talibian Vessel) and Masālek'ol-Moh'senin (The Ways of the Charitable), achieved great eminence. Ketāb-e Ahmad, which consists of two volumes, was inspired by Jean-Jacques Rousseau's tract on education Emile. The book is based on conversations between the author and his fictional seven-year-old son, Ahmad, whose searching and inquisitive mind compels his father to expand on a wide range of scientific, historical, political, and religious topics. Their dialogue on these issues reveals Talibi's social reformism.

PUBLISHER: Seyyed Jalaladdin Tehrânî studied for some time at Tarbiat School in Tehran, then studied religious sciences at Sepehsalar School. After religious preliminary education, he turned to astronomy. The publication of several issues of his journal titled “Gâhnâma” was one of the first steps in providing the knowledge of astronomy to the public in Iran. He travelled to Europe on behalf of the government in 1313 and completed his studies in astronomy in Brussels and Paris and taught in Brussels for a while.

As of January 2024, the OCLC shows eleven copies worldwide, seven of them are in the US libraries: Princeton University Library, Concordia Theological Seminary, Virginia Tech, HathiTrust Digital Library, Concordia College Library, Dallas Theological Seminary, and Hawaii Pacific University. In this register, the book has 230 pages. Our copy has 156 p., but it’s complete.