[THE PRINCE OF MOLDOVIA'S EASTERN LANGUAGES LEXICON] Dictionnaire français-arabe, persan et turc, enrichi d'exemples en langue turque, avec des variantes, et beaucoup de mots d'arts et de sciences. Vol. 1: A-E. Vol. 2: F-O. Vol. 3: P-Z. 3 volumes set
ALEXANDER HANDJERI [or HANGERLI, HANDZERLI, HANDGERIU], (Dragoman of the Porte of the Ottoman Empire, and Prince of Moldavia between March 7 and July 24, 1807), (1768-1854)., Imprimerie de l'Université Impériale., Moscou - Moscow, (1840-1842).
Contemporary quarter leather bindings. 4to. (28 x 22 cm). In French, Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 3 volumes set: (992 p.; 659 p.; 806 p.). Slight wear and fading on bindings and spines, stains on pages. Overall a good set.
First and only edition of this early comprehensive dictionary between multiple Eastern languages of Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Turkish, and French. Handjeri (Hangerli) had begun work on the volumes as early as 1806, upon the request of Armand Charles Guilleminot (1774-1840), a French general during the Napoleonic wars, later ambassador to the Sublime Porte and awarded the Order of St. Anna. He completed the book in 1840 and dedicated it to the Russian Tsar Nicolas I, who had it published at the Russian Imperial press.
In the preface of his work, Alexandre Handjeri states that he tried to enrich his dictionary with artistic and technical terms in order to be useful to the travelers and merchants as well as the poets and that his book has distinctive features from previous dictionaries such as Meninsky's dictionary. The book, which was sent to Istanbul for the review of the printing sample, was introduced in Takvîm-i Vekâyi [i.e. the first newspaper published in the Imperial Ottoman] before the first volume was published. Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid ordered 200 copies in his own name, and also sent a jewel-decorated box to Handjéri as a gift for his service to the Turkish language and culture when the work is published.
Handjeri was born in Constantinople, received a thorough education, trained to speak several European languages, as well as Ottoman Turkish and Arabic, and prepared for a high-ranking position in the Danubian Principalities. In his twenties, he married a princess of the Callimachi family. Although coming into conflict with Ottoman officials on several occasions, Handjeri was promoted to the Dragoman of the Porte in 1805 and he maintained the office for the following two years until Sultan Selim III appointed him Prince of Moldavia in place of the deposed Alexander Mourousis. He was nevertheless prevented from reaching his court in Iashi by the Russian occupation of the country, and instead followed the Ottoman Army in their offensive. He was able to gain his throne after the Treaty of Bucharest and played a major part in re-establishing the country's administration. Upon the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence, Handjeri felt threatened by a possible Ottoman move against the Phanariotes. He was allegedly warned by the Russian ambassador to the Porte, Alexander Grigoriyevich Stroganov, that, as a prominent Greek in Istanbul, he risked being assassinated, and so he decided to flee the country. Handjeri and his family (including his two sons, Gregory and Telemach), embarked on a small ship and set sail across the Black Sea, dropping anchor at Odesa (where they were given asylum by Novorossiya's governor, Alexandre Langeron). Soon he moved to Moscow, where he was awarded honors by Emperor Nicolas I. His title was recognized by Russian nobility, and his two sons were appointed Counselors. (Source: Wikipedia).