GEORGEVIC, Bartolomej. . De afflictione, tam captivorum quam etiam sub Turcae tributo viventium christianorum.

Worms: Gregor Hofmann, 1545., Gregor Hofmann., 1545

Octavo (147 x 90 mm.), 36 unnumbered leaves, title-page with a small vignette, 7 half page illustrations in the text and a woodcut representing the author on last page. A good copy bound in XX century red morocco.


Extremely rare second edition (first published in Germany) of Georgevic's illustrated first-hand account of his capture and escape from Ottoman captivity. It includes a description of Turkish customs and a short Latin-Turkish dictionary of common words and sentences, as well as the first Croatian-Latin dictionary.

Bartolomej Georgevic, also known as Bartol Đurđević (1506 - 1566) was born in Mala Mlaka, then part of the Kingdom of Hungary (now part of Croatia). After studying in Kalocsa and Esztergom, Georgevic was captured and enslaved during the Ottoman invasion of Hungary in the 1526 Battle of Mohács, led by Suleiman the Magnificent. He was sold seven times and was under Turkish captivity for twelve years, escaping later to Armenia. In the late 1530's Georgevic travelled through the Middle East to Jerusalem, for which he became known as the 'Jerusalem Pilgrim'. Upon his return to Europe via Antwerp, he published the first edition of De afflictione in 1544 and continued to travel through Worms, Vienna, Krakow and Uppsala, finally settling in Rome in 1552.

Georgevic was one of the first Slavs whose publications became widespread and popular throughout Europe, in particular due to his first-hand accounts of the Christians' imprisonment by the Ottoman invasions. These events left a big mark in his writing, where the threat of Turkish danger is a constant presence, and where he strongly encouraged anti-Ottoman resistance for all European nations. Georgevic's text is illustrated by seven crisp woodcuts depicting scenes of enslavement, endured labour, attempted escape by swimming, and subsequent torture suffered by Christian prisoners during their captivity in Constantinople. An additional woodcut illustration at the end of the volume shows the author kneeling before god during his pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The Latin-Turkish lexicon contains simple sentences and questions adequate to beginner learners of the language, such as ‘Where were you born?' and ‘Peace be upon you, prince'.

Additionally, the author is widely known as a lexicographer and polyglot, responsible for writing first Croatian-Latin dictionary - half a century older than the famous Vrančić dictionary from 1595. This was first published in the first edition of De afflictione, printed in 1544 in Antwerp, using Štokavian script. The lexicon is also included in this second edition of the work.

Despite the prevalent anti-Ottoman sentiment of the work, this account of Turkey became a popular description of Turkish culture to European audiences. It was widely disseminated, reprinted and translated into Dutch, English, German, Czech and Italian. Certain parts were also incorporated into the works of Sansovino, Luther, and Melanchthon.

No recorded copies of this edition in American and British libraries.


USTC 628920; not in Brunet; not in Adams; Monok, I. La Hongrie et l'édition alsacienne, 1482-1621 Conjoncture éditoriale et évolution des représentations d'un pays, 2016.


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