A Voyage into the Levant: Perform'd by Command of the Late French King

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Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708) was originally destined for the church, but his interest in botany led him to become professor of botany at the Jardin des plantes in Paris, and to travel all over Europe and beyond in search of interesting specimens. He was chiefly interested in the classification of plants, but is now best remembered for the accounts he wrote of voyages undertaken for the purpose of scientific discovery. This illustrated two-volume work, published posthumously in French in 1717 and translated into English the following year, recounts a journey begun in 1700, around the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, visiting Crete and other Greek islands, Istanbul, Armenia and Georgia. Tournefort notes not only plants, but geographical features, antiquities, the people he encounters, and their way of life, agriculture and industry. Volume 2 continues the journey around the Black Sea and describes the voyage home.