kurdish studies in russia
JABA, Alexandre [and MAHMUD BAYAZIDI, in Kurdish: MEHMUDE BAZIDI]. Recueil de Notices et Récits Kourdes, servant à la Connaissance de la Langue, de la Littérature et des Tribus du Kourdistan, reunis et traduits en français. Saint Petersburg, Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1860.
Large 8vo. 20th century cloth, spine ruled and lettered in gilt; pp. x, 111, [iv], 128, , the second part in Kurdish using Arabic letters; entirely uncut, a little spotted in places, a few initial gatherings with inner lower corners with insect damage, far away from the printed surface; a good copy of a great rarity.
First edition of this introduction into the tribal structure of the Kurds, their literature and examples of historical tales and anecdotes, printed in both French and Kurdish. Jaba (of Polish origin, August Kościesza-Żaba) was the Russian consul in Erzurum and interested in Kurdish culture and literature. He later published a Kurdish-French dictionary. For this collection of tales of political and historical wisdom he had teamed up with the Kurdish-born scholar Mahmud Bayazidi (1797-1859), who had studied Arabic, Persian, Ottoman and Kurdish in Turkey and Tabriz, Iran. After the fall of Kurdish emirates in Bayazid, his birth place, he moved to Erzerum. In 1856 the Russian Orientalist Boris Andreevich Dorn had asked Jaba, to collect Kurdish documents. Bayazidi and Jaba played an instrumental role in preserving Kurdish literature by collecting more than 50 volumes of Kurdish classic texts in manuscript, sent them to the Library of Saint Petersburg, which now holds one of the most important collections of Kurdish literature. After the Crimean War which had sparked much interest in Kurdish civilisation the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg became the world centre of Kurdish Studies.
COPAC locates copies at Oxford, Cambridge, SOAS and in Manchester; not in the British Library; the only copy listed in book auction records was sold in the US in 1945 for $30.