The Nestorians or The Lost Tribes: Containing Evidence of Their Identity; Their Manners, Customs, and Ceremonies.

Grant, Asahel.

Book ID: 7125


Small 8vo. viii, 320 pp., 1 folding engraved map, contemporary half calf, with marbled boards, appendix, previous owner’s name inscribed on title page, foxing to endpapers, cut to edge of page 31 without loss to text, small closed cut to edge of map without any loss, worm hole to lower edge of front endpaper, otherwise copy in very good condition, John Murray, London, second English edition, 1843.


This is one of the most interesting of the many accounts produced by missionaries in the Levant. After Smith’s and Dwight’s account of their travels in Persia in 1831 it was decided to undertake a mission to the Nestorians which would include a physician. Grant and his wife arrived in Turkey in 1835 and travelled overland 700 miles to Tabriz on the border between Persia and Turkey, east of Lake Urmiah. The mission itself was established in Urmiah, west of the lake and at the foot of the mountainous region which separates Lake Van from Lake Urmiah. In 1839 Grant made a dangerous journey into this region in order to find the independent Nestorians, whom he believed to be one of the lost tribes of Israel. In 1840 he returned to the States and arranged for his book to be published, but he soon went back to Persia to establish a mission at Ashitha (Asheta), in the middle of Kurdistan, for the mountain Nestorians. The attention thus drawn to these people may have created tensions between them and the Kurds; they were massacred by the Kurds in 1843. Grant managed to escape to Mosul, where he died in 1844 of a fever while ministering to refugees.
Bibliographic references: Blackmer 721 for 1842 edition; Bevis 84.

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