Arabic Books and a Moroccan Treasure: Colonel Percival Kirke and Mulay Ismail, 1682-1683

Matar, Nabil
April 2011
Seventeenth Century;Spring2011, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p119
Academic Journal
Europeans pirates and armies often seized Arabic manuscripts, which North African rulers tried to retrieve. In 1682-83, Mulay Ismail (reg. 1672-1727) tried to retrieve a book with a treasure map that had been taken from the library of Mulay Ahmad al-Mansur (reg. 1578-1603). Letters in the Colonial Office (CO) collection at the National Archives describe the exchange that took place between Ismail and Colonel Percival Kirke in Tangier regarding the books, and Kirke's use of the treasure map to negotiate better relations with the Moroccans. Although no treasure was found, Ismail and later North African rulers continued trying to bring the books back until the end of the eighteenth century.


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