London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1876. Folding table; intext B&W engravings. First Edition. Decorated & gilt-stamped cloth. 8vo, gray pictorial gilt decorated cloth, folding "Synoptical Table of the Paleo-Ethnological Remains of Central Italy" as frontispiece (with tissue guard), further illustrated with numerous in-text B&W images of artifacts, black endpapers, xii, [Errata slip] + 275 pages. Good / None. Item #4272
Sir Richard Francis Burton KCMG FRGS (1821 – 1890) was an extraordinary British explorer and polymath: geographer, ethnologist, and cartographer; writer, linguist, and poet; soldier, fencer, diplomat, and spy; brilliant orientalist and superb translator. He was famed for his travels and explorations in Asia, Africa and the Americas; his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures; and his still exceptional translations of Eastern exotica and erotica such as the Arabian Nights, The Perfumed Garden, and the Kama Sutra.
Pursuant to the discovery of Etruscan tombs in Bolognese Certosa (1869-71), a few years later, Burton wrote this detailed overview. His book describes archeological artefacts, ancient monuments and related structures.
Polymath that he was, Burton analyzes the anthropology, geography, and social groups of the region. These include Ketls, Scandinavo-Teutons, the Aryo-Palasgi, and the Lithuano-Slavs. His 3rd Section deals with craniology--a now disputed anthropological speciality--based on supposed palaeolithic skulls.
Section IV records his interview with Professor Commendatore Luigi Calori (1807-1896), physician and professor of human anatomy at the University of Bologna. The author was also very interested in human anatomy, teratology, and comparative anatomy.
Section V is Burton's study of the Etruscan language, while Section VIII covers modern language in Bologna.
Condition: A good solid copy with clean pages. Quite clean gilt-embossed and blind-stamped cloth has some wear: most notably at the head and foot of its spine and corners. The spine is darkened. The gilt on the Etruscan temple embossed on the cover retains some luster, though the spine's gilt lettering is quite dulled. No internal annotations. The folded engraved "Synoptical Table" is lean and bright without chipping or tears! The title page (and tissue guard) have a few hints of foxing. Elsewhere, the paper, folding table, and in-text illustratoins are lightly age-toned but not foxed. Penzer, pp.92-93.