The Evliya Çelebi Way
Reviewed by Malcolm Wagstaff

The Evliya Çelebi Way, by Caroline Finkel and Kate Clow with Donna Landry. Upcountry (Turkey) Ltd., 2011, distributed by Cordee Ltd. Pb, 160pp, with detachable map. ISBN: 0-9539218-9-1. £17.99.

Evliya Çelebi (1611–c.1685) was a Turkish writer who produced a huge travel book describing his journeys both within and beyond the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire. In 2010 a group of six riders explored, as far as possible, his route from Hersek on the Gulf of Izmit (an arm of the Sea of Marmara) to Kalkan near Simav, north-west of Afyonkarahisar and Uşak in north-western Turkey. The route was walked the following year. These two expeditions led to the development of the Evliya Çelebi Way, Turkey’s first long-distance walking and riding route and an official ‘Turkish Cultural Route’. The Evliya Çelebi Way is about 600 km long and approximates the route taken by the traveller in 1671.

Scenes on the route of the Evliya Çelebi Way, Turkey

Scenes on the route of the Evliya Çelebi Way, Turkey

The book under review is the necessary guidebook for those intrepid enough to follow Evliya Çelebi, whether on foot, on horseback or even on a mountain bike. The first three chapters are full of good, sound practical advice about equipment and clothing, with special attention given to the practicalities of riding the route. They are essential reading, especially for those not familiar with travelling in Turkey. Chapter Four outlines Evliya Çelebi’s life, while Chapter Five provides a brief history of the area traversed an discusses the forms of such public buildings as kales (castles) and hamams (bath houses), as well as mosques. Chapter Six is headed Environment but covers not only flora, fauna and special wild-life areas, but also the ways of life of the people and local horse culture, including the dangerous sport in which riders throw javelins (cirits) at eac other while at the gallop. The rest of the book sets out the different stages of the route, giving distances and approximate travel times. A standard format is used throughout.
Alternatives are given where, for example, walkers might find particular sections very difficult or dreary. Boxes give information about the towns and villages on or close to the route and about what Evliya Çelebi himself reported seeing. A useful appendix summarises his descriptions of Bursa, Kütahya (the ancestral home where he inherited a house and responsibility for a mosque) and Afyonkarahisar. A second appendix describes places visited by Evliya Çelebi but lying off the Evliya Çelebi Way.

Although the guide gives directions to follow the route and provides a map (rather lurid and schematic), route-finding depends upon GPS (Global Positioning System references. Waypoints must be downloaded from a file in Google Earth, details of which are provided. This is commendable and probably very necessary in the field, but it does mean that would-be travellers must be familiar with the use of a GPS before they set out. With that caveat, I commend this book as an interesting, informative and practical guide.

Malcolm Wagstaff

Mit Richard Lepsius auf die Cheops-Pyramide
Reviewed by Robert Morkot

Mit Richard Lepsius auf die Cheops-Pyramide: Studien zu den Ritualszenen altägyptischer Tempel (SRaT 10), by Horst Beinlich. Dettelbach, Verlag J.H. Röll, 2010. 115pp, b&w and colour plates, one folding plate. ISBN: 978-3-89754-375-1. €98.00.

The folding plate inside the back cover of this slim, but attractive, volume reproduces Joseph Bonomi’s panorama from the top of the Great Pyramid, and this is the starting point for the book also. Bonomi’s rolled-up drawing, measuring some 43.5 by 229cm, was identified by the Egyptologist Horst Beinlich in the Institut für Ägyptologie in Heidelberg, and his story of the rediscovery is yet another lesson in what lies unacknowledged in the basement collections of Universities and Museums. The watercolour is annotated with Bonomi’s name, but in the handwriting of Richard Lepsius, leader of the great ‘Prussian’ expedition to Egypt in 1842. From this, Beinlich is able to trace the history of the painting.

GISEHBonomi joined the Lepsius expedition having worked in Egypt with all of the leading figures since he began with his first employer, Robert Hay, in 1824. This was his last major expedition, and after two years he returned to England. Amongst the significant works that brought his knowledge of Egyptian art and architecture to the Victorian public was the Egyptian Court of the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London. The panorama from the top of the Great Pyramid that was developed from the Heidelberg watercolour was another.

Bonomi presented the ‘grand moving panoramic picture of the Nile: portraying all the interesting features on both sides of that ancient river, its pyramids, temples, cities, & grottoes, displaying the manners and customs of its people’ at the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, in 1849. It was typical of its period(eg, the Robert Hay panoramas of Qurna) and also of the showmanship of other artists, such as Bonomi’s father-in-law, John Martin: the type of event was cleverly recreated in the splendid recent exhibition of John Martin’s work—much with ‘Egyptian’ influence—at the Tate Gallery. The display panorama, apparently some 15m high, was painted by Henry Warren and James Fahey from the watercolours made by Bonomi. It travelled to Liverpool and Dublin before being purchased from Warren, Fahey and Bonomi by George Gliddon and exhibited in the United States.

Beinlich gives a detailed analysis of the panorama and its relation to the other views and plans of the Giza necropolis published by the expedition in the folio volumes of the Denkmäler (and now available, courtesy of the University of Halle, online at target=”blank”). The Denkmäler actually has a panorama from the top of the Second Pyramid at Giza [illustrated opposite], presumably because of its rather more central location in the cemetery. Illustrations from the Denkmäler are included in this volume, but there are also images from the original drawings and watercolours in the archival collections at the Academy in Berlin. Beinlich also includes copies and transcriptions of relevant documents, such as the diary of Georg Erbkam, and a letter of Lepsius still in possession of the family. Particularly notable, are the several different versions of the celebrated picture of the entire expedition on the top of the Great Pyramid celebrating the birthday of Friedrich Wilhelm IV.

The second half of the volume is taken up with narratives of other travellers who scaled the pyramids and entered them, from George Sandys (1611) to Amelia Edwards an Mark Twain. Among the many well-known ASTENE names are Emily Beaufort, Anne Elwood, Harriet Martineau and Ida Pfeiffer. Much of this will be familiar, but it is interesting to gather these different accounts of the gruelling climb together. The texts are in their original languages.

This volume is quite slim, but beautifully produced. There are 30 numbered plates, but actually rather more, many full page. The folding plate is particularly impressive, anyone could be tempted to remove it and either put it on the wall, or recreate the circular panorama. The cover is also quite attractive, although I couldn’t quite understand why a picture of the temple of Armant from the Description de l’Égypte was chosen. Altogether this is a valuable contribution to our field, with much of interest.

Robert Morkot

Letters from Abroad: The Grand Tour Correspondence of Richard Pococke & Jeremiah Milles
Reviewed by Patrick Comerford

Letters from Abroad: The Grand Tour Correspondence of Richard Pococke & Jeremiah Milles, Vol. 1: Letters from the Continent (1733–1734),
edited by Rachel Finnegan. Piltown, Co Kilkenny, Pococke Press, 2011. Pb, 336 pp, ISBN: 978-0-9569058-0-2. €18.

The Grand Tour was a finishing school for many young men of means for almost 200 years from the late 17th century until the advent of rail travel in the mid-19th century For the sons of the aristocracy and the landed gentry, especially in Britain and Ireland, the Grand Tour was a rite of passage that completed their liberal education.

Column from the temple to Amon and Mut, Jebel Barkal,

Column from the temple to Amon and Mut, Jebel Barkal,

They followed similar routes, with their valets, guides and cooks, as they learned about painting, sculpture and the Classics and spent time in Venice and Rome. They returne with crates of art, books, paintings, sculpture and other items that displayed their acquisition of taste, culture and knowledge. Thus the Grand Tour symbolised wealth and freedom and marked a ritual entry to genteel society in the British Isles.

Irish aristocrats whose accounts of the Grand Tour have come down to us either through their published works or their architectural legacy include James Caulfeild (1728–99), 1st Earl of Charlemont, and Frederick Hervey (1730–1803), Bishop of Derry and 4th Earl of Bristol. Later, Howe Peter Browne (1788–1845), 2nd Marquess of Sligo, me Byron in Athens, brought a ship full of antiquities from Greece to Westport House in Co Mayo, including the 3,000-year old columns from the so-called Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae, and gave the name Delphi to his private fishery.

Now Dr Rachel Finnegan, who lectures in cultural and heritage studies in the Waterford Institute of Technology, is working on the previously unpublished Grand Tour correspondence of Richard Pococke (1705–65), later Bishop of Ossory, and his younger cousin Jeremiah Milles (1714–84), later Precentor of Waterford Cathedral (1736), Dean of Exeter 1762 and President of the Society of Antiquaries. They set out in 1734 and 1736 on two tours of continental Europe, which they recorded in their travel journals and 53 surviving letters, including 22 letters from Pococke to his mother and many more from both cousins to their uncle, Thomas Milles, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore.

Some years ago, the Rev’d Professor John R Bartlett, former Principal of the Church of Irelan Theological College, published an account of Pococke’s travels in Lebanon in 1738. But Dr Finnegan’s planned series promises much more. In the first volume of a three-volume collection she reproduces the edited Grand Tour letters of that first voyage (1733–34). Their tour was cut short when Milles decided to return to Ireland to become Treasurer of Lismore Cathedral in his uncle’s diocese. The second and third volumes promise to follow their second tour of continental Europe (1736–37) and Pococke’s continuing tour of the eastern Mediterranean (1737–41), beginning with his arrival at Leghorn.

This volume also includes biographies of the two correspondents and of the recipients of the letters: Pococke’s mother, Elizabeth, who lived near Southampton, and her brother, the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore.

Dr Finnegan was previously at the British School of Archaeology at Athens (1989–91), and worked at the Royal Irish Academy (1991– 95). She has written on the connoisseurship of the 2nd Earl of Bessborough, the Divan Club, Richard Twiss’s Tour of Ireland in 1775, and Bishop Pococke’s improvements to Saint Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny. Now in these three volumes she promises to rescue Pococke from a previous description as ‘the dullest man that ever travelled’.

Finnegan has gone through the letters from Pococke and Milles in the British Library (and has found three further letters in the Gloucestershire Archives). She has carefully reconstructed the passages deleted by either Pococke or his mother, giving us fresh insights in matters from his problematic financial dealings with an Irish banker, to his careful attention to his wigs and his wardrobe, to his petty observations of the great and powerful: the Doge of Venice was ‘like an old woman’, the Pope, then 84, was ‘blind, they say, but looks well’.

The Bishop of Waterford and Lismore was totally unfazed during these years by the fact that his nephew was absent from his diocese for such a lengthy period, even though he was Vicar-General of Lismore, Precentor of Lismore Cathedral and the incumbent of at least nine parishes. Indeed, the bishop may have financed the tours. Certainly, Pococke was typical of the many pluralist and absentee clergy of the day, though better travelled. Absence and neglect were no hindrance to preferment, and he went on to become Archdeacon of Dublin (1746), Bishop of Ossory (1756) and Bishop of Meath (1765). In Kilkenny, where he spent almost a decade, he is best remembered as the founder of the Pococke School, now amalgamated with Kilkenny College.

At first, Pococke may have decided not to publish his letters and journals because of the scathing attacks and disdain he endured from fellow travellers, but he later wrote up his travels in two volumes called A Description of the East (1743 and 1745).

Apart from leaving letters and papers, Pococke also left mummies, both human and animal, which he had acquired in Egypt. How did he come to acquire them? To know this and to learn about his travels in the eastern Mediterranean, including Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, we must wait for the later volumes, and Volume 3 in particular, promised in 2012.

Patrick Comerford

The reviewer lectures in Anglicanism and Liturgy at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute and Trinity College Dublin.

Explorers of the Nile: The Triumph and Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure
Reviewed by Eamonn Gearon

Explorers of the Nile: The Triumph and Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure.
by Tim Jeal. Faber and Faber, 2011. 528 pp, ISBN 978-0571249756. £25.00.

In a previous work—Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer (2007)—Tim Jeal demonstrated his ability to produce a fresh study of an ostensibly well-known story. Stanley was a tightly written and engaging example of non-fiction at its best. In Explorers of the Nile: The Triumph and Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure, Jeal has repeated his earlier achievement, even more successfully. Here, the story of 19th-century European exploration in Africa is written with such verve that readers can race through its more than 500 pages as easily as though they were handling a magazine.

As remarkable as it seems today, in 1850 the source of the River Nile remained unknown to Europeans. This ignorance, which likewise troubled Ptolemy in the 2nd century, proved irksome to the Victorians, who found themselves better placed than their forebears to do something about abolishing this gap in geographical knowledge. The journe towards wisdom was by no means an easy one, with local conflicts, gross geographical obstacles, adverse climatic conditions—both sweltering summers and rainy seasons—and attendant tropical diseases killing off most of those who set off to search for the Nile’s source.

While the main thrust of Jeal’s story may be the rivalry between Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke, he also allots room to other imperial greats of geographical and other exploration. These include Samuel Baker, David Livingstone, Henry Morton Stanley, Mungo Park, Richard Lemon Lander and Alexine Tinné.

The rivalry between Burton and Speke is sure to be familiar to ASTENE members, who may already find themselves in the camp of one or the other of the two men. Regardless of any imagined familiarity with the material, there is much in Jeal’s account that will appeal, not least the first full-throated defence of Speke for a generation or more.

Explorers of the Nile The shooting accident that saw the death of Speke in advance of his public debate with Burton as to the route of the Nile was tragic; the behaviour of Burton in its wake was unforgivable. The passage of time and his other achievements do not exculpate Burton’s guilt in spreading the rumour that Speke had committed suicide, which suggestion was far more disgraceful then than it might be today. Had Speke lived, it is not clear that he would have convinced the world that he was right about the source of the Nile. After his death he had no chance against the publicityhungry machine that Burton drove through Victorian London and beyond. Burton seemed to relish the free hand fate ha dealt him, never passing up an opportunity to speak ill of Speke.
In 1886, two years after Speke’s death, a granite obelisk was erected in Hyde Park, with the rather insipid inscription: ‘In memory of Speke, Victoria Nyanza and the Nile 1864’. While not carved in granite, Jeal’s book is in many ways a more fitting memorial, and one upon which, one hopes, more readers will cast their eyes, rather than passing by the stone in Hyde Park.

Eamonn Gearon

John Henry Haynes: A Photographer and Archaeologist in the Ottoman Empire
Reviewed by Paul T. Nicholson

John Henry Haynes: A Photographer and Archaeologist in the Ottoman Empire, 1881–1900, by Robert G.
Ousterhout. Cornucopia Books, 2011. 148 pp, ISBN 978-605-62429-0-8. £20.00.

The work of John Henry Haynes (1849–1910) is not well known, and in this beautifully illustrated book Robert Ousterhout sets out to explain the reasons for Haynes’ obscurity and attempts to redress his reputation as a photographer.

Haynes did not come from a privileged background. His father, a farmer, died young, leaving the young John Henry to look after the farm and his younger siblings. At 21 he enrolled at Drury Academy, crammed a four-year course into two and was then able to enter Williams College, where he helped to pay for his studies by working for the institution while studying. Although in later life colleagues sometimes complained of the slowness of his work, this was clearly through painstaking effort rather than laziness, and he was undeniably dependable. He graduated in 1876 and went into school teaching.

In 1880 he met Charles Eliot Norton (1827– 1908) who, as first president of the Archaeological Institute of America, recognised Haynes’ interest in the ancient world and secured him a place on an excavation in Crete. The Cretan work was to be led by William Stillman (1828–1901) a rather flamboyant figure, a devotee of pre-Raphaelitism and one time American consul to Crete. In this latter post he had championed Cretan independence from the Ottoman Empire, and this led to his expedition of 1881 failing to gain a firman.

With this disappointment Stillman left Crete for Athens, accompanied by Haynes, and during their sojourn of some two months there, Stillman taught Haynes the newly emerging skill of photography. Ousterhout is at pains to point out that while Stillman was heavily influenced by John Ruskin (1819–1900) and his views on the picturesque, Haynes had no such academic interest in art. He simply knew how to take a good photograph and had picked up the principles of composition from his tutor.

We are also told that Haynes was not especially competent with the technical aspects of photography and often had difficulties in making plates and prints. However, this seems rather unfair. It is clear from the text that he was often supplied with mediocre materials and was
working in extremely difficult conditions. It is equally apparent that he was at great pains to ensure that his photographic plates and other equipment were extremely well cared for, to the extent that his plates were undamaged despite being dropped from a donkey so heavily that the saw it as a tool within archaeology; he wanted to be credited as an archaeologist.

His opportunity arose when the University of Pennsylvania was unable to obtain a field director for their third season of work at Nuffar/Nippur (1893–96). Haynes did his best here in very difficult conditions. Not only was he isolated and unqualified as a field archaeologist, but he was also under constant criticism from colleagues, notably the German scholar Hermann Vollrath Hilprecht (1859–1925), who arrived on site at the end of the project, claimed the credit for finding
a great ‘library’ of cuneiform tablets, and wrote off Haynes’ work as incompetent. Hilprecht was himself eventually censured, but not before Haynes had suffered mental breakdown and the ruin of his health.

John Henry Haynes Overall, Haynes comes across as an intelligent and dependable individual who was often placed in situations for which he was not properly qualified, but who, nonetheless, did his best in them. While he may have wanted to be known as the archaeologist who discovered the Temple Library at Nippur, he is clearly going to be best remembered for the outstanding images he produced, which are used to such good effect in this book.

Paul T. Nicholson

Cornucopia is offering ASTENE members a special discount on purchases of this book. For details see

Jerusalem in World War I: The Palestine Diary of a European Diplomat.
Reviewed by Eamonn Gearon

Jerusalem in World War I: The Palestine Diary of a European Diplomat, by Conde de Ballobar, edited by Eduardo Manzano Moreno and Roberto Mazza. IB Tauris, 2011. 284 pp, ISBN 978-1-84885-632-5. £59.50.

For the duration of World War I, Jerusalem was not, for obvious reasons, a popular destination for travellers in the ASTENE region. Indeed, the city saw the mass withdrawal, and sometimes removal, of sections of the population. This mass disruption of ordinary life did not make it an especially fun place in which to live, whether one was a foreign diplomat or not.

One of the most exciting things about coming across a new diary, from the point of view of an historian or researcher, is that one never knows in advance what one is going to find. Will the diary turn out to be a waste of time, dull and uninformative, with a series of entries that fail even to tell us something about the author or the world around him? Or will it turn out to be a text that opens up a view of a time and place that one could never have hoped to gain by any other means?

Ballobar’s wartime diary falls easily into the latter category. It is a wonderful book that in less than 300 pages gives the reader a treasure trove of detail and insight into life in Ottoman Jerusalem.  One finds here a great deal more insight than one might otherwise find in a standard history of the same period. Ballobar arrived in Jerusalem in October 1914 and did not finally leave until May 1919, so one really gets the whole sweep of the war’s history here.

With many of his fellow foreign diplomats recalled to their home countries at the start of the war, Ballobar found himself responsible for the citizens of more and more European nations, including the numerous members of an almost equally numerous number of Christian religious orders.

One of the biggest difficulties for Ballobar was his sense of isolation. His entry for 16 November 1914 includes the plaintive lines, ‘Will I conclude these notes? Will the terrific announcements one can hear everywhere come to pass? I do not know, but in any case I am so alone, so isolated,, that lacking a family to tell my life to, I’ll tell it to my distant family …[if I die] I would like to think that these notebooks will get to their hands.’

Jerusalem in World War I The details and anecdotes, the reports of rumours that changed daily, if not hourly, all feed into the pages of Ballobar’s diary, providing an honest account of what it felt like day by day, before the passage of time allows embellishments and false memories to creep in. This is the beauty of a good diary: it reveals the hopes and worries that would otherwise be overlooked, providing important insights that might not otherwise be seen so many decades after the fact, but which were important enough for the author to relate.

Eamonn Gearon