A RARE COMPLETE SET. The work records an archaeological expedition to Lebanon and Syria commissioned by Napoleon III and led by Ernest Renan. A noted scholar of Semitic languages, Renan had hoped that his excavations would enable him to establish a connection between the Phoenician port of Byblos, the Greek word byblos
, and the Bible, and discusses excavations made in Cyprus. However, while this particular aim came to nothing, Renan did unearth numerous important Phoenician relics and inscriptions (many of which are now in the Louvre). Renan’s work signalled a renewed interest in the Phoenicians and led to more important archaeological investigations.
We can trace only one complete set sold at auction in the past 45 years, a copy sold in these rooms 10 May 2001, lot 213 for £10,000 (hammer).