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George Strachan of the MearnsSeventeenth-century Orientalist$
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Tom McInally

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474466226

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474466226.001.0001

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(p.53) Chapter Five Aleppo
George Strachan of the Mearns

Tom McInally

Edinburgh University Press

Strachan’s stay in Constantinople with his friend, the French ambassador to the Sublime Porte, Achille de Harlay, provided the Scotsman with his first opportunity of examining eastern texts in the ambassador’s personal library. However he could not find employment or engage in serious discourse with Muslim scholars. His next destination in Ottoman territory was Aleppo. The importance of Aleppo to Strachan was as a trading centre with a sizeable contingent of European traders. He was able to stay at the Franciscan convent in the city and met with a Flemish friend who was practicing as a doctor to the European community. Using the Venetian postal service, Strachan wrote to a friend in Paris saying that he intended staying for two years but that changed when he gained employment as the personal physician to Emir Feyyād Abū Rīsha, leader of the Anazzah tribe of Bedouin Arabs.

Keywords:   Sublime Porte, Achille de Harlay, Venetian postal service, Franciscan convent of Sancta Terra, Emir Feyyād Abū Rīsha

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