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1597: China as a model state

Arrivabene, Lodovico Il Magno Vitei di Lodovico Arrivabene Mantoano in questo libro, oltre al piacere, che porge la narratione delle alte cauallerie del glorioso vitei primo Re della China & del varioso Iolao, Verona 1597
First edition Quarto, pp.[xxiv], 576 (misnumbered '525'), [20], [2, blank]; pagination irregular A very good copy bound in nineteenth-century polished calf, gilt edges, neatly rebacked.
Cordier I, 17; Lach II, 2, pp.219 ff.; Lach & Foss, p.18; Lowendahl 35

A chivalric romance set in China, which is depicted as the most virtuous nation yet known to mankind. Enzolom, a governor of ancient China, is portrayed as an exemplar of the excellent prince and the perfect captain. The eldest of his sons, the great Vitei, is the most valiant and wisest of all knights and kings. It is in the strange ambience of China that these exemplary men live and perform their great deeds . . . . It is . . . the first in a long line of didactic works in prose in which China is celebrated as a model state. In short, the China that was revered in the Enlightenment is anticipated in this work of the late sixteenth century' (Lach II.ii pp. 220–23).