The Zucker Holy Land Travel Manuscript takes you on a tour through the Holy Land as it was known, geographically, both in Biblical times and at the end of the 17th century. It is based on German Olfert Dapper’s “Asia, oder, Genaue und gründliche Beschreibung des gantzen Syrien und Palestins, oder belobten Landes [...]: aus verschiedenen alten und neuen Scribenten so wol/als dem Berichtwarhafftiger Augeszeugen und Untersucher zusammen getragen (1681),“ a German translation of the 1677 Dutch original.
It describes many sites of Biblical significance, starting with Damascus and ending with the grave of Mary. The author of this German manuscript was equally interested in the Holy Land’s geography and cartography; flora and fauna; history; ethnicities; economy; and languages. In these pages, we can read in detail about the appearance of cedar trees, learn that a physician was “swallowed and devoured” (“eingeschlucket und verschlungen”) by a crocodile in the Jordan River, and hear about an unknown—to the author—animal living in the woods on Mount Tabor—to cite just a few examples. Introduction to the work by Anna Baechtold, University of Bern, Switzerland