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The authorship and date of HARL. MS. 6249, ff. 106V-110

Takau Shimada

Abstract

HARL. MS. 6249 contains an anonymous and undated general history of the world. Part of this manuscript is printed in Memorials of the Empire of Japan in the XVI and XVII Centuries (Hakluyt Society: London, 1850), but the editor of this book, Thomas Rundall, failed to identify its author. Quoting a passage from the manuscript, he merely suggests that it was written in the reign of Elizabeth I. The manuscript is divided into 'The firste booke of Relations of Moderne states And first of those which are in Europe' and 'Of the relations of Moderne States The second booke. Asia' (f.56V), and in the second book is included a Japanese relation 'The Kinge of Iaponia'. By examining sources of the Japanese relation, I have found that this portion of the manuscript is attributable to Robert Johnson, that it is based on Giovanni Botero's Relaztoni universali (159295), and that it had been completed between 1595 and 1601.

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