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60 Free Film Noir Movies – “The Most American Film Genre” from Open Culture

Re Posted from Open Culture *

“During the 1940s and 50s, Hollywood entered a “noir” period, producing riveting films based on hard-boiled fiction. These films were set in dark locations and shot in a black & white aesthetic that fit like a glove. Hardened men wore fedoras and forever smoked cigarettes. Women played the femme fatale role brilliantly. Love was the surest way to death. All of these elements figured into what Roger Ebert calls “the most American film genre” in his short Guide to Film Noir. In this growing list, we gather together the noir films available online.In this growing list, we gather together the noir films available online. They all appear in our big collection 1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.. You might also enjoy perusing our list of 20+ Free Hitchcock Films.”

  • A Life at StakeFree – Directed by Paul Guilfoyle, this American noir film stars Angela Lansbury and Keith Andes. (1954)
  • Beat the Devil – Free – Directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, the film is something of a comic and dramatic spoof of the film noir tradition. (1953)
  • Behind Green Lights – Free – Stars Carole Landis, John Ireland. Police lieutenant Sam Carson investigates a political murder after the victim is dumped at the door of police headquarters. (1946)
  • Big Bluff – Free – Directed by W. Lee Wilder. When a scheming fortune hunter finds his rich wife is not going to die as expected, he and his lover make other plans to get her millions. (1950)
  • Blonde Ice – Free – A society reporter keeps herself in the headlines by marrying a series of wealthy men. They all die mysteriously afterwards though. (1948)
  • Borderline – Free – Fred MacMurray and Claire Trevor are caught in Mexican dope-smuggling ring, fearing each other is involved, but both undercover agents. Alternate version. (1950)
  • Cause for Alarm!Free – Ellen (Loretta Young) narrates the tale of “the most terrifying day of my life”, how she was taking care of her bedridden husband George Z. Jones (Barry Sullivan) when he suddenly dropped dead. (1951)
  • Club ParadiseFree – The film, also known as Sensation Hunters, was directed by Christy Cabanne. The story: a touching story of girl who like many others makes the wrong choice in life – and pays for it. (1945)
  • Convict’s CodeFree – An ex-con is employed by the man who framed him for bank robbery. Directed by Lambert Hillyer. Starring Robert Kent and Anne Nage. (1939)
  • DementiaFree – Also called Daughter of Horror, this film by John Parker incorporated elements of horror film, film noir and expressionist film. About the film, Cahiers du cinema wrote “To what degree this film is a work of art, we are not certain but, in any case, it is strong stuff.” (1955)
  • Detour – Free – Edgar Ulmer’s cult classic noir film shot in 6 days. (1945)
  • D.O.A. – Free – Rudolph Maté’s classic noir film. Called “one of the most accomplished, innovative, and downright twisted entrants to the film noir genre.” You can also watch the movie here. (1950)
  • Fear in the NightFree – Low budget noir film directed by Maxwell Shane & starring Paul Kelly and DeForest Kelley. It is based on the Cornell Woolrich story “And So to Death”. (1947)
  • Five Minutes to Live – Free – Amazing bank heist movie stars Johnny Cash, Vic Tayback, Ron Howard, and country music great, Merle Travis. (1961)
  • Guest in the House – Free – Directed by John Brahm, the noir film stars Anne Baxter, Ralph Bellamy, Aline MacMahon. (1946)
  • He Walked by Night – Free – Film-noir drama, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal. This move became the basis for “Dragnet,” and stars Jack Webb. Archive.org version here. (1948)
  • Impact – Free – Arthur Lubin’s well reviewed noir flic. Considered a little known classic you need to watch. (1940)
  • Inner Sanctum – Free –  A gripping noir film about “a murderer who is on the lam and hiding out in a small town. Unbeknownst to him, he is not only hiding in the same boarding house as the only witness to his crime, he is sharing the same room.” (1948)
  • Jigsaw Free – Directed by Fletcher Markle, and starring Franchot Tone, Jean Wallace and Marc Lawrence, the film features cameo appearances by Marlene Dietrich and Henry Fonda. (1949)
  • Johnny O’ClockFree – Directed by Robert Rossen, based on a story by Milton Holmes. The drama features Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes, and Lee J. Cobb, with Jeff Chandler making his film debut in a small role. (1947)
  • Kansas City Confidential – Free – A film noir gem that inspired Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs.” (1953)
  • Key Lime Pie – Free – A zany animated film in the noir tradition. (2007)
  • Lady GangsterFree – Warner Bros. B picture directed by Robert Florey based on the play Gangstress, or Women in Prison, by Dorothy Mackaye, Stars: Faye Emerson, Julie Bishop, Frank Wilcox, Roland Drew, and Jackie C. Gleason. (1942)
  • Man in the Attic – Free – Jack Palance as Jack the Ripper! (1954)
  • Parole, Inc.Free – Parole officers fight against gangsters trying to infiltrate the parole system. (1948)
  • Please Murder Me – Free – Lawyer Raymond Burr  brilliantly defends Angela Lansbury in 1950s noir film. (1956)
  • Port of New York – Free – Two narcotics agents go after a gang of murderous drug dealers who use ships docking at the New York harbor to smuggle in their contraband. First film in which Yul Brynner appeared. (1949)
  • Quicksand – Free – Peter Lorre and Mickey Rooney star in a story about a garage mechanic’s descent into crime. (1950)
  • Scarlet Street – Free – Directed by Fritz Lang with Edward G. Robinson. A film noir great. (1945)
  • Shock – Free –This film noir tells the story of psychiatrist Dr. Cross (Vincent Price), who is treating Janet Stewart (Anabel Shaw), a young woman who is in a catatonic state. The coma was brought on when she heard loud arguing, went to her window, and saw a man strike his wife with a candlestick and kill her. Alternate version found here. (1946)
  • Shoot to KillFree – Gangster framed by crooked DA. Wife and newspaper reporter team up. (1947)
  • Strange Illusion – Free – B-movie update of “Hamlet” has troubled teen Jimmy Lydon doubting smooth-talker Warren Williams who is wooing his mother. (1945)
  • Suddenly – Free – Buy DVD – Noir film with Frank Sinatra and James Gleason. The story line influenced The Manchurian Candidate, which again starred Sinatra. (1954)
  • The Amazing Mr. X – Free – Noir film directed by Bernard Vorhaus with cinematography by John Alton. The film tells the story of a phony spiritualist racket. (1948).
  • The Basketball FixFree – A college basketball star collaborates with organized crime and becomes involved in ‘point shaving.’ A sportswriter tries to get him back on the right track. (1951)
  • The Big Combo – Free – Directed by Joseph Lewis, this film is today considered a noir classic. Critics like to focus on cinematography of John Alton, a noir icon. (1955)
  • The Capture – Free – Lew Ayres is an oil man who guns down a thief who may have been innocent. (1950)
  • The Chase – Free – An American noir film directed by Arthur Ripley, based on the Cornell Woolrich novel The Black Path of Fear.
  • The File on Thelma Jordan – Free – This noir directed by Robert Siodmak features Barbara Stanwyck and Wendell Corey.  At the time Variety said, “Thelma Jordon unfolds as an interesting, femme-slanted melodrama, told with a lot of restrained excitement.” (1950)
  • The Great Flamarion – Free – Vaudeville star Erich von Stroheim entangled with married assistant. Directed by Anthony Mann. (1945)
  • The Green Glove – Free – A World War II veteran in France, played by Glen Ford, gets mixed up in murder while investigating a stolen treasure. Directed by Rudolph Maté. Alternate version on YouTube available here. (1952)
  • The Hitch-Hiker – Free – Buy DVD – The first noir film made by a woman noir director, Ida Lupino. (1953)
  • The Hoodlum – Free – Lawrence Tierney (“Reservoir Dogs”) plays an unreformed, hardened criminal who has just been released from prison. While working at his brother’s gas station, he becomes very interested in the armored car that makes regular stops at the bank across the street. (1951)
  • The Limping Man – Free – Stars Lloyd Bridges and Moira Lister. A WWII veteran goes back to England after the war only to discover that his wartime sweetheart has got mixed up with a dangerous spy ring. (1953)
  • The Man Who Cheated Himself – Free – Some call it “an under-appreciated and little known gem.”  Stars Lee J. Cobb, John Dall, Jane Wyatt, and Lisa Howard.  YouTube version here. (1951)
  • The Naked Kiss – Free – Constance Towers is a prostitute trying to start a new life in a small town. Directed by Sam Fuller. (1964)
  • The PayoffFree – Directed by Robert Florey. James Dunn (known for his role in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) plays a newspaper reporter promoted to the sports desk, but saddled with a wife whose spending habits drive her into a relationship with a blackmailing racketeer. (1935)
  • The Red HouseFree – A noir psychological thriller starring Edward G. Robinson. Here’s the gist of the plot: “An old man and his sister are concealing a terrible secret from their adopted teen daughter, concerning a hidden abandon farmhouse, located deep in the woods.” (1947)
  • The Saint Louis Bank Robbery – Free – Steve McQueen stars in a “gritty, downbeat, and sometimes savage heist movie.” (1959)
  • The Scar (aka Hollow Triumph)Free – Just released from prison, John Muller (Paul Henreid) masterminds a holdup at an illegal casino run by Rocky Stansyck. The robbery goes bad, and the mobsters captured some of Muller’s men and force them to identify the rest before killing them.
  • The Second Woman – Free – Directed by James Kern and starring Betsy Drake, this lesser known noir film gets some good reviews. (1951)
  • The Strange Love of Martha Ivers – Free – Noir film starting Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas. Entered into 1947 Cannes Film Festival. (1946)
  • The Strange Woman – Free – Edgar G. Ulmer’s femme fatale film starring Hedy Lamarr. (1946)
  • The Stranger – Free – Buy DVD – Directed by Orson Welles with Edward G. Robinson. One of Welles’s major commercial successes. (1946)
  • They Made Me a Criminal – Free – Boxer John Garfield flees believing he has committed a murder while he was drunk. Pursued by Claude Rains, he meets up with the Dead End Kids. (1939)
  • They Made Me a Killer – Free – A fugitive receives help from a victim’s sister (Barbara Britton) as he tries to clear his name of robbery and murder charges. (1946)
  • Three Steps NorthFree – After a prison sentence an American GI stationed in Italy (Lloyd Bridges) discovers that his hidden loot has disappeared and goes searching for it. Directed by W. Lee Wilder. (1951)
  • Time Table – Free – After the theft of $500,000 in a carefully executed train robbery, an insurance investigator (Mark Stevens, who also doubled as director and producer) is forced to cancel a planned vacation with his wife to assist a railroad detective in identifying the culprits and recovering the money. Alternate version here. (1956)
  • Too Late for Tears – Free – Directed by Byron Haskin and based on a novel by Roy Huggins, Too Late for Tears is pure noir. (1949)
  • Trapped – Free – Starring Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Payton, the plot of this B noir film turns around a counterfeiting ring. (1949)
  • Walk The Dark StreetFree – An Army officer and a hunter engage in a simulated manhunt with one using real bullets in Los Angeles. (1956)
  • Whispering CityFree – A Canadian noir, directed by Fyodor Otsep, starring Paul Lukas and Mary Anderson. (1947)
  • Whistle Stop – Free – Buy DVD – A noir flic with Ava Gardner. Love triangle leads to murder. (1946)
  • Woman on the Run – Free – After Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott) is the sole witness to a gangland murder, he goes into hiding and is trailed by Police Inspector Ferris (Robert Keith), his wife, Eleanor (Ann Sheridan), and newspaperman, Danny Leggett (Dennis O’Keefe). YouTube version here. (1950)
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Photoshop Before Photoshop: Ansel Adams and James Dean

March 8, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

 

“James Dean in Times Square,” with printing notations. Image printed by Pablo Inirio. Photograph by Dennis Stock .

Photoshop Before Photoshop

Our post, ANSEL ADAMS, AND PHOTOGRAPHY BEFORE PHOTOSHOP ,(2013), has been a perennial favorite since its publication in February, 2013. The popularity of the post is epitomized by the Before and After prints of Adams’ iconic image, “Moonrise,” which demonstrates his masterful skill in the darkroom to make the spectacular finished print. Adams made no secret of the skills he used in producing the finished print. Indeed, his book, The Print , details, step by step, how such a dramatic print is made.

It seems though that certain “purists” have a view that before photoshop, prints were exhibited as they came “straight out of the camera.” Alas, such was never true. In the time of film, the darkroom was photoshop.  To further illustrate this point, we have reproduced, below, our post, WHERE HAVE ALL THE DARKROOMS GONE? (2016).  Whether the darkroom or photoshop, neither is a substitute for the skill of the artist.

                                 Pictured below, is Ansel Adams with the straight print side-by-side with the finished print of “Moonrise.”

Ansel-Adams-with-straight-and-fine-print-of-Moonrise

How Iconic Images Were Made in the Darkroom

“Want to see what kind of work goes into turning a masterful photograph into an iconic print? Pablo Inirio, the master darkroom printer who works at Magnum Photos‘ New York headquarters, has personally worked on some of the cooperative’s best-known images. A number of his marked-up darkroom prints have appeared online, revealing the enormous amount of attention Inirio gives photos in the darkroom.

Before Photoshop There Was The Darkroom

The comparison images above show photographer Dennis Stock’s iconic portrait of James Dean in Times Square. The test print on the left shows all the work Inirio put into making the final photo look the way it does. The lines and circles you see reveal Inirio’s strategies for dodging and burning the image under the enlarger, with numbers scattered throughout the image to note different exposure times. “(Source: Peta Pixel Sept. 12, 2013, Marked Up Photographs Show How Iconic Prints Were Edited in the Darkroom.)

Ansel Adams – in the Darkroom – Before and After

How Did He Do That?

In the darkroom. Adams, in his book, The Print describes the work that he did in the darkroom on another of his famous images, Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake, Alaska (1948),

“The sky was of such low saturation blue that no filter would have had much effect… Considerable burning [darkening] and dodging [lightening] are required. I hold back the shadowed lake and foreground for about three-fourths of the exposure time, using a constantly moving card held relatively close to the lens…The lake surface is burned in later to balance the amount of dodging of the surrounding hills and foreground.” -Ansel Adams, The Print, Little Brown (1983), p. 166 from “ANSEL ADAMS, AND PHOTOGRAPHY BEFORE PHOTOSHOP.”

The Darkroom Preserved

“At the time of the transition to digital photography, the Canadian photographer Michel Campeau initiates “The Dark Room” series in honor of photographic laboratories.Thanks to Pascal Beausse, head of the photographic collections, and to the teams of the Centre National des Arts Plastiques who have produced the above video.  The video is is registered in the inventory of the National Collection of Contemporary Art. (Source:l’Oedil de la Photographie.com, In the Collection of the Cnap : Michel Campeau 30/03/2016 by Pascal Beausse .)

More: Sarah Coleman of The Literate Lens , “Magnum and the Dying Art of Darkroom Printing.”

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The Paris Review Video: Karl Ove Knausgaard Discusses His First Book, … and What It Did To Him

March 1, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Posr Goes Up Every Wednesday

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The Paris Review has launched a video series, “My First Time,” where artists discuss their “First Work,”and the effect it has had on them as artists.  In the video above Karl Ove Knausgaard talks about writing his first book, Ute av verden (Out of the World).

The video is unique because of the way it is filmed and presented.  It a very personal close up of the artist talking, directly, talking as if we were there in the same room.  Not only does Knausgarrd talk about his book, but about the intensity of what writing means to him, “I can’t imagine a life without writing.” Beginning at 5.00 he says, “It destroyed me completely… after that I couldn’t write for five years …”

Whither the Book?

Imagine this video incorporated into a e version of the book.  Now, whether in print or electronic version, the reader has to consult other sources to find about the author, what he thought, what he looked like, and unless finding this video, one would never be able to judge for themselves the sincerity, intensity, and humility of a great writer.

Why are Publishers Not Doing This?

There is nothing new happening in the world of book publishing, since the e-book. The book is going nowhere. There is no use being made of new media tools which would bring “the Book” into the twenty first century. Indeed, as e-book prices have continued to rise to nearly the price of a hard bound book, sales of e-books and e-readers have declined, Majority of Americans are still reading print books | Pew Research Center Report. The expected “revolution” of the e-book is still yet to happen. Customers are now questioning the value of the e-book itself.

What we wrote on our Purpose Page in 2012, is still true today.

“THE BOOK, both print and even current versions of the electronic reader, are already near artifacts. Book publishing is in the death throes of the last century, bound up in static, linear publications.

At the same time, the technology of the new media has developed to such a degree of creativity and innovation that Alice Rawsthorn commented in the New York Times of November 28, 2010 that,

“‘These devices offer thrilling possibilities for us to do much more than read words on a screen,

and it is deeply  disappointing that so few designers and publishers are embracing them.””

What Can Be Done?

Here are a few suggestions:

ENHANCED E- BOOK, E+, THE NOVEL – ANNA KARENINA

E-BOOKS: WHAT CAN AN ENHANCED E-BOOK, “E +,” DO FOR JACK KEROUAC’S ON THE ROAD?

ENHANCED E- BOOK, E+, BIOGRAPHY – VAN GOGH & POLLOCK

ENHANCED E-BOOKS – MUSEE d’ORSAY WHOLLY DIGITAL BOOK FOR IMPRESSIONIST EXHIBITION

 

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Is this our Chauvet Cave, is this our Lascaux? The Metropolitan Museum of Art Makes 375,000 Images of Fine Art Available Under a Creative Commons License

met-harvestersThe Metropolitan Museum of Art Makes 375,000 Images of Fine Art Available Under a Creative Commons License*

On February 7, 2017, The Met announced,

“As of today, all images of public-domain works in The Met collection are available under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). So whether you’re an artist or a designer, an educator or a student, a professional or a hobbyist, you now have more than 375,000 images of artworks from our collection to use, share, and remix—without restriction.”

The Museum’s Mission: To Make Art Accessible to Everyone, Everywhere

“This policy change to Open Access is an exciting milestone in The Met’s digital evolution, and a strong statement about increasing access to the collection and how to best fulfill the Museum’s mission in a digital age.”

“Since our audience is really the three billion internet-connected individuals around the world, we need to think big about how to reach these viewers, and increase our focus on those digital tactics that have the greatest impact. Open Access is one of those tactics.”

How it Works

“Alongside the images, we’re also making available under CC0 each artwork’s key information, otherwise known as tombstone data—title, maker, date, culture, medium, and dimensions—on all 440,000 artworks that the Museum has digitized to date; this data is now available as a downloadable file on GitHub. By making this information available in a clear, machine-readable format, we are making it easier for the world to search for, play with, and explore the breadth and depth of the Museum’s collection.”

The Numbers: 30 Million, 300 Billion …

“We’re privileged to serve over 30 million visitors on our website each year, which we see as the canonical source for information about the collection; but if we want to connect the collection to three billion individuals around the world, we know that they’re never all going to come to metmuseum.org.

If one we to publish these 370,000 in volumes of 600 pages each, it would total 625 volumes. If one were to look at the 375,000 at the rate of  50 per day, it would take 7,500 days, or 20.54 years.

The Significance: “After the War”, “Après la Guerre”

The phrase “After the War,” ( “Après la Guerre”) is used metaphorically to describe a period after the destruction. For example, history has seen the destruction of the art and cultures of Greece, Rome, Egypt, and early humans. What if ours is destroyed?

The discoverers of the Chauvet Cave - Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel and Christian Hilaire

The discoverers of the Chauvet Cave – Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel and Christian Hilaire

The Chuavet Cave and the Lascaux Cave in France served as the gateways to the culture and art that existed 35,000 year ago. Where will those who come after us look?  It may be that the digital record is all that will still exist. It is there that the whole culture and art of the human race will be found. Thus, the significance of the digital record being created by the Met and other institutions is that our art and culture will be enduring, even after we are gone.

 

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Kurt Vonnegut’s Master’s Thesis Rejected by University of Chicago

Vonnegut: Theory in Few Words

“The ability to express an idea clearly and simply is a mark of genius.” (Me.)

A Short Story

“Vonnegut was a graduate student in Anthropology  [at the University of Chicago] from 1945 to 1947, after serving in World War II. Vonnegut left Chicago after his Master’s thesis, “’The Fluctuations Between Good and Evil in Simple Tasks,”’ was rejected.” Unanimously. (University of Chicago Chronicle.)

“The apathy of the University o Chicago is repulsive to me. They can go take a flying fuck at the moooooooooooooooon.” (Vonnegut, Palm Sunday, p 288.)

The Shapes of Stories

“Vonnegut sums up his theory on stories in one elegant sentence: ‘“The fundamental idea is that stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper, and that the shape of a given society’s stories is at least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads.”’

“‘His work turns a suspicious eye on overcomplicated posturing and champions unsentimental, Midwestern directness. Vonnegut’s short, trade publication essay, “How to Write With Style,” is as succinct and practical a statement on the subject in existence. One will encounter no more a ruthlessly efficient list than his “Eight Rules for Writing Fiction.”'(Open Culture.)

"So it Goes," Drawings by Kurt Vonnegut

“So it Goes,” Drawings by Kurt Vonnegut

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Samuel Beckett – 25 Minutes on the Internet – An Experiment

Time and the Internet

The Internet” is now seen as the cause of short attention span. Before the Internet, the cause of a short attention span was assigned to Television. Before that … Some though assign the cause of short attention span to human nature, where the mind is constantly active , reacts to stimuli, and seeks change. However, the mind also has to have the capacity for sustained concentration.

Whatever the cause, for many, 15 seconds on the internet seems like a lifetime; 60 seconds on the Internet seems like an eternity; 30 Minuets on the internet approaches infinity.

samuel-beckett

 

 Eh Joe – The Experiment

Eh Joe marks Beckett’s first writing specifically for television. Beckett began drafting Eh Joe in the middle of April 1965 at his Ussy retreat house and finished some two weeks later (Project MUSE).”

The production above stars Liam Neeson and was directed by Adam Egoyan. So, we have Samuel Becket, Liam Neeson, and Adam Egoyan,  together, a pretty good draw.  The production lasts some 25 minutes. The Experiment is to see if you can watch it to the end. Note down wherever you stop and  your reasons why.

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The Book and Fine Art in the New Media

The “New Media,” even the “Old New Media” of the Internet has made Books, Fine Art, Drama, and Dance available to everyone, everywhere.

Some though, use the Internet as a vehicle for a quick hit – googling something,  playing a video game, checking social media, shopping, and, of course, with a smart phone, texting.  How about you? Eh?

More: However far you did make it , perhaps you’d like to see the  script.

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* Project MUSE is a leading provider of digital humanities and social science content for the scholarly community.

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500 Year Old Rare Book Recounts Journey to the East 100 Years Before Marco Polo

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McMaster University Library

McMaster University Library,  has recently acquired the first Latin translation of The Travels of Benjamin Tudela, a travelogue originally written in Hebrew by Benjamin of Tudela, a Jewish merchant from Zaragoza in Andalus, now southern Spain.”

100 Years Before Marco Polo

“The book recounts Benjamin’s 13-year journey which, from 1160 to 1173, took him throughout the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Asia — along many of the same routes that Marco Polo would famously traverse more than a hundred years later.”

Map- Routes of Benjamin of Tudela, and Marco Polo

Map- Routes of Benjamin of Tudela, and Marco Polo

Last to See Constantinople and Baghdad Before Their Destruction

Groover says Benjamin, who likely embarked on his journey to develop mercantile contacts, wrote valuable accounts of the people and places he visited, including uncommonly accurate accounts of the vibrant and thriving Jewish communities he encountered, as well as detailed descriptions of powerful and influential urban centres like Baghdad and Constantinople.

“Benjamin is more or less the last person to describe these places to us,” says Groover who explains that Constantinople– the centre of the Byzantine Empire­– was burned to the ground in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, and Baghdad– the cultural capital of the Muslim world– was sacked by the Mongols within 100 years of Benjamin’s narrative.”

Description of Constantinople (Excerpt)

“The following selection contains Benjamin of Tudela’s description of Constantinople. He is specifically interested in the lot of the Jews in this mercantile center. His description is in remarkable contrast to his impressions of Baghdad, for example, where Jews had a more favored status under the Muslim caliphate.” (Source: My Jewish Learning)

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‘”After a five days’ journey the great town of Constantinople is reached. It is the capital of the whole land of Javan, which is called Greece. Here is the residence of King Emanuel the Emperor. Twelve ministers are under him, each of whom has a palace in Constantinople and possesses castles and cities; they rule all the land…”‘

“‘The circumference of the city of Constantinople is eighteen miles; half of it is surrounded by the sea, and half by land, and it is situated upon two arms of the sea, one coming from the sea of Russia and one from the sea of Sepahrad [Spain].”‘

“‘All sorts of merchants come here from the land of Babylon, from the land of Shinar, from Persia, Media, and all the sovereignty of the land of Egypt, from the land of Canaan, and the empire of Russia, from Hungary, Patzinakia [country from the Danube to the Dneiper], Khazaria [southern provinces of Russia], and the land of Lombardy and Sepharad. It is a busy city and merchants come to it from every country by sea or land, and there is none like it in the world except Baghdad, the great city of Islam.”‘

Best Seller -Smash Success!

“In 1575 – three centuries after Benjamin’s original Hebrew travelogue was written –the text was translated into Latin by Arias Montanus, a Jesuit priest and delegate to the Council of Trent. This translation quickly became a best seller.”

“’It was a smash success,” says [The Library’s Myron]Groover. “It went through several print runs in reasonably rapid succession. People were very keen to read this– most people knew of Marco Polo’s chronicle, but this was written much earlier and is, in many cases, more accurate.”’ (Source: McMaster University Library)

Will the book ever wither?

More: William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections

H/T Art Daily

February 1, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.
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