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A Siamese Embassy Lost in Africa 1686: The Odyssey of Ok-khun Chamnan

A Siamese Embassy Lost in Africa 1686: The Odyssey of Ok-khun Chamnan

Guy Tachard Michael Smithies
4/5 (1 ratings)
This long-forgotten tale of the shipwreck off the coast of Africa of a Siamese embassy to Lisbon in 1686 lay buried in the text of a French book printed 300 years ago. The author of the text was the intrepid and intriguing Jesuit Tachard, who published accounts of his first two journeys to Siam. In his second book, written when he was King Narai's personal envoy to Louis XIV and Pope Innocent XI, Tachard relates the account of the shipwreck as told by one of its survivors, Ok-khun Chamnan Chaichong, who was accompanying Tachard on his return to France.

Ok-khun Chamnan, during his odyssey as part of the aborted embassy to Portugal, spent nearly a year in Goa, where he learned Portuguese; a month traveling overland from Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, to the Cape of Good Hope; four months at the Dutch settlement at the Cape; six months in Batavia; and several months at sea on this journey. On his return to Siam in 1687 he was ordered to greet the French envoys La Loubere and Ceberet soon after their arrival.

The adventures of this Siamese khunnang did not end with his unsuccessful journey to Lisbon. He went on to Europe in 1688, visited the Riviera and Rome in winter, met the pope, and then in 1689 had an audience with Louis XIV. He converted to Catholicism and returned from Europe in 1690, disembarking at Balassor in Bengal before returning to Ayutthaya overland from Mergui.

This extraordinary account has been translated into English for the first time, and is backed up by three contemporary texts by Choisy, Tachard, and La Loubere describing the Dutch settlement at the Cape.
Language
English
Pages
126
Format
Paperback
Publisher
Silkworm Books
Release
September 30, 1999
ISBN
9747100959
ISBN 13
9789747100952

A Siamese Embassy Lost in Africa 1686: The Odyssey of Ok-khun Chamnan

Guy Tachard Michael Smithies
4/5 (1 ratings)
This long-forgotten tale of the shipwreck off the coast of Africa of a Siamese embassy to Lisbon in 1686 lay buried in the text of a French book printed 300 years ago. The author of the text was the intrepid and intriguing Jesuit Tachard, who published accounts of his first two journeys to Siam. In his second book, written when he was King Narai's personal envoy to Louis XIV and Pope Innocent XI, Tachard relates the account of the shipwreck as told by one of its survivors, Ok-khun Chamnan Chaichong, who was accompanying Tachard on his return to France.

Ok-khun Chamnan, during his odyssey as part of the aborted embassy to Portugal, spent nearly a year in Goa, where he learned Portuguese; a month traveling overland from Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, to the Cape of Good Hope; four months at the Dutch settlement at the Cape; six months in Batavia; and several months at sea on this journey. On his return to Siam in 1687 he was ordered to greet the French envoys La Loubere and Ceberet soon after their arrival.

The adventures of this Siamese khunnang did not end with his unsuccessful journey to Lisbon. He went on to Europe in 1688, visited the Riviera and Rome in winter, met the pope, and then in 1689 had an audience with Louis XIV. He converted to Catholicism and returned from Europe in 1690, disembarking at Balassor in Bengal before returning to Ayutthaya overland from Mergui.

This extraordinary account has been translated into English for the first time, and is backed up by three contemporary texts by Choisy, Tachard, and La Loubere describing the Dutch settlement at the Cape.
Language
English
Pages
126
Format
Paperback
Publisher
Silkworm Books
Release
September 30, 1999
ISBN
9747100959
ISBN 13
9789747100952

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