1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ali Bey

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

ALI, known as Ali Bey (1766-1818), the assumed name of Domingo Badia y Leblich, a Spanish traveller, born in 1766. After receiving a liberal education he devoted particular attention to the Arabic language, and made a special study of the manners and customs of the East. Pretending to be a descendant of the Abbasids, Badia in 1803 set out on his travels. Under the name of Ali Bey el Abbassi, and in Mussulman costume, he visited Morocco, Tripoli, Egypt, Arabia and Syria, and was received as a person of high rank wherever he appeared. He made the pilgrimage to Mecca, at that time in the possession of the Wahabites. On his return to Spain in 1807 he declared himself a Bonapartist, and was made intendant first of Segovia and afterwards of Cordova. When the French were driven from Spain, Badia was compelled to take refuge in France, and there in 1814, published an account of his travels under the title of Voyage d'Ali Bey en Asie et en Afrique, &c. A few years later he set out again for Syria, under the assumed name of Ali Othman, and, it is said, accredited as a political agent by the French government. He reached Aleppo, and there died on the 30th of August 1818, not without suspicion of having been poisoned. An account of his Eastern adventures was published in London in 1816, in two volumes, entitled Travels in Morocco, Tripoli, Cyprus, Egypt, Arabia, Syria and Turkey, between the years 1803 and 1807.