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2015-10-10 12:14:33
Erpenius, Thomas.
Grammatica Arabica. Leiden, Raphelengius, 1613.
1613. Small 4to. (8), 192, (4) pp. Woodcut printer's device to t. p. Modern limp vellum. First edition of the first scientific grammar of Arabic written by a western scholar. This book was published in two versions nearly identical in content but differing in size and page number: a 124-page issue in large quarto and, as thus, a 192-page issue in small quarto. "Only the title page, Ad lectorem and Errata are different, and the work has been printed, more Arabico, from right to left" (Smitskamp). "The rules are rendered in a clear and precise manner throughout, the examples are aptly chosen, and the needs of the learner are always taken into account. The great value of this work is most amply evidenced by the fact that it served teachers and learners of Arabic in the west for two centuries, unchallenged. It was reprinted again and again, without any materical changes except for the addition of various passages for reading practice" (cf. Fück 148). Erpenius (1584-1624), professor of oriental languages at Leiden, "is one of the men whom the study of oriental languages owes its resurrection [...] He set up his own printing shop with Hebrew, Arabic, Syrian, Ethiopian, and Turkish type" (cf. ADB). - 1833 ownership "John Williams" to title page. Slight waterstain throughout, otherwise an appealing copy. Middle Eastern Languages and the Print Revolution (Gutenberg Museum Mainz 2002), p. 485 (ill. 71a/b). Schnurrer 49. Vater/Jülg 26. Smitskamp 68. Fück 64. ADB VI, 329. Cf. Brunet II, 1050 (later ed.).
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