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Thesaurus Arabico-Syro-Latinus.
Rome, Propaganda Fide, 1636.. 2 parts in 1 volume. 8vo. With a woodcut medallion on the title-page showing Jesus and the Apostles, with an inscription around the rim, and decorations (including a factotum) built up from cast arabesque fleurons. Set in Arabic, Syriac, roman and italic types. [2 blank], [5], [1 blank], 447, [1 blank], [43], [5 blank]; "70" [= 66] pp. Early 19th-century tanned sheepskin (decorated in a so-called "tree marbled" pattern), sewn on 3 recessed cords, with a hollow back, gold-tooled spine with a label, woodblock-printed decorated endpapers in red and black.. First and only edition of Obicini's Arabic, Syriac and Latin glossary, based on the 11th-century Arabic and Syriac glossary compiled by the East Syriac scholar, monk and priest Elija bar Shinaja (975-1046 or 1049) from Shenna in what is now northern Iraq, metropolitan of Nisibis from 1008. Shinaja's version is also known as "The book of the interpreter". The words are arranged by subject and set in three columns with, from right to left, Arabic, Syriac and Latin. It opens from the right, like an Arabic or Syriac book. The Index alphabeticus has its own title-page, pagination and series of signatures, but forms an appendix to the Thesaurus, providing an alphabetical index to the Latin words and phrases. Syriac is an eastern form of Aramaic, unrelated to the Arabic language spoken in modern Syria. Obicini (1585-1632), a Franciscan abbot who spent many years in Aleppo, taught Arabic at the St. Peter monastery in Rome. He died leaving his student Germanus de Silesia to see the Thesaurus through the press. It suffered from the lack of authorial oversight, with initial, medial and final forms misused and an occasional letter set upside down (according to Philologia Orientalis sometimes even whole words) and includes a long list of corrigenda. Pope Gregory XV established the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide in 1622 to promote the Catholic religion through missionary work. It set up its own printing office at Rome under Stefano Paolini in 1623, acquiring many of the non-Latin types used by the earlier Papal presses and having many new ones cut, some by Paolini himself and others by "il Tedesco", apparently Johann Hermanskircher. The great French punchcutter Robert Granjon cut the Arabic type used for the glossary words of the present book, making a specimen for presentation to the Pope in 1580, and Dominico Basa first used it in a book in a geographical treatise, Kitab al-Bustan (Rome, 1584/85). The Syriac and the Arabic used for headings (the latter nicely displayed in 12 lines on p. 123) are among the new types cut for the Propaganda Fide. A document of 1627 indicates that a "Chaldean" type had been recently purchased and was ready for use, no doubt the present Syriac, in the West Syriac serto style, which first appeared in a book in 1628. The new Arabic appears here for the first time. The collation in ICCU is incorrect and should read: [pi]4 A-2E8, ²2E8 2F-2G8, ²A-D8 2E1. With an inscription on the back paste-down, probably contemporary with the binding: "Ad usum Fr. Jo. Pauli Brigherti Ord. Pred." With 4 quires badly browned and some others somewhat browned. Otherwise in good condition and with all three integral blank leaves. The binding has some worm holes in the boards and a couple small holes in the hinges, but is structurally sound. A pioneering work in the European study of the Arabic and Syriac languages. - ICCU VEAE003127; Philologia orientalis 223 (and for Obicini 222); for the Arabic type: Vervliet, Palaeotypography (2008), pp. 450-451; for the Syriac type: Coakley, Typography of Syriac (2006), W13.
      [Bookseller: Antiquariat Inlibris, Gilhofer Nfg. GmbH]
Last Found On: 2015-10-05           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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