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[Alphabetum Adamiticum] Rome Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide [c.1636]
Oblong 8vo, 12 x 19 cm, 12 leaves. Issued without title-page. A very good copy. Protectively, though unattractively, bound in the late 20th century in half calf, cloth boards. Occasional scattered small spots.
Smitskamp, Philologia orientalis 199, p.174; Birrell & Garnett 4, p.4.

Twelve extraordinary alphabets attractively printed partly in woodcut by the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide at the Vatican. The first three are "alphabets of Adam", taken respectively from the Vatican Library, from the work of Giacomo Bonaventura Scozese, and from the 1592 publication of Lorenzo Schradero. These are followed by four Hebrew alphabets, by Soprasilvio, Testo, and two by Garamond. The eighth script was chiselled on a stone found at the foot of Mount Oreb, the ninth an analysis of this by Athenasius Kircher. The final three are Estranghelo, Samaritan and Chaldean alphabets. A detailed list is appended. The Propaganda Fide was established by Pope Gregory XV in 1622 to spread the Catholic faith into regions where it was unknown, particularly in the face of Protestantism being promoted through British and Dutch colonialism. It became the centre for training missionaries, and, from when the press was set up in 1626, published many Christian texts in exotic and oriental scripts. 1: Alfabeto del Protoparente Adamo I. delineato nella Libraria Vaticana. 2: Alfabeto II. di Adamo secondo che riferisce il P. Giacomo Bonauent. Scozese dell'Ordine di S. Francesco di Paolo nel suo Alfabetario intitolato Virga Aurea. 3: Alfabeto III. di Adamo cavato dal libro di Lorenzo Schradero stampato in Helmstatt l'anno 1592. 4: Alfabeto Hebreo detto Soprasiluio. 5: Alfabeto Hebreo detto Testo. 6: Alfabeto Hebreo detto Garamone. 7: Alfabeto Hebreo Rabbinico detto Garamone. 8: Lettere cavata dal P. Tomaso da Novara che si trovano sculpite in una pietra piccola posta à piedi del monte Oreb, dove Dio N.S. diede la legge. 9: Analysi dell'antecedente carattere, conforme alla dispositione del P. Atanasio Kircher nel Prodromo Copto, approvata da'molti. 10: Alfabeto Estranghelo, overo Chaldeo antico, detto Testo. 11: Alfabeto Samaritano, detto Testo. 12: Alfabeto Chaldeo, overo Siro detto, di due righe di Silvio.