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First detailed study of Tibetan language

[Giorgi, Antonio Agostino] Alphabetum Tibetanum missionum apostolicarum commodo editum. Rome Typis Sacrae Congregationis de Propaganda Fide 1759 [but 1763]
First edition. 4to, 31 x 23 cm; pp.208; illustrations to text; printed Tibetan characters to text. Modern half calf; untrimmed and unopened; a crisp copy with wide margins. Propaganda Fide stamp to margin of p. 80, defaced stamps to title-page and p. 208.

The first detailed study of the Tibetan language published. Both this first edition of 1759 and the 1762 edition were likely issued in 1763; both contain obituaries and ecclesiastical authorizations dated to that year. This edition contains the section on the Tibetan language only, which incorporates a small number of literary and historical notices, but nothing to compare to the vast apparatus found in the 1762 edition. The present work remains a landmark in Tibetan studies. The appendices include various foundational Catholic prayers in Latin and Tibetan. Antonio Agostino Giorgi, an Augustinian friar and noted philologist, based his work on material sent back to Europe by the Capuchin mission to Tibet, which concluded in 1745.