Arabic-Italian grammar for Catholic missionaries
Fabrica overo dittionario della lingua volgare Arabica, et Italiana,
copioso de voci; & locutioni, con osservare la frase dell'una & dell'altra lingua. Rome nella stampa della Sac. Congreg. de Propag. Fede. 1636
First edition. Small 4to (21.5 x 15 cm), pp.[x], 102. With printed Arabic text. A very good copy in contemporary vellum. Vellum slightly soiled. One short internal tear to gutter of first three leaves; early paper repair to margin of title where an ownership inscription has been excised. One quire browned. Small 18th-century owner's armorial seal impression to title.
Philologia Orientalis 224
An introductory vernacular Arabic grammar, compiled by Dominicus Germanus de Silesia (1588-1670) for use by Catholic missionaries travelling to the Levant. The Arabic texts comprise a number of prayers, including the Ave Maria, and the general confession, together with transliterations and Italian translations. The vocabulary provided in the course of this grammar is similarly theological in nature. The grammar is an unusually early example of a work compiled by a scholar with many years' practical experience of Arabic. Germanus became a Franciscan in 1624, and studied Persian, Arabic, and Turkish. In 1630 he travelled to the Levant, where he remained for five years. He returned to Rome where he taught Arabic, drawing on his firsthand experience, and joined the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. He published an Arabic dictionary in 1639 and worked on an Arabic translation of the Bible. In 1645 he was sent on a diplomatic mission to Persia, where he remained until 1651. In 1652 he travelled to the Spanish court, where he remained until his death, leaving behind an extensive, but incomplete, translation of the Qur'an in manuscript.