Grammatical Investigations


This clearly written manuscript, dated 1857, is a work on grammatical questions by Gabriel Germanus, or Jirmānūs, Farḥāt (circa 1670–1732), metropolitan of Aleppo and founder of the Lebanese Maronite Order. Maronite synod documents of the 16th century reflect a poor standard of Arabic and are often interspersed with Syriac words. Metropolitan Farḥāt was a writer of correct and elegant Arabic and a forerunner of the Maronite initiative in the 19th century Arabic revival. The work was written in 1705 and then printed in 1836 at the American Protestant press in Malta, although it also continued to be copied by hand. It is divided into buḥū (singular baḥṯ), meaning examinations, and maṭālib (singular maṭlab), meaning problems. Each problem is a short paragraph on a particular grammatical topic. The work has been very popular, as attested by the great number of extant manuscripts, both in Eastern and European collections.

Last updated: October 2, 2012