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Brief Principles of the Arabic Language
Philippo Guadagnoli (1596–1656) was a Franciscan priest and Italian orientalist. A native of Magliano in the province of Tuscany, he joined the Franciscan order in 1612 and devoted himself to studying Arabic and other languages of the Middle East. He served as professor of Arabic and Aramaic at Università “La Sapienza” in Rome. His writings include an Arabic translation of the Bible (said to have taken him 27 years to complete) and a polemical work entitled Apologia pro Religione Christiana (In defense of the Christian religion), published in Rome ...
Fabrica, or Dictionary of Vernacular Arabic and Italian Language
Dominicus Germanus de Silesia (1588–1670) was a German priest and missionary. Born in Schurgast (present-day Skorogoszcz, Poland), he entered the Franciscan order in 1624 and devoted himself to learning Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. In 1630 he went to Palestine as a pastor, where he continued with his language studies. In 1635 he returned to Rome where he joined the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda de Fide (Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith). In 1636 he became a teacher at the Mission of San Pietro in Montorio, Rome, and ...
Coptic Language Primer
This manuscript is a basic introduction to the alphabet, pronunciation, and grammar of the Bohairic dialect of the Coptic language written for Arabic speakers by Iryan Moftah (1826–86). It is copied in a commercial notebook. The author divides each page vertically with text in Coptic script on the left and Arabic translation or explanation on the right. The manuscript is written in a bold black ink. Title and author are given on a label pasted on the front cover. The work is undated, but it is most likely from ...
This manuscript consists of a portion of a Coptic primer by Iryan Moftah (1826–86). It lists useful phrases, with the Coptic in the left column and the Arabic on the right. Moftah avoids explanation of linguistic complexities or conjugations. This, along with the simple, everyday phrases, leads to the conclusion that the book is aimed at schoolchildren or young seminarians rather than advanced learners. Although the textbook is aimed at Arabic speakers, there is no assumption that students are acquainted with the complexities of classical Arabic grammar. There are ...
Untitled Notebook of Coptic-language Lessons
This manuscript contains a Coptic grammar and vocabulary notes compiled by Father Girgis Murqus of Akhmīm, Upper Egypt. It includes lists of common phrases in Coptic with Arabic translation. It probably was used by the author as a teaching guide for beginning Coptic classes. It is similar to the primers of Iryan Moftah (1826–86), a prominent teacher of Coptic and linguistic reformer, but it also includes verb exercises. The notebook is missing several pages and the binding is in poor condition. Arabic words are occasionally misspelled. The exact date ...
Lanterns Burning for Students Discerning
This mid-19th century publication is a basic textbook of Arabic grammar and syntax. Originally written by Jirmānūs Farḥāt (1670 or 1671−1732 or 1733), it was edited by the famous Lebanese teacher and scholar Buṭrus al-Bustānī. Jirmānūs, Maronite bishop of Aleppo, composed his work at a critical time in the history of the Maronite rite of the Catholic Church as it sought to develop a national identity. With the help of scholars and writers such as Jirmānūs, a solution was found in the Garshuni script, that is, the native Arabic ...
This manuscript, which has worm damage and is missing folios at the end, is a grammar of Syriac written in Garshuni (Arabic in Syriac letters). There is a table of contents, after which the text is written in two columns. The red ink has faded somewhat and is not as clear as the black ink. The section titles are given in both Syriac and Arabic. Syriac is an eastern dialect of Aramaic, which was spoken by Christians in the lands between the Roman Empire and the Arabian Sea from the ...
This work is a grammar of Syriac written in Garshuni (Arabic in Syriac letters). The Syriac words and expressions are partially vocalized, and the section titles are in both Arabic and Syriac. In the colophon, the work is called a musawwada (draft) and there are numerous corrections and annotations to the text. It is also stated that the copy was completed on the 18th of Ab, meaning August, 1867. It was first created at the Monastery of Saints Cyprian and Justina at Deir Kfīfāne in Lebanon; later it belonged to ...
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 ...
Commentary on Ibn Malik's “Tashīl al-fawā'id”
This Arabic manuscript contains the commentary by Muḥammad Ibn Abī Bakr al-Damāmīnī (circa 1362–1424) on the Tashīl al-fawā'id (Simplification of the facts), a grammatical work of the famous Abū ʻAbd Allāh Djamāl Al-Dīn Muhammad, known as Ibn Malik (circa 1204–74). The manuscript is written in a tight Naskh hand and the wide margins have numerous annotations. The codex appears to have been used by Eli Smith (1801–57), an American missionary and one of the Protestant translators of the Bible into Arabic, who worked in Beirut in ...
Bosnian Grammar for High Schools. Parts 1 and 2, Study of Voice and Form
The first printing house in Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded in 1519 by Božidar Goraždanin, in the city of Goražde, in eastern Bosnia. Two years later, in 1521, the establishment closed and was moved to Romania. Subsequently, a small number of books written in Bosnia and Herzegovina were sent outside the country to be printed, in Venice, Vienna, Rome, and elsewhere, but books were not produced in the country. In the second half of the 19th century, there was a revival of interest in printing and publishing in Bosnia and ...
Chibcha Dictionary and Grammar
This manuscript is a glossary with prayers, confessions, and sermons in the Chibcha language. It was compiled by an unknown hand, most likely in the mid-16th century (as suggested by the style of handwriting). The work was used by missionaries in the evangelization of the Muisca, the Chibcha-speaking people who lived in the central highlands of New Granada. The Spanish learned early in their colonial role that to accomplish their religious and other objectives they needed to communicate with the people in their native languages. As early as 1580 the ...
A Study of the Saliba Language
This 1790 manuscript contains a grammar and partial glossary of the Saliba language, compiled by an unknown writer in San Miguel del Macuco (present-day Orocué, Colombia), and used by Jesuit missionaries. A note on the manuscript reads: “Under the Royal Order of our Catholic Monarch Charles IV, God preserve him, for demanding the greater learning and intelligence of the dictionary." The manuscript also includes a letter addressed to Charles IV by Friar Clement of Saint Xavier, in which the friar states that he has requested the Saliba language dictionary recommended ...
The Art and Vocabulary of the Achagua Language
Arte y bocabulario de la lengua achagua: Doctrina christiana, confessionario de uno y otro sexo e instrucción de cathecumenos (The art and vocabulary of the Achagua language: Christian doctrine, the confession of both sexes, and instruction in the catechism) attests to the linguistic effort undertaken by the Jesuit missionaries in the borderlands of present-day Colombia and Venezuela. As its long title explains, this small manuscript volume, written in beautiful calligraphy and now preserved in the National Library of Colombia, contains several items: a grammar of the Achagua language, an extensive ...
A Guiding Light to the Indians
Lucerna yndyca (A guiding light to the Indians) is a manuscript dating from 1715–22 containing a Castilian–Quechua dictionary and selections of the Gospels translated from Latin into Quechua, the predominant Andean language at the time of the Spanish conquest. The text is annotated with comments by the author, Esteban Sancho de Melgar y Santa Cruz. Melgar, a late-17th century academic, is known for his work Arte de la Lengua General de Inga Llamada Qquechhua (The art of the general language called Quechua) published in Lima in 1691. This ...
Explanation of the Commentary of Ibn Zakur
Timbuktu (present-day Tombouctou in Mali), founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries there contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. Sharḥ ‘ala Ḥāshiyat Ibn Zakūr (Explanation of the commentary of Ibn Zakur) is by Ibrahim al-Fulani and was ...
Panjabi Grammar: A Brief Grammar of Panjabi As Spoken in the Wazirabad District
Thomas Grahame Bailey (1872–1942) was a Church of Scotland missionary in India who made extensive studies of northern Indian languages. After studying Hindi and Urdu at the London University School of Oriental Studies, he went on to publish books on Panjabi (now usually called Punjabi), Himalayan dialects, Urdu, Kanauri, Kashmiri, Shina, and other languages. Panjabi Grammar: A Brief Grammar of Panjabi As Spoken in the Wazirabad District was written at the request of an official of the government of Punjab, in what was then a part of British India ...