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 in 1649. Breves Arabicae Linguae Institutiones (Brief principles of the Arabic language) is a study of Arabic grammar. Guadagnoli mentions the didactic poem al-Qasīdah al-Khazrajī by Ḍiyāʾ al-Dīn Abū Muḥammad al-Khazraj̲ī, which contains the author’s encapsulation of the principles of Arabic metrics, thus introducing this important work to Western audiences. Guadagnoli dedicated this work to Cardinal Antonio Barberini (1607–71), a patron of the arts and a member of the prominent Barberini family. It was apparently submitted for publication in 1640, at the church of San Lorenzo, in Lucina, Rome, but it was not published until 1642.

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Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, Rome

Title in Original Language

Breves arabicae linguae institutiones


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362 pages ; 32 centimeters

Last updated: February 12, 2016