Erpenius's Arabic grammar - the final edition

Michaelis, Johann David. Arabische Grammatik, nebst einer Arabischen Chrestomathie und Abhandlung vom Arabischen Geschmack, sonderlich in der poetischen und historischen Schreibart. Zweite, umgearbeitete und vermehrte Ausgabe.

Göttingen, (Johann Christian Dieterich for) Victorius Boßiegel, 1781.

8vo. (2), 8, (III)-CXII, 136 (Arabic), 256 pp. Contemporary marbled limp boards with ms. title to spine.


The final edition of the venerable Arabic grammar first published by Erpenius in 1613, the work that dominated Western instruction in the Arabic language for two centuries. After re-issues (with various amendments) by Deusing (1636), Golius (1656), and Schultens (1748 and 1767), the Göttingen Biblical scholar Michaelis produced a German translation in 1771. "In the long preface [...] Erpenius's grammar is characterised as still the best one in existence for Hebrew and Arabic, and as regards any Oriental language second only to the author's father's Syriac grammar" (Smitskamp, p. 278). This second edition, published a decade later, omits the name of Erpenius: "owing to the many additions (for the greater part unneccessary according to Schnurrer) the work may now be called Michaelis' own" (Smitskamp). It was not until 1810 that Silvestre de Sacy's "Grammaire Arabe" would produce an actual advance in the field.

Binding rubbed; occasional brownstaining to interior; several old ownerships and acquisition notes to insides of covers. A good, untrimmed copy.

Schnurrer p. 83f., no. 120. Smitskamp, PO 283. Fück p. 65 & cf. 119f.