Carrier pigeons in the Arabic world

Sabbagh, Michel. Kitab Musabaqat al-barq wa-al-ghamam fi su'at al-hamam. La colombe, messagère plus rapide que l'éclair, plus prompte que la nue.

Paris, Imprimerie Impériale (J. J. Marcel), an XIV = 1805.

8vo. 95, (1) pp.

(Bound with) II: Delaporte, Jean Honorat. Principes de l'idiome Arabe en usage a Alger suivis d'un conte Arabe avec la pronunciation et le mot-à-mot interlinéaires. Algiers & Paris, Bastide & Charles Hingray, 1845. (8), 163, (1) pp. With 5 folding letterpress tables. Contemporary navy blue half leather with giltstamped spine.


First French edition, with the translation (by Silvestre de Sacy) and the Arabic text printed in parallel, entitled "The race with the lightning and the clouds above: on the success of the messenger pigeon". The Syrian linguist Michel Sabbagh (1784-1816) served as interpreter to the Imperial Army during Napoléon's Egyptian Campaign. He emigrated to France when the army left Egypt and attached himself to Silvestre de Sacy and the Imperial Library and print shop. His original work on carrier pigeons remains a classic.

Bound with this is the third and final edition of a work on Algerian Arabic, first published in 1836 by the Frenchman Jean-Honorat Delaporte (1812-71), who worked as interpreter for the Ministry of the Interior in Algiers. His work begins with the alphabet, vowels, letter forms, orthography, all set out in folding tables, followed by chapters on grammar, syntax, numbers, etc. Included at the end, as an exercise, is the Arabic story known as "La ruse des femmes" (from the Sindbad cycle of Alf layla wa-layla), with a word for word translation into French.

Extremeties a little rubbed; occasional light brownstaining, but a good copy.


I: GAL II, 479. OCLC 11618486. Schnurrer BA 426.

II: Chauvin VI, p. 173, no. 331.2. H. Fiori, Bibliographie des ouvrages imprimés à Alger de 1830 à 1850, 50. Playfair, Bibliography of Algeria 1124.

Art.-Nr.: BN#50570 Schlagwörter: , , ,