Valuable texts from the manuscript troves of the Royal Library in Paris

Silvestre de Sacy, [Antoine Isaac]. [Al-Anis al-mufid lil-talib al-mustafid]. Chrestomathie arabe, ou extraits de divers écrivains arabes, tant en prose qu'en vers, a l'usage de élèves de l'École spéciale des Langues Orientales vivantes.

Paris, (J. J. Marcel), l'Imprimerie Imperiale, 1806.

8vo. 3 vols. (8), 15, (1), 587, (1) pp. (6), XII, 543, (3) pp., final blank leaf. (4), IV, 565, (1) pp., final blank leaf. Contemporary brown boards with giltstamped red spine label.


First edition, printed with the beautiful Arabic types of the Imprimerie Imperiale by J. J. Marcel, who in 1798 had brought printing to the Arabic world when he set up the first press in Cairo.

"Opus maximopere, nec vero ultra quam fas erat, laudatum et celebratum ab omnibus qui de eo referrent" (Schnurrer). "Like his Grammar, de Sacy's Chrestomathy was first compiled for his students. In the early 19th century there was a very limited body of reading matter for academic learners of Arabic [...] The Chrestomathy was intended to remedy this fault. But de Sacy immediately combined with this practical aim the scholarly task to use and make known valuable texts from the manuscript troves of the Royal Library in Paris, and so his Chrestomathy contains extensive extracts from late historians (Maqrizi) and geographers, from Hariri's Maqamat, from the Druze canon and from Qazwini's cosmography, as well as several poems from Nabiga to Ibn Farid, and, finally, keeping in mind the practical needs of future interpreters, a collection of state documents, all of this in the original Arabic with French translation and a wealth of annotations [...] It is a credit to de Sacy's interpretative mastery that the Chrestomathy [...] enjoyed a much longer life than similar works usually do, which tend soon to show their age due to the progress of scholarship: for nearly a century his work introduced learners to the masterpieces of Arabic literature" (cf. Fück).

Bindings rubbed and bumped at extremeties; interior well preserved. Scarce on the market.


Schnurrer 153. Fück p. 146-148. OCLC 3822297.

Art.-Nr.: BN#54468 Schlagwörter: , , ,