Abulfida's History of Arabia, edited by the father of Arabic studies

Abu al-Fida Isma`il ibn `Ali (Abulfeda). [Mukhtasar tarikh al-Bashar - Latin]. Abilfedae annales moslemici [...]. Tomus primus (= all published).

Leipzig, Christian Gottlob Hilscher, 1778.

4to. XXVIII, (6), 329, (1) pp. With engraved printer's device to title-page. Contemporary unsophisticated boards. All edges sprinkled blue and red.


Second printing of Reiske's Latin edition of Abulfida's great historical work, the "Concise History of Humanity". Written in the form of annals extending from the creation of the world to the year 1329, it is divided into two parts, one covering the history of pre-Islamic Arabia and the other the subsequent history of Islam. This translation, first published in 1754, reaches up to the year 406 H (1015 CE).

The brilliant scholar Reiske (1716-74) is regarded as the father of Arabic studies as an independent discipline. In sharp contrast to his teacher Schultens, he was one of the first Arabists whose work was unfettered by the constraints of Biblical exegesis.

Browned throughout due to paper stock. Binding rubbed and stained, extremeties bumped. From the library of the Gregorio Speciale (1738-1820), Nicosian nobleman, canon, and director of the Stamperia Reale (Royal Printing House) of Palermo from 1791 until his death, with his engraved bookplate ("Garofalo sc.") on the verso of the title-page.


GAL II, 45f. Schnurrer p. 119f. OCLC 49478817. Not in Rita Loredana Foti's catalogue of Speciale's library (Catalogo della libreria del cavaliere don Gregorio Speciale); see Libri e biblioteche in Sicilia tra tardo settecento in primo ottocento. Il caso del catalogo di Gregorio Speciale, in: Archivio di Stato di Palermo: Quaderni IX (2014), at pp. 99ff. (with an illustration of his bookplate on p. 100).