Erpenius standard Arabic grammar


ERPENIUS, Th. Rudimenta linguae Arabicae. 1628.

Title page and excerpt from an Arabic grammar by Thomas Erpenius, which was used for over 230 years and went through many editions and translations. Erpenius was the greatest Orientalist scholar of his time. He studied in Leiden and in Oxford, Cambridge, Paris and Venice before becoming a professor of Oriental languages, and later Hebrew as well, at the University of Leiden. The study of Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, Persian, Syriac, and Ethiopian was of great importance for biblical research as well as for the development of international contacts and trade. Erpenius developed printing facilities for Oriental languages at Leiden, a particularly difficult and expensive task due to the need to create special sets of movable type in various scripts, and the linguistic expertise required to set and proofread Oriental texts.  After his death in 1624, Erpenius’ printing facilities were sold to the Elzeviers, who continued to produce Oriental-language books for the University. 

[EHC 08.1628.Erp] [Willems 295]