[ARABIC / ORIENTALISM / LINGUISTICS] Grammaire Arabe a l'usage des eleves de l'ecole speciale des langues orientales vivantes, avec figures.= Al-tuhfat al-saniyah fî ilm al-Arabiyah. Un Traité de la prosodie et de la métrique des Arabes. 2 volumes set
ANTOINE ISAAC SILVESTRE DE SACY, (1758-1838), L'Imprimerie Royal, Paris, 1831.
COMPLETE TITLE: [ARABIC / ORIENTALISM / LINGUISTICS] Grammaire Arabe a l'usage des eleves de l'ecole speciale des langues orientales vivantes, avec figures.= Al-tuhfat al-saniyah fî ilm al-Arabiyah. Corrigee et augmentee à laquelle on a joint Un Traité de la prosodie et de la métrique des Arabes. 2 volumes set
Original brown quarter leather bdg., five raised bands to spine; title andvolume numbers lettered in gilt. An old label on the spine. Professionally repaired spine. Slight foxing on pages. Overall a very good set. Demy 8vo. (22 x 14 cm). In French. 2 volumes set: ([xxxiv] [numbered mistakenly], 608 p., viii numbered folded plates; [xii], 697 p.).
Early original corrected and enlarged (second) French edition, of this comprehensive orientalist Arabic grammar of the 19th century with its attractive plates, written by French linguist De Sacy, fifteen years later he became the first and only professor of Arabic in the newly founded school of living Eastern languages (École speciale des langues orientales vivantes). First edition 1810.
The first volume is opening with the introduction of this enlarged second edition and preface for the first edition. A detailed description of highly attractive eight plates including Arabic alphabets (Qufic, Arabic-African, early Qufic examples, early Arabic-African, a cursive example from Tripoli, comparative early cursive scripts of Hebrew and Arabic from Tripoli, a fragment of a letter of the Moroccan Emperor to Louis XIV, etc.) from an ancient Quran manuscript and other material. Table of contents for the first volume. The first and second volumes consist of classic grammar rules in Arabic.
De Sacy was a French nobleman, linguist and orientalist. In 1781 he was appointed councilor in the cour des monnaies, and was promoted in 1791 to be a commissary-general in the same department. Having successively studied Semitic languages, he began to make a name as an orientalist, and between 1787 and 1791 deciphered the Pahlavi inscriptions of the Sassanid kings. In 1792 he retired from public service and lived in close seclusion in a cottage near Paris till in 1795 he became the first and only professor of Arabic in the newly founded school of living Eastern languages (École speciale des langues orientales vivantes). During this interval, Sacy studied the religion of the Druze, the subject of his last and unfinished work, the Exposé de la religion des Druzes (2 vols., 1838). He published the following Arabic textbooks: Grammaire arabe (2 vols., 1st ed. 1810), Chrestomathie arabe (3 vols., 1806), Anthologie grammaticale (1829). In 1806 he added the duties of a Persian professor to his old chair, and from this time onwards his life was one of increasing honor and success, broken only by a brief period of retreat during the Hundred Days.
He was perpetual secretary of the Academy of Inscriptions from 1832 onwards; in 1808 he had entered the corps législatif; he was created a baron of the French Empire by Napoleon in 1813; and in 1832, when quite an old man, he became a peer of France and regularly spoke in the Chamber of Peers (Chambre des Pairs). In 1815 he became rector of the University of Paris, and after the Second Restoration, he was active on the commission of public instruction. With Abel Rémusat, he was joint founder of the Société asiatique, and was inspector of oriental typefaces at the Imprimerie nationale. In 1821 he was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society.
Edward Said and other modern scholars have given critical attention to the theoretical foundations of "orientalism" in works like 'Chrestomathie' and 'Grammaire arabe'. (Wikipedia).