First Edition, First Etymological Dictionary to Record Portuguese words of Arabic Origin
Item Number: 14504
João de Sousa
Sousa, João de. Vestigios da lingoa arabica em Portugal, ou lexicon etymologico das palavras, e nomes portuguezes, que tem origem Arabica. Lisbon, Published by Na Officina da Academia Real das Sciencias, 1789. 4to. XX, 160 pp. Woodcut device of the Academia Real das Sciencias on title page. Mid-nineteenth century quarter sheep binding over marbled boards. Pictorial lithograph bookplate of José Bernardo Pereira Martins.
First edition of the first etymological dictionary to record Portuguese words of Arabic origin, written by Father João de Sousa, one of the premier Arabic scholars of 18th-century Portugal. Sousa was born in Damascus, Syria, and brought up by Syrian Capuchins. He became the first professor of Arabic at the University of Lisbon, as well as a frequently published member of the Academia Real das Sciencias The entries in "Vestigios da lingoa Arabica" are arranged alphabetically in Portuguese, followed by the equivalent Arabic word or source, a transliteration, and an explanation. Also included are words which entered Portuguese through Arabic originally derived from Hebrew, Greek, Persian or Turkish. Included is a short list of English words derived from Persian with Portuguese equivalents showing common Indo-Aryan roots, rather than Semitic. Notable among the many loan words are the names of flowers, vegetables, spices nuts, trees, pharmaceutical plants, the names of towns and villages and words used in architecture or decoration. The work was written at the order of the Academia Real das Sciencias of Lisbon. A second edition appeared in 1830. The next work on the subject, by Francisco de S. Luiz, did not appear until 1837. Small oval brown on white paper binder's ticket of "officina de Encadernador // Santos & Alves // Lisboa // 112, Rua de S. Roque, 114" in upper outer corner of front pastdown endleaf. Slight wear to head and foot of spine and corners. Small repair to upper margin of title-page, two other leaves with even smaller repairs, all without loss. Uncut. A few contemporary marginal ink annotations. Later pencilled annotations. Overall fairly clean and crisp, in very good condition.