Al-Coranus S. Lex Islamitica Muhammedis, Filii Abdallae Pseudoprophetae, ad Optimorum Codicum Sidem Edita Ex Museo Abrahami Hinckelmanni.

Hinckelmann, Dr. Abraham.

Book ID: 9594


4to. [80], 560 pp., [10], woodcut Arabic half-title, Latin title printed in red & black, "Sententia Muhammedis.." leaf bound after Latin title, but lacking the second Arabic half-title (as usual), preface in Latin, text in vocalised Arabic, contemporary half vellum with marbled boards, all edges red, index, cover rubbed, soiled and worn round edges, few contemporary Latin annotations in margins with some interlinear annotations, Monastic library stamp on last leaf and labels on back endpaper, contemporary Latin note on front endpaper, otherwise a good copy, Ex Officina Schultzio-Schilleriana, [G. Schultz & B. Schiller], Hamburg, first edition, 1694.


The Hamburg Koran was long believed to be the first edition printed, the preliminary text being dated 10 May 1694. However, there exists a unique surviving copy of a printing prepared by Alexander Paganini at Venice in 1537-1538, which was discovered in Venice in 1987. Teseo Ambrogio degli Albonesi’s `Introductio in chaldaicam linguam’ (Pavia 1593), states that the only trace of the existence of the Koran which was printed by Father Alexander Paganini of Brescia at the end of the fifteenth or at the beginning of the sixteenth century is a record of the destruction of the printing, but that no copy of the edition was then known to have survived. The unique survivor was Ambrogio’s own copy. The Hamburg Koran therefore remains as the first obtainable printed edition.
Dr Abraham Hinckelmann (1652-1695), a German Protestant theologian, was an Islamologist who was one of the first to print a complete Qur’an in Hamburg. He studied at Wittenberg and collected many Oriental manuscripts. He compiled a Koranic lexicon in manuscript and planned a Latin translation of the Koran, but this was never realised.
Bibliographic references: Enay 136; British Museum Catalogue 127:540; Graesse 4:41; Nouvelle Biographie Generale Vol. 24, Col. 705-6; Smitskamp 360; Balagna 89 and 341; Schnurrer 376; Zenker I, 1362.

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