Bibliotheca Orientalis Clementino-Vaticana In Qua manuscriptos Codices Syriacos, Arabicos, Persicos, Turcicos, Hebraicos, Samaritanos, Armenicos, Aethiopicos, Graecos, Aegyptiacos, Ibericos, & Malabaricos….. THREE VOLUMES IN FOUR.
ASSEMANI, GIUSEPPE SIMONE (1687-1768).
Book ID: 4437
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First edition of the author’s magnum opus, a monumental bio-bibliography of Syriac literature based on the manuscript holdings of the Vatican Library. This edition was almost entirely destroyed by fire which broke out in 1768 in Assemani’s apartment near the Vatican Library. The large part of this monumental work was collected by Assemani himself, who returned from a collecting expedition to Egypt and Syria that took place from 1715 to 1717, carrying more than 150 manuscripts, which were placed in the Vatican Library, where they formed the nucleus of the library’s subsequently famous collection of Oriental manuscripts.
Joseph Assemani was one of the Lebanese scholars who studied in Rome, and who had a profound impact on the field of Oriental studies in Europe in the 18th century. Assemani was appointed Prefect, devoting most of his life carrying out an extensive plan for editing and publishing the most valuable Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Persian, Hebrew and Greek manuscripts kept in the Vatican Library. Besides his various publications on a wide range of Oriental subjects, this work is considered his best achievement. It was supposed to contain twenty volumes, of which six were supposed to cover Oriental languages, four Greek and the last ten other languages, but he was only able to finish three volumes before his death. He was succeeded by another member of the Assemani family, Istifan Awad Assemani (1709-1782), who continued cataloguing the manuscripts in the Vatican Library and other libraries in Italy.
Bibliographic reference: Graf III, 451-53.