FIRST OF THE GREAT ARAB DICTIONARIES
8 parts bound in 4 vols. folio, contemporary half morocco, small library blindstamp some wear and scuffing, some headbands weak,
Edward William Lane (17 September 1801– 10 August 1876) was a British Orientalist, translator and lexicographer. From 1842 onwards, Lane devoted himself to the monumental Arabic-English Lexicon, he was unable to complete the dictionary before his death. It was completed in eight parts. The first five, as far as the letter 'ayn, came out between 1863 and 1874, and the last three after Lane's death in 1876. The sixth volume, which Lane had all but completed, appeared in 1877. The seventh and the eighth, from the letter qaf on, were published in 1885 and 1893, edited and supplemented by Lane's great-nephew, Stanley Lane-Poole, who pieced together Lane's notes and also provided the biography of the author prefixed to part six. These parts together make up the first book stated in the title: that containing all the classical words "known to the learned among the Arabs". Lane's Lexicon was the first of the great European dictionaries of Arabic to appear in a vernacular and the first in English (his predecessors, such as Golius and Freytag, having preferred Latin). It therefore answered a growing need of scholars and civil servants connected with the expanding British Empire who wished to study classical Arabic. Still in production at the time of Lane's death in 1876 after 34 years' dedication, it is a truly remarkable work of scholarship that has yet to be surpassed in the realms of lexicography and remains an essential tool to scholars well into the 21st century. It drew heavily on the great Arabic monolingual dictionaries, in particular Firuzabadi's al-Qamus al-Muhit.
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