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The Latin Translation of the Qurʾān by Johann Zechendorff (1580-1662) Discovered in Cairo Dār al-Kutub

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A Preliminary Description

image of Oriente Moderno

The manuscript Maṣāḥif 198 of Cairo Dār al-kutub preserves an interlinear Latin translation of the Qurʾān. It is the work by Johann Zechendorff (1580-1662) who made it in the first half of the seventeenth century but could not find a publisher for it. Handwriting and further information from his published booklets on the Qurʾān confirm this. Zechendorff copied the Qurʾānic text from a manuscript of the Qurʾān he had acquired and produced an Arabic text which he translated inserting the corresponding Latin for each word. Notes in margin correct some inconsistencies and add comments from various sources. The manuscript as a whole is a unique testimony on the way a western scholar of the Qurʾān dealt with the Muslim holy text. Further, it is a new complete translation of the Qurʾān from the seventeenth century, which is brought to the attention of scholars.

Affiliations: 1: Università di Napoli “L’Orientale”


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