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Critical Notices. 567 

of the too scanty productions in this branch of learning, I would 
consider it a dangerous practice to allow to pass -without notice 
any work bearing on the subject, be the character of that work 
what it may. 

And a somewhat lengthy consideration of the subject (the 
present has assumed such proportions without any intention on 
my part, and in spite of my attempt to limit it), will certainly 
do the reader less harm than none at all, and I trust that the 
readers of this esteemed periodical, taking into consideration 
the circumstances of the case, will acquit me of the guilt of being 
prolix, and pardon the length of this notice. 

LuDWio Blau. 

Budapest. 



Grrammatical and Lexicographical Literature. 

A. — The Book of the Comparison of the Hebrew Language with the 
Arabic, by Abu-Ibeahim (Isaac) ibn Bae^n, a Spanish Jew of 
the end of the eleventh century and beginning of the twelfth, by 
P. KoKOFTSOF, with the edition of the original text of the 
fragment of the work of ibn Barftn, which has been preserved 
(Russian title : Kniga Sravnenia. Tevresiskago Yazika s' Arab- 
skim) ; St. Petersburg, 1 893. Being Part I. of " Contribution to 
the History of Mediaeval Hebrew Philology and Hebrew Arabic 
Literature." 

The Imperial liibrary of St. Petersburg became the greatest rival of 
the Bodleian Library, as regards Hebrew MSS., by the acquisition of 
the two collections of the late Firkowitz. The first one, which was 
bought about 1860, consists mostly of Karaitic literature, a collection 
which will remain unsurpassed. Out of it the late Pinsker composed 
his important work, with the title of Liquid Qadmonioth, published in 
1860, when the collection was still in Firkowitz's private possession. 
Another short account of it appeared in the monograph with the 
title of Aus der Petersbwgen Bibliothek, by the present writer 
(Leipzig, 1860). Based upon Pinsker's book, Gottlober, Fiirst, and 
Graetz wrote the history of the Karaites, in which many data have 
to be rectified. The second Firkowitz collection, acquired by the 
Imperial Library about 1876, consists mostly of a great number of 
fragments, more or less complete, of various departments of Hebrew 

oo 2 



568 The Jetcish Quarterly Beview. 

literature, Rabbanitio as well as Karaitic, in Hebrew as well as in 
Arabic, written with Hebrew characters. It is said that they were 
collected from Genisoth in Egypt and Mesopotamia. A short account 
of this collection was given by the present writer in a report addressed 
to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, published in the 
University Gazette, 1876, Vol. VII., page 237. An accurate idea of 
the richness of the documents in this collection can only be had when 
the catalogue, prepared by the Councillor of State, Dr. A. Harkavy, 
appears ; meanwhile he has made a short list which is not yet pub- 
lished. On the other hand, this savant has brought to light many 
important pieces of this collection. We shall only mention a volume 
of Besponsa of the Geonim, which appeared in three fasciculi amongst 
the publications of the Meqitse Nirdamim (1885-87). This work is 
most important, amongst others, for the history of the Rabbinical 
schools in Barbary (Morocco, Tunis, and Algeria), which I hope to 
show in a special article on this subject. Also a first fasciculus on 
Saadiah GTaon (see Jewish Quaktekly Review, IV., p. 490), and 
some other extracts from old grammarians, as well as the Diwan of 
Samuel han-Nagid (the prince), 1879 ; moreover, many unknown 
poetical pieces (unfortunately scattered, in weekly periodicals mostly, 
which are inaccessible in this country ; see below, p. 577). However, 
the collection of Hebrew and Arabic fragments, coming from a 
Genizah in Egypt, and lately acquired by the Bodleian Library, rivals 
that of St, Petersburg, if not in quantity, certainly in quality. In 
the Bodleian fragments we find a large fragment of the Babylonian 
Talmud tractate Kerithoth, written in 1123, which will soon appear, 
edited by Mr. Schechter and the Rev. S. Singer. This is the oldest 
dated of Talmud fragments known hitherto. The present number of 
the QuAETEELY will contain a unique fragment of the 8ifre Zutd, edited 
also by Mr. Schechter. From the Bodleian fragments Dr. Harkavy 
has published the important answer to Ben Meir (Jewish Qoaeterly 
Review, IV., p. 493). To return to the St. Petersburg fragments : 
Magister Israelson has edited with a preface the remainder of an 
Arabic commentary on Genesis by the G-aon Samu»l ben Hofni (St. 
Petersburg, 1886) ; and M. J. Derenbourg has edited fragments of the 
commentary on Isaiah by the famous Judah Ben Balam, as well as 
extracts of old grammarians (Opusculus et traitis, Paris, 1880, p. xx., 
sqq.), and he is preparing the edition of a small remainder of 
Saidiah's commentary on Exodus. 

I have great pleasure in noticing the critical edition of a great 
fragment in Arabic of the grammar and lexicon of Abu-Ibrahim 
Isaac ibn Barfin, of Cordova, with an elaborate preface, translations 
and copious nhilological notes in Russian, as well as a short preface in 



Critical Notices. 569 

Hebrew, by M. P. Kokof tsof . Ibn Baxftn was a contemporary of the 
famous poet, Moses ibn Ezra, and he himself was a poet of talent 
(see No. 1972 of the catalogue of the Hebrew MSS. in the Bodleian 
Library), and a pupil of Levi ben al-Taban, who is mentioned 
by Abraham ben Ezra in his treatise called Meoznaim. Ibn 
Barftn was extremely well read in Arabic literature, and his com- 
parisons of Hebrew with the Arabic are, therefore, of great value. 
Moses ben Ezra even says that ibn Barftn also compares Hebrew 
with Latin and Berber, and that his dictionary is superior to that of 
Dunash ben Tamim. In the existing fragments, however, there is no 
trace of such comparison, and we must consider Moses ben Ezra's 
remark concerning his friend as enthusiastic. Barftn's work, which is 
unfortunately incomplete, has been recognised in the 1876 collection : 
M. Kokof stof mentions nine fragments (about half of ihe book); and 
that is all which is known at present of this treatise, for the frag- 
ment of the Bodleian Library, No. 2422 of my catalogue, is in- 
deed not by ibn Barftn, as M. Kokof tsof rightly says. Much 
more comparative matter for Arabic with Hebrew is found in Ibn 
Barftn's work than in Abu-1-Walid's diationary. Moreover the 
numerous quotations from Arabic poets and other Arabic books will 
be a boon also to not a few Arabic scholars, who will find all the 
verses put together by the learned editor in Arabic characters. M. 
Kokof tsof did well to make his edition in Hebrew characters, in which 
the unique fragments are written in spite of Arabic scholars, who 
prefer naturally the Arabic characters. The introduction contains 
I. The Biography of Ibn Bartln, as far as it is known, in which not 
an item is neglected ; II. Discussion on the title, nJtX1D7N, " the 
balance," quoted by Hebrew writers DOtNO ; a similar title was 
given by Abraham ben Ezra for one of his grammatical treatises. M. 
Kokof tsof has, however, found at the beginning of ibn Barftn's second 
part (the work is divided into two parts, viz., grammar and lexicon) 
the full Arabic title, according to which we should translate "Book of 
Comparison between the Hebrew and the Arabic " ; Munk, without 
knowing the full title, translated " La mise en balance, ou la comparai- 
son ;" and Professor W. Baoher renders it in G-erman, " Die Gleicheit." 
III. The third part gives translations of I. and a part of II., with 
very extensive and useful notes. IT. treats of Hebrew and Arabic 
writers quoted by ibn Bartln. The writer shows here great know- 
ledge of Hebrew and Arabic literature, and more especially of Arabic 
poetry, of which copious use is made by ibn BarCia. A very useful 
summary in correct Babbinical Hebrew, concerning the biography of 
our grammarian and his quotations, precedes the text. Those who 
cannot read Eussian without dififtculty, and others who do not know 



570 The Jeimh Quarterly Review. 

that language at all, will fiad here the essence of M. Kokoftsof's 
Bussian monograph. It is scarcely necessary to mention that the 
text taken from unique fragments often requires emendations ; these 
are, however, duly indicated in the notes : here we find also the refer- 
ences to Biblical passages explained by ibn B irftu. We hope that our 
young and able Semitist and excellent grammarian will give us soon, 
in the second part of this collection, other unique texts, grammatical 
as well as lexicographical, which are abundaut in the second Fir- 
kowitz collection. 

Another important essay on the well-known grammarian and 
commentator, Judah ben Bal^tn (a predecessor of ibn Barttu, who 
quotes him), by Dr. Solomon Fuchs, the able editor of the Hebrew 
monthly with the title of Ipinn, has appeared (Studien iiber Abu 
Zakaria Jahja {R, Jehuda) ibn Balam ; Berlin, 1893 ; Part I.). We 
have already noticed Dr. Fuchs' just remark that many of Judah's 
treatises on the Particles were inscribed by a copyist into Abul 
Walid's lexicon (ha-Hoqer I., p. 121, sqq.). When the present essay is 
completed we shall gladly lay the result before our readers. At 
present we may only mention that Dr. Fuchs is one of the growing 
authorities in Hebrew-Arabic literature, and, above all, a great en- 
thusiast for this branch of Jewish learning ; he certainly deserves 
the attention of the Jewish public, who should try to help him to 
continue his monthly, to which eminent men like A. Epstein, 
Dr. Harkavy, Herr Halberstam, Professor Kaufmann, and others 
contribute. 

A. Neubauer. 



Two Monographs by Dr. M. Oaster. 

I. *N3DEJ*n '33 JTjJO The Scroll of the Hasmonceans. (Extract from 
the Transactions of the Oriental Congress, London, 1891, vol. ii.) 

Besides the first and second books of the Maccabees, which are now 
accessible only in Greek, there exists a small chronicle in later 
Hebrew, usually entitled the Scroll of Antiochos (D31*D3N | D^JO). 

That this Hebrew text is based upon an original written in 
Aramaic, was long suspected ; and although existing in many MSS., 
this text was not published before 1851, from a MS. in the British 
Museum. It was followed by another edition from a MS. in the Town 
Library of Leipzig, in 1874 ; and a third appeared in 1877, by Dr. 
Jellinek, from a MS. in his possession. We have now before us a fourth