Page:Compendious Syriac Grammar.djvu/17

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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.[1]

 

Although I did not reckon upon the necessity arising during my lifetime for a new edition of the Syriac Grammar, I still have continued to note down in my own copy—following my general practice—many additions and improvements. A good deal of this material, accordingly, I was able to devote to the new edition. Amongst other things, I have compared the citations already given from the Life of Simeon Stylites, with a transcript of the London Codex lent me by Prof. Kleyn of Utrecht, now deceased. It would appear however, that the Vatican text is upon the whole nearer the original, than the one in the British Museum.

I have endeavoured to introduce a considerable number of improvements in points of detail, but I have abstained from radical alterations except in a very few cases. In the Syntax I have added to the number of the examples. The Syriac Bible has been more largely drawn upon than in the former edition, particularly as regards the Gospels, and especially the Synoptic Gospels. These last exhibit almost invariably an exceedingly flowing, idiomatic style of Syriac, which upon the whole reads better than the Semitic Greek of the original. This feature comes into still stronger relief in the more ancient form of the text—as contained in C. (Curetonianus) and S. (Sinaiticus)—than in our usual text P. (Peshitā). The Syriac Old Testament frequently approximates the original Hebrew text too closely; and, precisely because of the intimate relationship of the languages, we sometimes find ourselves at a loss as to whether the verbal reproduction is still in conformity with the true


  1. [This edition in the original is dedicated to Prof. Guidi].