London: Thomam Roycroft, 1661. First edition. Hardcover. Quarto. , 560 col. (280pp), pp (Index). 3/4 leather over cloth with gold lettering and borders on spine. Wolf Leslau's ex-libris on inside of front board. Title-page in red and black lettering. Engraved vignette on additional title-page. Decorative headpieces and initials. Hiob Ludolf can with justice be called the father of Ethiopian Studies in Europe. In this monumental work, being the first Ethiopic lexicon, he paved the way for a better and more just understanding of the Ethiopian language. Although he himself was never in Ethiopia, he had the good fortune to make direct contact with Ethiopian scholars in Rome. Major age-wear on binding with spine rubbed, partly chipped and taped. Heavy abrasion on leather. Offsetting on endpapers. Free front endpaper inscribed by previous owner and dated 1894. First title-page slightly age-toned and chipped at lower front corner (not affecting text). Minor and sporadic contemporary annotations in ink at margin of a few pages. Very minor age-toning along paper margin. Text in Amharic and Latin. Binding in overall poor, interior clean and in very good condition. fair. Item #27255
About the author: Hiob Ludolf (or Job Leutholf) (June 15, 1624 – April 8, 1704) was a German orientalist, and born at Erfurt. Edward Ullendorff rates Ludolf as having "the most illustrious name in Ethiopic scholarship". After studying philology at the Erfurt academy and at Leiden, he travelled in order to increase his linguistic knowledge. While searching in Rome for some documents at the request of the Swedish Court (1649), he became acquainted with one Gregorius, a monk from the Ethiopian province of Amhara, and acquired from him an intimate knowledge of the Ethiopian language. In 1652 he entered the service of the duke of Saxe-Gotha, in which he continued until 1678, when he retired to Frankfurt-am-Main. In 1683 he visited England to promote a cherished scheme for establishing trade with Ethiopia, but his efforts were unsuccessful, chiefly through the resistance of the authorities of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Returning to Frankfort in 1684, he gave himself wholly to literary work, which he continued almost to his death. In 1690 he was appointed president of the Collegium Imperiale Historicum.