Hafniae (Copenhagen, vol. 1); Londini (London, vol. 2): Apud Friderich Brummer (vol. 1); Literis Berlingianis (vol. 2), 1816-1817. First edition. Hardcover. Quarto. VII, , 274, pp. (vol. 1); , 164pp (vol. 2). Uncut and unopened copies. Modern burgundy cloth, with gold lettered leather label to spines.
The Mandaic cosmological work called the Ginza Rba (literally "The Great Treasury"), or Siddra Rabba ("The Great Book"), also known as the Liber Adami (The Book of Adam). It is the longest of the many holy scriptures of the Mandaean religion*, and was first published by Matthias Norberg in 1815-16, together with a Latin translation. The book is a compilation of various oral teachings and written texts. It includes literature on a wide variety of topics, including liturgy and hymns, theological texts, didactic texts, as well as both religious and secular poetry. Norberg also wrote this Mandaic-Latin lexicon and onomasticon (our set), which is a descriptive and annotated list of the proper names featured in the Ginza. The Mandaic words in the lexicon are printed in Syriac characters rather than Mandaic. For a great number of the words, Norberg compares also the related words from Jewish Aramaic, Syriac, and Arabic, with some reference, too, to Greek words. Matthias Norberg, (1747-1826) was a Swedish professor of Greek and Oriental languages at Lund University. It was in Paris that he encountered the Mandaean religion record books, as well as several Syriac manuscripts. This stoked his interest in oriental studies.
Ex-library copy with stamp on inside of front cover, back endpaper, and reference number in ink at lower margin of each title (not affecting lettering). Minor shelf wear. Slight age-toning and foxing throughout. Text in Latin with Syriac words. Bindings and interior in overall good+ to very good condition. g+ to vg. Item #40004
* Mandaeism or Mandaeanism is a gnostic religion with a strongly dualistic worldview. Its adherents, the Mandaeans, revere Adam, Abel, Seth, Enos, Noah, Shem, Aram and especially John the Baptist, but reject Abraham, Moses and Jesus. The Aramaic manda means "knowledge," as does the Greek "gnosis." The language used is classical Mandaic, a dialect of Eastern Aramaic written in Mandaic script (Parthian chancellory script), similar to Syriac script. The authorship is unknown, and dating is a matter of debate. Some scholars place it in the 2nd-3rd centuries AD, while others such as S. F. Dunlap place it in the 1st century.