From the eighth to the tenth century A.D., Greek scientific and
philosophical works were translated wholesale into Arabic. This activity
resulted in the incorporation and reorganization of the classical heritage
in the new civilization which, using Arabic, spread with Islam.
A Greek and Arabic Lexicon is the first systematic attempt to present in an
analytical and rationalized way our knowledge of the vocabulary of the
translations. It is based on the glossaries included in text editions, both
published and unpublished, and on other materials gleaned from various
sources. The work is published in fascicules of 128 pages of lexical
entries plus indexes of the Greek-Arabic correspondences, of Greek proper
names and transliterated words, of variant Greek and Arabic passages, and
of the Greek authors cited in the context passages. From the second
fascicule onwards the indexes are cumulative.
A Greek and Arabic Lexicon is an indispensable reference tool for the study
and understanding of Arabic scientific and philosophical language and
literature. It facilitates the preparation of future editions of Arabic
texts translated directly from the Greek, as well as of works originally
composed in Arabic but based on the translations. It contributes to our
knowledge of the vocabulary and syntax of Classical and Middle Arabic, of
the thought and methods of the translators and of the nature of the
translation activity into Arabic methods of the translators and of the
nature of the translation activity into Arabic as a whole, and of the way a
new vocabulary may develop in an existing language.
Moreover, the Greek-Arabic glossary in general and the index of variant
Greek passages in particular will assist in future editions of the Greek
text of the works translated into Arabic. These provide information, in a
way that can be used by classical scholars who do not know Arabic, on the
readings of the manuscripts which were used by the Arab translators and
which antedate by more than two centuries the Greek manuscripts actually
extant. The work further contributes to our knowledge of the vocabulary of
Classical and Middle Greek and of the reception and reading of classical
Greek works in late antiquity and pre-Photian Byzantine literature.