Published in 1822, but completed in manuscript form almost 100
years earlier, this work was designed to accompany Beschi's earlier
Grammar of Common Tamil. While the latter enabled the student to
speak the language, this reissue offers a way into reading Tamil's
classical literature with its complexity of thought and technique. One
of the earliest and most distinguished pioneers in the field of Tamil
studies, C. J. Beschi (1680–1747) was a Jesuit missionary in
Madura, as well as a translator and composer of Tamil poetry. Since
this treatise was not previously formally printed, this translation by B.
G. Babington (1794–1866), from the original Latin, is based on a
collation of texts, transcriptions and copies. In his preface, Babington
outlines errata and problems stemming from this process, and
makes explanatory notes where necessary. The work nevertheless
remains a groundbreaking study of an ancient and complex
language by a sensitive and thorough scholar and a gifted translator.