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Dominicus Germanus


Missionary, lexicographer, and Orientalist; b. Schurgast, Silesia, 1588; d. El Escorial, Spain, Sept. 26, 1670. He entered the Franciscan Order in 1624 and devoted himself to the study of Arabic and other Oriental languages under Friar Thomas Obicini at the Missionary College of St. Peter in Montorio, Rome. After a period of special study in Palestine, he returned there and taught Arabic from 1636 until 1640. During those years he published an Arabic grammar, Fabrica ovvero Dittionario della lingua volgare arabica ed italiani (Rome 1636), and an apologetical treatise, Antithesis fidei (Rome 1638); he also compiled a dictionary in Arabic, Latin, and Italian, Fabrica linguae arabicae (Rome 1639), widely used in Italy and Palestine until the middle of the 19th century. He also collaborated on an Arabic version of the Bible (Rome 1671). In 1640 he returned to Palestine, and in 1645 was made prefect of the mission of Samarkand, Tatary. At the request of King philip iv of Spain, he was sent in 1652 to El Escorial, where he taught Arabic and left in still unpublished MSS several apologetical treatises against the Muslims. His Latin version of the Qurān, Interpretatio Alcorani [Journal asiatique 8 Series 1 (1883) 343406] is the best Latin translation and confutation of the Qurān written up to that time.

Bibliography: r. aubert, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 14:608. b. zimolong, Dominicus Germanus de Silesia (Breslau 1928).

[d. a. mcguckin]

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