6 volumes, parallel Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Samaritan (Pentateuch), Ethiopic (Job to Malachi, NT), Persian (Gospels) and Arabic texts, with Aramaic (Chaldaean) Targums in volume 4, first title-page printed in red and black, engraved portrait, additional engraved title-page, 2 double-page engraved maps, 4 engraved plates by Wenceslas Hollar, woodcut initials, eighteenth-century blind-tooled calf, spine gilt in compartments, brown morocco lettering-pieces, lacking blank D2 in volume 1, lacking errata leaf before Pentateuch, lacking blank 5t2 in volume 1, worming to early leaves of volume 3, light spotting and staining in places, small tears with loss (not affecting text), volume 1 rebacked
Castell, Edmund. Lexicon heptaglotton. London: Thomas Roycroft, 1669, 2 volumes, title-page printed in red and black, engraved portrait by William Faithorne, woodcut initials, volume 1 eighteenth-century blind-tooled calf, volume 2 recent quarter-calf, frontispiece portrait torn with tiny loss, volume one rebacked, light spotting
together 8 volumes, folio (439 x 266mm.), non uniform bindings
Bequeathed to the Bishopric of Cornwall, by the Rev. Franke Parker, M.A., Rector of Luffincott, Devon, 1883, bookplate; Cathedral Library, Truro, bookplate
Darlow & Moule 1446; Delaveau & Hillard 54 & 55; Wing B2797 & C1225; Pennington, Hollar 1129, 1132-1135
the london, or walton, polyglot bible, a monument of english scholarship and typography. It was edited by Brian Walton, whose earlier life had been blighted by expulsion from his church for supposed papist tendencies and a period in prison for debt, and contains for the first time texts in Ethiopic and Persian, making this the most complete, as well as the last, of all the great polyglot editions. One of its most notable features is its contribution to biblical textual criticism. The New Testament has variants from the recently rediscovered Codex Alexandrinus, and the sixth volume gives an apparatus criticus from fifteen other sources. Walton received, and rebuffed, significant criticism for this editorial decision.
Walton, whose assistants on the project included Edward Pococke, Laudian Professor of Arabic at Oxford, provided lengthy prefatory essays setting out the aims of the edition and providing an overview of oriental and biblical scholarship at this period. There are two forms of the preface. The earlier of the two acknowledges at some length the help given to the project by Oliver Cromwell. The second preface, written after the Restoration, downplays this assistance. The present copy contains the second form of the preface and the additional two leaves containing a dedication to Charles II.
The work was the second in England to be published by subscription, and the necessary £8,000 was raised within months in 1653. The receipts for the work, some of which have survived, were signed by Bruno Ryves, the dean of Windsor, Richard Drake and Walton himself.
Although Walton mentions a forthcoming lexicon in his preface to the Bible, Castell's Lexicon heptaglotton is essentially a supplement and forms no integral part of Walton's work.
The legacy of Walton's polyglot is, of course, intellectual but in Oliver Wendell Jones' 1867 novel The Guardian Angel the narrator's physical development is charted "from the height of Walton's Polyglot Bible to that of the shelf which held the Elzevir Tacitus and Casaubon's Polybius".
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