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C A L M E T'S
DICTIONARY OF THE HOLY BIBLE,
AS PUBLISHED BY THE LATE
MR. CHARLES TAYLOR,
THE FRAGMENTS INCORPORATED.
THE WHOLE CONDENSED AND ARRANGED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER.
WITH LARGE ADDITIONS,
BY EDWARD ROBINSON,
PROFESSOR EXTRAORDINARY OF SACRED LITERATURE IN THE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, ANDOVER.
ulith Maps, and Engravings on TUI000.
47 WASHINGTON STREET.
The Publishers of this work have in press, and will soon publish, an Abridgment of the
and young persons. Prepared by Professor ROBINSON.
Note. In the following work, the letter R. at the close of a paragraph, indicates that the
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1832, by
CROCKER AND BREWSTER,
LIST OF MAPS.
Peninsula of Mount Sinai, &e...
STEREOTYPED AT THE
TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
The American public being here presented with the well-known Dictionary of Calmet, in a condensed and somewhat abridged form, it is proper to state the circumstances under which this edition has been brought forward, and the principles on which the revision of the work has been conducted by the present Editor.
Augustin Calmet was a French monk, of the Benedictine order, and, in the latter part of his life, abbot of Senones, in Lorraine. He devoted himself particularly to the studies connected with Biblical literature ; and his chief works were a Commentary on all the Books of the Old and New Testament, (Paris, 1707-16, 23 vols. 4to. ; reprinted in 26 vols. 4to., and also in 9 vols. folio,) and the Historical and Critical Dictionary of the Bible, (Paris, 1722–28, 4 vols. folio ; reprinted at Geneva, 1730, in 4 vols. 4to., and again at Paris, 1730, in 4 vols. folio.) He published a few other works of a similar nature, which obtained less notoriety, and died at Paris in 1757, at the age of seventy-five years.
His general character, as a scholar and writer, is that of a diligent and judicious collector and compiler, with more of tolerance than was usual among the Catholics of that day, but without any profound skill in original investigation, or any distinguished tact or taste in the plan and arrangement of his works.
His Dictionary is justly regarded as affording a popular exhibition of the learning then extant upon the subjects of which it treats; without making in itself any important additions to the common stock. It was translated into English by D'Oyly and Colson, and published in 1732, in 3 vols. folio. There are said to have been versions of it also in the Latin, Dutch, Spanish, and Italian languages. But no further edition of it appeared in England until 1797, when it was again published under the direction of the late Mr. Charles Taylor, with considerable retrenchments and additions. The retrenchments consisted, principally, in the omission of articles resting on the authority of rabbinic literature and Catholic tradition, and not directly illustrative of the Bible. The additions were given in a separate volume, under the name of Fragments, and consisted of discussions and illustrations of oriental life, character, and manners, drawn chiefly from travellers in the East. second edition of Mr. Taylor's revision was printed in 1800–03; and afterwards a third, from which the American edition of 1812-16, was copied, in 4 vols. 4to. The fourth London edition appeared in 1823, enlarged by a second volume of Fragments; and the fifth edition in 1830, after the death of Mr. Taylor, in 5 vols. 4to., the fifth volume consisting only of the plates.
The character of Mr. Taylor as an editor, and the value of his additions to Calmet's work, may be given in few words. Acquainted with oriental philology only through the meagre system of Masclef and Parkhurst; as an expounder of etymologies, outstripping even the extravagance of the latter; and as a theorist in the ancient history of nations, overstepping the limits which even Bryant had felt himself constrained to observe ;-his remarks on ihese and many collateral topics, may be characterized as being in general fanciful, very often rash, and sometimes even involving apparent absurdity. They must ever be received by the student with very great caution. His chief and undoubted merit consists in diligently bringing together, from a variety of sources, facts and extracts which serve to illustrate the antiquities, manners and customs, and geography, of oriental nations.