THE TYPOGRAPHY OF SYRIAC: A HISTORICAL CATALOGUE OF PRINTING TYPES, 1537-1958.

  • New Castle, Delaware and London: Oak Knoll Press and The British Library, 2006.
  • 7 x 10 inches
  • hardcover
  • 272 pages
  • ISBN: 1584561920
  • ISBN: 9781584561927

Price: $75.00  other currencies

Order Nr. 91843

Syriac, a dialect of the ancient Aramaic language, has a remarkable Christian literature spanning a thousand years from the fourth to the thirteenth century, including important versions of the Bible. It remains the liturgical language of several churches in the Middle East, India, and the west, and 'Modern Syriac' is a vernacular still in use today. It is no wonder that this language has a long and rich printing history. The challenge of conveying the beautiful cursive Syriac script, in one or another of its three varieties, was taken up by many well-known type-designers in the letterpress era, from Robert Granjon in the sixteenth century to the Monotype and Linotype corporations in the twentieth, as well as by many lesser-known ones. This study records and abundantly illustrates no fewer than 129 different Syriac types, using archival documents, type-specimens, and the often scattered evidence of the print itself. The Typography of Syriac will be of interest not only to scholars of Middle Eastern languages and scripts but also to all historians of type and printing.

J. F. Coakley is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and on the staff of Houghton Library, at Harvard University. His private press, the Jericho Press, occasionally makes use of Syriac and other exotic types.

THE TYPOGRAPHY OF SYRIAC: A HISTORICAL CATALOGUE OF PRINTING TYPES, 1537-1958. J. F. Coakley.