ORIGINAL TITLE Title: Propagandists. The Lord's Prayer Written in 78 Dfferent Languages
PRONUNCIATION: Propagandists. The Lord's Prayer Written in 78 Dfferent Languages
MATERIAL: Hand-Written/Painted
TYPE: Manuscript
DIMENSIONS: 5 x 7 1/4 inches
COMPONENTS: Very good green leather volume with gilt decoration, "The Lord's Prayer" on the spine. Title page and all contents in manuscript, tp with several colors, the number "78" filled in with pencil indicating the designer did not know how many different languages would be included. 81 leaves in different hands, one blank, three leaves of index. One index page with horizontal tape and old clear tape repair.
CONDITION: Very good.
NOTES: Manuscript book, not published.
ITEM ID: 4527

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The Lord’s Prayer in 78 languages

DATE
Year: 1847
Decade: 1840s
Century: 19th (1801-1900)

A curious item. Produced by hand by the Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith [i.e. Propagandists] in Rome. At this time Cardinal Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti, the famous hyperglot, was the Director. There is one manuscript page identified as his hand, and two pages by the hand of Pope Gregory XVI. The other 78 leaves are the Lord’s Prayer in 78 different languages, with the language noted in pencil. The Index reveals the writers of most of the versions. The title page and index are in English.

There are two signatures at the front of the book: S. H. Newhall and James M. Willcox. Wilcox, born 1824 at Ivy Mills, PA, to one of the oldest Catholic families in Pennsylvania and the makers of the paper used in Continental and United States currency. James was a classical scholar at Georgetown College, and spent three years in Rome studying the ancient and modern languages under Cardinal Mezzofanti. “Not the least among these friends was the greatest of all linguists, ancient or modern, Cardinal Mezzofanti, who was master of forty languages, and with whom he made a study of ancient Anglo-Saxon. In 1847 he received from Pope Pius IX. his degree in philosophy…”

This book is a unique manuscript item, created by the College in Rome of which Mr. Wilcox was a member. Mr. Wilcox is the writer of several leaves, the Lord’s Prayer in Anglo-Saxon, English, and Latin. The title page indicates that the other writers were also members of the College.

Two leaves as “The Autograph of his holiness Gregory XVI” and one of “The Autograph of Cardinal Mezzofanti.” Mezzofanti writes in both English and Italian the Laudate Dominum, and signs his name from Rome, 1847. The Gregory XVI items are autograph notes, not bearing signatures.

The languages in which the Lord’s Prayer are written include Swedish; Danish; Gailic; Chinese in Scriptural Characters; Armenian Literary; Chinese in Printing Characters; Ethiopic Dialect; Irish; Norwegian; German; Arabic; Ethiopic; Language of Pegu; Romania; Coptic Dialect of Thebes; Coptic Dialect of Memphis; Georgian; Albanese; Swiss; Hollandish; Literary Chaldean; Modern Chaldean; Bulgarian; Kurdistanic; Cingalese; Modern Greek; Polish; Chinese; Syriac; Carniola; Modern Armenian; Tamulic; Anglo-Saxon, Printing Characters; Mogul; Hebrew; Rabbinic; English; Ancient Greek; Latin; Gothic; Hungarian; Turkish; Portuguese; Scotch; Persian; Samaritan; Angolanic [Ceylon]; Persian; Kurdic; Language of Malay; Maltese; Hindostan; Calabrian; Icelandic; French; Italian; Samaritan [different script than the first above]; Palmyric; Illyrian; Wallachian; Kufic; Samscrutanic; Japonese; Tartaric Chinese; Granthamic; Siamese; Syrio Chaldaic; Gulfaratic; Kalmuck; Continuation of the same; Sanscrit; Canary Language; German; Lithuanian; Laplandish; Madagascan; Curacaic; and Spanish.

Two leaves as “The Autograph of his holiness Gregory XVI” and one of “The Autograph of Cardinal Mezzofanti.” Mezzofanti writes in both English and Italian the Laudate Dominum, and signs his name from Rome, 1847. The Gregory XVI items are autograph notes, not bearing signatures.

ARTISTS
Name: Cardinal Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti
Type: Director
Artist Information: Director of the Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith [i.e. Propagandists] in Rome. A famous hyperglot.