Preface by the Editors

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[pp. vi-vii]

Preface by the Editors

The General Meeting, held at the Second Symposium of Nubian Studies in Warsaw June 22nd 1972, had welcomed "the plan of the Polish Academy of Science and the Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften to publish Fontes Rerum Nubicarum, original text as well as English translation, on the basis of Father G. Vantini's manuscript." The modest step towards a realization of this aim should be seen in this English field-manual of Oriental Sources concerning Nubia, published and sponsored by the two Academies and meant for the practical usage by excavators during their campaigns in Nubia.

The responsibility for the collection of the authors and texts, of editions and translations rests entirely with Father Vantini. He also did the transcription of Arabic words, following the system used in the Encyclopedia Britannica. About one third of the text is taken over from English translations, another third was translated into English from French, the last third was directly translated from Arabic MSS (the key being A:0). Whenever Father Vantini was able to check the Arabic text in using a French translation (in general from MC) for his English rendering, the signature A:1 is added. Syriac, Persian and Ethiopic texts could not be cheeked in their respective originals. The short remarks introducing the different authors are given as a help for the reader specifying the relation between translation and original text and indicating some short information. - The footnotes were added by Father Vantini himself.

[p. vii] Our colleague W.H.C. Frend-Glasgow has kindly gone over the English wording. Dr. W. Wischmeyer-Heidelberg has enriched the bibliographical remarks, checked and reshaped the bio-bibliographical introductions. Dr. Claudia Nauerth-Heidelberg compiled the index of localities and peoples described (not merely mentioned) in the texts. Dr. Erika Dinkier-von Schubert helped to coordinate and to prepare the final text. Mrs R. Bieber-Heidelberg did the retyping of a manuscript, in which different hands had left their notes and suggestions. To all of them we are thanking for their help and co-operation.

We are well aware that much in this edition could be improved. Yet we hope that Father Vantini’s collection will be of substantial help to archaeologists and historians. Last not least the ‘field-manual’ may lead the readers back to the sources and thus kindle the interest in Nubian studies.


Erich Dinkler-Heidelberg

Kasimierz Michalowski-Warsaw