The lines originally laid down for this Dictionary were, to prepare a revised edition of Johnson's enlargement of Wilkins-Richardson's Persian, Arabic, and English Dictionary, by reducing the Arabic element and increasing the Persian, so as to produce a volume specially adapted to the wants of the English students. However, it was found that the mere reduction of the Arabic portion would not suffice to answer the purpose intended. At the same time it was soon felt that the fresh matter to be introduced in the Persian part exceeded the limits contemplated, and necessitated in this respect a considerable extension of the primary plan.
It is hoped that this Dictionary will justify its claim to comprehensiveness. The author's only ambition was to advance the work close to the point at which the practical adoption of the motto Viribus Unitis, with regard to Persian, becomes a necessity, and should be seriously contemplated by oriental societies and congresses.
Francis Joseph Steingass (1825- 1903) was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. He moved to England in the 1870s becoming Professor of Modern Languages at the Oriental Institute, Woking. The author of a number of Arabic and Persian dictionaries, he was cataloguing material in the India
Office Library at the time of his death.
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