The Alcoran of Mahomet

By Alexander Ross

First Edition (1649)

The Alcoran of Mahomet

Alexander Ross, London, Printed, Anno Dom., 1649
“The Translator to the Christian Reader There being so many Sects and Heresies banded together against the Truth, finding that of Mahomet...

Description

Alexander Ross (1590–1654) was a Scottish christian cleric, orientalist and a chaplain to King Charles I, known for making the first complete English translation of the Quran on May 7, 1649. The translation was named “The Alcoran of Mahomet” and is actually translated from a French translation by André du Ryer published in 1647, and not from original Arabic (Ross did not know Arabic). Some have stated that the original author of this translation is anonymous, but it is attributed to Ross due to his writing a caveat to it. The translation is at times widely different from the original. Notwithstanding the protestant missionary and combative tone of the translation, it stands out as the first English translation of the Quran.

About the author

Alexander Ross

Scottish writer
  • Born: Aberdeen, Scotland, c. 1590
  • Died: Hampshire, England, 1654 (aged 63–64)
  • Full name: Alexander Ross
  • Other names: Ross, Alexander R., Alexander
  • Creed: Christian
  • Influences: André du Ryer

Editions

Between 1649 and 1856, Ross’s translation of Du Ryer went through some eight editions both in Britain and the United States. Some of the more populare are:

  • 1649 ——— [Another edition]. Pages 407 + 14 + 7. (WorldCat)
  • 1688 ——— The Alcoran of Mahomet, translated out of Arabick into French, by the Sieur Du Ryer, Lord of Malezair, and resident for the French king, at Alexandria. And newly Englished, for the satisfaction of all that desire to look into the Turkish vanities. To which is prefixed, the life of Mahomet, the prophet of the Turks, and author of the Alcoran. With A needful caveat, or admonition, for them who desire to know what use may be made of, or if there be danger in reading the Alcoran. London: printed by Randal Taylor. Pages xviii, 511. Also in a folio edition of the same year. (WorldCat)
  • 1718 ——— [The Alcoran of Mahomet, translated out of Arabique into French, by the Sieur Du Ryer ... And newly Englished, for the satisfaction of all that desire to look into the Turkish vanities. (The life and death of Mahomet, etc. A needfull Caveat or Admonition for them who desire to know what use may be made of, or if there be danger in reading the Alcoran, by A. Ross.)], [Another edition]. (WorldCat)
  • 1718 ——— The life of Mahomet, together with the Alcoran at large. London : Printed for J. and B. Sprint ... [et al.]. (WorldCat)
  • 1719 ——— A compleat history of the Turks : from their origin in the year 755, to the year 1718. ... Illustrated with effigies, ... as also with an exact map ... To which are added, I. Their maxims of State and Religion. II. A Dictionary, explaining the names and nature of their religious Sects, civil and military Offices, &c. III. The Life of their Prophet Mahomet. IV. The Alcoran, translated from the Arabic by the Sieur De Ryer, and now English’d). London, printed by J. Darby, for Andr. Bell, W. Taylor, and John Osborne. (WorldCat)
  • 1806 ——— The Koran, commonly called the Alcoran of Mahomet. Translated from the original Arabick into French, by the Sieur De [sic] Ryer … the whole now faithfully translated into English 1st American edition. Springfield: Printed by Henry Brewer for Isaiah Thomas, Jun., 1806 (library of Congress 36/34770). (WorldCat)---