In this major reference tool, Jessie Payne Smith has abridged the great two-volume work, 'Thesaurus Syriacus,' by her late father. But her task was not to simply edit down the earlier, massive tomes. She also provided English translations for each entry and additional notations. Her father's dictionary had translated each Syriac word into Latin. The Latin translations made it more internationally accessible; but with the decline of the use of Latin, it decreased in usefulness. Her labors have insured that it continues to benefit scholars and students of Syriac.
Jessie Payne Smith
Jessie Payne Smith (Mrs. Margoliouth) (d. 1933) was the daughter of Robert. In addition to this dictionary, she translated, edited, and wrote the commentary on the Syriac 'Extracts from the Ecclesiastical History of John, Bishop of Ephesus' (1909), and co-edited the volume 'Kurds and Christians' (1913).
Robert Payne Smith (1818-95) was an English clergyman and linguist, holding the positions of Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University and Dean of Canterbury. He delivered the prestigious Bampton Lectures in 1869. Payne Smith sat on the Old Testament committee for the English Revised Version of the Bible (1881-95), along with such greats as S. R. Driver, Christian Ginsburg, and T. K. Cheyne. He translated the Syriac commentary on Luke by Cyril of Alexandria, wrote a commentary on 1 Samuel, and published a catalog of Syriac and Mandaean codices in the Bodleian Library.