The project will introduce a new dimension into the existing research on the Arabic language and Arabic philology, which until now have been studied without any comprehensive cultural and social contextualisation. The project will focus on the process of the transmission of Arabic poetry, which provides detailed evidence of the development of Arabic philological thought and its universal significance for the theological, philosophical, historical and linguistic discourses of Arab intellectual history.

The project will document the transmission of early Arabic poetry and analyse its vocabulary in a systematic way for the first time. For this purpose it will create an Analytical Database of Arabic Poetry. This publicly accessible database will represent a ground-breaking contribution to European research on the Arabic language and the Arabic philological heritage, which so far lacks even such fundamental tools as an etymological dictionary of the Arabic language or a complete dictionary of Classical Arabic.

The database will implement comprehensive analytical tools and, in addition to lexical data on the vocabulary of the poetical texts, will include information on the intellectual and cultural milieu in which the texts were distributed and transmitted. This feature will make the database useful not just as an innovative lexical source, but also as a reference work for wider research on Arabic literature, history and culture. The database will complement current European initiatives on the digitisation of the earliest textual sources of the Arabic language provided by inscriptions, papyri and the text of the Qur’ān. Including references and links to the lexical resources of these projects, the Analytical Database of Arabic Poetry will serve as an integrative research platform for the history and semantics of the Arabic language—a subject indispensable for understanding the foundations of Arab culture past and present.