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Edwin Norris (24 October 1795  – 10 December 1872)[1] was a British philologist, linguist and intrepid orientalist who authored numerous works on languages of Asia and Africa and his most famous works include his uncompleted Assyrian Dictionary and his translation and annotation of the three plays of the Ordinalia.

He was born in Taunton England on 24 October 1795 and served as a Clerk for the East India House and was also an assistant secretary in the Royal Asiatic Society during the 1830s. He translated and annotated the Cornish language manuscripts from the Middle Ages known as the 'three plays of the Ordinalia' which is one of the most important relics of the Celtic dialect of Cornish, published in 1859 by the Oxford University Press as "Ancient Cornish Drama" it is one of the more recognized aspects of his work. He also worked on but never completed the Assyrian Dictionary, one of his more well known works outside Cornwall and widely considered a landmark in the history of cuneiform. The work was meant to further the study of the cuneiform inscriptions of Assyria and Babylonia but was unfinished at the time of his death in 1872.


  • Outline of a Vocabulary of a Few of the Principal Languages of Western and Central Africa. London: John W. Parker, West Strand. 1841.  
  • Assyrian Dictionary, 3 volumes. 1868-72.   (ISBN 1421262886, ISBN 1421262878, ISBN 142126286X)




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