The Teaching and Learning of Arabic in Early Modern Europe


This volume brings together the leading experts in the history of European Oriental Studies. Their essays present a comprehensive history of the teaching and learning of Arabic in early modern Europe, covering a wide geographical area from southern to northern Europe and discussing the many ways and purposes for which the Arabic language was taught and studied by scholars, theologians, merchants, diplomats and prisoners. The contributions shed light on different methods and contents of language teaching in a variety of academic, scholarly and missionary contexts in the Protestant and the Roman Catholic world. But they also look beyond the institutional history of Arabic studies and consider the importance of alternative ways in which the study of Arabic was persued.

Contributors are Asaph Ben Tov, Maurits H. van den Boogert, Sonja Brentjes, Mordechai Feingold, Mercedes García-Arenal, John-Paul A. Ghobrial, Aurélien Girard, Alastair Hamilton, Jan Loop, Nuria Martínez de Castilla Muñoz, Simon Mills, Fernando Rodríguez Mediano, Bernd Roling, Arnoud Vrolijk.

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By: Jan Loop
Pages: 1–12
Jan Loop, is a Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Kent and co-leader of the European Research Area project on Encounters with the Orient in Early Modern European Scholarship (EOS). He is the author of Johann Heinrich Hottinger. Arabic and Islamic Studies in the 17th Century (Oxford, 2013) as well as of several essays and articles on early modern intellectual and cultural history.

Alastair Hamilton, is the Arcadian Visiting Research Professor at the School of Advanced Study, London University, Warburg Institute. His publications include The Copts and the West 1439–1822. The European Discovery of the Egyptian Church (Oxford, 2006), and, with Francis Richard, André Du Ryer and Oriental Studies in Seventeenth-Century France (London and Oxford, 2004).

Charles Burnett is Professor of the History of Arabic/Islamic Influences in Europe at the Warburg Institute, University of London. He is the leader of the Humanities in the European Research Area project on Encounters with the Orient in Early Modern European Scholarship (EOS). Among his books are The Introduction of Arabic Learning into England (1997), and Arabic into Latin in the Middle Ages: The Translators and their Intellectual and Social Context (2009).
“The resulting book is a well-edited testimony to the great progress made by scholars of early modern Orientalism since Johann Fück’s seminal 1955 monograph. It offers thirteen individual contributions preceded by a helpful and well-written introduction from Jan Loop and followed by a usable index. […] it succeeds in both expanding the view to include the role of the wider networks of scholars, merchants and missionaries who pursued Arabic studies, incorporates the vital dimension of Arabic learnt on location in the Middle East, and gives us much new information about how the language was practically taught and learnt, as well as bringing to light understudied figures […]. It should find a welcoming readership above all amongst scholars of early modern intellectual history, and especially of orientalism, as well as amongst those practitioners of Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies who take a keen interest in their own Fachgeschite.”

James Weaver, University of Zurich in: Orientalistische Literaturzeitung Volume 115, Issue 1 (2020).
List of Abbreviations
List of Illustrations

Jan Loop

Arabic Studies in the Netherlands and the Prerequisite of Social Impact – a Survey
Arnoud Vrolijk

Learning Arabic in Early-Modern England
Mordechai Feingold

Johann Zechendorff (1580–1662) and Arabic Studies in Zwickau’s Latin School
Asaph Ben-Tov

Arabia in the Light of the Midnight Sun: Arabic Studies in Sweden between Gustaf Peringer Lillieblad and Jonas Hallenberg
Bernd Roling

Sacred History, Sacred Languages: The Question of Arabic in Early Modern Spain
Mercedes García-Arenal and Fernando Rodríguez Mediano

The Teaching and Learning of Arabic in Salamanca in the Early Modern Period
Nuria Martínez-de-Castilla-Muñoz

Teaching and Learning of Arabic in Early Modern Rome: Shaping a Missionary Language
Aurélien Girard

The Qur’an as Chrestomathy in Early Modern Europe
Alastair Hamilton

Arabic Poetry as Teaching Material in Early Modern Grammars and Textbooks
Jan Loop

Learning to Write, Read and Speak Arabic Outside of Early Modern Universities
Sonja Brentjes

Learning Arabic in the Overseas Factories: The Case of the English
Simon Mills

Learning Oriental Languages in the Ottoman Empire: Johannes Heyman (1667–1737) between Izmir and Damascus
Maurits H. van den Boogert

The Life and Hard Times of Solomon Negri: An Arabic Teacher in Early Modern Europe
John-Paul Ghobrial

Short biographies of authors

All interested in the history of Oriental Studies, Arabic Studies, early modern intellectual history, history of scholarship, history of Ideas, intercultural relations, Orientalism, history of religion, history of universities.
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