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Edited by Jan Loop, Alastair Hamilton and Charles Burnett

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.

This title, in its entirety, is available online in Open Access.

Majd al-Dīn al-Fīrūzābādī (1329-1415)

A Polymath on the Eve of the Early Modern Period


Vivian Strotmann

In Majd al-Dīn al-Fīrūzābādī (1329-1415): A Polymath on the Eve of the Early Modern Period, Vivian Strotmann provides a detailed reconstruction of the famous lexicographer’s and travelling scholar’s life and works. The ‘author of the Qāmūs al-muḥīṭ’ is widely known for his Arabic lexicon, which overshadows the astounding breadth of his writing. This polymathic aspect is elucidated through detailed reconstruction of al-Fīrūzābādī’s corpus, including examination of works that were considered lost and misapprehensions concerning ascriptions of authorship. Through minute analysis of biographical sources, the book shows al-Fīrūzābādī’s development as a scholar, his central role in the defence of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s teachings and thereby his importance as a powerful intellectual in Timurid times and for developments during the Early Modern Period.

Arabic Studies in the Netherlands

A Short History in Portraits, 1580–1950

Arnoud Vrolijk and Richard van Leeuwen

Arabic is the only living language to have been taught in Dutch higher education for more than four centuries. Practical usefulness, however, has been a prerequisite from the start. Knowledge of Arabic was to promote Dutch interests in the Muslim world, or to help refute Islam. As a cognate of Classical Hebrew, the study of Arabic served as an ancillary science to Biblical studies. Nevertheless, many Arabists such as Thomas Erpenius and Jacobus Golius rose to international distinction. With more than 110 colour illustrations from the Leiden Oriental collections, Arabic Studies in the Netherlands. A Short History in Portraits, 1580-1950 by Arnoud Vrolijk and Richard van Leeuwen will help the reader to gain insight into a fascinating aspect of Dutch intellectual history.