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The Founders

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses that the encouragement of commercial contacts with the Islamic world was an important consideration in favour of the study of Arabic in Europe. Thomas Erpenius' professorship had not only laid the academic foundations for the study of Arabic in the Dutch Republic, but it had also demonstrated the social importance of Arabic studies. On Erpenius' death a successor was immediately appointed in the person of Jacobus Golius, a pupil and friend of Erpenius who had already been recommended by his teacher. In the period in which Golius occupied the chair, the foundations laid by Erpenius were further extended with the great collection of manuscripts which Golius assembled in the course of his life. Golius' most important publication is unquestionably the one-volume Lexicon Arabico-Latinum, published in Leiden in 1653 by the firm of Elzevier, 'printers to the academy'.

Keywords: Arabic studies; Islamic world; Jacobus Golius; Lexicon Arabico-Latinum; Thomas Erpenius' professorship



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