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David Samuel Margoliouth

david samuel margoliouth, david margoliouth
David Samuel Margoliouth 17 October 1858, London – 22 March 1940, London was an orientalist He was briefly active as a priest in the Church of England He was Laudian Professor of Arabic at the University of Oxford from 1889 to 193712

His father, Ezekiel, had converted from Judaism to Anglicanism, and thereafter worked in Bethnal Green as a missionary to the Jews; he was also close to his uncle,3 the Anglican convert Moses Margoliouth4 Margoliouth was educated at Winchester, where he was a scholar, and at New College, Oxford where he graduated with a double first in Greats and won an unprecedented number of prizes in Classics and Oriental languages, of which he had mastered Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Armenian and Syriac, in addition to Hebrew His academic disseration, published in 1888, was entitled Analecta Orientalia ad Poeticam Aristoteleam In 1889 he succeeded to the Laudian Chair in Arabic, a position he held until he retired, from ill health, in 1937 He received the degree Doctor of Letters D Litt from the New College, Oxford, in July 19025

Many of his works on the history of Islam became the standard treatises in English, including Mohammed and the Rise of Islam 1905, The Early Development of Mohammedanism 1914, and The Relations Between Arabs and Israelites Prior to the Rise of Islam 19242

He was described as a brilliant editor and translator of Arabic works,2 as seen in The Letters of Abu'l-'Ala of Ma'arrat al-Nu'man 1898, Yaqut's Dictionary of Learned Men, 6 vol 1907–27, and the chronicle of Miskawayh, prepared in collaboration with H F Amedroz under the title The Eclipse of the 'Abbasid Caliphate, 7 vol 1920–21 Some of David Samuel Margoliouth's studies are included in The Origins of The Koran: Classic Essays on Islam’s Holy Book edited by Ibn Warraq

He identified a business letter written in the Judeo-Persian language, found in Danfan Uiliq, northwest China, in 1901, as dating from 718 CE the earliest evidence showing the presence of Jews in China6

He was a member of the council of the Royal Asiatic Society from 1905 onwards, its director in 1927, was awarded its triennial gold medal in 1928, and was its president 1934-371

Egyptian Poet Laureate Ahmed Shawqi dedicated his famous poem, The Nile, to Margoliouth


  • Lines if Defence of the Biblical Revelation; Second Edition" 1901
  • Mohammed and the Rise of Islam 1905
  • Umayyads and 'Abbasids 1907
  • The Early Development of Mohammedanism 1914
  • Yaqut's dictionary of learned men 7 vols 1908-1927
  • The Kitab al-Ansab of al-Sam'ani 1911
  • Mohammedanism 1912
  • The Table-talk of a Mesopotamian judge 2 vols 1921-1922
  • The Eclipse of the Abbasid Caliphate 1922
  • The Relations Between Arabs and Israelites Prior to the Rise of Islam Schweich Lecture for 1921 1924
  • Lectures on Arabic historians, delivered before the University of Calcutta, February 1929 Byzantine series, 38 New York City: Burt Franklin, 1930

"The Poetics Translated From Greek Into English And From Arabic Into Latin" 1911 ISBN 9789333679183


  1. ^ a b Encyclopædia Britannica 14th edition - article Margoliouth, David Samuel
  2. ^ a b c Encyclopædia Britannica 15th edition - article Margoliouth, David Samuel
  3. ^ Werner Eugen Mosse and Julius Carlebach, Second Chance: Two Centuries of German-speaking Jews in the United Kingdom
  4. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  5. ^ "University Intelligence" The Times 36813 London 7 July 1900 p 5 
  6. ^ Xu Xin, The Jews of Kaifeng, China History, Culture, and Religion p153, KTAV Publishing House, Inc, 2003 ISBN 0-88125-791-5 ISBN 978-0-88125-791-5

External linksedit

  • Britannica online article
  • on-line pdf versions of five of his works at muhammadanismorg

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