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Michael Jan de Goeje

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Michael Jan de Goeje August 13, 1836 – May 17, 1909 was a Dutch orientalist

Michael Jan de Goeje was born in Dronrijp, Friesland He devoted himself at an early age to the study of oriental languages and became especially proficient in Arabic, under the guidance of Reinhart Dozy and Theodor Juynboll, to whom he was afterwards an intimate friend and colleague He took his degree of doctor at Leiden in 1860, and then studied for a year in Oxford, where he examined and collated the Bodleian manuscripts of al-Idrisi part being published in 1866, in collaboration with Dozy, as Description de l'Afrique et de l'Espagne About the same time he wrote Mémoires de l'histoire et de la géographie orientales, and edited Expugnatio regionum In 1883, on the death of Dozy, he became Arabic professor at Leiden, retiring in 1906

Though perhaps not a teacher of the first order, he wielded great influence during his long tenure of the chair not only over his pupils, but over theologians and eastern administrators who attended his lectures His many editions of Arabic texts are of the highest value to scholars; the most important being his great edition of Tabari Though highly averse to politics, he took a keen interest in the municipal affairs of Leiden and made a special study of elementary education He took the leading part in the International Congress of Orientalists at Algiers in 1905 He was a member of the Institut de France, was awarded the German Order of Merit, and received an honorary doctorate of Cambridge University At his death he was president of the newly formed International Association of Academies of Science He became a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 18691

Among his chief works are:

  • Fragmenta historicorum Arabicorum 1869-1871 1 2 3 Volume 1 Volume 2 4 5
  • Diwan of Moslim ibn al-Wâlid 1875
  • Bibliotheca geographorum Arabicorum 1870-1894 6 7 8 9 10 11
  • Annals of Tabari 1879-1901
  • ibn Khordadbeh Abu'l Qasim Ubaid'Allah, al-Kitab al-Masalik w’al- Mamalik Livre des Routes et des Royaumes, الكتاب المسالك والممالك, about 870 12 13

Fr translation: Leyde, 1889 ; repr Francfort/Main, 1992

  • An edition of Ibn Qutaiba's biographies 1904
  • of the travels of Ibn Jubayr 1907, 5th vol of Gibb Memorial

He was also the chief editor of the Encyclopaedia of Islam vols i-iii, and contributed many articles to periodicals He wrote for the 9th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica


De Goeje's name is preserved in that of the Stichting de Goeje which subsidises the publication of academic studies relating to the Middle East2


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed 1911 "Goeje, Michael Jan de" Encyclopædia Britannica 11th ed Cambridge University Press 
  1. ^ "MJ de Goeje 1836 - 1909" Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Retrieved 24 January 2016 
  2. ^ "Some books subsidised by the Stichting" Copac Retrieved 2009-10-03 

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