The Last Letter from Étienne Hubert to Joseph Scaliger: Oriental Languages and Scholarly Collaboration in Seventeenth-Century Europe

Nil Palabiyik

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Abstract

Between August 1607 and October 1608, the humanist scholar Joseph Scaliger and the physician Étienne Hubert exchanged five letters revealing the close collaboration between Scaliger in Leiden, and Hubert and Isaac Casaubon in Paris in studying Oriental texts. This paper translates and discusses the last letter from Hubert to Scaliger in detail, identifies the authors, texts, editions and manuscripts alluded to, and explains the passages quoted and foreign-language words mentioned in the letter. Understanding the references in Hubert’s letter is fundamental to exploring the nature and scope of Oriental learning in early seventeenth century Europe. It emerges from this new reading of the letter and other related primary materials that knowledge of Turkish was considered essential for Oriental studies, and Hubert and Scaliger were in search of native speakers who could help them read Arabic and Persian books which were procured from the Ottoman Empire and, therefore, featured Turkish explications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115–146
JournalLias: Journal of Early Modern Intellectual Culture and its Sources
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • John Rylands Research Institute and Library

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