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The History of Oxford University Press: Volume IBeginnings to 1780$
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Ian Gadd

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557318

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557318.001.0001

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The Learned Press: Oriental Languages

The Learned Press: Oriental Languages

(p.398) Chapter 13 The Learned Press: Oriental Languages
The History of Oxford University Press: Volume I

Alastair Hamilton

Oxford University Press

The publications of the Oxford press indicate the growing interest in Eastern languages from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. The earliest publications were in the biblical languages Hebrew and Aramaic, for the study of Hebrew had become an essential part of the humanist tradition in England and two works of Hebrew grammar were published in the 1630s. Even before William Laud established a professorship of Arabic at the university, he acquired oriental types from Holland so that the press collection grew to include Arabic, Syriac, Ethiopic, Coptic, Armenian, Samaritan, and Cyrillic. While composing and proofing in these languages was laborious and expensive, print runs remained small and sales were seldom satisfactory. The Press nevertheless maintained consistently high standards of production and continued to advance oriental studies by supporting important new critical scholarship and commentary.

Keywords:   Edward Pococke, William Laud, Arabic, Hebrew, Coptic New Testament, biblical studies, Persian, William Caslon

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