Michael Jan De Goeje - Encyclopedia




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MICHAEL JAN DE GOEJE (1836-1909), Dutch orientalist, was born in Friesland in 1836. He devoted himself at an early age to the study of oriental languages and became especially proficient in Arabic, under the guidance of Dozy and 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 MSS. of Idrisi (part being published in 1866, in collaboration with R. P. Dozy, as Description de l'A frique et de l'Espagne). About the same time he wrote Mdmoires de l'histoire et de la geographie orientales, and edited Expugnatio regionum. In 1883, on the death of Dozy, he became Arabic professor at Leiden, retiring in 1906. He died on the 17th of May 1909. Though perhaps not a teacher of the first order, he wielded a great influence during his long professoriate not only over his pupils, but over theologians and eastern administrators who attended his lectures, and his many editions of Arabic texts have been of the highest value to scholars, the most important being his great edition of Tabari. Though entirely averse from 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. Among his chief works are Fragmenta historicorum Arabicorum (1869-1871); Diwan of Moslim ibn al-Walid (1875); Bibliotheca geographorum Arabicorum (1870-1894); Annals of Tabari (1879-1901); edition of Ibn Qutaiba's biographies 0904); of the travels of Ibn Jubaye (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 and the present edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

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