Pococke, Edward

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Edward Pococke (pō´kŏk), 1604–91, English Orientalist, b. Oxford. Ordained a priest in 1629, he resided at Aleppo in Syria as a chaplain, where he collected valuable manuscripts and studied Arabic, Hebrew, Syriac, Samaritan, and Ethiopic. Living in England from 1636, he wrote a series of essays on Arabic history, Specimen historiae Arabum (1636), the first book printed in Arabic type. In 1663 he published the Arabic text and his Latin translation of the history by Bar-Hebraeus that had inspired his essays. This important work of scholarship was entitled Historia compendiosa dynastiarum. Pococke also wrote commentaries on Hosea, Joel, Micah, and Malachi, and made his superb collection and his vast knowledge available to other scholars. His library is now part of the Bodleian Library at Oxford. His name appears also as Pocock.