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Danby, Herbert°


DANBY, HERBERT ° (1889–1953), English Hebraist. Danby went to Jerusalem in 1919, first as a librarian and later as a canon of the Anglican Cathedral of St. George, remaining there until he was appointed professor of Hebrew at Oxford in 1936. Although Danby devoted his efforts mainly to the translation of tannaitic legal codes and that of Maimonides, he was also a pioneer among Christian Hebraists in taking modern Hebrew seriously as both an academic and a literary medium, and in developing an assessment of Judaism that was not merely positive but also possessed of insight. Thus, in 1939 he published (with M.H. *Segal) an English and (modern) Hebrew dictionary. Danby's reputation rests on his English translation of The Mishnah (1933), which is considered a standard reference work. He also contributed books 9 ("Offerings") and 10 ("Cleanness") to the Yale English translation of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah (1950, 1954). He translated J. Klausner's Jesus of Nazareth (1925) and History of Modern Hebrew Literature (1932) as well as Ḥ.N. Bialik's Biblical Legends (1938). His first work had been a translation of the Mishnah and Tosefta of the tractate Sanhedrin (1919), and in 1927 he published The Jew and Christianity.

[Raphael Loewe]

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