Erpenius (van Erpe), Thomas°

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ERPENIUS (van Erpe ), THOMAS ° (1584–1624), Dutch Orientalist. Erpenius traveled (1608–12) extensively through the libraries of Europe, availing himself while at Venice of Jewish instruction. In Leiden, where in 1613 he was appointed professor of Oriental languages (initially excluding but from 1619 on including Hebrew), he ran an Oriental press. Erpenius' own work covers various Oriental languages, such as his Orationes tres de Linguarum Ebreae et Arabicae Dignitate (Leiden, 1621). His works include grammars of Hebrew (Leiden, 1621; Geneva, 1627; Leiden, 1659); of Aramaic and Syriac (Amsterdam, 1628); the books of Samuel and Kings edited and translated into Hebrew and Latin; the Pentateuch in Arabic (Leiden, 1621); Psalms in Syriac (1628); and a treatise on the punctuation of the divine name (Rostock, 1626). After Erpenius' death his Oriental manuscripts were purchased and donated to Cambridge University (a.o. Hebrew Mss. Ee. 5.8–10, Mm. 6.26.1–2).


Nouvelle Biographie Universelle, 13 (1815), 372–6, includes bibliography.

[Raphael Loewe]