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Margoliouth, David Samuel


MARGOLIOUTH, DAVID SAMUEL (1858–1940), classical scholar and Orientalist. Born in London the eldest son of the convert missionary Ezekiel Margoliouth, Margoliouth was educated at Winchester and at New College, Oxford, where he gained two first class degrees and won the probably unprecedented total of 11 university prizes; later he was a fellow of New College (1881–89). In 1889 he was appointed professor of Arabic at Oxford University (apparently without knowing Arabic, although he quickly mastered the language), holding the position until his retirement in 1937. In 1899 he was ordained and in 1913 he became moderator in Oriental languages at London University, where he also delivered the Hibbert lectures. Margoliouth was honored by many learned societies; in 1915 he was elected as a member of the British Academy, and from 1934 to 1937 he was president of the Royal Asiatic Society. Margoliouth was an outstanding scholar in the fields of Islamic history and literature and was an important editor of medieval Arabic texts. Among his extensive writings the following are of particular Jewish interest: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel by Jephet ibn Ali… (edited and translated, 1889); The Place of Ecclesiasticus in Semitic Literature (1890); The Origin of the "Hebrew Original" of Ecclesiasticus (1899); and Relations Between Arabs and Israelites Prior to the Rise of Islam (Schweich lectures 1921, published 1924). He also edited Whiston's English translation of Josephus (1906).

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