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Schultens, Albert°


SCHULTENS, ALBERT° (1686–1756), Dutch Orientalist. Schultens studied theology and Oriental languages in his native city Groningen, where in 1706 he defended his Dissertatio theologica-philologica de utilitate linguae Arabicae in interpretanda sacra lingua. In 1707 he studied in Utrecht with Adrian *Reland, whose emphasis on interpreting Hebrew with the help of, inter alia, Persian, strengthened Schultens' conviction of the importance of Oriental cognates for the retrieval of the primitiva significatio or origines of Hebrew. In 1713 Schultens was appointed ordinary professor in Franeker. In 1729 he left for Leiden, where he was entrusted with the supervision of the Oriental manuscripts. Within three years, he was appointed professor linguarum orientalium.

Schultens employed the inductive empirical method characteristic of Dutch enlightened science. His comparative methodology (known as the Dutch School) was based on the theory of the "sisterly relationship" between Hebrew and Arabic, and deeply influenced 18th-century study of Hebrew, both in the Netherlands and abroad.

Schultens published grammatical works, including Institutiones (Leiden, 1737) and Vetus et Regia Via Hebraizandi (Leiden, 1738), various dissertations on the comparative method (Oratio de fontibus, 1713, Origines Hebraeae, 1724, Oratio de linguae Arabicae antiquissima origine, 1729), and philological commentaries on Job (1737, also translated into English and German) and Proverbs (1748).


bwn, 17:526–30; nnbw, 5:707–11; J. Nat, De studie van de Oostersche talen in Nederland in de 18e en 19e eeuw (1930); J.G. Gerretzen, Schola Hemsterhusiana (1940). J. Noordegraaf, in: History and Rationality (1995), 133–55; A.J. Klijnsmit, in: Helmantica, 154 (2000), 139–66.

[Irene E. Zwiep (2nd ed.)]

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