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Edward Pococke (1604 – 1691), alumnus of Corpus Christi College and Regius Professor in Hebrew at Oxford, became the first Laudian Professor in Arabic at there after he returned from Syria. Besides translating Arabic books of history and poetry and commenting on books of the Hebrew prophets, Pococke introduced in England the work of the great Jewish philosopher, physician and jurist Moses Maimonides. Pococke also translated into Latin Ibn Tufayl’s 12th-century Arabic philosophical novel “Hayy Ibn Yaqzan.” Translated into many languages, the book influenced Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” and helped inspire the transition from Renaissance Humanism – with its devotion to Greek, Latin and Hebrew texts – to the Enlightenment ideal of independent thinking. Lenn Goodman of Vanderbilt University is a widely known philosopher and a scholar of Jewish and Islamic philosophical classics. Like Pococke, he has translated both “Maimonides” and “Ibn Tufayl.” This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition “500 Years of Treasures from Oxford.” For more information on the exhibition, visit Tickets: Free; reservations required Link: Phone: 212-294-8301


Oxford’s Aleppo Connection: Edward Pococke (1604 – 1691) from Humanism to Enlightenment via Hebrew and Arabic Learning

July 12, 2017


Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th
New York, New York, United States
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