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Derenbourg, Joseph

DERENBOURG, JOSEPH (1811-1895), Franco-German orientalist. He was a considerable force in the educational revival of Jewish education in France. He made great contributions to the knowledge of Saadia, and planned a complete edition of Saadia's works in Arabic and French. A large part of this work appeared during his lifetime. He also wrote an Essai sur l'histoire et la géographie de la Palestine (Paris, 1867). This was an original contribution to the history of the Jews and Judaism in the time of Christ, and has been much used by later writers on the subject (e.g. by Schürer). He also published in collaboration with his son Hartwig, Opuscules et traités d'Abou-'l-Walîd (with translation, 1880); Deux Versions hébraïques du livre de Kalilâh et Dimnah (1881), and a Latin translation of the same story under the title Joannis de Capua directorium vitae humanae (1889); Commentaire de Maimonide sur la Mischnah Seder Tohorot (Berlin, 1886-1891); and a second edition of S. de Sacy's Séances de Hariri. He died on the 29th of July 1895, at Ems.

His son, Hartwig Derenbourg (1844-1908), was born in Paris on the 17th of June 1844. He was educated at Göttingen and Leipzig. Subsequently he studied Arabic at the Ecole des Langues Orientales. In 1879 he was appointed professor of Arabic, and in 1886 professor of Mahommedan Religion, at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris. He collaborated with his father in the great edition of Saadia and the edition of Abu-'l-Walîd, and also produced a number of important editions of other Arabic writers. Among these are Le Dîwân de Nâbiqa Dhobyanï; Le Livre de Sîbawaihi (2 vols., Paris, 1881-1889); Chrestomathie élémentaire de l'arabe littéral (in collaboration with Spiro, 1885; 2nd ed., 1892); Ousâma ibn Mounkidh, un émir syrien (1889); Ousâma ibn Mounkidh, préface du livre du bâton (with trans., 1887); Al-Fákhrî (1895); Oumâra du Gémen (1897), a catalogue of Arabic MSS. in the Escorial (vol. i., 1884).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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