RELAND, ADRIAN (1676-1718), an eminent Orientalist and scholar, was born at Ryp, a village in North Holland, July 17, 1676. His father was a minister of that village, but afterwards removed to Amsterdam, where Reland was educated. He made such progress in learning, that at eleven years of age he had passed through the usual classical course. The next three years he spent in making himself acquainted with the Hebrew, Syriac, Chaldee, and Arabic languages, under the tuition of Surenhusius. At fourteen he was sent to Utrecht, where he studied under Grmvius and Leusden; and, three years afler, was admitted to the degree of doctor in philosophy, on which occasion he sustained a thesis, ' De Libertate Philosophandi,' At seventeen he entered upon a course of divinity, under the direction of Herman Witsius and others; but he did not abandon the Oriental languages, which were always his favourite studies. After a residence of six years at Utrecht, he removed to Leyden, and soon after the earl of Portland chose him as preceptor to his son. In 1699 he was elected professor of philosophy at Harderwick, but did not continue long in that situation; for the university of Utrecht, on the recommendation of King William, offered him the professorship of Oriental languages and ecclesiastical history, which he readily accepted, and filled with high reputation during the remainder of his life. In 1713 a Society for the Advancement of Christian Knowledge being established in England, Reland became a member of it, as well as of that for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, instituted the year after. He died of the small-pox at Utrecht, Feb. 5, 1718, in the forty-second year of his age. He wrote and published a great number of works on sacred and Oriental learning, the chief of which are the following:—' De Religione MohammedicaLibri Duo,'Utrecht, 1705, 12mo., a second edition of which, with many additions, was published at the same place, 1717, l2mo.; 'DissertationumMiscellanearum Partes Ties,' 170G, 1707, 1708, 12mo. These three parts, which are not always found together, comprise thirteen dissertations upon various subjects, more or less connected with Eastern history and antiquities, with the exception only of one, treating of the languages of America. 'Analecta Rabbinica,'ib. 1702, Svo.; 'Antiquitates Sacroe Vcterum Hebraorum,' 1708, 12mo.; 'Dissertationes quinque de Nummis Veterum HebiODorum,' &c.; 'De Spoliis Templi Hyerosolymitam in arcu Titiano Romas conspicuis,' 1716, 12mo.; 'Oratio pro Lingua Persica,'ib., 1701, 4to.; and a dissertation on the Marbles of Puteoli, ib., 1709, 12mo. But his greatest work, and that in which his learning of the Eastern languages shines most conspicuous, is 'Palasstina ex Monumentis Veteribus illustrata et Chartis Geographicis accuratioribus illustrata,' which appeared first at Utrecht, 1714, 2 vols. 4to, and was reprinted at Niirnberg, 1716, 4to. Besides the above works, Reland wrote many others, as the ' Disserlatio de Philippi Imperatoris Patris et Filii credito temere Christianismo,' a funeral oration to the memory of Mary, wife of William III. of England, a dissertation on the progress of philosophy at the beginning of the eighteenth century, &c.
Note - this article incorporates content from The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1840)