The Arabic type specimen of Franciscus Raphelengius's Plantinian Printing Office

20 July 1997 marks the four-hundredth anniversary of Franciscus Raphelengius’s death. He may be rembered for several reasons. He lives on first and foremost as the Leiden scholar appointed extraordanry professor of the Hebrew language as successor to Johannes Drusius in 1586. The tangible profit today’s scholar still derives from Raphelengius’s activities is twofold. As the generous benefactor who presented manuscripts to the library, he will not be forgotten, nor on a wider scale in his capacity as the owner of the Academy’s bookshop through which the University was able to purchase considerable quantities of important publcations.

His prionering work was an Oriental printer and publisher gives an extra dimension to his interesting personality. The present exhibition devotes its attention primarily to his latter aspect of Raphelengius’s work. This is partly by necessity, since little research has yet been undertaken on Raphelengius’s scholarly activities. Biographies of the early luminaries of the University of Leiden and of academic life in the Netherlands in general, are still much too rare.

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  • 4-2-2009

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