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Abraham Wheelocke: Wikis


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Abraham Wheelocke[1] (Whitchurch, Shropshire, 1593 - 1653) was an English linguist. He was the first Adams Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge, from around 1632. According to Robert Irwin[2] he regarded it as part of his academic duty to discourage students from taking up the subject. Thomas Hyde was one of his pupils.

Wheelocke was librarian of the "Public Library" (i.e. Cambridge University Library), and was also Reader in Anglo-Saxon. He produced the editio princeps of the Old English version of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (1643-4)[3]. In the same work he published an important edition--and the first in England--of Bede's Ecclesiastical History in its original Latin text[4] opposite the Old English version, along with Anglo-Saxon laws. Many of the notes in this edition consist of the Old English homilies of Aelfric of Eynsham, which Wheelocke translated himself into Latin.

He graduated MA from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1618, and became Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge in 1619.[5][6]

Quatuor evangeliorum domini nostri Jesu Christi versio Persica Syriacam & Arabicam suavissimè redolens[7] was a trilingual version of the Four Gospels, published in the same year as the London Polyglot, to which he also contributed.


Primary sources
  • Wheelock, Abraham (ed.) Historiae ecclesiasticae gentis Anglorum libri V a venerabili Beda presbytero scripti. Cambridge: Roger Daniel, 1643. Augmented edition 1644. (Texts in Latin and Old English, with notes and additional texts)
Secondary sources
  • Graham, Timothy (2001) "Anglo-Saxon Studies: Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries," in A Companion to Anglo-Saxon Literature, eds. Phillip Pulsiano and Elaine Treharne. Oxford: Blackwell; pp. 415-33.
  • Oates, J. C. T. (1986) Cambridge University Library; [Vol. 1]: From the Beginnings to the Copyright Act of Queen Anne. London: Cambridge University Press
  • Murphy, Michael (1967) "Abraham Wheloc's Edition of Bede's History in Old English," Studia Neophilologica; 39 (1967), pp. 46-59.
  • Chai-Elsholz, Raeleen (2007) "Painted with the Colour of Ancientie: two early-modern versions of Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica," in The Medieval Translator / Traduire au Moyen âge; 10; eds. Jacqueline Jenkins and Olivier Bertrand. Turnhout: Brepols; pp. 179-91.
  • Adams, Eleanor N. (1917) Old English Scholarship in England from 1566-1800,in Yale Studies in English; 55. 1917; repr. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970.


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