Reinhart Dozy

Reinhart Dozy

Reinhart Pieter Anne Dozy (February, 1820 – May, 1883) was a Dutch Arabic scholar of French (Huguenot) origin, who was born in Leiden.

The Dozys, like so many other contemporary French families, emigrated to the Low Countries after the revocation of the edict of Nantes, but some of the former appear to have settled in the Netherlands as early as 1647. Dozy studied at the university of Leiden, obtained the degree of doctor in 1844, was appointed an extraordinary professor of history in 1850, and professor in 1857.

The first results of his extensive studies in Oriental literature, Arabic language and history, manifested themselves in 1847, when he published Al-Marrakushi's "History of the Almohads" (Leiden, 2nd ed., 1881), which, together with his "Scriptorum Arabum loci de Abbaditis" (Leiden, 1846-1863, 3 vols.), his editions of Ibn-Adhari's "History of Africa and Spain" (Leiden, 1848-1852, 3 vols.), of Ibn-Badrun's "Historical Commentary on the Poem of Ibn-Abdun" (Leiden, 1848), and his "Dictionnaire détaillé des noms des vêtements chez les Arabes" (Amsterdam, 1845) - a work crowned by the Dutch Institute - stamped Dozy as one of the most learned and critical Arabic scholars of his day.

But his real fame as a historian mainly rests on his great work, "Histoire des Mussulmans d'Espagne, jusqu'à la conquéte de l'Andalousie par les Almoravides, 711-1110" (Leiden, 1861; 2nd ed., ibid., 1881); a graphically written account of Moorish dominion in Spain, which shed new light on many obscure points, and has remained the standard work on the subject. Dozy's "Recherches sur l'histoire et la littérature de l'Espagne pendant le moyen âge" (Leiden, 2 vols., 1849; 2nd and 3rd ed., completely recast, 1860 and 1881) form a needful and wonderfully trenchant supplement to his "Histoire des Mussalmans", in which he mercilessly exposes the many tricks and falsehoods of the monks in their chronicles, and effectively demolishes a good part of the Cid legends.

As an Arabic scholar Dozy stands well-nigh unsurpassed in his "Supplément aux dictionnaires arabes" (Leiden, 1877-1881, 2 vols.), a work full of research and learning, a storehouse of Arabic lore. To the same class belongs his "Glossaire des mots espagnols et portugois, dérivés de l'arabe", edited with Dr W.H. Engelmann of Leipzig (Leiden, 1866; 2nd ed., 1868), and a similar list of Dutch words derived from the Arabic.

Dozy also edited Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari's "Analectes sur l'histoire et la littérature des Arabes d'Espagne" (Leiden, 1855-1861, 2 vols.), and, in conjunction with his friend and successor, Michael Jan de Goeje, at Leiden, al-Idrisi's "Description de l'Afrique et de l'Espagne" (1866), also the "Calendrier de Cordoue de l'année 961; texte arabe et ancienne traduction latine" (Leiden, 1874). "Het Islamisme" ("Islamism"; Haarlem, 1863, 2nd ed., 1880; French translation) is a popular exposition of Islam, of a more controversial character; and "De Israelieten te Mekka" ("The Israelites at Mecca," Haarlem, 1864) became the subject of a rather heated discussion in Jewish circles.



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