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Public lecture ‘Master of the Oriental Tongues’: A Syrian Christian in Eighteenth-Century Germany

Public Lecture by Dr Simon Mills (Newcastle University) 

8 June 2022, 16.15 CET

Room 6B-0-22 – University of Copenhagen

For online participation register here:

This lecture is dedicated to the life and legacy of Shukrallah al-Dadikhi (c.1694–1734), an Arabic-speaking Christian from Aleppo. In his early teens he left Syria to study in Paris with the Jesuits, then commenced a journey which would take him from Rome to Geneva, through Germany to Halle, and back across Europe to London, where he died without seeing again the land of his birth. Reconstructing his travels and career will illuminate the ‘Catholic and Protestant Orients’, two interconnected worlds of Jesuit schoolmasters, Syriac studies at the Vatican, German bibliophiles with a passion for the Qur’an, and the Reformed missionary societies of Pietist Prussia and Protestant England. Yet at the centre of the story is Dadikhi himself – a man whose secret eluded both his contemporaries, and a series of twentieth-century scholars.