Hebraism in Sixteenth-Century England: Robert and Thomas Wakefield (Studies and Texts) (Hardcover)

Hebraism in Sixteenth-Century England: Robert and Thomas Wakefield (Studies and Texts) By James P. Carley (Editor), Charles Burnett (Editor) Cover Image
By James P. Carley (Editor), Charles Burnett (Editor)


Robert Wakefield (ca. 1493/5-1537) and his brother Thomas (1500-1575) were pioneers in the study and teaching of Hebrew in early modern England, but the range of their learning and their accomplishments has received scant scholarly attention.

Robert was trained at Cambridge, where he was closely associated with the educational reforms of John Fisher. He claimed to have acquired his expertise in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Arabic through long study of books that had come into his hands rather than from teachers. By the 1520s, however, his erudition combined respectable biblical scholarship with knowledge of later Jewish literature, eventually bringing him professorial status in Louvain and in Cambridge, and later in Oxford.

Thomas, who enjoyed long tenure as praelector in Hebrew at Cambridge, took possession of his brother's books and manuscripts upon his sudden death. Thomas was a compulsive annotator of his books, and through his notes it has been possible to learn a great deal about his intellectual, philological, and theological interests. His marginalia in a copy of the Hebrew Bible he inherited reveal an overwhelming desire to return to the pristine version of the text of scripture, the Hebraica veritas.

This volume draws together the political, linguistic, and bibliographical materials that shaped the careers of these two scholars, often serving to revise previous claims. The essays, while representing important contributions in their own right, also reflect on each other, extending arguments and drawing together thematic conjunctions to produce a compelling analysis of Hebrew learning in sixteenth-century England.

About the Author

Charles Burnett, FBA, is Professor of Arabic/Islamic Influences in Europe at the Warburg Institute, University of London. His research has concentrated on the translations of Arabic texts into Latin in the Middle Ages, in the fields of philosophy, science, religion, and magic. Among his publications are The Introduction of Arabic Learning into England (1997), Arabic into Latin in the Middle Ages: The Translators and their Intellectual and Social Context (2009), Numerals and Arithmetic in the Middle Ages (2010), and The Great Introduction to Astrology by Abu Ma'sar (with Keiji Yamamoto and David Pingree, 2019). James P. Carley, FRSC, is a Distinguished Research Fellow Emeritus at York University, Toronto, and a Fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto. He has published extensively on Glastonbury abbey, on the Arthurian legends, and on the foundation of Lambeth Palace Library. His edition of The Libraries of King Henry VIII was published in 2000. His edition and translation of John Leland's De uiris illustribus, assisted by Caroline Brett, was published in 2010.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780888442314
ISBN-10: 0888442319
Publisher: PIMS
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2023
Pages: 348
Language: English
Series: Studies and Texts