1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bochart, Samuel

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BOCHART, SAMUEL (1599-1667), French scholar, was born at Rouen on the 30th of May 1599. He was for many years a pastor of a Protestant church at Caen, and became tutor to Wentworth Dillon, earl of Roscommon. In 1646 he published his Phaleg and Chanaan (Caen, 1646 and 1651), the two parts of his Geographia Sacra. His Hierozoicon, which treats of the animals of Scripture, was printed in London (2 vols., 1663). In 1632 Christina of Sweden invited him to Stockholm, where he studied the Arabian manuscripts in the queen's possession. He was accompanied by Pierre Daniel Huet, afterwards bishop of Avranches. On his return to Caen he was received into the academy of that city. Bochart was a man of profound erudition; he possessed a thorough knowledge of the principal Oriental languages, including Hebrew, Syriac, Chaldaic and Arabic; and at an advanced age he wished to learn Ethiopic. He was so absorbed in his favourite study, that he saw Phoenician and nothing but Phoenician in everything, even in Celtic words, and hence the number of chimerical etymologies which swarm in his works. He died at Caen on the 16th of May 1667.

A complete edition of his works was published at Leiden, under the title of Sam. Bochart Opera Omnia (1675, 2 vols. folio; 4th ed., 3 vols., 1712). An Essay on the Life and Writings of Samuel Bochart, by W. R. Whittingham, appeared in 1829.