Bythner, Victorinus (DNB00)

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BYTHNER, VICTORINUS (1605?–1670?), Hebrew grammarian, was a native of Poland. He became a member of the university of Oxford about 1635, and lectured on the Hebrew language in the great refectory at Christ Church until the outbreak of the civil war. When Charles I fixed the headquarters of his army at Oxford in 1643, Bythner removed to Cambridge. He afterwards lived in London, but in 1651 we find him again lecturer on Hebrew at Oxford. About 1664 he retired into Cornwall, and there practised medicine. The date of his death is unknown. Bythner's grammatical works, though written in curiously faulty Latin, are models of lucid and compact arrangement, and continued long in use. His Hebrew grammar, published in 1638 under the title ‘Lingua Eruditorum,’ was several times reprinted. An edition of this work was published by Dr. Hessey in 1853, accompanied by the author's ‘Institutio Chaldaica’ (first printed in 1650). Of Bythner's other writings, the most important is his ‘Lyra Prophetica Davidis Regis’ (London, 1650), which is a grammatical analysis of every word in the Hebrew psalter. An English translation of this book, by T. Dee, was published in 1836, and a second edition of this translation appeared in 1847.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon., ed. Bliss, iii. 675; MS. Egerton 1324, f. 106.]

H. B.