Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pasor, Matthias

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946365Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 43 — Pasor, Matthias1895Bertha Porter

PASOR, MATTHIAS (1599–1658), mathematician, linguist, and theologian, was the son of George Pasor (1570–1637), an eminent philologist, and of his wife, Apollonia, daughter of Peter Hendschius, senator of Herborn in Nassau. He was born at Herborn on 12 April 1599, and there received his first instruction in Latin and Greek. In 1614 the plague caused him to spend a year at Marburg in Hesse, where he commenced the study of Hebrew. In 1616 he went to Heidelberg, where, in addition to his own study, he gave private lessons in mathematics and Hebrew. On 20 Feb. 1617 he took the degree of M.A. at Heidelberg, and in 1619 was made professor of philosophy at the university there. On 23 April 1620 he became professor of mathematics, but was obliged to fly in September 1622, when the town was sacked by the Bavarian troops under Tilly. In the disorder he lost his books and his manuscripts. In October 1622 he reached Herborn, and was employed in the academy there till the end of 1623, when he removed to Leyden. In 1624 he arrived in England, settled at Oxford, and taught mathematics and Hebrew. He was incorporated M.A. of Oxford on 5 June 1624. He passed the winter of 1624–5 in Paris, studying Chaldee and Arabic under Gabriel Sionita, and on his return to Oxford found the place deserted on account of the plague. He declined to accompany Ussher to Ireland, preferring to continue his studies in Oxford. As soon as the sickness abated, he obtained pupils in divinity and the oriental languages. On 25 Oct. 1626, at his own request, he was made reader of Arabic, Chaldee, and Syriac in the university. He held the post for about three years, together with a Hebrew lectureship at New College. Among his pupils were John Roberts or Robartes (1606–1685), afterwards Earl of Radnor [q. v.] and Edward Pocock [q. v.] He left Oxford in the summer of 1629, when he was made professor of philosophy in the university at Groningen. In 1635 the professorship of mathematics was added to that of philosophy. He received the degree of D.D. at Groningen on 24 Oct. 1645, when he gave up his professorship of mathematics, but retained that of philosophy. He died at Groningen on 28 Jan. 1658.

A list of Pasor's published theses is given in Witte's ‘Diarium Biographicum.’ He also published: 1. ‘Oratio pro Lingua Arabica,’ Oxford, 1627. 2. ‘Tractatus de Græcis Novi Testamenti Accentibus,’ London, 1644. Much of his time was spent in editing his father's works. A Latin life of him, containing extracts from his journal, was published at Groningen in 1658.

[Vriemoet's Athenæ Frisiacæ, pp. 237–45; Ersch and Gruber's Allgemeine Encyklopädie, sect. iii. pt. 13; Saxe's Onomasticon; Migne's Dict. Bibl.; Foppens's Bibliotheca Belgica, i. 341; Crenius's Animadversiones (for references to criticisms on Pasor's Lexicon), pt. iv. p. 176; Bayle's Dictionary; Effigies et Vitæ Professorum Academiæ Groningæ et Omlandiæ, p. 109 (with portrait); Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), iv. 444–6; Wood's Fasti (Bliss), i. 416.]

B. P.