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Alexander, Joseph Addison (24 April 1809–28 January 1860), Presbyterian scholar and minister, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Janetta Waddel and Archibald Alexander, a Presbyterian minister. Alexander, who was always called Addison, grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, where in 1812 his father was called to be the first professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. At an early age, Alexander displayed the ability in languages that would make him a marvel throughout his life. By the time he began formal instruction with local tutors, his father had taught him the rudiments of Latin and Greek and also introduced him to Semitic languages. By the time he graduated from the College of New Jersey as a seventeen-year old in 1826, he had read the Koran in Arabic, made considerable progress in Persian and Syriac, and begun the wide-ranging study of contemporary European languages that he never stopped. It was his habit, begun before entering college and continuing to the week of his death, to read the Bible daily in at least six languages. Alexander’s nephew and biographer, Henry Carrington Alexander, concluded that he read, wrote, and spoke Latin, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese; that he read without helps and wrote Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Greek, Romaic, and Chaldean; that he could read Ethiopic, Dutch, Sanskrit, Syriac, Coptic, Danish, Flemish, and Norwegian; and that he knew enough Polish, Swedish, Malay, Hindustani, and Chinese to peruse works in these languages. The linguistic marvel was also a social recluse who never married and who, despite great interest in travel and world affairs, lived contentedly in Princeton as a student and professor his whole life. ...

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Barton, George Aaron (12 November 1859–28 June 1942), Assyriologist and biblical scholar, was born in East Farnham, Quebec, Canada, the son of Daniel Barton, a farmer and blacksmith, and Mary Stevens Bull. He attended the Oakwood Seminary, Poughkeepsie, New York, becoming a minister of the Society of Friends in 1879, and graduated from Haverford College with an A.B. in 1882 and an M.A. in 1885. Around 1883 he moved to Boston, where he worked in insurance for a year, then from 1884 to 1889 taught mathematics and classics at the Friends School in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1884 he married Caroline Brewer Danforth; they adopted one child. In 1889 he entered Harvard Graduate School (M.A. 1890), where he studied Assyriology with David G. Lyon and Semitics and the Bible with Crawford H. Toy and Joseph H. Thayer. In 1891 he received his Ph.D. for a study, “The Semitic Ishtar Cult,” later published in the ...

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Haupt, Paul (25 November 1858–15 December 1926), Assyriologist and biblical scholar, was born in Görlitz, Germany, the son of Carl Gottlieb Haupt, a police officer, and Elise Hülse. He dropped his two original first names, Hermann Hugo, early in life. Graduating from the Gymnasium Augustum in Görlitz, he prepared for a career in music, but after entering the University of Leipzig, he concentrated in Semitic languages. He received his Ph.D. in 1878, under Friedrich Delitzsch; his dissertation was published in 1879 as ...

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Morgan, Abel (1673–16 December 1722), Baptist minister, translator, and biblical scholar, was born in Alltgoch, Llanwenog, Cardiganshire, Wales, the son of Morgan ap Rhydderch ap Dafydd, a Baptist pastor; his mother’s name is unknown. Although the details of Morgan’s formal education are obscure, his accomplishments indicate that care was taken, for he followed in the traditions of an uncle, a great-uncle, and a great-grandfather, all of whom were noted as poets, writers, or translators....

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Neumark, David (03 August 1866–15 December 1924), rabbi, Jewish philosopher, and Hebraist, was born in Szczerzec, Galicia, the son of Solomon Neumark, a shopkeeper, and Schifrah Scheutz. He received a traditional Jewish education and attended cheder (a communal Jewish elementary school) at a very young age while simultaneously receiving supplemental Hebraic instruction from his father who was himself a learned Jew. When his father died, Neumark’s mother ran the family store on her own so that her seven-year-old son would be able to continue his Jewish education. After finishing ...

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Salisbury, Edward Elbridge (06 April 1814–05 February 1901), Orientalist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Josiah Salisbury, a merchant and clergyman, and Abby Breese. He received his preliminary education at home from his father and later at the Boston Latin School and graduated from Yale in 1832. He remained for the next four years in New Haven, studying Hebrew and theology in preparation for a career as a minister. Under the influence of his teacher ...

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Torrey, Charles Cutler (20 December 1863–12 November 1956), biblical scholar and Semitist, was born at East Hardwick, Vermont, son of Joseph Torrey, Jr., a Congregational clergyman, and Maria Thorpe Noble. In 1884 he graduated from Bowdoin College, where in addition to his studies he was a noted baseball and tennis player. He taught for a year at the Auburn (Maine) High School, then returned to Bowdoin in 1885 as a tutor in Latin, earning an M.A. in 1887. He then entered Andover Theological Seminary where he studied Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic with the Semitist and biblical scholar ...