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George Strachan of the MearnsSeventeenth-century Orientalist$
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Tom McInally

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474466226

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474466226.001.0001

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Strachan’s Library

Strachan’s Library

(p.88) Chapter Eight Strachan’s Library
George Strachan of the Mearns

Tom McInally

Edinburgh University Press

The range of subjects and titles available to Strachan in eastern libraries is covered by reference to the library of the Ashrafiya Madrassa in Damascus. The affordability of manuscripts is also discussed in this chapter. Strachan’s choice of poetry and Islamic studies for his collection is contrasted with the dearth of these subjects available in Europe to scholars such as Erpenius. In manuscripts which have a date of purchase, an analysis of the Latin glosses entered by Strachan is used to assess his progress in understanding the Arabic language and eastern culture. The chapter concludes with an explanation of how Strachan’s manuscripts came to make a profound contribution to the work of later European scholars, especially Marracci.

Keywords:   Paper production, Public literacy, Library catalogue of Ashrafiya Madrassa in Damascus, Arabic poetry, Erpenius, Marracci

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