RELAND, Adriaan (Hadrianus Relandus)

RELAND, Adriaan (Hadrianus Relandus, Reelant). De Rijp, North Holland 17.7.1676 — Utrecht 5.2.1718. Dutch Oriental Scholar. Professor in Utrecht. Son of Johannes R., a Protestant minister, and Aagje Prins. Educated in Amsterdam, from 1693 studies at Utrecht. Ph.D. 1699 Utrecht. After a short time as Professor of Physics and Metaphysics at Harderwijk (1699–1701) he was Professor of Oriental Languages at Utrecht, until death.

Like his contemporaries, he was mainly interested in Semitic, but unlike others made also some attempt to study Indian and South-East Asian languages. His main works, however, are his pioneering account of the antiquities of Palestine and his book on Islam, which was exceptionally free of prejudices of his time. In his dissertation on ancient Indian language he discussed all Indian words mentioned in Greek and Latin sources (trying to show them to be related to Persian).

Publications: De religione Mohammedica libti duo. Ultrajecti 54+272+42 p. Trajecti ad Rhenum 1705, enl. ed. 1717, transl. into Dutch, English, German, French and Spanish. 

Palaestina ex monumentis veteribus illustrata. 1-2. 10+1068+94 p. 10 pl. Trajecti Batavorum 1714; other works on Hebrew language and antiquities.

Dissertationes Selectae. 1. Trajecti ad Rhenum 1706 (e.g. “De situ paradisi terrestris”, “Dissertatio de Ophir”, 165-189, and “Dissertatio de veteris lingua Indica”, 209-232).

Sources: *J.P. Lewis, “Reland on Malay, Sinhalese, and Tamil”, JRAS-CBr 14:47, 1897, 223-236; Wikipedia with portrait (more in the Dutch version).

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