Hyde, Thomas, Dd

Hyde, Thomas, D.D.

a learned English divine and Orientalist, was born in Shropshire in 1636. He was educated at King's College, Cambridge. In 1653 he went to London, and rendered essential service in the preparation of Walton's Polyglot Bible. He was admitted fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, in 1659, and afterwards became keeper of the Bodleian Library. In 1666 he became prebendary of Salisbury, in 1678 archdeacon of Gloucester, Arabic professor in 1691, and finally regius professor of Hebrew and canon of Christ Church in 1697. He died in 1703. His principal work is Historia religionis veterum Persarumn eorumque Magorumn, ubi etiami nova Abrahami et Alithrce, et Vestae, et Manetis, etc. (Oxonii, 1700, 4to; 2nd edit., revised and augmented by Hunt and Costar, under the title Veteruma Persarum, Parthorum et laedorum Religionis Historia, Lond. 1760, 4to, illustrated). The work evinces great research and considerable acumen in sifting the ancient Greek writers and some Persian works posterior to the Hegira, but, in consequence of the want of the most essential documents, such as the sacred books of the ancient Persians, which were then unknown in Europe, Hyde necessarily fell into some errors. Thus he maintains that Monotheism prevailed at first in Persia, was afterwards mixed with Sabaeism, was brought back to its original purity by Abraham, and was finally lost again by being connected with the worship of the heavenly bodies. The incorrectness of the opinion has since been shown by abbot Foucher (in Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles- Lettres, 1759), and especially by Anquetil Duperron, who brought to France the sacred books of the Persians. Hyde's other writings are collected in Syntagnma dissertationum, quas olim auctor doctissimus Thomas Hyde, S.T.P., separatim edidit, accesserunt nonnulla ejusdem opuscula hactenus inedita, etc., omnia diligenter recognita, a Gregorio Sharpe, LL.D. (Oxonii, 1767, 2 vols. 4to). See Darling, Cyclop. Bibliographica, , 1598; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, 25:691; English Cyclopaedia, s.v.; Hook, Eccles. Biog. 6:239; Allibone, Dictionary of Authors, 1, 930.

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