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SCHUDT, JOHANN JAKOB:

German polyhistor and Orientalist; born at Frankfort-on-the-Main Jan. 14, 1664; died there Feb. 14, 1722. He studied theology at Wittenberg, and went to Hamburg in 1684 to study Orientalia under Ezra Edzardi. He then settled in his native city as teacher in the gymnasium in which he had been educated, and of which he became rector in 1717. He devoted himself especially to Jewish history and antiquities, beginning with the publication of a "Compendium Historiæ Judaieæ" (1700). His greatest work was his "Jüdische Merckwärdigkeiten," of which three parts appeared in 1714, and a supplementary part in 1717. Up to that time he had been on friendly terms with the Jews of Frankfort, writing a preface to Grünhut's edition of Ḳimḥi's Commentary on the Psalms, 1712, while in 1716 he published the Purim play of the Frankfort and Prague Jews with a High German translation. He had, however, previously published "Judæus Christicida," attempting to prove that Jews deserved corporal as well as spiritual punishment for the crucifixion. His "Jüdische Merckwürdigkeiten" is full of prejudice, and repeats many of the fables and ridiculous items published by Eisenmenger; but it contains also valuable details of contemporary Jewish life, and will always be a source for the history of the Jews, particularly those of Frankfort. Schudt also contributed to Ugolini's "Thesaurus" (vol. xxxii.) a dissertation on the singers of the Temple.

Bibliography:
  • Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie
E. C. J.
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