Frans van Ravelingen Latinized Franciscus Raphelengius (February 27, 1539 – July 20, 1597), was a Flemish-born scholar, printer and bookseller, working at Antwerp and later at Leiden. For the last decade of his life he was professor of Hebrew at Leiden University. He produced an Arabic-Latin dictionary, about 550 pages, published posthumously in 1613 at Leiden. This was the first publication by printing press of a book-length dictionary for the Arabic language in Latin.
Raphelengius was born at Lannoy and studied Greek and Hebrew at the University of Paris in his early 20s. As an employee of the printer Christopher Plantin at Antwerp, he collaborated on the Plantin Polyglot Bible in which the Bible was printed in Hebrew, Aramaic (Chaldaic), Syriac, Greek, and Latin (published at Antwerp 1569–1573). He married one of Plantin's daughters at Antwerp, and later he managed the Plantin printing office in Leiden and was official printer for Leiden university. His sons continued the Raphelengius printing business. His scholarly printing qualities were one of the attractions that drew Joseph Justus Scaliger to Leiden in 1593.
Raphelengius learned Arabic in Antwerp and Leiden, starting in the early 1570s, and was doing it intensively in the early 1590s. His Arabic-to-Latin dictionary was intended for people like himself who were trying to read Arabic texts in Europe; it was superseded by the 1653 Arabic-to-Latin dictionary of Jacobus Golius.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Franciscus Raphelengius.|
- Fuks, Lajb, et al., Hebrew Typography in the Northern Netherlands, 1585–1815, year 1984 on pages 16-17, has a biography of Franciscus Raphelengius
- "The Arabic type specimen of Franciscus Raphelengius's Plantinian Printing Office", by John Lane, year 1997, provides a biography of Raphelengius on pages ix - x
- Article, "Franciscus Raphelengius' Lexicon Arabico-Latinum, Leiden 1613", by Alastair Hamilton, year 1989 on pages 557-589 in the book Studia in memoriam Christophori Plantini (ca. 1520-1589). The article enumerates the principal sources that Raphelengius had for compiling his Arabic-Latin dictionary. Includes a list of Arabic manuscripts owned by Raphelengius that are nowadays owned by University of Leiden.
- (in German) Raphelengius, Franz (Humanist) in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, year 1888
- Lexicon Arabicum, by Franciscus Raphelengius, year 1613
- WorldCat catalog lists a few of the books printed by Franciscus Raphelengius as printer: REF.