David Samuel Margoliouth (17 October 1858, London – 23 March 1940, London) was an orientalist. He was briefly active as a priest in the Church of England. He was Laudian Professor of Arabic at the University of Oxford from 1889 to 1937.[1][2]

His father, Ezekiel, had converted from Judaism to Anglicanism, and thereafter worked in Bethnal Green as a missionary to the Jews; he was also close to his uncle,[3] the Anglican convert Moses Margoliouth.[4] Margoliouth was educated at Winchester, where he was a scholar, and at New College, Oxford where he graduated with a double first in Greats and won an unprecedented number of prizes in Classics and Oriental languages, of which he had mastered Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Armenian and Syriac, in addition to Hebrew. His academic disseration, published in 1888, was entitled Analecta Orientalia ad Poeticam Aristoteleam. In 1889 he succeeded to the Laudian Chair in Arabic, a position he held until he retired, from ill health, in 1937.

Many of his works on the history of Islam became the standard treatises in English, including Mohammed and the Rise of Islam (1905), The Early Development of Mohammedanism (1914), and The Relations Between Arabs and Israelites Prior to the Rise of Islam (1924).[2]

He was described as a brilliant editor and translator of Arabic works,[2] as seen in The Letters of Abu'l-'Ala of Ma'arrat al-Nu'man (1898), Yaqut's Dictionary of Learned Men, 6 vol. (1907–27), and the chronicle of Miskawayh, prepared in collaboration with H. F. Amedroz under the title The Eclipse of the 'Abbasid Caliphate, 7 vol. (1920–21). Some of David Samuel Margoliouth's studies are included in The Origins of The Koran: Classic Essays on Islam’s Holy Book edited by Ibn Warraq.

He identified a business letter written in the Judeo-Persian language, found in Danfan Uiliq, northwest China, in 1901, as dating from 718 C.E. (the earliest evidence showing the presence of Jews in China).[5]

He was a member of the council of the Royal Asiatic Society from 1905 onwards, its director in 1927, was awarded its triennial gold medal in 1928, and was its president 1934-37.[1]

Egyptian Poet Laureate Ahmed Shawqi dedicated his famous poem, The Nile, to Margoliouth.


    Lines if Defence of the Biblical Revelation; Second Edition". 1901.

    Mohammed and the Rise of Islam. 1905.

    Umayyads and 'Abbasids. 1907.

    The Early Development of Mohammedanism. 1914.

    Yaqut's dictionary of learned men. 7 vols. 1908-1927.

    The Kitab al-Ansab of al-Sam'ani. 1911.

    Mohammedanism. 1912.

    The Table-talk of a Mesopotamian judge. 2 vols. 1921-1922.

    The Eclipse of the Abbasid Caliphate. 1922.

    The Relations Between Arabs and Israelites Prior to the Rise of Islam. Schweich Lecture for 1921. 1924.

    Lectures on Arabic historians, delivered before the University of Calcutta, February 1929. Byzantine series, 38. New York City: Burt Franklin, 1930.

"The Poetics Translated From Greek Into English And From Arabic Into Latin" ( 1911 ISBN 9789333679183 )


Encyclopædia Britannica (14th edition) - article Margoliouth, David Samuel

Encyclopædia Britannica (15th edition) - article Margoliouth, David Samuel

Werner Eugen Mosse and Julius Carlebach, Second Chance: Two Centuries of German-speaking Jews in the United Kingdom

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Xu Xin, The Jews of Kaifeng, China. History, Culture, and Religion. p.153, KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 2003. ISBN 0-88125-791-5, ISBN 978-0-88125-791-5