January 20, 2014
Thomas Hyde (1636-1703) was an English orientalist. His book Mandragorias, seu Historia Shahiludii (written in Latin,English and Hebrew) was the first scholarly account of the history of chess. He was one of the first Oriental scholars of his age, a professor of Hebrew and Arabic at Oxford University and librarian -in-chief of the Bodleian Library. He was Eastern interpreter under Charles II, James II, and William III. An important and rare work later equalled by Murray at the same press- some two hundred years later.