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Hyde, Thomas

Thomas Hyde (1634-1703) was the author of De Ludis Orientalibus (the Book of Oriental Games) in 1694.  This book documented correspondence games between Venetian and Croation merchants as early as 1650.  He  also wrote Mandragoria,s seu, Historia Shahiludi: vis ejusdem origo, antiquitas, ususque per totum Orientem cereberrimusi (The Mandragoriad or History of the Chess game: that is to say its origin, age and use, most famous throughout the whole orient) in 1694,  the first scientific contribution to the history of chess.  He was the first person to establish beyond doubt that chess originated in India.  He was one of the first Oriental scholars of his age.   He was 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.   He mastered the Turkish, Arabic, Syriac, Persian, Hebrew, Malay, and Chinese languages.

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