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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

William Robertson Smith (1846–1894)

Smith, William Robertson. A Scotch theologian and Orientalist; born at Keig, Aberdeenshire, Nov. 8, 1846; died at Cambridge, March 31, 1894. He held the chair of Hebrew and Old Testament exegesis in the Free Church College, Aberdeen, where he aroused opposition by the advanced tone of his lectures, essays, and addresses. On account of his contributions to the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica,’ he was tried for heresy, but acquitted in 1880, losing, however, his professorship. The views which occasioned the controversy are set forth in ‘The Old Testament in the Jewish Church’ (1881), ‘The Prophets of Israel’ (1882) and many pamphlets. In 1883 he became professor of Arabic at Cambridge. To this period belong ‘Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia’ (1885), and ‘Religion of the Semites; Fundamental Institutions’ (1889). He was for a time sole editor of the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica.’