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Certainly in Europe, working with Islamic manuscripts--and the pursuit of philology in a wider sense for that matter--has for quite a while been seen as somewhat of an atavistic activity, a romantic emulation of those nineteenth-century scholarly giants, such as Wilhelm Ahlwardt (1828-1909) or Michael Jan de Goeje (1836-1909), whose achievements are in any case inimitable.
Hurgronje no doubt had personal academic interests as well, for after all he was a well-trained orientalist whose ideas had been influenced by none other than Michael Jan de Goeje (1836-1907), the grand old master of the Leiden School of Oriental Philology.
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