CASTELL, EDMUND° (1606–1685), English Orientalist and lexicographer; professor of Arabic at Cambridge from 1666. Castel edited (with Latin translations) the Samaritan, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions of B. *Walton's great Polyglot Bible (London, 1657); he thereafter devoted his life – and virtually his entire assets – to producing the sevenfold lexicon of its vocabulary (Lexicon Heptaglotton, London, 1669) – Hebrew, Jewish-Aramaic, Syriac, Samaritan, Ethiopic, Arabic, and Persian. The Hebrew and Syriac portions were subsequently extracted and republished at Goettingen (Lexicon Hebraicum, 1790; Lexicon Syriacum, 1788). A volume of congratulatory odes addressed (1660) to the returning Charles II, with the aim of ameliorating Castell's fortunes, included poems in the aforementioned languages, as well as in Greek, and secured him late in life some modest ecclesiastical status. The sale catalog of Castell's library, Bibliotheca Castelliana, was printed in 1686 (now in the British Museum).
DNB, 3 (1921–22), 1180.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.