YUSUF ABU DAQN (ca. 1565-ca. 1630)
A Linguist and historian. He was sent by Patriarch Gabriel VIII (1586-1601) to Rome in 1595, at a time when the Church of Rome attempted to reestablish a union with the Coptic Church under its authority. Abu Daqn did not return to Egypt and instead became a Catholic. In Rome, he learned Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Syriac, and Chaldean, in addition to Arabic, his mother tongue, and Coptic, the language of the liturgy of the Coptic Church. He also learned Italian, Spanish, and French.
Around 1600 he was appointed a translator at the court of King Henry IV. In 1603, he began to teach Arabic at Oxford University, where he compiled, in Latin, a history of the Coptic Church that appeared in 1675, long after his death. It was translated into English by Sir Edward Sadleir and published in London in 1733. Abu Daqn copied Coptic liturgical texts, probably to use them in his teaching at Oxford, where he remained for 10 years. He prepared an Arabic-Latin lexicon and other volumes in Arabic in Belgium, and taught Hebrew at Louvain. He sojourned in Munich from 1618 to 1620, where he worked At the Grand Ducal Library.