Volume 4, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 2588-8277
  • E-ISSN: 2667-162X



Modern-day scientists and humanities scholars are often expected to possess personality traits, skills, and virtues typically associated with entrepreneurs. These include (but are not limited to) a willingness to take risks, the ability to lead a diverse team of collaborators, and a flexible mindset. The roots of the ideal of the entrepreneurial scholar, however, are older. In this article, I investigate the realization of Michael Jan de Goeje’s al-Tabari edition in the last decades of the nineteenth century. To finance this ambitious endeavour and to successfully gather and manage a team of scholarly and non-scholarly collaborators, De Goeje needed to possess all the traits, skills, and virtues mentioned above. This case study demonstrates how an entrepreneurial spirit could be an asset for ambitious nineteenth-century scholars. At the same time, it illustrates one of the ways in which seemingly modern ideals of scholarship build on existing ones.


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