Salmasius, Claudius (klôdˈēəs sălmāˈshəs) [key], 1588–1653, French humanist and philologist. Salmasius is known in French as Claude de Saumaise. After studying Latin and Greek with his father, he began a law career at Dijon in 1610. He turned to the study of theology, Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian when his Protestantism impeded his advancement in law. In 1631 he was called to the Univ. of Leiden to succeed Joseph Scaliger. There he produced 80 books and became widely known as a scholar of the first rank. Supporting the Stuarts, he wrote Defensio regia pro Carlo I (1649), upholding the divine right of monarchy, which brought a celebrated dissenting reply from John Milton. Salmasius' major works include an important commentary on Pliny (1629), and Observationes in jus Atticum et Romanum (1645).
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Language and Linguistics: Biographies