PEAK Staff Profile

Hidemi Takahashi, MA (St. And.), MLitt (Tokyo), Dr. phil. (Frankfurt)
Professor – Japan in East Asia

Contact : takahashi[at]


Hidemi Takahashi Prof. Takahashi is a philologist specialising in the study of Syriac and medieval Arabic literature. Born in Japan, he received his training in Classical Philology (Latin and Greek) at St. Andrews in Scotland and at The University of Tokyo. After moving metaphorically eastwards into Middle Eastern Studies, he received his doctorate from the University of Frankfurt in Germany, and taught for some years at Chuo University in Tokyo. He moved to The University of Tokyo in 2006, where he has been teaching in the English Department and in the Department of Area Studies (Mediterranean Area) and where he has been on the staff, inter alia, of The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy (UTCP), East Asia Liberal Arts Initiative (EALAI) and The University of Tokyo Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (UTCMES).

Research Interests

Prof. Takahashi’s main research interest is in the transmission of Greek philosophy and natural sciences in Syriac, the language traditionally used by the Christians in the Middle East, and in Arabic. One of his major projects has been the edition of a work on Aristotelian philosophy by the thirteenth-century Syriac author Gregory Barhebraeus. He is also interested more generally in cultural and literary exchange surrounding Syriac and Syriac Christians, and has published articles on Syriac Christianity in China and in India.

Selected Publications

“The Mathematical Sciences in Syriac: From Sergius of Resh’aina and Severus Sebokt to Barhebraeus and Patriarch Ni’matallah”, Annals of Science, 68/4 (2011), 477-491.
Hidemi Takahashi & Jos J. S. Weitenberg, “The Shorter Syriac-Armenian Glossary in Ms. Yale Syriac 9”, Part 1, Journal of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies, 10 (2010), p.68-83; Part 2, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies, 14/1 (2011), 87-144
“Gregorii Barhebraei carmen ‘Quod praestantes in hoc mundo odio haberi solent”, in Y. Oshiba & N. Koike (ed.), Seiyo-Kotengaku no asu he – Itsumi Kiichiro Kyoju taikan kinen ronbunshu, Tokyo: Chisen Shokan, 2010, p.363-371 (in Latin).
“St. Thomas Christians of Kerala, India – The ‘Way of St. Thomas’ and the ‘Way of St. Peter”, in Katorikku to Bunka [Catholicism and Culture], Tokyo: Institute of Cultural Science, Chuo University, March 2008, p.71-151 (in Japanese).
Aristotelian Meteorology in Syriac. Barhebraeus, Butyrum sapientiae, Books of Mineralogy and Meteorology (Aristoteles Semitico-Latinus 15), Leiden: Brill, 2004.