Gautier Juynboll passed away at his home in Leiden on 19 December 2010. He was the first president of the Union des Arabisants et d’Islamisants (UEAI) after the long period during which Felix Maria Pareja from Spain had dominated the Union. At the UEAI Congress in Venice in 1986, Juynboll was first chosen among the national representatives of the Netherlands, and some days later became a member of the board and president of the Union.
Gautier studied at Leiden University in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when Schacht, Drewes and Brugman were professors of Arabic and Islamic Studies. He then taught Arabic at Leiden until the mid 1960s. He was my first teacher of Arabic in my first year as a student at Leiden (first semester 1966-67). The lessons were held in the former house of Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje on the Rapenburg canal. In the 1970s and 1980s, he lectured in Arabic and Islam at the University of Exeter (England). In the mid 1980s, he left Exeter and moved to the Netherlands, where he became a Privatgelehrter. He first lived in The Hague, although he went nearly every day to the Oriental Reading Room at Leiden University Library. I still remember how his 60th birthday was celebrated at Frankenslag in The Hague. Later, Gautier moved to Leiden, although every morning he continued to go to the university library. During his time as president of the UEAI, he was enthusiastic about the Union’s congresses, such as the one in Budapest in 1988, which was organized by Alexander Fodor, whom Gautier considered his third Hungarian hero (Goldziher and Liszt were his other two Hungarian heroes). Let us not forget the very professional UEAI newsletters that he produced all by himself for several years. I hope they will be collected and archived by Hans van de Velde, former assistant at the Oriental Reading Room, who is putting Gautier’s archive in order. Moreover, Gautier Juynboll encouraged many young people – not only from Leiden but also from Nijmegen and other universities – whose research was related to his field. I remember his presence at several doctorate ceremonies.
A as young researcher at Leiden in the 1960s, Gautier cooperated with the‘ConcordanceDe La Tradition Musulmane’, which had been initiated in the 1930s by the Leiden professor A. J. Wensick. This project approached its completion at the end of the 1960s. The indices were to be made in the 1970s. A spin-off from this international project was Juynboll’s dissertation The Authenticity of the Tradition Literature. Discussions in Modern Egypt (Brill: Leiden 1969). His other works on traditions include his monograph Muslim Tradition. Studies in Chronology, Provenance and Authorship of Early Hadith (Cambridge, 1983) and his collection of essays Studies on the Origins and Uses of Islamic Hadith (Aldershot, 1996). In 2007, Juynboll completed his life's work with the Brill publication of his Encyclopaedia of Canonical Hadith. I remember the special presentation of the book at Brill’s Publishing House in Leiden, where in his dedicatory speech Professor Mohammed Arkoun from Paris (1928-2010) congratulated Gautier on his book.
Gautier was also proud to have published on poetry, but this was in relation to hadithsciences, namely in his article ‘On the Origins of the Poetry in Muslim Tradition Literature’ in Wolfhart Heinrichs and Gregor Schoeler (eds.) Festschrift Ewald Wagner zum 65.Geburtstag, Band 2: Studien zur arabischen Dichtung, Beiruter Texte und Studien,Band 54, Beirut 1994 (in Kommission bei Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart), pp. 182-207.