HALL, ISAAC HOLLISTER (1837–1896), American Orientalist, was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, on the 12th of December 1837. He graduated at Hamilton College in 1859, was a tutor there in 1859–1863, graduated at the Columbia Law School in 1865, practised law in New York City until 1875, and in 1875–1877 taught in the Syrian Protestant College at Beirut, where he discovered a valuable Syriac manuscript of the Philoxenian version of a large part of the New Testament, which he published in part in facsimile in 1884. He worked with General di Cesnola in classifying the famous Cypriote collection in the Metropolitan Museum of New York City, and was a curator of that museum from 1885 until his death in Mount Vernon, New York, on the 2nd of July 1896. He was an eminent authority on Oriental inscriptions. Following the scanty clues given by George Smith and Samuel Birch, and working on the data furnished by the di Cesnola collection, he succeeded about 1874 in deciphering an entire Cypriote inscription, and in establishing the Hellenic character of the dialect and the syllabic nature of the script.
His work in Cypriote epigraphy is described in his articles in Scribner’s Magazine, vol. 20 (June, 1880), pp. 205-211 and in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 10, No. 2 (1880), pp. 201-218. He published in facsimile the Antilegomena epistles (1886), which he deciphered from the W. F. Williams manuscript, and edited A Critical Bibliography of the Greek New Testament as Published in America (1884).