BRUNNHOFER, Hermann

BRUNNHOFER, Hermann. Aarau 21.3.1841 — München 28.10.1916. Swiss Indo-Iranian Scholar. Son of Gottlieb Br., a knifesmith. After Gymnasium in Aarau, studies of Philosophy at Zürich, Bonn, and Berlin, where Weber locked him to Indology. In 1866 assistant to Monier Williams in Oxford, 1867 to Max Müller for the RV edition. In 1867 returned to Switzerland, taught two years in Frick, then at teachers’ school of Aargau. Ph.D. 1871 Zürich. From 1873 Librarian of Cantonal Library, Aarau. In 1889 moved to Courland (Latvia), where he taught at the gymnasium of Goldingen (now Kuldĩga)), then invited by prince Uhtomskij to St.Petersburg to translate the Indian journal of the Czarevich into German. In 1899 came to Berlin, 1901 back to Switzerland. From 1901 taught prehistory and historic geography of the Orient, soon also Russian language, at Zürich University. In 1906 he was given a chair of Historic topography, in 1908 Professor’s title. Retired in 1914, lived first in Basel, and from January 1915 in Munich. Married 1876 Albertina Eggimann.

HBr was an IE scholar who tried to explain the prehistory of IE peoples. In this purpose he studied the RV and tried to find references to other countries in it. He became known of his bold hypotheses, which not often found support among colleagues. The original home of IE peoples he located in Armenia, and the RV was supposedly written in Iran and dated in 3000–2000 BCE. The samudra in the RV is identical with Caspian, also mentioned as Kaśyapa. In RV 5, 19 vavri is Babylon, and Uṣas is Semiramis! He found Semitic, Altaic, and even Fenno-Ugric words in the Veda. The Buddha should be a “Turanian”. At least to some extent his ideas were understood by Ludwig, and with much more care by Hillebrandt. He was a humanist and participated in the peace movement. In 1884 he published a play entitled “Wetterprophet” under the pseudonym Alfred Werder.

Publications: Γάλα (Γάλακτος), Lac (Lactis), der graecoitalische Name der Milch. 44 p. Aarau 1871.

Über den Geist der indischen Lyrik, mit Übersetzungen. 1882.

– “Die Indienfahrer Anquetil Duperron”, Öff. Vortr. geh. in der Schweiz 7, 1883; “Über den Ursitz der Indogermanen”, ibid. 8, 1884.

– “Über das gegenseitige Verhältniss der beiden Kâṇḍagruppen des Çatapaṭha-Brâhmaṇa”, BB 10, 1886, 234-266; “Über Dialektspuren im vedischen Gebrauche der Infinitivformen”, KZ 25, 1881, 329-377; “Emendationen zum Rigveda”, BB 26, 1901, 76-101, 145-147, & 168; “Worterklärungen zum Rigveda”, BB 26, 1901, 101-109; small articles on Indian, Iranian and IE philology, on Russia, on Giordano Bruno etc.

Vorgeschichte der Arier in Vorder- und Zentralasien. 1. Iran und Turan. Historisch-geographische und ethnologische Untersuchungen über den Aeltesten Schauplatz der indischen Urgeschichte. Lp. 1889; 2. Vom Pontus bis zum Indus. Hist.-geogr. und ethnol. Skizzen. 1890; Vom Aral zur Ganga. Hist.-geogr. und ethnol. Skizzen. 1892.

Culturwandel und Völkerverkehr. 1891; Das Buch der Hundert Pfade. Die älteste Quelle der Ritualwissenschaft. 43 p. Bern 1910; Arische Urzeit. 420 p. Bern 1910.

Oestliches Werden. Kulturaustausch und Handelsverkehr zwischen Orient und Okzident von der Urzeit bis zur Gegenwart. 1907 (collected essays).

Sources: Windisch 386-392; E. Kuhn, ZDMG 71, 1917, 431-437 (with bibliography); R. Mumenthaler in Web HistLexSchweiz; German Wikipedia.

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