DEECKE, Wilhelm

DEECKE, Ernst Georg Wilhelm. Lübeck 1.4.1831 — Strassburg 2.1.1897. German Linguist, Founder of Etruscology. Son of Konrektor Ernst D. (1805–1862) and Christine Müller (1805–1838). Gymnasium in Lübeck, studies of Classical and Comparative IE Philology at Leipzig and Berlin (under Bopp et al.). Ph.D. 1870 Leipzig. Taught at schools in Lübeck (1855-70) and Elberfeld, then Konrector at Kais. Lyceum in Strassburg (1879-84) and in Buchsweiler. For a while jobless because of a collision with the Governor of Elsass (but Wikipedia says this was the cause of his forced transfer to Buchsweiler in 1884), then from 1889 School-Director in Mülhausen (Mulhouse). Married 1861 Therese Struve (1844–1916), three children (geologist Wilhelm D.).

In his early years Deecke travelled much and published many writings, but scholarly work he started only with his rather late dissertation. He became known as the first to study Etruscan with (then) modern linguistics methods. Also interested in Germanistics, Cypriote inscriptions and Anatolian languages and in history of writing. Active freemason.

Publications: Diss. De reduplicatio linguae latina praeterito. 72 p. Lp. 1870.

– “Ueber das indische Alphabet in seinem Zusammenhange mit den übrigen südsemitischen Alphabeten”, ZDMG 31, 1877, 598-612; “Der Ursprung des altsemitischen Alphabets aus der neuassyrischen Keilschrift”, ZDMG 31, 1877, 102-116; “Ueber den Ursprung der altpersischen Keilschrift”, ZDMG 32, 1878, 271-289.

Etruskische Forschungen. 1-6. St. 1875-84; Die Falisker. 297 p. Strassburg 1888; many further studies on Etruscan and classical philology and epigraphy, also Germanistics, etc.

Sources: *Th. Deecke, Lebenserinnerungen für meine Kinder und Enkel (manuscript, parts publ. in Der Wagen 1961); *Th. Deecke & S. Baumeister, Bursians Jahresber. 107, 1901, 87-103 (with bibliography); H. Kronasser, N.D.B. 3, 1957, 554f.; *C. Pauli, BB 25, 1899, 296-311, with bibliog­raphy; German Wikipedia with photo.

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