DELBRÜCK, Berthold Gustav Gottlieb

DELBRÜCK, Berthold Gustav Gottlieb. Putbus, Rügen 26.7.1842 — Jena 3.1.1922. German Indologist and IE Scholar. Professor in Jena. Son of a judge, Ernst Friedrich Felix D. (1815–1872), in a well-known family of lawyers and theologians, educated in Stralsund and Halle (Franck. Stiftungen). Early death of father forced him to think economically and start therefore the study of school subjects: classical philology, history, geography, and French; at Halle, but also IE philology under Pott. Then at Berlin under Bopp, Weber and Steinthal. Ph.D. 1863 Halle. Employed as a tutor in Livonia, then 1864-66 teacher at Gymnasium of Marienwerder (East Prussia). Staying with his brother-in-law in St.Petersburg he became friend with Böhtlingk, Hehn and Schiefner. Habilitation at Halle in 1867, taught Sanskrit, comparative grammar and Greek syntax compared with the IE. In he 1870 succeeded Leskien as ao. Professor at Jena, from 1873 until his death Professor of Sanskrit & vergleichende Sprachforschung at Jena. Dr.juris h.c. Chicago 1904 and Jena 1908, Ph.D.h.c. Athens 1912. Member of the A.W. of Leipzig (1885), Göttingen (1912), and Bavaria (1890). Member of National-Liberal party and an admirer of Bismarck. In 1865 married Constance Kämptz (1845-1934; daughter of a St.Petersburg Professor of physics), two sons (—> Richard D.) and two daughters.

BD was the founder of IE comparative and historical syntax. He started on lines of Bopp, Schleicher and Curtius, but soon joined the junggrammarians. Took Sanskrit as the starting-point. In Indology he followed Böhtlingk and Roth, and based his studies on the language of the Rigveda and Brāhmaṇas. Among his rather few students were —> P. v. Bradke, Gaedicke, Ed. Hermann, Knauer, and Reuter.

Publications: diss. De infinitivo Graeco. 36 p. Halis Saxonum 1862 (severely criticized by Beckh).

habil.diss. De usu dativi in carminibus Rigvedae. 28 p. Halle 1867, and in German, “Über den idg., speziell den Vedischen Dativ”, KZ 18, 1869, 81-106.

Ablativ, localis Instrumentalis im Altindischen, Lateinischen, Griechischen und Deutschen. 4+80 p. B. 1867; Die Grundlagen der Griechischen Syntax. Syntaktische Forschungen 4. Halle 1879.

with Windisch: Der Gebrauch des Conjunctivs und Optativs im Sanskrit und Griechischen. Syntaktische Forschungen 1. Halle 1871.

Das altindische Verbum aus den Hymnen des Rgveda dargestellt. 8+248 p. Halle 1874; Altindische Tempuslehre. Syntaktische Forschungen 2. Halle 1876.

Vedische Chrestomathie mit Anmerkungen und Glossar. 6+128 p. Halle 1874.

Einleitung in das Studium der indogermanischen Sprachen. 8+142 p. Lp. 1880, 6th ed. 1919, English (by E. Channing, 1882), Italian, and Russian translations; Vergleichende Syntax der indogermanischen Sprachen, in Brugmann & D., Grundriss. 3-5. 1893-1900.

Altindische Wortfolge aus dem Çatapathabrâhmana dargestellt. 80 p. Syntaktische Forsch. 3. Halle 1878.

Altindische Syntax. 656 p. Syntaktische Forschungen 5. Halle 1888.

– “Die indogermanischen Verwandtschaftnamen. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Alterthumskunde”, ASGW 25, 1890, 379-606.

Sources: *E. Eggers, Lex. Gramm. 1996, 229f.; *Ed. Hermann, Idg. Jb. 8, 1920/21, 259-266; *E. Hermann, B. D. Ein Gelehrtenleben. Jena 1923; J. Mehlig, WZUHalle 7:4, 1958, 893f.; Windisch 414-421; Wüst, N.D.B. 3, 1957; *Idg. Forsch. 31, 1912/13, 507-513; German Wikipedia with photo.


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