DELITZSCH, Friedrich

DELITZSCH, Friedrich Conrad Gerhard. Erlangen 3.9.1850 — Langenschwalbach (now Bad Schwalbach) 19.12.1922. German Assyriologist, started with Sanskrit. Professor in Leipzig, Breslau and Berlin. Son of the famous Old Testament scholar (Luth.) and Leipzig Professor Franz Delitzsch (1813–1890) and Clara Silber. In 1868-72 studied at Leipzig and Berlin Sanskrit (under Brockhaus, Windisch & Weber), Arabic (Fleischer & Krehl), Hebrew (his father), and Ethiopian (Dillmann). Ph.D. 1873. Went now to Jena in order to continue his Sanskrit studies, but following Brockhaus’ advice also listened Eberhard Schrader and thus became interested in Assyriology. Habilitation at Leipzig in 1874 gave him the first Assyriological position in Germany (Schrader had a chair of Theology). From 1877 ao. Professor of Assyriology at Leipzig, from 1893 ord. Professor at Breslau and from 1899 at Berlin (für Orientalische Philologie). Married 1880 Margarethe Hoffmann, four sons and two daughters.

After the dissertation his whole work concentrated on Assyriology, where he was the first representative of the systematizing period following the pioneer age. As a student of Fleischer he introduced strict philological method in cuneiform studies. He was skilled lexicographist, but no editor. He also dealt with Hebrew and Aramaic and Arabic lexicography, and of course with Sumerian. In 1902 he started the famous Bibel-Babel controversy. He was a good and much esteemed teacher. Also taught Turkish and Persian. Among his numerous students were C. Bezold, A. Boissier, P. Haupt, H. V. Hilprecht, Fr. Hommel, P. Jensen, D. G. Lyon, K. Tallqvist, —> F. H. Weissbach, and H. Zimmern, who succeeded his master in 1893 at Leipzig and in 1899 at Breslau.

Publications: Diss. Über indogermanisch-semitische Wurzelverwandschaft. Lp. 1873.

On Assyriology, e.g.: habil.diss. Die Assyrische Tiernamen. Lp. 1874; Wo lag das Paradies? Lp. 1881; Die Sprache der Kossäer. Lp. 1884; Beiträge zur Erklärung der babylonisch-assyrischen Briefliteratur. 1889-91; Beiträge zur Entzifferung und Erklärung der kappadokischen Keilschrifttafeln. 1893; Assyrische Grammatik. 1889 (and in English, Assyrian Grammar. 1889); Assyrische Handwörter­buch. Lp. 1894-96; Assyrische Lesestücke. 5 editions 1876-1912; Babel und Bibel: Ein Vortrag. 78 p. Lp. 1903; Sumerisches Glossar. Lp. 1914; with Paul Haupt: Assyriologische Bibliothek. 1-25. 1881-1920.

Sources: Wallis Budge, Rise and Progress of Assyriology 224-226; E. Littmann, N.D.B. 3, 1957, 582; M. Müller, WZULeipzig 1979:1, 68-71 with photo; Stache-Weiske 2017, 516; *Zimmern, ZDMG 77, 1923, 121-129; Wikipedia (German version with more details and photo); photo also in Pedersen 1959, 162.

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