DELITZSCH, Friedrich. Erlangen 3.9.1850 — 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). 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 interested in assyriology. Habilitation at Leipzig 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).

After the dissertation his whole work concentrated on Assyriology, where he was the first representative of the systematising 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. Dealt also with Hebrew and Aramaic and Arabic lexicography, and of course with Sumerian. In 1902 he startes 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. 1873.

on Assyriology, e.g.: habil.diss. Die Assyrische Tiernamen. 1874; Wo lag das Paradies? 1881; Die Sprache der Kossäer. 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. 1894-96; Assyrische Lesestücke. 5 editions 1876-1912; with Paul Haupt: Assyriologische Bibliothek. 1-25. 1881-1920.

Sources: Wallis Budge, Rise and Progress of Assyriology 224-226; M. Müller, WZULeipzig 1979:1, 68-71; *Zimmern, ZDMG 77, 1923, 121-129; Wikipedia (German version with more details and photo).