ADELUNG, Friedrich Georg von

ADELUNG, Friedrich Georg von. Stettin 25.2.1768 — St.Petersburg (or Berlin?) 30.1.1843. German (in Russia) Historian and lay Indologist. Son of the Prussian Oberfeldapothekar Paulus Ad. (1736–1785), nephew of the famous Linguist Johann Christoph Adelung (1732–1806). Studies at Leipzig (Law & Philosophy) 1787-90, then travelled in Central and South Europe. Settled in Riga (1793-95 there) and Mitau (now Jelgava) as a merchant and journalist. In 1801 moved to St.Petersburg and was made the director of the German theatre and censor of German books. Since 1803 tutor of grand dukes Nikolaj and Mihail, the brothers of Alexander I. From 1824 until his death he was the director of Oriental Institute of Foreign Ministry, 1824 also Russian citizen. Wirklicher Staatsrat and title of nobility in Russia. Correspondent member of the Imperial Academy from 1809. Married with Friederike Wilhelmine Rall (1778-1848), four sons and one daughter.

Without knowing Sanskrit, which he openly stated himself, Adelung wrote the first manual of Sanskrit literature collecting information from and on all early Indological publications, unfortunately making many errors. Beside this he studied foreign sources on Russian history and wrote compilations on comparative grammar.

Publications: Catherinens des Grossen Verdienste um die vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft. 14+211 p. St.P. 1816; Siegmund Freiherr von Herberstein. Mit besonderer Rücksicht auf seine Reisen in Russland. 30+514 p. St.P. 1818; Übersicht aller bekannten Sprachen und ihren Dialekte. 14+186 p. St.P. 1820; Augustin Freiherr von Meyerberg und seine Reisen in Russland. St.P. 1827; Kritisch-litterarische Übersicht der Reisenden in Russland bis 1700. 1–2. St.P. 1846.

– “Rapports entre la langue sanscrite et la langue russe”, Magasin encyclopédique 6, 1813, 360-366;

–Versuch einer Literatur der Sanskrit-Sprache. 259 p. St.P. 1830, 2nd ed. as Bibliotheca Sanscrita. Literatur der Sanskrit-Sprache. 430 p. St.P. 1837, English transl. by O. A. Talboys, Oxford 1832.

Sources: H.J. Kissling, N.D.B. 1, 1953, 63; A. Leskien, A.D.B. 1, 80; Stache-Weiske 2017, 500; Windisch 96f.; Wikipedia (with picture).

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