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. (1736-85), nephew of the famous Linguist Johann Christoph Adelung (1732-1806). Studies in Leipzig (Law & Philosophy) 1787-90, then travelled in Central and South Europe. Settled in Riga (1793-95 there) and Mitau as a merchant and journalist. 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, brothers of Alexander I. From 1824 until his death he was the director of Oriental Institute of Foreign Ministry. Wirklicher Staatsrat and title of nobility in Russia. Correspondent member of the Imperial Academy since 1809. Married with Friederike Wilhelmine Rall (1778-1848).
Without knowing Sanskrit, which he openly stated himself, he 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: Katharinens des Grossen Verdienste um die vergl. Sprachwissenschaft. 1816; Siegmund, Freiherr von Herberstein. 1818; Übersicht aller bekannten Sprachen und ihren Dialekte. 1820; Kritisch-litterarische Übersicht der Reisenden in Russland bis 1700. 1–2. 1846.
– Rapports entre la langue Sanscrit et la langue Russe. St.P. 1811; 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 tr. by O. A. Talboys, Oxford 1832.
Sources: H. J. Kissling, N.D.B. 1, 1953, 63; Leskien, A.D.B. 1, 80; Windisch 96f.; Wikipedia (with picture).
Last Updated on