EWALD, Georg Heinrich August (von)

EWALD, Georg Heinrich August (von). Göttingen 16.11.1803 — Göttingen 4.5.1875. German Orientalist, specially Hebrew and Semitic Scholar, but also Indologist, and Theologician. Son of Heinrich Andreas E., a master weaver, studied theology and Oriental languages at Göttingen. Ph.D. there 1823. After a short period as Collaborator at Gymnasium of Wolfenbüttel, from 1824 Repetent at Theological Faculty in Göttingen. From 1827 ao. Professor of Philosophy at Göttingen, from 1831 ord. there. In 1837 participated in the professors’ protest against suspending the constitution of Hannover, and was fired from the university. From 1838 Professor of Oriental Languages and Literature at Tübingen, in 1841 moved to Theological Faculty as Professor of Old Testament. In 1848, after the political turn in Hannover, returned of his own wish to Göttingen. In 1867 he was deprived of his salary because he declined to give the oath of loyalty to the king of Prussia and in 1868 also of his right to teach. Worked now as a private scholar and a member of Gött. A.W. (since 1833). From 1862 he participated actively in religious disputes of Hannover and in 1869-75 represented Hannover and the Welf party (opposition) in North German and German parliament. Hon. Dr. theol. 1836 Copenhagen. Württemb. Personaladel 1841.

Though Ewald was mainly a theologian and a notable Hebrew (important grammar!) and Arabic scholar, he also knew Sanskrit and gave some time to its study. In his opinion language was bound to its speakers, which led him to study texts. He was even interested in Tibetan. He defended the idea of Semitic-IE relationship. His encouragement led Bollensen at Göttingen as well as Schleicher and Roth at Tübingen, all originally students of theology, to turn their attention to Sanskrit. Also E. Meier, E. Trumpp and many noted Semitists (e.g. Dillmann and Nöldeke) were his students.

Publications: Die Composition d. Genesis. 1823; Das hohe Lied und d. Prediger Salomos. 1826; Kritische Grammatik der hebraischen Sprache. 1827, English transl. 1836, revised ed. as Ausführliche Lehrbuch der hebr. Spr. 1870; Die poet. Bücher des alten Bundes. 1-3. 1835-37, 3rd ed. as Die Dichter des alten Bundes. 1866-67; and much more on Hebrew and Old Testament.

Ueber ältere Sanskrit-Metra. 24 p. 1827; “Über das Afghanische oder Puschtu”, ZKM 2, 1839, 285-312; Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften der Universitätsbibliothek zu Tübingen. 32 p. Tübingen 1839 (17-28 Indische Hand­schriften, Schenkung John Häberlin); “Über die Indischen Hss. der Universitäts-Bibliothek zu Tübingen”, ZKM 3, 1840, 298-307; “Das Bhâgavata Purâna nach burnouf’s Ausgabe und der Tübinger Handschrift”, ZKM 4, 1842, 220-230.

edited and translated: “Kâlidâsas Çrutabodha”, ZKM 4, 1842, 57-72; “Das indische Gedicht vom Vogel Tschâtaka”, ZKM 4, 1842, 366-376.

reviews, e.g. Annals and Antiquities by Tod, GGA 1831, 1009-1022 & 1833, 689-708;Urvasi by Lenz, GGA 1833, 2059-2063; Accent im Sanskrit by Böhtlingk, ZKM 5, 1844, 437-447.

De metris carminum Arabicorum. 1825; Grammatica critica linguae Arabicae. 1-2. 1831-33.

Sources: *E. & C. Betheau, Realencyclopädie für protest. Theologie unf Kirche 5, 1898, 682-687; Brückner et al., Indienforschung im Zeitenwandel. 2003, 62-66, with photo.; *A. Dillmann, A.D.B. 6, 1877, 438-442; *J. Ebach, Theol. Realenzykopädie 10, 1982, 694-696; W. Kirfel, N.D.B. 4, 1959, 696f.; Windisch 157 & 210; Wikipedia with two photos (a third in the German version).

*T. W. Davies, H. E. Orientalist and Theologian, 1803–1903. 146 p. L. 1905; *Briefe an Ewald. Aus seinem Nachlass. Hrsg. von R. Fick & G. v. Selle. 8+223 p. Göttingen 1932.


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