FRANKFURTER, Oskar

FRANKFURTER, Oskar. Hamburg 23.2.1851 — Hamburg 1.10.1922. German South-East Asian and Pāli Scholar. After Johanneum in Hamburg studied i.al. Indology at Berlin and Göttingen. Ph.D. Göttingen 1874. In Oxford collaborated with Childers and became acquainted with Prince Prisdang of Thailand. From 1884 employed as secretary and interpreter to Prince Devawongse in Bangkok. When the Prince became the minister of foreign affairs OF continued as his assistant until 1895, when he was made general secretary to the new advisor of Thai government, Belgian Rolin Jacquemynes. When RJ had retired, OF was moved to the ministry of internal affairs, and from 1905 he was director of the renewed Royal Library of State. In 1904 he achieved the foundation of the Siam Society and acted as its president until 1917. When in July 1917 Thailand declared war on Germany, OF as a German citizen was interned in Bangkok and in winter 1918 delivered up to the British. Until December 1919 he was interned near Haidarabad and returned in winter 1920 to Germany. His last years OF lived in Hamburg.

Publications: “Buddhist Nirvāṇa and the Noble Eightfold Path”, JRAS 12, 1880, 548-574 (three suttas of the SN ed. & translated).

– “On Buddhist Chronology”, IA 10, 1880 & 11, 1881.

– “List of Pāli MSS. in the Bodleian Library, Oxford”, JPTS 1882, 30f. (8 mss. only).

Handbook of Pali, being an elementary Grammar, a Chrestomathy, and a Glossary. L. 1883.

– “Sanskrit khaḍga u.s.w.”, KZ 27, 1885, 222.

– “The attitudes of the Buddha”, JSS 10, 1913, 21-35; “Buddhistische Zeitrechnung in Siam”, Anthropos 8, 1913, 736f.

also wrote on Thailand and on Thai language, often in JSS.

Sources: a brief vita in v. Hinüber’s files, without a reference; German Wikipedia with photo.

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