GEIGER, Bernhard

GEIGER, Bernhard. Bielitz-Biala (Polish Bielsko, then in Austrian Silesia) 30.4.1881 — New York 5.7.1964. Austrian Indo-Iranian Scholar, later in the U.S.A. Professor in Vienna and New York. Son of Chiel G., a Jewish tailor who moved in 1902 to the U.S.A. School and gymnasium in Biala. Studies of Semitics, Iranian and Indology at Vienna (1900-05), Bonn (1905-06) and Göttingen (1906-07). Ph.D. in Arabic 1904 Vienna. He had started with Hebrew and Semitic, but L. von Schroeder attracted him to Sanskrit and Iranian. From 1909 PD at Wien and in 1919, after von Schroeder’s retirement, became ao. Professor “für iranische und indische Philologie”. With Anschluss in 1938 lost his position and emigrated to the U.S.A. (but could not take his papers with him), where he taught in 1938-50 as Professor of Indo-Iranian languages and Tibetan at Asia Institute (School of Iranian Studies) in New York. In 1951-53 visiting Professor of Iranian Studies at Columbia University. Married, daughter a known pianist.

As a scholar BG concentrated on Iranian. He did not publish much, but his work has been much praised. At Vienna 11 students completed Ph.D. under him (incl. Tedesco). Active in Zionist movement.

Publications: Diss. publ. “Die Mu‘allaqa des Ṭarafa”, WZKM 19, 1905, 323-370 & 20, 1906, 37-80.

– “Chîrwâ-Inschrift aus der Zeit des Guhila-Fürsten Samarasiṁha [Vikrama-] Saṁvat 1330 [A.D. 1273]”, WZKM 21, 1907, 143-162.

Hab.diss. 1908 publ.: “Mahābhāṣya zu P. VI, 4, 22 und 132 nebst Kaiyaṭa’s Kommentar”, (transl. and explained) 76 p. SWA 160:8, 1909.

– “Anmerkungen zum Frahang i Pahlavik”, WZKM 26, 1912, 294-306; “Die Ameša Spentas: Ihr Wesen und ihre ursprüngliche Bedeutung”, SWA 176:7, 1916, 248 p.

With E. Felber: Die indische Musik der vedischen und klassischen Zeit. Studie zur Geschichte der Rezitation. Nach den Platten des Phonogramm-Archivs der kais. Akademie. 188 p. SWA 170:3. Wien 1912 (133-188 by G.).

– “Zum persischen Postwesen”, WZKM 29, 1916, 309-314.

– “Zur Beurteilung der awestischen Vulgata”, Andreas Festschrift 1916, 91-96; “Indo-Iranica”, WZKM 40, 1933, 95-122 (review of Abegg, Messiasglaube); “Ṛta und verwandtes”, WZKM 41, 1934, 107-126; “Der Planet Venus im Awesta”, WZKM 45, 1938, 109-120.

– “Die Religion der Iranier”, Die Religionen der Erde. Lp. – Vienna 1929, 232-263.

– “Zu den iranischen Lehnwörter im Aramäischen”, WZKM 37, 1930, 195-203; “Mittel­persische Wörter und Sachen”, WZKM 42, 1935, 114-128 & 44, 1937, 51-64; “Mittelpersisch vēnōk ‘Erbse (Linse)’”, BSOS 8, 1936, 547-553; “Aus mittelpersischen Materialien”, ArO 10, 1938, 210-214; and other articles.

Chapter on Iranian (in Hebrew) in A. Kohut (ed.): Additamenta ad Aruch completum. 1937.

With T. Halasi-Kun, Ae. Kuipers, and K. H. Menges: Peoples and Languages of the Caucasus: A Synopsis. 77 p. Janua Linguarum 6. The Hague 1959

– “The Middle Iranian Inscriptions in the Synagogue of Dura-Europos”, C. H. Kraeling (ed.): The Synagogue. The Excavations at Dura-Europos, Final Report 8:1. New Haven 1956, 283-317.

– “Indo-Iranian rū/ŭ- lū/ŭ-, ‘to pluck’”, W. B. Henning & E. Yarshater (eds.), A Locust’s Leg: Studies in Honour of S. H. Taqizadeh. London 1962, 70-75.

Sources: Information given by K. Preisendanz in 2004; Bihl 85-90 (full account of his teaching at Wien); R. N. Frye, WZKM 59/60, 1963-64, 224-226; U. Maas, Verfolgung und Auswanderung deutschsprachiger Sprachforscher (zflprojekte.de); R. Schmitt, Encyclop. Iranica 10:4, 2000, 391-393 (online); Dir. Am. Sch. 2nd ed. 1952, 3rd ed. 1957 and 5th ed. 1969; *Biogr. Handbuch Emigr. 2; briefly in D.B.E. 3, 1996, 603; Wikipedia.

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