GOLDSCHMIDT, Paul. Danzig 19.12.1850 — Galle 7.5.1877. German Indologist. Son of a Kommerzienrat, perhaps somehow (but not closely) related to —> Siegfried G.1 He matriculated from Danzig 1867. Studies of Indology in 1867-72 (interrupted by voluntary military service) at Heidelberg, Tübingen (Roth), Berlin (Weber) and Göttingen. Ph.D. 1872 Göttingen (under Benfey). In 1873 one year in London studying manuscripts, then accepted the post of epigraphist (Commissioner of Archaeology) to the Ceylon government in 1874. In Sri Lanka he surveyed the North-Central Province (especially Anurādhapura) collecting 83 Sinhalese inscriptions. Then during his last months similar work in the Hambantota District in Southern Province. Notwithstanding fever and climate he worked all the year and in the end arrived with rich material, but severely ill to Galle, where he died without being able to proceed to Colombo.
Goldschmidt made the first systematic collection of inscriptions, started the study of their palaeography, and showed definitely the Indo-Aryan nature of the Sinhalese language. His work was continued by —> E. Müller-Hess.
Publications: Diss. Specimen des Setubandha. 106 p. Göttingen 1873 (two songs ed. & transl. with notes).
– “Einiges über Einschub und Vergröberung des h im Prâkrt”, NGGW 1874, 468-474; “Etymologisches aus dem Prâkrt: √dekkh, dakkh und Verwandtes”, Ibid. 509-528.
– “A Report on the Inscriptions in the North-Central Province, with specimens”, Sessional Papers of Ceylon 1875, and “Further Report of I. found in the N.-C. Pr.”, ibid. 21, 1875, both repr. in IA (5, 1875, 189-192 & 6, 1876, 318-329).
– “Notes on Ancient Sinhalese Inscriptions”, JRAS-CB 6:1, 1879, 1-45.
– S. Goldschmidt: Rāvaṇavaha oder Setubandha. Hrsg. von S. G. Mit Wortindex von S. und P. G. 1-2. 354 p. Strassburg 1880-84.
Sources: S. Goldschmidt, A.D.B. 9, 1879, 339f.; T. Vimalananda, “Two Pioneers of Epigraphy in Ceylon”, The Ceylon Historical Journal 1:4, 1952, 358-360; photo in Rau 56.
1 Their collaboration on the Rāvaṇavaha and Paul’s obituary by Siegfried make this likely (but not certain, just the common surname may have brought them together). Long ago I guessed that they were brothers, and others seem to have done the same mistake, as such a claim is stated in Internet as a fact. But Siegfried’s father died several years before Paul was born. M. Knüppel (see under Siegfried) just points out that they were not related.
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