GOLDSCHMIDT, Paul. Danzig 19.12.1850 — Galle 7.5.1877. German Indologist. Son of a Kommerzienrat, perhaps related to —> Siegfried G.1 He matriculated in Danzig 1867. Studies of Indology in 1867-72 (interrupted by voluntary military service) at Heidelberg, Tübingen, Berlin and Göttingen. Ph.D. 1872 Göttingen. In 1873 one year in London studying manuscripts, then accepted a post of epigraphist (Commissioner of Archaeology) to the Ceylon government in 1874. In Ceylon 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. Nothwithstanding 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. He 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. 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 1876-77.

S. Goldschmidt: Rāvaṇavaha oder Setubandha. Hrsg. von S. G. Mit Wortindex von S. und P. G. 1-2. 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.

1 Their collaboration on the Rāvaṇavaha and Paul’s obituary by Siegfried makes 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, as such a claim is stated in internet as a fact. But Siegfried’s father died several years before Paul was born. M. Knüppel just points out that they were not related.


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