ZIMMER, Heinrich Friedrich

ZIMMER, Heinrich Friedrich. Kastellaun near Koblenz 11.12.1851 — Berlin 29.7.1910. German Indologist and Celtic Scholar. Professor in Greifswald and Berlin. Studied classics and Indology at Strassburg (Goldschmidt) and Tübingen (Roth), also Germanistics (Scherer) and Celtology (Windisch), strongly influenced by Weber. Ph.D. 1876 (?). PD 1878 Berlin. In 1881-1901 Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Linguistics at Greifswald (ao., 1882 ord.), 1901-10 Professor of Celtology at Berlin (the first in Germany). Member of the academies of Berlin, Göttingen and Munich. Married, father of —> Heinrich Z. the younger. Drowned himself because of an incurable illness, buried in Hahnenklee (Harz).

Zimmer became early famous in Indology, winning a contest in 1879 with his book about Vedic culture. He was wisely cautious and based everything on the careful study of original sources, which gave his book a lasting worth unlike, the numerous speculations of the same period. Later he mainly concentrated on Celtology, especially on Irish and its relation to other IE languages.

Publications: Diss. Die nominalsuffixe a and â in den germanischen Sprachen. 123 p. Quellen und Forschungen zur Sprach- und Culturgeschichte 13. Strassburg 1876.

– Altindisches Leben. 16+460 p. B. 1879.

– Translation of Whitney’s Indische Grammatik. 520 p. Lp. 1879.

– Keltische Studien. 1-2. B. 1881-84; Glossae hibernicae. B. 1881; Nennius Vindicatus Über Entstehung, Geschichte und Quellen der Historia Brittonum. 356 p. B. 1893; The Early Celtic Church in Britain and Ireland. L. 1901; many, often long articles on Celtic and Irish, e.g. in KZ.

Sources: *W. Habers, IF Anz. 27, 1911, 172-181; Stache-Weiske 2017, 571; Windisch 369f.; Das Grosse Brockhaus 15th ed. 20, 1935; briefly D.B.E. 10, 1999, 664; Wikipedia, more in German version (there is still longer article in the Gaelic version, which I cannot use). Photo in Rau 59, another in Pedersen 1959, 60 (rather poor, from Journal of the Welsh Bibliogr. Soc. 1).

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