HARPER, William Rainey

HARPER, William Rainey. New Concord, Ohio 24.7.1856 — Chicago 10.1.1906. U.S. Linguist. Born in an Irish-Scottish family, son of Samuel H. and Elizabeth Rainey. A child prodigy who learned many languages, Greek, Latin, Semitic, modern. Studies at Muskingum College (graduated when 14) and Yale (Ph.D. when 18). In Sanskrit Whitney’s student. Taught at Denison University and Yale. In 1891 participated in organizing the University of Chicago, soon its first President. Married 1875 Elsa Paul, three sons and one daughter. Died of cancer.

He was specially interested in Hebrew, but taught many languages, including Sanskrit, at University of Chicago (apparently Sanskrit also at Denison). In Chicago he also founded there the first Egyptological Department in the U.S.A.

Publications: diss. A Comparative Study of the Prepositions in Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, and Gothic. MS. Yale 1874.

Wrote on Hebrew, Greek and Latin.

Sources: Wikipedia with photo (many further details, two photos and references in German version).

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