ANTON, Konrad Gottlob. Lauban 29.11.1745 — Dresden 4.7.1814. German Orientalist and Linguist. Professor at Wittenberg. In one source (Gel. T.) born in 1743. Son of Konrad A. and Maria Magdalene Zimmer. Studies at Leipzig. From 1775 Professor of Oriental (i.e. Semitic) Languages at the Wittenberg University, until his death little before the closing of the university in 1817. As a scholar he developed some peculiar ideas, e.g. when he tried to explain the Hebrew accents as a system of notation and thus reconstruct ancient Hebrew songs. Sanskrit he learnt from the books of Paulinus and derived the language from “Ancient Persian” together with Russian, which he also explained as an Oriental language. According to Weber, however, he was no charlatan, and before his death he wrote a new, much better study of the comparative Linguistics, this time on IE basis, but unfortunately it was left unpublished. Married, one son.
Publications: Versuch das zuverlässigste Unterscheidung der Orientalischen und Occidentalischen Sprachen zu entdecken. 108 p. 1792.
– De lingua Russica ex eadem cum Samscredamica matre orientali prognata. 46 p. 1809.
– on “Hebrew songs”, see Paulus’ Neue Repertorium für bibl. und morgenl. Literatur 1790-91; books on the Bible and classical languages.
Sources: C.G.A. Siegfried, A.D.B. 1, 1875, 497f.; B. Sauer, N.D.B. 1852, 319; Das Gelehrte Teutschland; Weber, Beiträge zur vergl. Sprachforschung 5, 1868, 190-193; German Wikipedia (with silhouette).
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