HINZ, Walther

HINZ, Walther. Stuttgart 19.11.1906 — Göttingen 12.4.1992. German Oriental and Iranian Scholar. Professor in Göttingen. Son of a merchant, lost early his parents. Studied first journalism, but soon switched to East European history, Slavistics, Turkish and Persian (under Schaeder and Massé), in 1926-30 at Leipzig, Munich and Paris. Ph.D. 1930 Leipzig. From 1934 PD der Islamwissenschaft at Berlin, where he also worked in Ministry of Education. From 1937 Professor für Geschichte des Nahen Ostens at Göttingen (ord. 1941). Dean of faculty 1938-39. Visits to Iran in 1936 and 1939. In 1937 joined NSDAP. In 1942-45 served in the army, stationed in Istanbul as a counter-intelligence officer. In 1945-46 interned by the British in Neumünster. Lost his chair after the war, worked as a translator and in 1950-57 for the Göttinger Tageblatt without giving up his scholarly work. Also taught Persian at University. From 1957 again ord. Professor and Direktor des Seminars für Iranistik at Göttingen. Again visited Iran in 1958, 1961, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1973 and 1974. Retired in 1975. Hon. dr. 1976 Teheran. From 1960s on also promoted Christian spiritualism (Geistchristentum).

In the 1930s WH began his career as a specialist of the Islamic history of Iran, but later turned also to ancient period. The years in Istambul gave him a good opportunity for manuscript studies. In addition to Iranian studies he made a name in the field of Elamite with his deciphering the Old Elamite script (1962) and studies of the Persepolis fortification tablets. In his late years also interested in Biblical history and Old Semitic epigraphy. He was eager photographer, who illustrated his books with his own photos.

Publications: Diss. Kulturgeschichte Russlands unter Peter den Grossen. 1930.

Habil.diss. Irans Aufstieg zum Nationalstaat im fünfzehnten Jahrhundert. 175 p. 8 pl. B. & Lp. 1936, Turkish transl. 1948, Persian 1968.

Iran, Politik und Kultur von Kyros bis Rezâ Schach. 139 p. 38 ill. Lp. 1938; Iranische Reise. Eine Forschungsfahrt durch des heutige Persien. 6+167 p. 93 fig. B. 1938; translated several works of Barthold, and the Persian part of E. Kämpfer’s Amoenitates exoticae as Engelbert Kaempfer am Hof des persischen Grosskönigs. 283 p. Lp. 1940.

Persisch. 1. Leitfaden der Umgangssprache. B. 1942, 2nd ed. 9+279 p. B. 1955, 3rd ed. 1959, 5th 1971.

Altpersischer Wortschatz. 7+160 p. AKM 27:1, Lp. 1942; completely rev. ed. Neue Wege im Altpersischen. 174 p. Göttingen 1973.

Islamische Masse und Gewichte umgerechnet ins metrische System. 7+66 p. HdO Erg.bd. 1, Heft 1. Leiden 1955; in Russian 1970, in Arabic 1971.

Zarathustra. 271 p. St. 1961.

– “Zur Entzifferung der elamischen Strichschrift”, Iranica Antiqua 2, 1962, 1-21.

In rev. 2nd ed. of The Cambridge Ancient History. Vol. 1. Chapter 23. “Persia c. 2400–1800 B.C.” (1963) and Vol. 2. Chapter 7. “Persia c. 1800–1550 B.C.”, Cambridge 1964; again in 3rd rev. ed. 1973.

Das Reich Elam. 159 p. 16 pl. St. 1964; English tr. The Lost World of Elam. 1972, Russian 1977.

Altiranische Funde unf Forschungen. 273 p. 157 pl. B. 1969; Altiranisches Sprachgut der Nebenüberlieferung. 303 p. Gött. Orientforsch. 3:3. Wb. 1975.

– “Achämenidische Hofverwaltung”, Z. f. Assyriologie 61, 1971, 260-311.

Darius und die Perser. Eine Kulturgeschichte der Achämeniden. 1-2. Baden-Baden 1976-79.

With H. Koch: Elamisches Wörterbuch. 1-2. 1392 p. AMI Erg.bd. 17. B. 1987.

Islamische Währungen des 11. bis 19. Jahrhunderts umgerechnet in Gold. 12+95 p. Wb. 1991.

Articles in ZDMG, etc.

Sources: Brief note in IIJ 4, 1960; Bio-bibliogr. Acta Iran. 20, 1979, 253-259; *H. Kanus-Credé, Iranistische Mitteilungen 22:2, 1992, 5-12; H. R. Roemer & H. Koch, ZDMG 143, 1993, 241-247 with photo; R. Schmitt, Encyclop. Iranica 12:3, 2003, 315-317 (online version 2012); German Wikipedia.

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