KOSEGARTEN, Johann Gottfried Ludwig

KOSEGARTEN, Johann Gottfried Ludwig. Altenkirchen, Rügen 10.9.1792 — Greifswald 18.8.1860. German Indologist and Orientalist. Professor in Greiswald. Son of the minister and poet Ludwig Gotthard K. (1758–1818) and Katharina Linde, born in what was then Swedish Pomerania. Educated at home. In 1808-12 studies of theology and history at Greifswald, where his father had just got the chair of history. In 1812-14 further studies of Oriental languages in Paris, under Silvestre de Sacy, in the end also attended Chézy’s Sanskrit lectures. In 1814-17 Adjunktof Theologyat Greifswald. In 1817-24 Professor of Oriental Lan­guages at Jena, where he became acquainted with Goethe and assisted him in the new edition of Westöstlicher Divan. From 1824 Professor of Theology (i.e. Old Testament Exegetics) and Oriental Languages at Greifswald. He started teaching of Sanskrit both at Jena (which was then long time without it) and Greifswald. Married Justine Susemihl, one son. In several sources the year of his death is erroneously given as 1850 (also 1862 as year and 18.10. as date are offered).

Kosegarten was one of the last general Orientalists. First and foremost he was an Arabic scholar, but also interested in Turkish, Persian, Avestan, and Sanskrit, even in Egyptology. In Indology he belonged to the Bonn school. After 1834 he was mainly engaged in studies of his native Low German dialects, although he also prepared the editio princeps (but of a poor recension) of the Pañcatantra (see Hertel in ZDMG 1902, 293-326).

Publications: Edited & transl. Carminum orientalium triga. Stralsund 1815.

– Nala. Eine indische Dichtung von Wjasa. Aus dem Sanscrit im Versmasse der Urschrift übersetzt und mit Anm. versehen. 22+346 p. Jena 1820.

Edited: Pantschatantrum, sive quinquepartitum de moribus exponens. Pars prima, textum sanscriticum simpliciorem tenens. 12+268 p. Bonnae ad Rhenum 1848; … Pars II:1, textum ornatiorem tenens. 64 p. Gryphiswaldiae 1859.

Review of Sanskrit grammars of Bopp (1827) and Frank (1823), of Bopp’s Ardschuna’s Reise (1824), and of Schlegel’s Bhagavad Gita (1823), Hermes 28, 1827, 262-321.

Postscripts to Iken’s translation of Touti Nameh. Eine Sammlung Persischer Märchen von Nechschebi. St. 1822 (the Persian version of the Śukasaptati), 171-187 (literary history), 188-247 (long extracts translated from Naḫšabī’s original work – in spite of the title Iken had translated Qādirī’s later version), 248-287 (commentary jointly by Iken and JGLK) and 312-316 (translation of Naḫšabī’s conclusion).

Chrestomathia Arabica. 24+547 p. Lp. 1828; Annales Taberistanenses. 1-2. Greifsw. 1831-38 (partial edition of this important history); other works on Arabic.

Articles on Maltese (in Hoefer’s Zeitschrift), on Low German, Egyptology, Oriental philology, etc., in the 1830s a number of reviews in Jbb. für wiss. Kritik.

Books on Low German, a history of Greifswald University, the biography of his father, etc.

Sources: Windisch 227f. (erroneously gives 1850 as the years of his death); G. Dugat, Histoire des orientalistes. P. 1868, 3-7; Buckland, Dictionary; Dawson & Uphill, Who Was Who in Egyptology. 1972; Th. Pyl, A.D.B. 16, 1882, 742-745; Wikipedia (with more details and picture in German version); picture in Rau 8.

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