KUHN, Franz Felix Adalbert

KUHN, Franz Felix Adalbert. Königsberg/Neumark (now Chojna, Poland) 19.11.1812 — Berlin-Neukölln 5.5.1881. German Indologist. Schoolteacher and Director in Berlin. In 1827-33 at Joachimsthaler Gymnasium in Berlin, taught himself Sanskrit already then. From 1833 studies at Berlin under Bopp. Ph.D. 1837 Berlin. From 1837 taught at Köllnisches Gymnasium in Berlin, as Probandus, from 1841 ord. Lehrer, from 1856 Professor, from 1870 Director of the same school. From 1872 member of Prussian Academy. Plans for academic career remained unsuccesful. Married. His son was —> Ernst K., brother-in-law the Germanist Schwarz.

AK was one of the great pioneers of comparative linguistics, mythology and folklore. He sought for clues about IE “Urkultur” using mainly Sanskrit, Greek and Old German as his sources. He is thus considered the founder of “Indogermanische Altertumskunde” and of comparative mythology. This latter was his favourite subject, the starting-point being mostly the Veda, which he studied even before editions, from Berlin manuscripts. Unfortunately, he worked before junggrammarians and gave little attention to sound laws. Wrote also on orthographic changes in the Rigveda. In 1852 he founded the famous Kuhns Zeitschrift. Had strong influence on Weber.

Publications: diss. De conjugatione in -mi linguae Sanscritae ratione habita. 70 p. Berlin 1837.

– “Ueber die Metra der zuerst von Rosen edirten und neuerlich von Lassen in seiner Anthologia Sanscritica wiederabgedruckten Rig-Vedahymnen”, ZKM 3, 1840, 76-88; “Ueber Nig‘antu und Nirukti”, Z. f. d. Wiss. der Sprache 1:1, 1845, 140-154; “Ueber ṛxâs des Rigvêda”, Ibid. 1:1, 1845, 155-161.

Märkische Sagen und Märchen. 1843; Norddeutsche Sagen, Märchen und Gebräuche. 1848 (with Schwarz); Sagen, Gebräuche und Märchen aus Westfalen. 1-2. 1859.

– “Über die Vṛihaddevatā”, ISt 1, 1850, 101ff.; “Zum älteren Geschichte der Indogermanischen Völker”, Ibid. 321-363.

a great number of articles in KZ, e.g.: “Saraṇyû – Ἐριννύς”, KZ 1, 1852, 439-470; “Die Sprachvergleichung und die Vorgeschichte der idg. Völker”, KZ 4, 1855, 81-124 (Ṛbhu); “Indische und germanische segenssprüche”, KZ 13, 1864, 113-157.

Die Herabkunft des Feuers und Göttertranks. 8+266 p. B. 1859.

– “Sprachliche Resultate aus der vedischen Metrik”, Beitr. z. vgl. Sprachf. 3, 1863, 113-125, 450-477 & 4, 1865, 179-216.

Mythologische Studien. 1-2. Hrsg. von E. Kuhn: 1. Die Herabkunft des Feuers und Göttertranks. (2nd ed.) 1886; 2. Vier Akademische Abhandlungen über Pitaras und Zwerge. Fragment über die Bedeutung der Rinder der idg. Mythologie. 1912.

Sources: *H. Hirth, Idg. Jb. 2, 1914, 213-215; A. Leskien, A.D.B. 17, 1883, 335f.; *v. Prantl, SBaAW 1882:1, 391-394; *J. Schmidt, KZ 26, 1881, v-vii; *R. Schmitt, Lex. gramm. 1996, 536f.; *W. Schulze, KZ 45, 1913, 375-380; Windisch 265-270; Wikipedia with photo.

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