LAGARDE, Paul de

LAGARDE, Paul Anton de (until 1854 Paul Bötticher). Berlin 2.11.1827 — Göttingen 22.12.1891 (Walravens & Stache-Weiske 2015, 181, nt. 545 died 22.11). German Oriental Scholar, Theologian, and Racist, also interested in Iranian. Professor in Göttingen. Son of Wilhelm B. and Luise Klebe (d. 1827 soon after his birth). Born in a neo-pietist family with a severe father, he himself turned out to be of difficult nature, prone to suspicion, self-compassion, depression, and aggression. Raised by a great-aunt, Ernestine de L., whose name he then adopted. Studies of theology at Berlin (under Hengstenberg) and Halle (Tholuck), then turned by Rückert to Oriental languages and historical-philological criticism. Soon he developed the idea of applying this method in order to find out a reliable text of the Bible. He became thus estranged from church and from his theologian teachers, instead he entered politics. Ph.D. 1849 Berlin (diss. on Arabic). PD 1851 Halle. 1852-53 further studies in London. From 1854 worked as schoolteacher in Berlin. He published Syriac and Greek Christian texts, often from his own purse. Made research on the Septuaginta. From 1869 Ewald’s successor at Göttingen. Hon. dr.theol. 1868 Halle. Married 1854 Anna Berger, no children.

Lagarde certainly belongs to the number of pioneers of critical theology, as an Orientalist he was mainly a Biblical scholar, though also interested in Iranian, Armenian, and Coptic. At the same time, he was a religious-nationalistic antisemitist, who was later much praised by the Nazis. He was a Pan-Germanist who wanted to germanize Poland and to colonize large part of eastern Europe. He was learned, but rarely capable of concluding his plans. He did not understand the new ideas of his time in IE and Semitic linguistics.

Publications: Hab.diss. 29 p. from Arica. 115 p. Halle 1851.

– Gesammelte Abhandlungen. 302 p. Leipzig 1866 (I. “Indische, persische und armenische wörter im syrischen”, 1–84, IV. “Die persischen glossen der alten”, 147–242).

Armenische Studien. 216 p. Göttingen 1877; many books and articles on Hebrew, Syriac, Armenian, Coptic, and Greek, and theology; political writings, poems, etc.

Sources: Fück 1955, 244; *Anna de Lagarde, Erinnerungen. 1894; A. Neubauer, JRAS 1892, 384–386; H.H. Schaeder, “Paul de L. als Orientalist”, OLZ 45, 1942, 1-14; J. Schriever, N.D.B.13, 1982, 409-412; *Ulrich Sieg, Deutschlands Prophet. Paul de Lagarde und die Ursprünge des modernen Antisemitismus. Munich 2007; *L. Techen, A.D.B. 51, 1906, 531-536; bibliography in *PAOS 1892, ccxi–ccxxix; Wikipedia with photo and further sources (more in German version).

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