LAGARDE, Paul Anton de

LAGARDE, Paul Anton de (until 1854 Paul Bötticher). Berlin 2.11.1827 — Göttingen 22.12.1891. German Orientalist, Theologian, and Racist, also interested in Iranian. Professor in Göttingen. 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. 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. PD 1851 Halle. From 1854 schoolteacher. He published Syrian and Greek Christian texts often from his own purse. Made research on the LXX. From 1869 Ewald’s successor at Göttingen. He 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 learned, but rarely capable of concluding his plans. He did not understand the new ideas of his time in IE and Semitic linguistics.

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

Armenische Studien. 1877; books and articles on Hebrew, Syriac, Armenian, Coptic, and Greek, and theology; political writings.

Sources: *Anna de Lagarde, Erinnerungen. 1918 (1894?); A. Neubauer, JRAS 1892, 384–386; H.H. Schaeder, “Paul de L. als Orientalist”, OLZ 45, 1942, 1-14; *Ulrich Sieg, Deutschlands Prophet. Paul de Lagarde und die Ursprünge des modernen Antisemitismus. Munich 2007; A.D.B. 51, N.D.B. 13; bibliography in *PAOS 1892, ccxi–ccxxix; Wikipedia with photo, further sources in *German Wikipedia.

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