THIEME, Paul

THIEME, Paul. Berlin 18.4.1905 — London 27.4.2001. German Indologist. Professor in Halle, New Haven and Tübingen. Son of Oskar Th., a minister, and Elisabeth Blancke, born as one of triplets. Gymnasium in Eisenach, privately learned Sanskrit from Fick’s textbook. From 1923 studies at Göttingen.  Ph.D. 1928 Göttingen, under Sieg, but his main teachers were Lüders and W. Schulze at Berlin, where he was in 1925-27. PD 1932 Göttingen. In 1932-35 Lecturer in German and French at Allahabad University, studied grammar under Pandits, especially Vyākaraṇa under Kamalakanta Mishra. Now he also learned Hindi. From 1936 Docent at Breslau. From 1939 ao. Professor at Berlin, from 1940 apl. at Breslau. From 1941 ao. and from 1946 ord. Professor at Halle. In WW II in army, first in Russian front, then as interpreter for Indian Legion, finally one year American war prisoner. He had been very critical towards Nazis, but soon also disappointed with G.D.R. After coming to the West in 1953 he was first ord. Professor at Frankfurt (Lommel’s successor) and from 1954 Professor at Yale in New Haven. Returning to Germany, from 1960 von Glasenapp’s successor as ord. Professor at Tübingen. Emeritus 1973, but continued teaching until advanced age. Last years from 1990 in London where his wife was teaching.  Hon. D.Litt. 1981 Banaras Hindu University. Honorary member of several societies.  Married four times, first in India 1933 Dorothy Cearns (divorce 1940), one son, then 1942 Margarete Strohmeyer (to 1948), one daughter, and 1949 Carola Schneider (d. 1977); his fourth wife from 1991 was Renate Söhnen-Thieme. In the last years he had problems with hearing and seeing.

Thieme was a famous specialist of grammatical traditions (especially Pāṇini) and the Veda, also an IE linguist. His work includes thorough semantical and conceptional analyses (ari/arya 1938, pūjā 1939, lakṣa etc.) and special themes (“Jugfrauengatte”, various animal names). A skilled philologist, though perhaps inclined to strong theories and their simplified applications. Denied any Dravidian substrate in the Ṛgveda. Among his students at Halle were Buddruss, Haebler, Janert, Mehlig, Scharfe and Fr. Wilhelm, at Frankfurt again Buddruss and Janert, at Yale Cardona, W. Cowgill, Insler and Betty Shefts, at Tübingen H.-O. Feistel, O. v. Hinüber, Insler (again), R. Katičić, C. Kiehnle, W. Knobl, V. N. Mishra, Th. Oberlies, R. Stuhrmann, A.  Wezler and M. Witzel.

Publications: Diss. Das Plusquamperfectum im Veda. 62 p Göttingen 1929 (KZ Erg.Heft 7).

– Hab.diss. transl. and publ. as Pāṇini and the Veda. 15+132 p. Allahabad 1935.

– “Bhāṣya zu vārttika 5 zu Pāṇini 1.1.9 und seine einheimische Erklärer. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte und Würdigung der indischen grammatischen Scholastik”, NGGW N.F. Fachgruppe 3: 1:5, 1935, 171-216.

– “Pāṇini and the Ṛkprātiçākhya”, IHQ 13, 1937, 329-343; “On the identity of the Vārttikakāra”, IC 4, 1937-38, 189-200; “Indische Wörter und Sitten”, ZDMG 93, 1939, 105-137.

Der Fremdling im Ṛgveda. Studie über die Bedeutung der Worte ari, arya, aryaman und ārya. 186 p. A.K.M. 23:2. Lp. 1938.

Untersuchungen zur Wortkunde und Auslegung des Rigveda. 75 p. Halle 1949.– “Bráhman”, ZDMG 102, 1952, 91-129; “Mithra und Aryaman”, Transactions of the Connecticut Acad. of Arts and Sciences 41, 1957, 1-96.

Studien zur indogermanischen Wortkunde und Religionsgeschichte. 76 p. B. 1952; Die Heimat der indogermanischen Gemeinsprache. 79 p. AWLMainz 1953:11. Wb. 1954.
– “Pāṇini and the Pāṇinīyas”, JAOS 76, 1956, 1-23; “Pāṇini and the Pronunciation of Sanskrit”, Studies presented to J. Whatmough 1957, 263-280; “Patañjali über Varuṇa und die sieben Ströme”, Mélanges Morgenstierne 1964, 168-172.
– “‘Jungfrauengatte’ Sanskrit kaumāraḥ patiḥ – Homer. κουρέδος πόσις – lat. maritus”, KZ 78, 1963, 161-248.
– Translated: Gedichte aus dem Rigveda. 79 p. Reclam Univ.-Büch. 8930. St. 1964; Upanischaden, Ausgewählte Stücken. 101 p. Reclam U.-B. St. 1966.
– “Das indische Theater”, in H. Kindermann (ed.), Fernöstliches Theater. Stuttgart 1966, 21-120.
– Edited & translated: “Īśopaniṣad (= Vājasaneyi-Saṁhitā 40) 1-14”, JAOS 85, 1965, 89-99.
– “Die Kobra bei Pāṇini”, KZ 79, 1965, 55-68; “‘Sprachmalerei’”, KZ 86, 1972, 64-81; “Meaning and form of the ‘grammar’ of Pāṇini”, StII 8-9, 1982-83, 3-34; “Missverstandener Pāṇini”, ZDMG Suppl. 5, 1983, 280-288.
– “On M. Mayrhofer’s Etmologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen”, BSOAS 57, 1994, 321-328; “On the Khilakāṇḍa of the Śatapathabrāhmaṇa”, Harānanda­laharī. Fs. M. Hara 2000, 575-585.
Kleine Schriften. Hrsg. von G. Buddruss. 1-2. 15+815 p. Glasenapp-St. 5. Wb. 1971; Id. Bd. 3. 1970–87. Hrsg. von R. Söhnen. 456 p. Ibid. 5:2. St. 1995; Opera maiora. 1. 7+258 p. Kyoto 1995.

Sources: Th. Oberlies, Newsl. IASS 7, 2002, 50-52; R. Söhnen-Thieme in Brückner et al. 2003, 251-279 with several photos; Staal 1985, 298ff.; D.G.K.; Bio-bibliogr. de 134 savants. 1979, 507; bibliography in Kl. Schr.; *Festschrift Paul Thieme. 336 p. StII 5/6. Reinbek 1980; Wikipedia.

*Renate Söhnen-Thieme & Frank Köhler (eds.), Präzision und Phantasie. Paul Thiemes Methodik und ihr Einfluss auf die Indologie. 198 p. 2022.

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