LENTZ, Wolfgang

LENTZ, Otto Helmut Wolfgang. Hameln 23.2.1900 — Marburg 8.12.1986. German Iranian Scholar. Professor in Hamburg. Son of Dr. Alfred Lentz, then director of girls’ Gymnasium in Hameln, and Katharina Gette. Educated in Hameln, matriculated 1917. In 1918-23 studies of IE and classical languages, later also Iranian and Indo-Aryan and Semitic languages at Munich, switched soon to Göttingen (under Andreas, Oldenberg, Sieg, Lidzbarski, Reitzenstein and Fick). Ph.D. 1923 Göttingen. In 1924-42 scientific collaborator of Prussian Academy in Berlin, where he worked on Turfan fragments and conducted further studies under Lüders, Westermann and Wethlo. In 1928 participated in the German-Russian Alai Pamir Expedition, in 1934 in the German Hindukush Expedition. Further travels in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Iran. Because of a Jewish grandmother Nazi regime classified him as “Mischling zweiten Grades”, which made even habilitation impossible. In 1942-45 served as sergeant in the army, after the war worked in various positions in Ansbach and Frankfurt. From 1950 taught at Hamburg University, first as Assistant, from 1951 PD for Iranian, from 1955 eo. Professor and from 1964 ord. Professor. In 1968 he retired and moved to Marburg. In 1957-58 Visiting Professor at Columbia University, 1960-61 at University of Texas in Austin, 1972-73 at Giessen and 1973-74 at Mainz. He was twice (H.-P. Schmidt three times) married (? and 1949 Rosemarie Engel) and had three daughters from the first and one son from the second marriage.

Lentz was a many-sided scholar of Iranian languages, with main interests in Central Asian fragments in Middle Persian, Parthian and Sogdian, in the Avesta and in Pamir languages. He did an important pioneer work on Manichaeans fragments. Among students five completed their Ph.D. under him, among them G. Windfuhr (1965) and G. Gropp (1967).

Publications: Diss. publ. as “Nordiranische Elemente in der neupersischen Literatursprache bei Firdosi”, ZII 4, 1926, 251-316.

With E. Waldschmidt: Die Stellung Jesú im Manichäismus. 131 p. ABeAW 1926:4; “Manichäische Dogmatik aus chinesischen und iranischen Texten”, SBeAW 1933, 130 p.

– “Mani und Zarathustra”, ZDMG 82, 1928, 179-206.

– “Bericht über sprachwissenschaftliche und ethnographische Arbeiten der Expedition”, Die Alai-(Pamir-)Expedition 1928. Deutsche Forschung 10. Berlin 1929, 147-168; “Sprachwissenschaftliche und völkerkundliche Studien in Nuristan”, A. Scheibe (ed.), Deutsche in Hindukusch. Deutsche Forschung. N.F. 1. Berlin 1937, 247-284; “Über einige Fragen der materiellen Kultur von Nuristan”, ZfEthnol. 69, 1937, 277-306..

Auf dem Dach der Welt. Mit Phonograph und Kamera bei vergessenen Völkern des Pamir. 353 p. 10 pl. B. 1931.

Pamir-Dialekte. 1. Materialien zur Kenntnis der Schugni-Gruppe. 12+288 p. Göttingen 1933.

– “War Marco Polo auf dem Pamir?”, ZDMG 86, 1933, 1-32.

– Edited F. W. K. Müller’ “Soghdische Texte. 2”, SBeAW 1934, 504-607 (commentary and glossary by W.L.).

Zeitrechnung im Nuristan und am Pamir. 211 p. 11 tables. ABeAW 1938:7. B. 1939, new ed. Graz 1978.

– “Beobachtungen über den gedanklichen Aufbau einiger zeitgenössischer persischer Prosastücke”, Der Islam 32, 1952, 166-208.

Yasna 28. Kommentierte Übersetzung. 91 p. A.W.L. Mainz 1954:16.

– “Das Neupersische”, HdO 1:4 Iranistik. 1. Linguistik. Leiden – Köln 1958, 179-221.

Goethes Noten und Abhandlungen zum West-östlichen Divan. 176 p. Hamburg1958.

 “Attar als Allegoriker”, Der Islam 35, 1960, 52-96; many further articles and reviews.

– “The transmission of the foreign elements in Middle Persian”, W. Skalmowski & A. van Tangerloo (ed.), Middle Iranian Studies. O.L.A. 16. Leuven 1984, 69-81.

Sources: *W. Eilers, Der Islam 65, 1988, 5–7; R.N. Frye, St. Ir. 16, 1987, 259f.; Bio-bibliogr. Acta Ir. 20, 1979, 336f.; *R.N. Frye (ed.), Neue Methodologie in der Iranistik. Festschrift W.L. 1974 (with bibliography); G. Gropp, Encyclop. Iranica 2002; H.-P. Schmidt, ZDMG 139, 1989, 1-20 (with bibliography and photo); briefly D.B.E. 6, 1997, 120; German Wikipedia; photo in TITUS Galeria.

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