LENZ, Robert

LENZ, Robert (Robert Hristianovič Lenc). Dorpat (Tartu) 23.1.1808 — St. Petersburg 30.7.1836. Russian (German from Estonia) Indologist. Son of Christian L., the secretary of municipal council of Dorpat and brother of the physicist Academician Emil L. After Gymnasium in Dorpat in 1820-24 he studied theology at Dorpat University in 1824-28. From 1828 taught at Reval (Tallinn) Cathedral School, in 1829-30 as Oberlehrer. In St.Petersburg a decision was made to train an Indologist for the Imperial Academy and the choice fell on RL, who in 1831 was sent to Berlin and studied there three years Indology under Bopp. Ph.D. 1832 Berlin. After a while in St.Petersburg, where he prepared a catalogue of the Sanskrit MSS. in the Asiatic Museum, in 1834 he went to England to study manuscripts, collecting among other things new critical material about the Vikramorvaśī. In July 1835 he returned to St.Petersburg, became Adjunkt at Imperial Academy and in 1836 started teaching Sanskrit and comparative grammar at University.

RL had collected much material and had great plans, but premature death cut short his career. In addition to Sanskrit and MIA, he had studied Hindi, Bengali, Avesta and Tibetan. His notes were later used by Bollensen and Grill in their resp. editions of the Vikramorvaśī and the Veṇīsamhara. Among his unrealized plans was a translation of the Lalitavistara and an edition of the Prakṛtapiṅgala, and he was not able to publish his studies on Indian aesthetics, metrics and musical theory and on the Hindi epic Prithvīrāja Rāso. RL was the first to teach Sanskrit in Russia. Among his few students was Petrov.

Publications: Urvasia, fabula Calidasi, textum sanscritum edidit, interpretationem latinam et notas illustrantes adjecit. 25+238 p. B. 1833; Apparatus criticus ad Urvasiam. 36 p. B. 1834 (additions from MSS. in England).

– “Bericht über eine im Asiat. Museum des kais. Akad. der Wiss. zu St.Petersburg deponierte Sammlung Sanskrit-MSS”, St.-Petersburger Zeitung 1833, abridged translation in JA 2:12, 1833, 548–567.

– “Account of the Sabda Kalpa Druma, a Sanskrit Encyclopaedical Lexicon, publ. in Calcutta by Rádhákánta Deva”, JRAS 2, 1835, 188-200; articles in ŽMNP.

– “Analyse du Lalita-vistara-pourana, l’un des principaux ouvrages sacrés des bouddhistes de l’Asie centrale, contenant la vie de leur prophète”, Bull. de l’Acad. Imp. 1, 1836, 49-51, 57-63, 71f., 75-78, 87f., 92-96, 97-99.

Sources: Bongard-Levin & Vigasin 1984, 65-67; J. Klatt in A.D.B. 18, 1883, 279; W. Lenz, Deutschbaltisches biographisches Lexikon 1740-1960. Köln & Wien 1970, 447f.; *L. Mserianc, Novyj Vostok 1922:1; *Vigasin 2008, 82–87; Windisch 144; *G. A. Zograf, UZLGU 1960:2; *Recueil des actes des séances publ. de l’Acad. imp. des sciences de St.Pét. 1836, 11-14; German and Russian Wikipedia.

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