LUDWIG, Alfred

LUDWIG, Alfred. Vienna 9.10.1832 — Prague 12.6.1912. Austrian Indologist. Professor in Prague. Son of Johannes L., a teacher of French, and Ludowika Köckh, grew up in Vienna. From 1852 studies of classical philology, IE linguistics and Sanskrit at Vienna (under Boller) and Berlin (Weber). From 1858 PD of classical philology at Vienna. From 1860 eo. Professor of classical philology and IE linguistics at University of Prague, from 1871 ord. Professor für vergleichende Sprachkunde. When the university was divided in 1881 into Czech and German uni­ver­sities, he taught at the latter (although he was also fluent in Czech). Retired 1901, but teaching until his death. Hofrat 1901.

Ludwig was an original scholar, who followed his own ideas and became known as a biting critic. He started with comparative linguistics, he soon turned to Indology. He fell out with Grassmann and criticized Roth, admired Max Müller and Weber. Pischel and Benfey gave him merit. He knew his sources thoroughly and presented important ideas, though much of his work has now become antiquated. He was the first, who wanted to take the whole Vedic corpus into account in the interpretation of the Rigveda. In a cautious way he considered the importance of the Sāmaveda for the Rigveda. The 3rd volume of his Rigveda was a cultural history of the early Vedic period. Twenty years after his German translation he also made a new, much revised English translation, which however until recently (2019) remained unpublished.In comparative linguistics he developed his own theories, but found little support among colleagues. It has been stated that in the Rigveda he saw everywhere infinitives. Among his other interests was the Finnish language, which he also taught at Prague. Among his students was Zubatý.

Publications: “Die Entstehung der a-Declination”, SWA 1867, 64 p.; early works on classical philology.

Der Infinitiv im Veda, mit einer Systematik des litauischen und slawischen Verbs. 159 p. Prague 1871.

– Agglutination oder Adaptation? Eine sprachwissenschaftliche Streitfrage. 133 p. Prague 1873.

Translated: Der Rigveda oder Die heiligen Hymnen der Brāhmaṇa. 1-6. Prague & Lp. 1876-88 (1-2. Übersetzung; 3. Altertumskunde; 4-5. Anmerkungen; 6. Register, Glossar, etc.).

– “Über die Kritik des Ṛgveda-Textes”, AbhBöhmGesW 1889; “Über Methode bei Interpretation des Ṛgveda”, AbhBöhmGesW 1890.

– “Über das Verhältnis des mythischen Elementes zu den historischen Grundlage des Mahâbhârata”, SBöhmAW 6:12, 1884; “Ueber die Mythische Grundlage des Mahâbhârata”, SBöhmAW 1895; “Die Geschichte von Yayati Nahusya: Analyse und Rolle derselben im Mahâbhârata”, SBöhmAW 1898, 18 p.; “Interpolation im Râjasûya- und Jarâsamdhaparva (Sabhâp. XII u. flg.) des Mahâbhârata”, OC 12, Rome 1899, 1, 1901, 187-199.

– “Śaṅkhalikhita”, WZKM 15, 1901, 307-310.

Alfred Ludwigs englische Übersetzung des Rigveda (1886–1893). 1. Bücher I–V. Hrsg. von Raik Strunz. 32+622 p. Veröff. der Indologischen Kommission der A.W.L.Mainz 6. Wiesbaden 2019.

Sources: G. Oberhammer, Ö.B.L. 5, 1971, 346f.; Renou, Maitres 1928, 15-19; E. N. Setälä, FUFAnz 12, 1912, 148f.; Stache-Rosen 1990, 76f.; *F. Wilhelm, N.D.B. 15, 1987, 424f.; Windisch 366-376; *M. Winternitz, Biogr. Jahrb. und deutscher Nekrolog 17, 1912, 128-133; briefly D.B.E. 6, 1997, 506 and German Wikipedia; photo in Rau 37, from Sardesai.

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