NOBEL, Julius Adolf Johannes. Forst/Lausitz 25.6.1887 — Wehrda bei Marburg 22.10.1960. German Indologist and Buddhist Scholar. Professor in Marburg. Son of a clerc, Oskar N. and Elisabeth Teichert. Educated in Fulda, became early interested in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. The parents wished from him a Roman Catholic priest, but in 1907 he started instead at Greifswald studies of Arabic and Turkish (under F. Giese), IE linguistics (Zupitza) and Sanskrit (Heller). With Heller became interested in Indian Kāvya literature. In financial difficulties accepted a position in university library. In 1908 moved to Berlin lured by Pischel’s fame, but this left soon for India and died. There he studied Sanskrit (Lüders, Sieg), Tibetan (Beckh), IE (Schulze), classical philology (Diels, Wilamowitz-Möllendorf), Celtology (Zimmer) and philosophy, and again financed his studies working in library. Ph.D. 1911. In 1915-18 in military service as interpreter of Turkish, in 1917-18 in headquarters in Spa. In 1918-20 worked in the news department of Foreign Ministry, from 1920 in Prussian Library. From 1921 PD at Berlin. Rejected chairs in Canton and 1929 at Königsberg. From 1927 ao. Professor at Berlin, but in 1928 became ord. at Marburg where remained until his death. Retired in 1955. Visited India in 1951-52, 1953-54 and 1960, travelled much in Europe. Married in 1918 with Charlotte Schmidt, one daughter.
The first 14 years after his Ph.D. JN concentrated on Alaṅkāra literature, but from the 1920s became more and more engaged with Mahāyāna Buddhism. With this he also started Chinese in 1923. At Marburg teaching took much of his time (he taught also Chinese). Among his students were M. Patel, K. Neumann, D. Lauenstein, K. Quecke, W. Rau (who succeeded him at Marburg), E. R. Sreekrishna Sarma, B. Bhattacharya, and C. Vogel.
Publications: diss. Beiträge zur älteren Geschichte der Alaṁkāraśāstra. 80 p. B. 1911; hab.diss. publ. in abridged English transl. The Foundations of Indian Poetry. 195 p. Calcutta Oriental Series 16. Calcutta 1925.
– “Zur Echtheitsfrage des Ṛtusaṁhāra”, ZDMG 66, 1912, 275-282 & JRAS 1913, 401-409; “Die Vyāsastuti”, ZDMG 66, 1912, 283-293; “Indologische Studien”, ZDMG 67, 1913, 1-36; “Die Śarada-Handschrift des Rāmāyaṇa”, 15 Jahre Königlich und Staatsbibl. Berlin 1921, 186-190; “Studien zum zehnten Buche des Bhaṭṭikāvya”, Le Muséon 37, 1924, 281-300; “Rājaśekharas Kāvyamīmāṁsā”, Festgabe H. Jacobi 1926, 169-179; “Die Avantisundarīkathā”, ZII 5, 1927, 136-152; “Karl Friedrich Geldner“, Idg. Jb. 14, 1930, 363-371.
– studies on Kumārajīva (28 p. SPAW 1927), Kumāralāta (10 p. NGGW 1928), and Aśvaghoṣa (7 p. NGGW 1931).
– “Die Weltanschauung der Upanischaden”, Mitt. Univ. Marburg 1937:1, 12-19; “Das Zauberland der Göttin Sarasvatī”, Fs. W. Schubring 1951, 123-139.
– Suvarṇaprabhāsottamasūtra. Das Goldglanz-Sūtra. Sanskrit-Text. 54+277 p. Lp. 1937; Tibetischer Text. St. 1944; Tibetisch-Deutsch-Sanskrit Glossar. St. 1950; Der Chinesische Text des I-ching mit Übersetzung. 1-2. Leiden 1958.
– Central Asia: the connecting link between East and West. 1952.
– Udrāyana, König von Roruka, eine buddhistische Erzählung. Hrsg. und übersetzt. 1955 (Roruka-Avadāna in Tibetan).
– vol. 4. Namen- und Sachregister. to Geldner’s Der Rig-Veda. 7+271 p. H.O.S. 36. Cambridge, Mass. 1957; edited the translation itself. 1951; edited 6 fascicules of Hackmann’s Erklärendes Wörterbuch zum chinesischen Buddhismus. 1961-54.
– reviews in ZDMG, OLZ, and DLZ.
Sources: W. Rau, ZDMG 111, 1962, 6-13 (correcting some errors in Rau & Vogel) with photo (also in Rau 116); W. Rau & C. Vogel, Jñānamuktāvalī. Fs. J. N. 1963, 1-16 (with bibliography); *E. R. Sreekrishna Sarma, JOR 28, 1961, 168f.; *C. Vogel, N.D.B. 19, 1998, 301f.; briefly D.B.E. 7, 1998, 428; Wikipedia; another photo in Indology in G.D.R. 1978.
Last Updated on