OLSHAUSEN, Justus

OLSHAUSEN, Justus. Hohenfelde, Holstein 9.5.1800 — Berlin 28.12.1882. German Orientalist and Theologian. Professor in Kiel and Königsberg. Son of J.W.O., a minister, younger brother of theologian Hermann O. (1796–1839). After school in Glückstadt, studied in 1816-19 at Kiel and 1819-20 at Berlin theology and Oriental languages, then 1820-23 languages in Paris under Silvestre de Sacy. Ph.D. 1823 Kiel. From 1823 ao. and 1830 ord. Professor of Oriental languages at Kiel. In 1852 dismissed on political grounds. In 1853-58 Professor für morgenländische Sprachen at Königsberg. From 1858 career in Cultusministerium. Also a politician. Married, children.

JO is remembered as a pioneer of comparative Semitic linguistics, but worked also on Iranian. In Semitics he was interested in Assyriology, criticized Ewald and attempted to explain Hebrew through Arabic which he saw as the more archaic language. As a teacher he mainly taught Hebrew (in rather small universities there were rarely students interested in more exotic languages). In 1840 he started a travel to Asia, but a blague epidemy forced him to return from Constantinople. In the 1840s he was cataloguing Oriental manuscripts in Copenhagen University library.

Publications: diss. De linguae Persicae verbo. 1823.

with J. Mohl: Fragments relatifs à la religion de Zoroaster, extraits des mss. Persans de la Bibliothèque du Roi. P. 1829.

Vendidad, Zendavestae pars vicesima, adhuc superstes. Pars 1. 48 p. Hamburg 1829.

Die Pehlewi-Legenden auf den Münzen der letzten Sasaniden, den ältesten Münzen arabischer Chalifen, den Münzen des Ispehbeds von Taberistan und auf indopersischen Münzen des östlichen Iran. 82 p. Kopenhagen 1843 (Lp. 1849).

articles on Pahlavi, etc., e.g. “Zur würdigung der Pahlavî-glossare und ihrer erklärung durch die Parsen”, KZ 26, 1883, 521-569.

Emendationen zum Alten Testament. Kiel 1826; Zur Topographie des alten Jerusalems. Kiel 1833; Observationes criticae ad vetus Testamentum. 1836; Commentar über die Psalmen. 1853.

– “Ueber phönicische Ortsnamen“, Rhein. Museum 1853, 321ff.; Lehrbuch des Hebräischen. 1-2. 1861.

Sources: C. E. Carstens, A.D.B. 24, 1887, 328-330; Enc. Iud. 12; JRAS Proc. 1884, xxvii-xxix; Wikipedia.

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