OPPERT, Jules (Julius O.)

OPPERT, Jules (Julius O.). Hamburg 9.7.1825 — Paris 20/21.8.1905. German (Jewish) Assyriologist in France (naturalised 1854), originally also interested in Sanskrit. Professor in Paris. Brother of —> G. O. Studied first law at Heidelberg, then Oriental languages at Bonn (under Lassen and Freytag), Berlin and Kiel. Ph.D. 1847 Kiel, in Indology. He attracted early attention as Cuneiform scholar, but as a Jew could not obtain academic position in Germany and moved in 1847 to France. Taught German at Lycée of Laval and from 1850 of Reims. In 1851-54 expedition to Mesopotamia with F. Fresnel, then in British Museum studying Khorsabad inscriptions. From 1854 or 1857 Professor of Sanskrit (chargé d’un cours élémentaire de sanscrit près la Bibliothèque Imperiale) in Paris, until 1869. From 1869 the first Professor of Assyriology in Europe at Collège de France, taught there until his death. In the beginning he taught Sanskrit, too (his course was moved to Collège de France), the position of Assyriology was confirmed only in 1874. One of the great pioneers of Assyriology, one of the decipherers of the Akkadian cuneiform, then also of Sumerian. Also an Iranian scholar.

Publications: diss. De jure Indorum criminali. 1847.

Lautsystem des Altpersischen. 1847; Inscriptions des Achémenides. 1852.

Grammaire sanscrite. 10+232 p. B. & P. 1857, rev. 2nd ed. 1864; “Discours … pour l’ouverture de son cours de sanscrit”, Ann. de philos. chrét. 1866, 50-68.

– “Les variations du Varyaque”, RL 1:1-2, 1867, 128-137; La peuple et la langue des Mèdes. 1879; “Sogdianus, König der Perser”, Z .f. Assyr. 16, 1902, 1-14.

Éléments de la grammaire assyrienne. 1860 or 1868, and many works on Assyriology, articles in the Revue archéologique.

Sources: *C. Bezold, Z. f. Assyr. 19, 1905/06, 169-173; G. de F., N.B.G. 38, 1862, 714f.; E. Fi., Enc. Iud. 12, 1971, 1434f.; Ève Gran-Aymerich, D.O.L.F. 729f.; *B. Haussoulier, CRAI 1906, 567-592; A. Spanier, Jüd. Lex. 4:1, 1930, 593f.; *Jewish Encyclop. 9, 420f.; *Revue d’Assyr. 6, 1907, 73f.; *Bibliography in Zeitschrift zur Assyriologie 2:2, 1892, 522ff.; Wikipedia (more in French version); photo in Collège de France 1530–1930. pl. lx, another in Internat. Taschenbuch der Or. 1910.

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